Of the apothegms employed by thinkers in their classification and determination of true greatness, none seems to have as yet surpassed, in depth of meaning, in logicality of reasoning – that oft quoted in William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night – that ‘some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ‘em.
Yet, in this quaintest of quotes, many who ascribe themselves to greatness do not come close from scrutiny in the espousal and personification of true greatness. Great leaders are not often politicians or religious people or captains of industry or great sports personalities. Great leaders know their people and their people know them; they are honest, authentic, they speak with an authority that comes from the inside, they listen and they accept wrong. Looking for one in these times is looking for a pin in a haystack.
Part of requirements for a consideration of true greatness is love for environment and humanity. This is not so much as patriotism or populism but just plain-old fashioned love – love for peoples and their conditions, love for an environment inhabited by peoples with peculiar issues, challenges and temptations.
And one Nigerian who has achieved greatness, demonstrated through his love for his environment and people through philanthropic activism is Patrick Osagie Eholor. Here is one man whose antecedents prepared for the role he plays today as a community activist and advocate for good governance, transparency and accountability in governance. Born and bred in Benin City Edo state, a young Patrick saw first-hand examples of injustice, corruption and, suffered therefrom.
By acquainting yourself with suffering, man becomes empathetic. And so, imbued with a strong desire to change these peculiar circumstances, Patrick Osagie Eholor began to challenge the norms that sustain bad governance and a plethora of deficiencies apparent in the socio-political Nigerian milieu through volunteerism in social and religious activities. But Patrick was only one man. Realizing that human energy is one of the pillars in the temple of prosperity and that his potentials would be limited if he did not harvest the near-limitless energy in the humanity all around, he founded the One Love Foundation, an institution built on the understanding that love is incomplete until man lives it. For over a decade, Mr Patrick has worked tirelessly at demonstrating that a love sustained by instruments and vehicles harnesses the vast potentialities and capabilities of humanity.
Psychologists insist that the human body is a fountain, and out of it flows river of living waters. What waters have flown out of Mr Patrick Osagie Eholor? What has he been saying concerning the one big issue ravaging humanity today? Why does he say it? What do people say about him, and what does he say about what people say about him/her?
Prior to becoming a community advocate, and describing his antecedents, Mr Patrick Osagie Eholor once explained why he does what he does for the uplift of humanity. ‘My father explained the value of integrity to me like this: those who hold high office in public life must be men of integrity; otherwise they betray the trust reposed in them by the community. When, however such men are possessed of integrity, they will devote themselves to the welfare of the community which has placed its confidence in them’.
With the management of the Covid 19 in Nigeria, Mr Patrick Osagie Eholor has said whether at state and federal levels, Nigeria was not prepared for the Covid 19 pandemic. According to Mr Eholor, ‘Covid 19 is real. And as a people, we have not been responsible. Most of our leaders are taking undue advantage. The fact of the matter is that we usually copy whatever the Western world does without taking into consideration the years of research and planning that had into the decision-making processes there. They have declared a lockdown and tempered it with palliatives for all. Here we have declared a palliative for some.
As an advocate for fiscal transparency and good governance, Mr. Patrick Osagie Eholor thinks it is preposterous for government to have made claims to spending N100billion in three days in the management of the Covid 19, when there was still a lot of ignorance, and a dearth of test and screening kits. ‘In less than one month, fires have gutted three very sensitive federal government offices, and therefore when issues of accountability would come up, nobody would find the papers related to audited accounts/papers of how the Covid 19 funds have been spent. We are pained and very saddened at these unfortunate turn of events.
As they say, goldfish have no hiding place. Traducers are eager to mar Mr Patrick Osagie Eholor’s image as a Universalist and community advocate. They seek to diminish the value of his activism by pitching him against the political actors in Edo State. In these times, little men would strut hither and tither seeking a dishonorable grave to be buried. But vocal in self-defense without being loud, tempered in defeating this abnegation without being intemperate, Patrick Eholor seeks to follow the rule always in resolving issues.