Imani Odey: Riding on the Wings of dedication, Loyalty

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…By Umoren Umoren


“If put to the pinch, an ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness.” – Elbert Hubbard.

Elbert Hubbard was an American writer and a Poet who propounded the virtues of dedication, hardwork and loyalty in every sphere of endeavour.

Indeed, throughout history, dedication and loyalty played, and still playing critical roles in elevating kingdoms and personalities to a realm hardly imagined by mortal men. While no human takes any glory for the future, history recognizes our yesterday, and prepares us for today.

For Ms. Imani Odey, yesterday may have dimmed into insignificance, especially given the fact that history has no mandate to push for self-recognition. Yet, when activated by human memory, serves as remote compass today and a fairly predictable part of tomorrow.

Elbert Hubbard may not have advocated “the theory of natural selection,” as proposed by Charles Darwin, but his anchoring on dedication and loyalty gives vent to Darwin’s assertion, albeit in a way that nature admires. It surmises the biblical position that “seest a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men” Proverbs 22:29).

As a young graduate, Imani Odey focused her young mind on broadcasting. While leaning on God’s mercy, the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) came her way in 2009. Within three years, her binoculars shifted to, and she was employed by Channels Television in 2012. It was, perhaps, an employment the ordinary eye could see without knowing that history kept tab of her dedication to her employers, as well as her commitment to legal authorities.

On the strength of this commitment, the immediate past governor, Prof. Ben Ayade noticed and pulled her out, among her equals, and saddled her with the political office of Special Assistant in 2019. Her diligence and loyalty culminated in being made a Senior Special Assistant within the same year and ultimately, a Special Adviser by 2023.

At this point, and with the exit of her political mentor (Prof. Ayade) from office, one would have thought that her efforts would be deposited in the archives.

Gracefully, but unknowingly, her tale of historic deeds re-echoed and today, she is back in a government that has searched through the book of deeds and has applauded her dedication, doggedness, dexterity and loyalty to society and authority.

While others lobbied, she busied herself, looking ahead for fresh challenges, satisfied that she expended her knowledge to gift the society vital information in right time as well as feedback to her Principal. Her former boss had left office, but the libraries continue to harbour indelible marks of one who kept national media (especially electronic media) in the country agog with happenings in Cross River State.

No wander Senator (Prince) Bassey Edet Otu pored through the achievements of political appointees in the last dispensation and identified her as a worthy breed; reappointing this Dame into his government for the benefit of the state and the Nigerian public. Indeed, the state is truly about to sail ashore with pride.