It is a truism that failure is not fatal and success not final. It is the courage to continue that matters. This is the story of Obol Alex Egbona, whose loss in 2015 and victory in 2019 demonstrates the resilience of a man who will not let circumstances deter him from service to his people.
Egbona has never had it extremely rosy in life. He can be said to be a child of circumstance. Born of a meek background, he rose through the rank and file of the academic ladder, knowing, in the words of Nelson Mandela, that he who opens a school door, closes a prison gate. Egbona struggled to attain university education, went on to serve his nation, and bagged a Ph.D in educational administration and planning.
He has always wanted to serve the people of Abi/Yakurr Federal Constituency. That was why he sought the ticket of the PDP, in 2015, to contest the election. But he was denied the ticket.
Undeterred, Egbona, approached the National Assembly petitions tribunal to challenge the outcome of the 2015 election. The effort failed. People thought he was down. But the man knew he was not out.
He left the Labour Party for the All Progressives Congress, got their ticket and stood for the main election. Again, his foes arose and plotted their graph. But they failed. The yearning for a new phase of leadership was too palpable. The people of Abi/Yakurr vehemently restated that it was either Egbona or Egbona.
On February 23, 2019, history was made. Against the wish of those who do not desire that Abi/Yakurr Federal constituency and her people should breath fresh air, God showed himself strong.
Even when he was declared winner, the journey did not end. The next game against him was to stop him from getting his certificate of return. Before long, news had gone wide, that they would not give him the certificate because, according to them, his party was in crisis and he was not supposed to have contested the election.
Again, they were disappointed. When they watched him on national television as he received his certificate of return, they went to town with more tales. Some said he forged the certificate. Others said he was only posing with another person's certificate. There were also others who claimed that he must have bought the certificate.
They did not just believe that they had lost and that Egbona had won truly. It was like a dream to them. But they got the shocker when the man keeps soaring, doing his own thing as member –elect.
Unfortunately for them, those who are against his popularity are very few. The majority are with him in this. The hurdles may still be there. But he is crossing them and will finish strong.