DTHA Under Onwusanya: A Legacy Of Purposeful Leadership

BY BENSON OKOBI-ALIANAH
HE came in with surprises registered on many people’s faces. As it came as a surprise, a pleasant one in store, it was received with a great resolve by the recipient to put in his best, no matter the many branch of challenges ahead involved.
So on March 18, 2014, when he sat on the hot seat as the speaker of the most vibrant legislative house in Africa’s most populous country, Delta State House of Assembly (DTHA), Rt. Hon. Peter Chukwuka Onwusanya knew he was in for a greater task; and with his team and loyalists already in a bullish mood, set out to do the job, despite some constraints, to the consternation of many.
The amiable let’s-be-together of a man was, like one that has promised, “I will never disappoint you people” to his colleagues, supporters and loyalists, was able to navigate the activities of the House to a successful end.
Always attending to issues before the House with effortless ease, he worked with his colleagues harmoniously. There was good working relationship between members of the House; and this, he ensured, as the Speaker of the House, was sustained throughout his tenure.
Before his emergence as the Speaker, having been elevated from Deputy Chief Whip to Speaker, he was already known for his willingness to work and accept challenges rather than shying away from them.
To the few-some who have little or no acquaintance about this man called Onwusanya, before he mounted the saddle of leadership, had thought that overseeing the affairs of the House would be too much a responsibility for a man whose knowledge about the workings of the House pass for nothing less than rudimentary. To these few some, he lacked the blade to cut the wood. But they were all proved wrong.
While to the reasoning of many who know him too well, the right tool for effective leadership and change has been employed. After all, was it not Patient Strong, who in her works “The Bedside Book” said “Do not condemn the rain, somebody prayed for it”.
The very few that were a bit skeptical about Onwusanya’s elevation to the revered position of a Speaker, the number three man in the ordering of political powers in the state, have joined the very many, who knew right from the onset that the right choice has been made, in commending him.
Those who made it possible for him to be there knew he could deliver. And that, he has, by the helpful hands of the Almighty, the cooperation of his colleagues in the House, and his personal resolve to succeed and not to let anyone down, succeeded in achieving. The support of his political admirers, aides and loyalists not excluded.
Like one of the DTHA staff said “It will be hard before getting a Speaker as friendly as Onwusanya again. He may have his faults; no one is without one because here, we are talking of human frailty. They could have been disturbances here and there, in his time as a Speaker, call it protest, but those protesting know the genesis of their protest and the handicaps that trailed it. You can only find perfection in God. But what you see, pockets of protest for over one thing or the other should not be linked to him, Onwusanya, for we know where our problems are coming from”.
It was based on his good leadership disposition, his large heart and selfless service to mankind, that his good people of Oshimili South constituency, who elected him to represent them in the State House of Assembly, still went ahead to re-elect him for a second tenure without him angling much for it.
This is a rare feat for a legislator from this axis which people are known not to allow a representative who have been there once to represent them twice since their political history. Onwusanya, known to be eloquent and positively vocal has been scored high in the area of empowerment, project initiation, construction and execution. In fact, in the three-point agenda of the out-going government.
Many who never dreamt of having a house of their own, drive a car, own a land, work in any office, go to school, have a trade they call theirs, have through Onwusanya’s large heart, magnanimity and willingness to put smiles on the faces of many, been enjoying those things.
These good things he has been doing not only for people in his immediate constituent, Oshimili South, but the entire constituents in the state.
His private house and official residence in the legislators quarters, are besieged daily by men and women across the state that need one help or the other. And these people never leave there without leaving behind a word of commendation.
He has, through his selfless service, carried out palliative measures on roads that would have otherwise been unmotorable; initiated and executed projects too numerous to be listed here – all aimed at improving the welfare of the masses, and as a crown to all what he has been doing, put a smile on the faces of many by bringing happiness to many homes.
Onwusanya has carved a niche for himself politically. Little wonder he has many sobriquets going after his name; some of them being, Uncle P. Onwa Anioma, Onye wa ji ejemba Oshimili, Onyeneri ne ye ibeh (one who eats and gives others).
He is one politician today in Delta State, known to be among the highest crowd pullers with genuine followers and supporters. And one politician again, yet to reach his apogee in politics and who many are still beckoning on to keep warming up for more better and greater things ahead.
As he successfully rounds off his activities in the House as the Speaker of the 5th Assembly, it is the prayer of this page that he and his colleagues in the House who have been so nice and good, continue to climb higher and higher on the political ladder, Amen.