Home » News » Tribute To Chief Lucky Igbinedion @ 60-By Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu
Tribute To Chief Lucky Igbinedion @ 60-By Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu
Halima with elder brother, Aminu Babangida, Vice Chairman, Unity Bank

Tribute To Chief Lucky Igbinedion @ 60-By Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu

By Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu

Silence can be very discomforting and dreadful. Some regard it as the reality of loneliness. But how do you juxtapose it in the midst of company and not just for a short period of time occasioned by reflection or introspection but one that is prolonged and intense. The ugliness of silence can best be explained when we recall that it is usually invoked to honour the dead (a frightening subject) and only for a minute which often appears forever. I speak on this eerie topic not to depress but rather to celebrate a man, CHIEF LUCKY NOSAKHARE IGBINEDION, who has mastered the mystery of silence and thrives on it.

Many years ago, in a moment of rare disclosure he opened up to me. Osagie, he said: ‘if you must work with me, you must understand my silence’. How do you understand silence? This statement was profoundly insightful. Over the years, as I sat with him alone and several times with others, I watched and listened in the midst of the silence and slowly, I began to hear and understand the inaudible language of communication called silence – a smile, a little nod, a careless yawn or cough and slight twitching of the thick moustache were enough signs to convey the relevant message to a discerning mind.

As family friends and associates celebrate three score in the life of His Excellency Chief Lucky Nosakhare Igbinedion former two times governor of Edo State (1999 – 2007), I know many people still do not know this enigma, though he has subjected himself severally to public office. How can a quiet man who rarely speaks run for elective office? The answer is not far-fetched. He speaks only when and where necessary and prefers to always listen. Why those around him speak non-stop and reveal their weaknesses, he utters not a word and leaves you confused as to who he is and what he said.

How did he become an elected chairman of Oredo Local Government Council in 1987 to 1989? How did he become an elected governor in 1999 to 2003 and 2003 to 2007? How did he become the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum? How was he elected as President of the National Boxing Federation of Nigeria? How has he succeeded in private business all these years? These offices, nay achievements cannot be by luck as his name suggests. Chief Lucky Nosakhare Igbinedion is deeper than many people think. He remains misunderstood simply because of his refusal to blow his trumpet even when the music is attractive. He has gone through travails, persecutions, vilification and betrayals, yet he maintains his composure, and his faith in God and humanity remains unshaken. He is focused, disciplined and committed to what he truly believes in. He is loving husband, caring father, grandfather, dependable friend, trustworthy associate and a compassionate man. Though of few words he is very witty and some of his expressions weighty and can be put on marble. The following are examples: ‘you cannot quote silence’; ‘my definition of success in politics is not how many people you crush but how many you win over’; ‘it is better to be thought a fool and get what you want than to be thought wise and refused what you want’.

Appraising his huge frame you would never guess the athleticism and energy that this wonderful man possesses. It is on record that he climbed to the top of the Kilimanjaro Mountains – the highest in Africa – an arduous and tortuous journey spanning days of inclement weather and precarious turns while he was a serving governor – a rare feat credited to very few in the world. A great sports man, he plays football, table tennis, squash, and caps it up with swimming. He can work out in the gym for about four hours nonstop. A connoisseur of good food and wine, Chief Lucky Igbinedion like most members of the House of Igbinedion is a perfect host who spares no detail in the entertainment of his guests.
He is deeply religious in spite of his worldly posture. I have seen him fast and pray for months when he sees the need to seek the face of God. During this period of fasting, he digs deep into the scripture searching for answers to lingering questions and surrounds himself with reputable Men of God. What makes this spiritual exercise more remarkable is that he did most of it while in office as governor of Edo State and not while he was in the wilderness or in difficulty. His prayers were often for the betterment of the state and not himself. The few times he made personal prayers, it was to seek for godly wisdom for the administration of the state.

Chief Lucky Nosakhare Igbinedion has remained quiet in the face of consistent abusive and often times unfair criticism of his stewardship in government. And even when time, circumstances and people rise up to defend him, he still maintains his silence as if appealing to those critics and the world at large in the unspoken expression: ‘why can’t you understand my silence’?
Your Excellency, I wish others would understand your golden silence the way I do, particularly now as you celebrate your diamond age on earth. For now let me simply join millions of your admirers the world over, to wish you a happy birthday, my two time governor, Chief Lucky Nosakhare Igbinedion, and may God Almighty bless you and your household, protect you against all evil and speak for you.

.Ize-Iyamu was Secretary to Edo State Government and PDP GubernatoriCal Candidate in 2016

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