(A Commemoration of the Golden Jubilee Anniversary of Rt. Hon (Engr) Victor O.Ochei, On The 25th Of February 2019).
By Ikechukwu Chukwudi
The events between the conception and birth of anyone are totally the exclusive of divinity, fate and/or nature, either of which is the minds appointed prerogative. We open our eyes to find ourselves where we are and with a lifelong responsibility to discover our path to prominence, even as individuality, temperament and upbringing will prove to be inevitable reoccurrences as we sojourn through society. The 25th of February 1969 fated the entry of young Victor Onyekachi Ochei into this complex world of ours, A male son with Anioma blood in his veins, yet predestined to begin and spend a substantial part of his life in the densely populated city of Kano, Core Northern Nigeria.
Nature already gifted him with the mindset of detribalized Nigerian, Victor Ochei’s journey through life has prepared him to prominence, especially with regards to the Nigerian scenario that is riddled with mutual suspicion and heavily polarized along religious and ethnic sentiments. Elections in 2011, 2015 and 2019 have drawn a pattern of serious ethno religious interference into the issue of nation-building. The place of competence, integrity, individuality and performance have very nearly been side-stepped, despite the obvious spasm in development between Nigeria and the rest of the world, only to be replaced with the corruption influenced sentiments of primitive reasoning.
With the widespread ascension of young people into the public office around the globe and as it trickles into the Nigerian setting, it has become increasingly inevitable that the barriers of religion, tribe and other forms of racist inclination, be consciously suppressed into extinction in order to empower persons of righteousness and capacity into public office. As it appears today, Nigeria only possesses a few of such people, which Rt Hon Victor Ochei Esq, serves as a ready example. At 42, he led the Delta State into its golden era of Representative Democracy between 2011-2014, when he served as Speaker of the House of Assembly. This also marked the period when the core societal values of Dutifulness, Responsibility and Servant Leadership were being inculcated for the first and last time in the history of the state. Over the years southern Nigeria has suffered the stigma of a perceived complacency towards attacking corruption, and despite the reality that it is inappropriate to classify the region in that light alone, there remain aspects where the nation has had severe repercussions from its sojourn in maladministration, most especially since the return to democracy in 1999. This unfortunate reality has created the need to identify examples of men and women from southern Nigeria whose ability to create, multiply and manage wealth has been tested and proven, without being strewn to the aprons of political patronage. Persons who understand the Nigerian society from the viewpoint of belonging to more than one ethnic group in the country and will effectively relegate primordial sentiments of ethnic preferences to close the gap between the two amalgamated regions of 1914.
For Rt Hon Ochei, it is a plus on his side that his 50year journey into life, inside and outside of politics is a clear expose of a man who is not bound by negative burdens, but rather his life teaches about hard work, Wealth, charity and genuine intentions for society. Having observed firsthand the beauty of diversity and the danger of discrimination, the stock of men like Victor Ochei is Nigeria’s solution to mutual suspicion as to their roots in the majorly Hausa Speaking northern Nigeria can help the rest of the country understand itself better, while also being instrumental in promoting religious and ethnic tolerance.
As Nigeria, inches towards maturity, the passionate drive to promote a cohesive Nigeria via personal sacrifice, selflessness and the bridge building across ethnic lines should be given consideration. Very easy going and living a life that exemplifies this via marriage to his longtime sweetheart, the delectable Mrs Hanatu Ochei an Edo woman with whom he has created a lovely family, Rt. Hon Victor Ochei has become an important figure for National Cohesion via his familiarity with diverse tribes and ethnic delineations across the Nation, and Delta’s Gift to the Rest of Nigeria.
Most definitely the next 50years of his life will feature in the nation’s timeline of Cohesive Advocacy.
Many Happy Returns, to Rt Hon Engr Victor Ochei Esq.
• Ikechukwu Chukwudi (Legacy) is a member of the Youth Mobilization Committee.