Monday Ebonguko: When Sucess Stays Dumb

By Osondu Ahirika

The Dead Stay Dumb is a thriller of a novel written by James Hadley Chase. Although that isn’t the focus of my reflections here, I rather elect to adopt its milieu to talk about a man who is blessed with the proverbial Midas touch of turning every he touches to gold but prefers to stay off the klieg lights.

I here refer to Rt. Hon. Sir Monday Ebonguko, the irrepressible Honourable Commissioner for Youths and Sports appointed so at the leisure of the Akwa Ibom State Governor, His Excellency Governor Udom Emmanuel.

I shall presently return to him but not until I’m done with this anecdote. The fable about two ducks and frog that lived in a farmer’s pond. They were best of frends. When the hot harmattan days came, the pond began to dry up. The ducks realized they would have to migrate. They could easily fly away to another place, but could not afford to leave their bosom friend, the frog, behind.

An idea was born. The ducks put a stick between them; each held one end of the stick with its bill, while the frog clung on the stick by its mouth. So the three friends flew out to seek out another pond.

Still on flight high up in the air, the farmer saw them and exclaimed, “How clever! I wonder which of you thought of this initiative?” The frog eager and hastening to make reputation of his wisdom said, “I did”. And that was the end of the frog. For opening its mouth too wide, he fell off the stick and crash landed to oblivion.

Does that story teach a virtue about claiming patent right to making others or even oneself? Is any lesson learnt about being vainglorious and having vaunted ambition to be recognized by force? That’s the flaw and undoing of many successful people which led to their downfall. Thankfully it is not a China in Sir Ebonguko a.k.a Monty’s armour.

Many people are wondering what has given this principled and self effacing public servant and accomplished businessman his staying power. The catcalls are coming from few detractors that he has overstayed his welcome in Government. But his boss doesn’t think so.

Indeed, my respect for Governor Emmanuel is deepened by the fact that he is fastidious in holding on to men who add value and are very proficiently productive in service delivery. You can look at his cabinet and inner circle and figure this out as I don’t want to succumb to the pressure to name them.

As a sagacious politician and extremely sanguine leader, Sir Monty has so far excelled having the discernment to enter high class circles with the attendant deception, hypocrisy, treachery, blackmail and scheming but comes out unscathed and floating above the pull-him-down baits.

I have had the opportunity to work with this achiever and I understand why any boss, insistent on succeeding will keep a Monty close and keep every Monty closer.

Henry Alfred Kissinger made history serving as Secretary of State in the United States of America to two Commander in Chiefs. Appointed on September 21 by President Richard M. Nixon, he served in the position from September 23, 1973 to January 20, 1977. He was retained in the position by Nixon’s successor Gerald Ford.

He was so instrumental to the many successes of the international Diplomacy of the US Government. Kissinger is credited for the foreign policy of detente and realpolitik which nations of the world still study and follow till today.

Monty for his achievements in Government over these years is akin to a Henry Kissinger who has entrenched himself in the many successes of his bosses without opening his mouth wide and craving the spotlight.

His records as Youth and Sports Commissioner remains unmatched in Akwa Ibom State. I stand to be corrected. He doesn’t push for accolades so this is how Success stays dumb and mediocrity makes all the noise.

What more his sense of loyalty is impeccable and his focus is without blemish. Which boss wouldn’t believe in such humility in service and efficacy in purpose as exemplified by a man who indeed has a second address beyond politics?

May Monty Uko remain in his honour. Here’s a Medal 🏅 for you Sir.

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