And so, yes, it is the birthday of a political Maradona. There are few with that skill in politics, like in football, which enables the player, with his ethereal sneakiness, to dribble past a collection of obstacles.
Maybe Maradona is now old fashioned, rendered even less appealing by some tasteless character traits but then there is Lionel Messi with the same national ancestry.
Yet, whether Messi or Maradona, both, in their professional proficiency and savviness, or in their vertical qualities, reminds of a certain Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole in the scene of Nigerian politics.
Put together, standing in the same level ground, except for skin colour, one would not quickly tell the differences: in standing tall, they reach the same and equal heights. And perhaps, the similarities between Messi and Oshiomhole is more telling.
Is it not Messi that left a commentator, Ray Hudson, astonished as he scored, such that the commentator went on a spree of physics hemorrhage?
Hear him: “Messi knows the laws of physics, but they don’t know him. It confuses Einstein, but it doesn’t confuse Lionel Messi. Sir Isaac Newton looks down from above and says ‘That gravity thing? Yeh, I was wrong.’ They should name a constellation in the heavens after him.”
Messi, through his footballing brilliance, has defied laws of physics just as Adams Oshiomhole, with his incredible political brilliance, had defied the forecasts and wisdom of analysts.
So many times, both as a gubernatorial candidate whose mandate was stolen in 2007 or as the National Chairman of an incumbent party faced with enormous reelection challenges, Adams Oshiomhole has too many times been faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges.
Yet, like Messi who takes on one, takes on two, takes on three, magically beating off a pack of defenders and, finally, scoring, Adams Oshiomhole shakes off detractors and opposition, always coming up with magical strategies that deliver the results.
In Ray Hudson’s almost fanatic admiration of Lionel Messi, he had once commented, his voice screaming, on Messi’s goal saying: “Defenders try to follow him on Facebook and he comes out on Twitter, that’s how evasive he is.”
Adams Oshiomhole has eclipsed our normal imagination of who a politician is. Often times, the career of politicians are easily predicted, having them rise to power, say governorship, and from there do a long stint in oblivion, having no tangible relevance to his society.
Not for Adams Oshiomhole who has gone from strength to strength, from Chairman, Labour Congress to Chairman, All Progressives Congress. You think he is done with his marvelous gubernatorial tenure in Edo State, he comes shining brighter as Chairman of a ruling party.
The life and career of Adams Oshiomhole has demonstrated the limitless ability of human beings to rise to the occasion when pressed with pressure of responsibilities. His has been an encouraging trail of resolve and determination, a life that, even in the face of impossible odds, refuses to stand down nor give up.
However, our nation, and the world at large, is faced with an existential threat: a health crisis led by the spread of a Corona Virus that has now become less about the virus. The pandemic reveals the insufficiency in the global healthcare system, has crashed economies and is set to reshape the dynamics of all the sectors of the world as we know it.
This has induced the world into sober reflection, into taking preventive measures that require every human to go into isolation. Hence, although birthdays call for celebrations, this one, given the nature of the time, requires a methodic reflection and the saying of prayers, as humans, worldwide, collect themselves in sobriety while planning the way forward.
The political exploits of Adams Oshiomhole are well too known and needs not be recited. If anything, our wish for him this day should not merely end in praying that he does more exploits.
Rather, as the nature of the time has shown us that, among so many things, family is the ultimate, our wishes for the Comrade should include that while he continues to make giant strides for the benefit of the nation, his household should equally experience an everlasting joy and success that will bond together in love and harmony.
Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is renowned for his ability to harness human resources, decipher talents even in a latent state, and sharpen and position them for greatness.
Our prayers include a beseech on the grand architect of the universe who regulates the dynamics of fate to apply the principle reciprocity by ensuring the Comrade’s household experience the same kindness, love and greatness that Adams Oshiomhole has sowed into this nation.
Mayaki is Director of Communication and Media, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu Campaign Organization