Osita Chidoka … the Midas Touch ,By Yakubu Dati



Corps Marshal, FRSC, Osita Chidoka being getting ready for traditional dance of Ndi Ichie at the Ofala festival in Obosi, Anambra State“Age was respected among his people, but achievement was revered. As the elders say, if a child washes his hands he could eat with kings” – Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
Emeka Anyaoko, former Sec Gen of the Commonwealth was on the front row of reserved seats for title holders of Obosi, clad in full colourful regalia. On the same platform with the octogenarian, attired in similar royal regalia, was Osita Chidoka , Ike Obosi. This scenario at the New Yam festival (3rd Iwa-ji & Obiora Festival of Eze Iweka III) at Obosi, gave life to Chinua Achebe’s classic, quoted above. He had been invested with the traditional title of Ike Obosi (Strength of Obosi) and a member of Ndi-Ichie, the highest decision making body of Obosi Traditional Council of Anambra State, following recognition of his contributions to national and community development five years ago.
Even though there was no Amalenze the cat to defeat, to earn him a place of honour, Osita wrestled and overcame societal limitations and inhibitions by dint of hardwork, determination and an unquenchable vision to succeed.
His outstanding rendition at the FRSC where he held sway as a corp marshal for seven years was outstanding. He earned the respect and admiration of fellow Nigerians through his out-of-the-box strategy for achieving set objectives. Many a time, he came to the highways himself to enforce traffic rules, sometimes at great risk to his life. Nigerians were bewildered as they watched on national television, a uniformed officer threatening him when stopped from driving on the opposite lane.
He led bicycle rides and jogging exercises to reinforce his advocacy for alternative transport and physical fitness, respectively. He transformed the FRSC to a functional Lead Agency in Road Traffic Administration and Safety Management driven by information and communication technology.
It, therefore, did not come as a suprise when, shortly on assumption of office as Minister of Aviation, he received the National Productivity Order of Merit Award (NPOM) for his accomplishments at FRSC, by President Goodluck Jonathan. Chidoka is no stranger to awards. During his NYSC, he served at the FCT where he became an Award Winner and subsequently secured automatic employment into the FCDA Abuja. He received Papal commendation in 1998 when after a stint as Secretary, National Committee for the visit of Pope John Paul II to Nigeria.
He was a Senior Adviser on Government and Business Relations, Mobil Producing Nigeria. He had earlier served as Personal Assistant to the Minister of State in the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Personal Assistant to the Minister of Transport as well as Special Assistant to the Senior Adviser to the President on Legal matters.
On assumption of office, there were fears that he had little or no time to make any meaningful impact with barely few months to the end of the tenure. He allayed these fears with the analogy that General Murtala Mohummed, Nigeria’s late Head of State, in just six months created twelve states, made Abuja Federal Capital and recorded several milestones that have endeared him to many Nigerians. Same cannot be said of some leaders who spent more time with little impact.
Chidoka’s interaction with aviation agencies, airline operators, workers union, the media and other key stakeholders secured their buy-in. His interaction with Airport Managers and consultants birthed his operational template anchored on the Aviation Master-plan. His shared vision for the sector was unambiguous. The aviation sector must fulfil its potential. He shared a vision, his vision of the future, a vivid image of the compelling future that can only be realised through dedicated commitment.
Within the short period of his resumption as Minister of Aviation, the aviation industry received the confirmation of the substantive DG of NCAA, Capt Muktar Usman.
Fate also bestowed on him the fortune to receive the golden fleece of the aviation industry …the Category 1 status of the FAA for the second time, a feat most armchair critics in the industry had thought was far-fetched.
Like someone noted “Chidoka has Goodluck!”

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