Leadership and Law-Making: The way I see Candidate Chris Ayebusiwa


– Debo Akinbami

In recent times, I have read some muchly inspiring testimonies about the talent by the name Christopher Odunayo Ayebusiwa. I have also invariably acquainted myself with other passionate and rather controversial accounts around the subject. Both thought patterns, in their varied temperament, competently contribute to the burgeoning thesis that the guy Ayebusiwa has become.

This is an intentional intervention, though neither mandatory nor portends any peculiar material profit for the writer. Good conscience says it does serve some public good, in my considered opinion. It is a testament given, enthusiastically, at personal risk; one that is deemed necessary as a deposit for providence even now that my generation, albeit lately, prepares and positions itself for effective leadership take-off.

Destiny, inscrutable as it often proves, through the intriguing outcome of the primary election held in the Multipurpose Hall of my alma mater, Manuwa Memorial Grammar School, Iju-Odo, Okitipupa LGA, on the 25th May, 2022, threw up Christopher Odunayo Ahris Ayebusiwa, for this time. In the same hall, coincidentally, yours truly was elected President of the Student Representative Council (SRC)- some 23 years ago!

Strikingly, however, apart from the candidate, the primary election also threw up both expressed and implied wonderment as to the possibility, propriety and suitability of the candidature. It is for this purpose that a treatise like this, if anything, seeks to fill sundry gaps in thoughts, part of which understandably results either from ignorance about the person of the candidate or springs from delibrate misstating of facts, which, for obvious reasons, is usual with the season.

The winning of Christopher was, in many ways, a watershed. That is the way destiny works, mostly weird. His declaration as the party’s flag-bearer for the House of Assembly was a culmination of a sustained and fierce strife. It is true that this is not his first political outing. He had sought the ticket two times earlier with no luck, for no fault of his. At each attempt, he had the people with him but he probably was not politically correct for purpose in the estimations of critical political principalities.

The irony, however, is that the same unscrupulous political players have since found him worthy as active political ally for over two decades of consistent service and sacrifices. It was a case of needing a man merely as a tool while keeping him perpetually dependent on the czar. Smart Chris, through the routes, learned the acts while remaining persistent and consistent as a committed political actor.

That Chris has served is a fact. That he paid his dues is not debatable. And while serving, he was true. Here is a dude who is never distracted by anything when he chooses a tent, preferring to get his own fingers burnt even while his contemporary cut corners for fast gains. It is in this sense that those who argue that hard work played a role in how the battle for the party ticket eventuated are not wrong. Chris, for those who know, can be unrepentantly conscientious, assiduous and painstaking.

Because he did serve, it is safe to say he has learned in the course of service. And this is one critical leg of leadership preparation that is missing in many. For reasonable time, he had a humbling tutelage in both the obvious and obscure quarters. He made significant sacrifices, yet he never cease to identify with the ordinary people out there. He shares as he cares. That is who Chris is.

Having been around for awhile and already familiarised himself with the strengths and weaknesses of those who have taken similar role, it is taken for granted that he won’t repeat the flaws; having been with the people through the seasons, it is expected that he would not abandoned them after ballot, and knowing that the people chose him, against daunting odds, we can justifiably hope that he will not go less.

I have known him for at least 30 active years, and, he has, all along, exhibited proven leadership traits, those palpably missing in curried, titular leaders around. Chris has what it takes to lead a people to relevance. He is rich mentally; he is beautiful at heart. He has a good conscience to match it. He is an incredible go-getter who is opened to ideas and has the humility to learn. The unattractive fact, I dare say, is that the constituency that has him to lead this tournament has an invaluable asset in him that should be nourished, where care is taken.

Chris is resilient. It is in his nature. He is a formidable force either for or against a purpose. Unyeilding as a critic and unflagging as an enthusiast. He is a people’s person; gregarious, street-smart and muchly loved. Loved for his knack for sacrifices; popular for regularly preferring the masses to the classes. A viable leadership and political asset for the community he belongs because he shares the common dreams long ahead of this time.

People do change, but I truly believe that the people have more reasons to be optimistic. Not a time for cynics to network for it’s vain voyaging against the seismic tide that this mandate is. Indications are rife, after all, that this appears an idea whose time this is. In my view, Chris has so much to prove for good to the constituency. It is therefore in the best interest to rally him to win. If he wins, the people win. And with him, a generation that hungers for flight can at least begin to nurture its wings.

***Akinbami writes from Alagbaka Akure.

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