The thirty six states of the federation and FCT on Saturday 17th July joined the former Minister of Aviation, Chief Osita Chidoka on a fitness walk as part of programs to mark his fiftieth birthday celebration.
The fitness walk which was done simultaneously across the thirty six states of the federation saw friends and supporters of the celebrant come out in their numbers to run and walk through the cities in the early hours of Saturday.
The former minister who was also the Corps Marshal of FRSC after the fifty thousand steps physical exercise appreciated God for manifold blessings upon his life.
He noted that the race has never been for the swiftest or fastest but that sometimes, an admixture of opportunity and hard work do bring benefits.
“Chinua Achebe said that those who the Lord has broken their palm kernel should remember to be humble because it is not like other people are not making efforts. I thank God for what he has been doing in my life.” The former minister explained.
On why he decided to celebrate his birthday with a road walk, Chief Osita said that he is an avid fitness buff, noting that one of the things he would like to pass to his friends and the younger generation is physical fitness.
“I learnt it from my boss, Chief Ojo Madueke when he was a minister. He was already in his fifties and I could not keep pace with him whenever we ran. The day he rode bicycle to the cabinet, I couldn’t make it, I was out of breath halfway. I made a decision that day that I would improve my physical fitness, since then, I have been faithful to exercise every morning.
“Today, we have taken fifty thousand steps here in Abuja and it is my pleasure to inform you that the exercise is going on simultaneously in the thirty six states of the federation. All the people you see wearing green T-shirts are friends of Osita. The idea is that the younger generation should be infused with physical fitness.” He pointed out on Saturday.
The former minister who said he got into leadership at the youthful age of thirty five urged the government of the day to deliberately groom young people for leadership positions.
“At youthful age, one is idealistic, hopeful and possesses great trust in one’s ability and as well see things from the positive side. A youth is not into the cynicism that has become part of the country, when you move as a young man, you don’t even remember your ethnicity while doing things.” Chief Osita Chidoka said.
The former FRSC Corps Marshal said that perceptions to life normally change with increasing age and that there are many factors that tend to slow people down when they are old.
Asked to comment on the challenges he faced as an individual, Chief Osita Chidoka said that like every other human being, he has his ups and downs.
He recalled that he lost election at age forty six but that he returned to school afterwards for his law degree which he said has positively impacted on his business.
Chief Chidoka said he actually borrowed a leaf of going back to school from the former Nigeria Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon.
On the state of the nation, the former minister declared emphatically that Nigeria is in a bad shape.
He said that the nation’s diversities have been largely mismanaged by the government of the day.
Chief Chidoka however pointed out that he would not want to put the whole blame on the government of the day alone but stressed the need for the elites in the country to create a new conception of the nation.
“I couldn’t believe that the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria would vote against electronic transmission of election results. It is disgraceful and disappointing. All those who voted against the bill should be ashamed of themselves. All those senators who equally stayed away from proceedings are a bunch of disgrace. Nigeria is the biggest recipient of technology funds and the Senate in all honesty has whittled the hope of Nigerians. I just hope that the members of the House of Representatives will not tow their path.” Chief Chidoka said.
On Anambra State governorship election, the celebrant said that he was not in the race because of the respect he has for the zoning arrangements in the state.
Chief Osita Chidoka said emphatically that the zoning arrangements have contributed largely to the equilibrium enjoyed in the state noting that it will do Nigeria a whole lot of good to key into the zoning formula.
“In 2023, Nigeria must confront its demon and allow a Southerner to be the president. The Southerner of course must be from the South East, anything short of that will jeopardize the future of the nation.” He concluded.