Dr. Stephen Adi Odey: A Dynamic Political, Philanthropic Colossus
Wodah Julius Okpahe
I have to admit from the outset, that empathy and compassion is not a flower that grows in the garden of most affluent personalities in our society. Individual pursuit of sybaritic lifestyle has been the common trademark of most opulent figures, especially politicians living amongst us.
They live in an island of extravagance surrounded by a vast ocean of penury without taking practical steps to ameliorating the pitiable plight of the socially and economically disadvantaged people around them.
However, there those who are intrinsically empathetic and compassionate and have always taken steps to changing lives and building futures of people living around them.
One of such opulent but unassuming, benevolent, kind-hearted and indulgent personalities is Dr. Barr. Stephen Adi Odey.
Without mincing words, Dr. Stephen Adi Odey is a multifaceted and multidimensional genius. He is an astute personage with modest and well-adjusted qualities backed by skills, experiences, intelligence and integrity. He is an honest, compassionate, trustworthy and reliable personage with the fear of God.
He is a seasoned and erudite scholar, savvy administrator, responsive politician, legal crackerjack, dependable community leader, philanthropist per excellence, teacher and an astute academic.
He served with the Cross River State Ministry of Education as a teacher between 1989 and 1998. He rose to the capacity of Acting Principal in 1999.
Dr. Odey resigned from the Cross River State Ministry of Education and joined the defunct Joint Maritime Labour Industrial Council in 2001 as Senior Dock Labour Officer and in 2009 he joined the services of the University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria as Lecturer II in the Department of Sociology, and was promoted to Lecturer I in 2015 and in 2019 he was also promoted Senior Lecturer.
Outside the University of Calabar where he has focused his time and attention till today, he has also served as Adjunct Lecturer with the National Open University of Nigeria between 2005 and 2009.
In 2015, Dr Steve Odey was appointed Executive Chairman, Cross River State Universal Basic Education Board, and later in 2017 he was appointed to double as the Acting Managing Director of Cross River State Water Board Limited.
In all these offices, Dr. Barr. Stephen Odey has brought his wealth of experience in the academic, legal and administrative milieu to bear. While an academic in the university system, Dr. Odey served as a committed teacher, mentor and contributed immensely to the graduation of students in the University.
In the area of politics, Dr. Stephen Odey is a godly politician. He is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who has contributed and is still contributing immensely to the growth of the party in Cross River State.
His beneficence to the party range from financial donations up to humanitarian support for party members’ welfare. Despite coming from a minority tribe in the State, Dr. Odey never allowed his background to put his back on the ground.
He has performed excellently well in diverse areas where he has served that any controversy that nobody should be accepted from Yache clan where he hails from to represent Cross River North senatorial district in the Red Chambers should be ignored.
As the Executive Chairman of SUBEB, Dr. Odey revamped the basic education sector which was lucidly in ruins before he came on board.
Our primary and secondary schools lacked basic infrastructures just like our pupils and students in secondary schools lacked quality education. He came and changed the story. Today, Cross River State has the best in this regard.
In the area of human development, it is instructive to note that Dr. Odey’s philanthropic exploit extends to people across communities in Cross River North, the senatorial district he is vying to represent.
Through his philanthropic gestures, Dr. Odey has helped many people rediscover their lost destinies and find hope for daily living.
In the history of Cross River North senatorial district, no personality has ever provided the high degree of job opportunities for the unemployed youth like Dr. Odey did.
While he was the SUBEB boss, we all saw how youths across the Local Government Areas and communities that make up our senatorial district were massively given employment.
We saw how ample graduates seeking greener pastures in other cities returned home to pick up jobs that they could not have ordinarily gotten out there. In point of fact, households that have not benefitted from Dr. Odey’s magnanimity and youth empowerment in Cross River North senatorial district are few.
Dr. Odey’s community development service is second to none. I remember the period when the Akriha bridge got damaged and became impassable.
Our people suffered a lot as a result of the damaged bridge which gives them quick and easy access to their communities. But Dr. Odey came and put an end to the people’s suffering by singlehandedly renovating the bridge.
By and large, he has been able to impact the different spectrums of society, leaving many positive foot prints on the proverbial sands of time. His monumental efforts at changing lives and building futures of his people is worth a reward of our staunch support for his senatorial candidacy.
We owe him undivided loyalty and unwavering support in his race to occupying the seat to represent us in the Red Chambers of the National Assembly.
Dr. Stephen Adi Odey hails from a humble background. He is unassuming and accessible. I have met him a number of times in his office and each time he received me, I adore his humility and affability.
There were times I have visited his office on days which are not visiting days but yet, he received and attended to me without complaint.
In life, there is time for everything. I have the firm belief that the time for Dr. Odey to represent us in a capacity where he will do us more good has come.
Let us give him all the support needed to enable him emerge victorious in the forthcoming senatorial election to represent us in the Red Chambers of the National Assembly so we can gain more from his administrative, philanthropic and political will capabilities.
Wodah Julius Okpahe, a public affairs analyst writes from Osina in Yache, Yala Local Government Area, Cross River State.