There is this saying that if you want to know the true nature of any man, give him power or money. The truism or otherwise of this assertion may be a subject of discuss some other time.
While some believe that power should be used to achieve personal advantage and in some cases vengeance, Nze Odera Valentine Ibekwe candidate for the office of the 2nd vice-president of BBA/ICC, believes otherwise. To him power should be used for the good of all and for the advancement of humanity.
Nze Odera believes that the office of the 2nd vice-president which according to the constitution of BBA saddles him with the job of arbitration. In short, the arbitrator is the magistrate of the market.
How does he intend to handle this sensitive office? Why did he choose to contest for this office. In this interview with Frank Odinukaze, the Anambra born, native of Ihiala business man of over 26 years explicates more on how he intends to move the market forward and many other intentions. Find out how he became a successful businessman and what you must do to succeed in business. Excerpts.
How long have you been in Business
I have been in business for over Twenty six (26) years, as a business owner.
So, what has the experience being like, in terms of ups and downs.
Yes, 26 years experience in business is not a small thing if it had been academically, by now I would have been a professor, so, as far as business is concerned, I am professor in business.
We understand that you are running for the office of the 2nd Vic-president in the BBA election. So what informs your desire to contest for the office of the 2nd Vice-president.
The reasons are so enormous, but I will try and itemize them the best way I can remember. First and foremost, the 2nd Vice-president, as the constitution of BBA, allows, is majorly an arbiter. As an arbiter you are the magistrate of the market. You will be able to judge uprightly, and in that regard I know that BBA has been lacking in that area, because you need a man who can stand and say the truth no malice whose ox is gored, and I believe I possess those qualities.
So, if I’m given the opportunity to serve as the 2nd vice-president, I’ll make sure that justice, equity and fairness prevails at all times.
Do you have previous experience in arbitration.
Yes, I have headed so many committees. Even in BBA I have served in Plateau Plaza, I have served as Economic recovery committee chairman. In that office, we handle some issues that are very critical. So I believe that has given me enormous experience in that regard. Then outside the market I have also served as chairman of my village meeting, for over 8 years, which have afforded me the opportunity to arbitrate and to see to the cases of my members.
We understand the disagreement between the immediate past president and the BOT has been responsible for the set-backs in the BBA election, as the election itself has suffered several postponements. Now the office of the 2nd vice-president is saddled with arbitration, why hasn’t that office resolved this disagreement. If you are in that position as the second vice president, how would handle such matter.
Sincerely speaking, far from what you said, the truth is that BOT and the president, by virtue of the constitution, they are more superior than the second vice-president so there is no way the two of them can come for arbitration under the 2nd Vice President.
Why do you think you are very very qualified to handle the office of the 2nd Vice President of BBA
Yes, like I said before, 2nd Vice president of the market is an arbiter who will handle issues in the market. And the reason why I feel I’m qualified to handle it is; First, that office demands somebody who is God fearing, you use the wisdom of Solomon for you to make sure that justice prevails at all times. In the Bible, two women were having issues and the matter was brought before King Solomon. The one that is not the mother of the child demands that the baby should be divided into two. And you know if the baby is divided into two, your guess is as good as mine. The one that owns the baby said “No” leave this baby when it grows it will eventually know the mother, so, I’m coming not just to handle that position as the second vice president, I am coming with the fear of God. I will make sure that justice and equity prevail at all time.
What advantage do you have over other contestants for the office of 2nd vice president.
If I say these are the reasons why I’m better than them, it will seem I am trying to blow my trumpet. The electorate are there to evaluate us. But I also know that in competitions if you present yourself, there is always the separation of the good, the bad and the ugly. And I have looked at the people contesting with me, I stand out amongst them.
BBA/ICC is a very large market. In fact it is an international market, if not the largest in sub-Saharan Africa. As the in coming 2nd vice –president, how would you handle critical issues like administration, arbitration and security.
Well, as the 2nd vice – president, we work with the constitution of the market. I am saddled with the issue of judgment. My jurisdiction centers on justice and equity. I am saying without fear or favour that if I happen to be the 2nd vice – president, I will make sure that I discharge my duty with the fear of God.
What are the special things you are bringing on board.
I am bringing justice and fairness.
What does integrity mean to you.
Integrity is something that has to do with your track record. It is something that you don’t wake up one day and say that you have integrity. No. it has to do with your character and track records. It has to do with your antecedents – people that have one reason or the other to relate with you, they must have looked at your track records and know that this is a man of integrity.
Why I asked the question of integrity is because of the office you are contesting for. You know sometimes the human emotion comes to play in certain matters that has to do with justice and we find ourselves trapped between our emotion and justice.
How would you separate emotion from justice as the 2nd vice – president.
I want to borrow a leaf from an image that symbolizes justice as we see in high courts. The image is called Lady Justice. You see the image’s eyes tied. Meaning that she wouldn’t want to know who comes to justice or whether a sister, a relative or anyone. Once you find yourself at the wrong side of the law, then the law must take its course.
So you are assuring the people of BBA that you will discharge your duties as 2nd vice president without fear or favour even when the matter involves people close to you.
Yes, I will discharge my duties without fear or favour or sentiments. I have done it over at cluster level. Even here in Plateau Plaza people know me for that. I am a man that once you have an issue and if I come out, even if no one speaks for you, I will stand out and ensure that justice prevails.
You have been in business for over 26 years, and from all indications you are quite a successful businessman. What advise do you have for upcoming businessmen and women.
There are two things that make a person succeed in business. You must make sure that you are dedicated to your business very, very important. Business is not something you handle carelessly. You must make sure you are dedicated to your business.
Then on the area of trust, you must make sure you build trust, both from your supplier and also people buying from you. There must be trust between you and your suppliers and your customers, you make sure you supply the goods. Once you receive goods from your supplier you acknowledge. You must make sure that whatever you are telling them is the truth. You must not compromise.
How do you relax.
On weekends, I cruise around.
What is your favorite colour.
Is a sign of purity. And it also represents peace, gentle like a dove.
So what upsets you. What makes you angry.
I hate people who are not sincere. I hate people who do not keep their words.
What is your message to your supporters and admirers in the market, with regard to the forthcoming election.
My message to them is that they should keep hope alive. And also pray that God will grant us our heart’s desires.