Opinion –In the year 1995, a man barely a year into marriage got involved in a fatal auto crash. He escaped death by the whiskers. And then began the revolutionary journey that would amount to his later greatness. Such a life-threatening experience is not very surprising to compel one into making serious life-changing decisions. The man is Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
That experience led him, finally, like the people of his ancestry, into living a life of public service and community sacrifice.
The most immediate effect was, according to the pastor, that he “vowed to become closer to God.” This decision began outright manifestation as the man integrated into the Christian Redeem Church of God (RCCG), making himself available for a totally consuming Christian service. This new leaf, it appeared, went beyond the circumferences of the church. Rather, the man began to give his all, his best qualities, to whatever service he has found himself—public, private, Christian, secular. This was what defined his roll-the-sleeve approach to politics.
But what he did may, at all, not be new when compared to the activities of the lineage that proceeded the man. Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu’s parents, Robert and Margaret Ize-Iyamu, were industriously active members of the United Baptist Church. And going farther up, the pastor’s maternal grandfather was among the founders of the church. Growing up himself, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu attended St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Benin, a school built on a property donated by the pastor’s great-grandfather when the missionaries sought space to plant the Christian mission. Today, on that land, stands one of the most gigantic church and school that has for years produced people with sharp minds and moral character. Evidently, it is a lineage of participation, inclusion, and a deep devotion to service unto God and humanity.
And the same can be said of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the fruit that didn’t fall far away from the tree. Yet what is more admirable about the man is his humble and gradual climb through the hierarchy in the church establishment, a feat that is similar to his organic prominence in the state’s politics, made possible only through hard work, competence, and resourcefulness. His life, religiously and secularly, is a model for the belief that honest work, complemented by patience, determination, and devotion, pays.
1995 to 2020 sums up to 25 years and within this time, the relatively unknown man scurrying away from the site of a terrible motor accident, with a second chance at life in his hands, has gone from becoming a new church convert, to the Assistant General Pastor in charge of Zone 2, Region 13—Edo State.
He went through a grinding process, a holy evolution that breathed upon him, the anointing of light and wisdom. Through the while, he had also served the public, his resourcefulness proving an irresistible asset for government leaders. They end up calling on him, employing his services. But now, an even bigger mandate arises, and it is this time not only a call from God nor by just government leaders, but one joined by citizens and common people of Edo State to, himself, be the government leader. It is loud, it is clear, and it is deafening: this call to service. He will answer. Yes, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, will.