Anambra COVID-19: Where is OHO?

By Ikenga Chronicles March 30, 2020

Anambra COVID-19: Where is OHO?

— By Tai Emeka Obasi.

Believe me. I have never tried to associate this COVID-19 menace to politics, no matter how my Nigerian-American friends in diaspora dragged me.

This menacing microorganism shouldn’t be used in/for politics, whatever divide one falls into. It should be a collective coming together of the best knowledgeable hands in this daunting battle to save mankind.

I choose my mentors. I have my ideas about life and once you show enough to convince me you mean well for humanity, I’m your promoter without being engaged.

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His Honour Oseloka Henry Obaze is one of my mentors. I heard of him for the first time when he became the Secretary to my state government. I searched on Google to know more about him and was overtly impressed. I followed his activities as the SSG and was even more than impressed. I was totally convinced he would have been a great choice to have succeeded a governor like HE Peter Obi. That way the CONTINUITY so much sought for would have been perfectly assured.

But it’s history now. He didn’t. HE Willie Obiano did and life moved on.

He even continued as the SSG – to ease a ‘stranger’ like Obiano into continuity and effective governance. And one of the first tasks facing Obiano as governor was the Ebola Virus menace.

Barely three months after being sworn in, the epidemic landed in Nigeria via Liberia. There was panic everywhere. The Federal Government, state governments were in crisis mood.

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Anambra State government timely set up a task force. And Obaze was in charge.

And believe me, the man we fondly call OHO did a marvelous job, setting up emergency isolation centres with international standards, assembling competent professional workforce as well as effectively sensitising the public of the danger and effective ways to stay safe.

I believe the excellent manner he handled the flood disaster of 18 months earlier easily singled him out to head the Ebola taskforce.

The Ogbaru-born technocrat is a workaholic who is so painstakingly meticulous that he can locate a needle in a haystack. He is so religiously thorough that he leaves no stone unturned.

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Having worked in the United Nations for 21 years before Okwute convinced him to bring his expertise home for the betterment of dear state, OHO has the connections to get to anybody in WHO. Nobody is saying those in charge of Anambra COVID-19 Taskforce are by any means incompetent but in such international interactions on the face of a very tasking global pandemic, first name relationships open doors that stay slammed on the faces of ‘strangers’. And take this home, OHO knows the right websites to source for accurate information, he knows the right phone numbers to call to attract prompt attention and he is so skilled in diplomacy that you just can’t say no to him.

With such personality that would have aided our much better fight against this dreaded virus, Gov Obiano didn’t make use of such talent in the face of evident helplessness. And hence Anambra State lost an advantage most states would be dying to grasp.

Besides, OHO is so religiously prudent that in both assignments he handled while the SSG, he accounted to the last kobo.

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People are always skeptical when donating into accounts managed solely by governments. Ndi Anambra are no exceptions, especially when the government they are dealing with hasn’t appropriately covered itself in glory. Whether Anambra State government wants to hear this or not, a separate account under the care of a personality like OHO would have rekindled appropriate confidence and thereby attracted our billionaires to donate to the fund, knowing that such philanthropy would trickle down to the people it was intended to.

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This is not politics. This reality as it faces us. There is no PDP, APGA, APC, YPP, etc in this fight to stay alive. Everybody should be co-opted.

Meanwhile, observe the social distancing rules and stay safe. In God we trust.