By Tunde Alao
The Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat on Saturday, September 19th, 2020 clocks 56. The ceremony of this great day was marked with little or no fanfare. What would’ve been the reason for a great man, a good man, a worthy ambassador of the Hamzat Clan to celebrate a birthday in such solemnity? It has to do with the manner of his perception about life.
Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has done (and still doing) a great damage to lives and properties. As at today, many Nations and families are still mourning or nursing the incalculable loss of lives and properties.
For any right thinking person, exemplified by the Lagos number two citizen, ‘’what affects others affect us’’. So, this writer reasoned.
However, in the face of daunting task of making Lagos what it ought to be, the works on hand create no room for vain celebration. Rather, it was a time to reminiscence on what He has done in his life till date. Thus, assembled few like minded friends to do the celebration with prayer in the parlour of his house.
What everyone that works with KOH, or his family members could deduce from simple, but highly principled man is his uncanny humility!
To those close to the patriarch of Hamzat family, Late Oba Olatunji Hamzat (popularly addressed as ‘Baba Hamzat’ by the politicians) his straight forwardness, candour, humility and love for others were the traits inherited by the late monarch’s children, amongst whom is Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat !.
Its of no surprise that anywhere he goes, the sobriquet ‘Bibiire kose fowora’’ epitomises the omoluabi’s nature of KOH.
To those who may not understand the phrase – Bibire kose fowora can be translate as you can’t buy good upbringing with money’. If you don’t have it, you don’t have it. And it was to this concept, the Yorubas also tied the omoluabi’s concept.
Working with the Deputy Governor of Lagos State is a big privilege! How? This is someone that would not allow his position to get to his head. The temperament is also cool, not minding one’s offence. Although, he will pass the message to any reasonable subordinate without raising his voice – a quality that is missing among many political office holders of lesser importance compared with the Office of the Deputy Governor.
Among other qualities inherent in Hamzat’s nature is that of honesty and integrity. As said by the 34th President of the United States of America., D Wright. D. Eisenhower, ‘’The Supreme quality of leadership in unquestionable integrity’’, noting that without it, no real success is possible.
Honesty and Integrity, said the late American leader, are two important ingredients which makes a good leader, and KOH has these in abundance. In life, it’s difficult to expect your followers to be honest when one lacks these qualities. I am pretty sure that these qualities is working for him, not necessarily as the Deputy Governor, but as a private person.
Another distinct quality that radiates KOH’s life is empathy, which I believed is part of what he inherited from his parents, especially, the father.
His belief is that Leaders should develop empathy with their followers. Unfortunately, most leaders follow a dictatorial style and neglect empathy altogether, as a result of which they fail to make a closer connection with their followers.
Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, either deliberately or intuitively, expresses desire to know the plight of his subordinates. Perhaps, this explained why those that had worked with him, in the various ministries he once headed, were eager to follow him when he was elected with his principal and ‘twin brother’ Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, the equally amiable Governor of Lagos State. The same trait made the duo to drop the title ‘’His Excellency’’ to simply Mr. Governor or Mr Deputy Governor.
Commitment and Passion are other traits required from a good leader. Also, these are not in short supply from the Deputy Governor of Lagos State. These two traits, said the Psychologists, help you gain the respect of your subordinates and infuse new energy in your team members, which helps them to perform better. If they feel that you are not fully committed or lacks passion, then it would be an uphill task for the leader to motivate his followers to achieve the expected goals.
Thankfully, KOH is passionate with his works and that of his workers. Some of us are always afraid to present our works to him, because he’s a very meticulous person. Though, he will not complain, but by the time he makes corrections on your works, one will know that this man with bundle of talents is not only an Engineer but a Philosopher in his own right.
‘’Pride makes us Artificial and Humility makes us Real’’ says a writer, Thomas Merton. It’s surprising that when some people are promoted or elected to leadership status, they become proud. Whereas a good leader is selfless, always thinking about his or her subordinates, unlike Dr. Hamzat whose leadership style makes him a great and admirable leader. Instead of him to focus on self-promotion, he put lots of emphasis on problem-solving and team dynamics!.
This quintessential Deputy Governor, apart from having a futurist vision, and ability to take the right decision at the right time, he’s always thinking about how the ‘State of Excellence’ can be best in all human endeavours.
Like he said in one of the interviews during the election campaign, Hamzat always said he wanted to be the ‘Best Deputy Governor in Nigeria’, and that has been the case till date.
Loyalty and Competence as Deputy Governor is what it takes for Mr. Governor to delegate to him some of the State functions and responsibilities. The trust is there, the competence is there and loyalty is unalloyed.
Your well wishers say ‘’Happy Birthday’’ and many more years to serve Almighty God and remains a blessing to the humanity, most especially the under -privilege.
Happy birthday Sir.
- Alao is the Senior Special Assistant (Media) to the Governor of Lagos State.
Read the original article on The Nation