Celebrating Victor Ike-Oye at 60

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Frank Okafor

It was celebration galore for the national chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Chief Victor Ike-Oye, last week as the seasoned politician celebrated his 60th birthday and 30th wedding anniversary with an Ozo title and Charity Day. Without any iota of doubt, a man like Ike-Oye, who has distinguished himself in different aspects life, deserves the triple celebration.

Having touched many lives positively, the celebration was an opportunity for his political and business associates, friends, Ndigbo leaders and people from different spheres of life to celebrate their own. That was why Awka, the capital of Anambra State, stood still penultimate Saturday as prominent politicians joined Ike-Oye for his triple celebration at St. Patricks Cathedral, Awka.

The APGA national chairman has proved that the reward for hard work is more work. That is why in the last few years he has been saddled with different responsibilities in both the public and private sectors.

Apart from achieving remarkable success in his political career, Ike-Oye, who emerged national chairman of APGA last year, has also shown that he is a successful businessman, reputable philanthropist and respected community leader. He is also a committed and caring husband and father, considering the way he has managed his family and marital life in the last 30 years.

Ike-Oye is a disciplined and principled man, who has not allowed things of the world, peer group pressure, deviant attitude and indiscipline to affect his divine mandate.
Considering the height that Ike-Oye has achieved politically, business wise and martially, he has proved that he is a diligent and committed man, who can be entrusted with critical activities in private and public offices.

Politically, Ike-Oye has shown that he is a reliable political ally and someone that is not excessively ambitious. His patience and perseverance were central to his emergence as APGA national chairman.

In an era when many politicians, especially those in opposition parties, are regular guests of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Code of Conduct Bureau, and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, Ike-Oye has stood tall without any corruption charges.

For many years, APGA was in a leadership crisis, as different people laid claim to the position of the national chairman of the party. But since the emergence of Ike-Oye as the party’s boss in June last year, the party has remained united and focused, not only in the South-east states but also in the entire Nigeria. Today, APGA has become a new bride for many politicians in Nigeria.

When the mantle of leadership fell on Ike-Oye last year, some people thought he might find it difficult to steer the boat of the party. But those who knew him and his antecedents knew that he would make APGA successful and spread the party’s tentacles beyond Igboland, where the party has registered its presence in many years.

On assumption of office on June 2015, he promised to take the party to greater heights by “building a new and cohesive political movement founded on mutual love, peace and fraternity, devoid of bitterness and acrimony.” He has been working in line to his promise.

Ike-Oye has in less than one year transformed APGA in many ways. He shocked the ruling party, All Progressives Congress, and the major opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, during the April local government election in the Federal Capital Territory by winning the chairmanship seat in Gwagwalada Local Government Area. Against all odds, the APGA candidate, Hon. Adamu Mustapha Danze, was won the council poll, in APGA’s first electoral victory in the northern part of Nigeria since the creation of the party.

According to the results released by the Independent National Electoral Commission on April 14, the APGA candidate polled 15, 738 votes, while his closest opponent, the APC candidate, got 14, 560 votes.

Commenting on the victory, Ike-Oye, said it was a proof that APGA was a national party, adding that with the victory the party recorded in Gwagwalada, it can take over the leadership of the country in 2019.

“Though enemies will work to divide the party, we caution members, of the enemy’s ploy to prevent them from realising the objectives they have set for the party,” he advised. His advice seems to be working as there is no visible rancour within the party today.

Ike-Oye has also successfully played the role of opposition party chairman by criticising the ruling APC on issues he perceives not to be in the interest of the average Nigerian. At a point he called on the federal government to evacuate Boko Haram suspects relocated at that period to Ekwulobia prisons in Anambra State. He said government’s relocation of the terrorists to Anambra State posed a danger because Ekwulobia prison was a minimum prison, which lacks the appropriate security infrastructure and even personnel to handle detainees like Boko Haram suspects.

Family wise, Ike-Oye should be commended for being able to celebrate his 30th wedding anniversary, considering the rate of divorce in Nigeria. Celebrating 30 years of union with his wife deserves commendation. He is a role model to many youths in the society. He is a loving, caring, passionate and committed father and husband because without those qualities there is no way he would have celebrated 30 years in marriage.

The triple celebration, which included Ike-Oye being honoured with an Ozo title and organising a Charity Day is also a proof that apart from being good at home, he is also good outside. He has touched many lives within his community and given hope to many through selfless service and empowerment.

Apart from being successive politically, business wise and martially, Ike-Oye has also distinguished himself academically. He has a master’s degree in communications and is a doctoral fellow in communications at Oxford University. Apart from being a seasoned journalist, he has also performed and served passionately in various private and public offices.

May the Good Lord continue to bless and prosper him.
––Okafor, the managing director and chief executive officer of Marcopolo Companies, writes from Lagos.