By Abasiubong Tom
Osagie Andrew Ize-Iyamu was born 21th June 1962 into the family of Late Chief Robert Osayande Ize-Iyamu, the Esogban of Benin Kingdom and Mrs. Magdalene N. Ize-Iyamu (nee Obasohan).
In 1973, Ize-Iyamu completed his primary education at Ebenezer Nursery and Primary School, Benin City; and had the best result in the common entrance in the then Midwestern region. He then proceeded to Edo College, Benin where again in 1979 he again obtained the best result in the art class in the West Africa Certificate Examination (WAEC).
In 1980 he entered the University of Benin to study Political Science, but a year later, the following year, he switched to study law and graduated in 1985/86 session and was called to bar in 1987.
Following his graduation, and his inclination to local politics, the young lawyer took up residence and practise in Benin and that began his steady rise in the politics of his local community.
However, a radical change in his life happened in 1995 when he had an accident while travelling to Lagos on the Benin-Shagamu Highway. He was unconscious for nine hours and with dislocated hips and fractured toes, he got a divine visitation. Without the needed surgery, the dislocated hips and toes returned to position and for the young and irreverent young lawyer, that was an impartation from God and from the gate of hell, the young Ize-Iyamu vowed to surrender his life to God and immediately sought fellowship in The Redeemed Christian Church of God.
Friends and family were shocked at his transformation and within a short time the former man about town was settled in church and had become a minister in the church.
In 1998, he was made Pastor of the Upper Room Parish of the Church, located at Adesuwa Road, G.R.A., Benin City. He threw himself into the service and with encouragement and prayerful support of his wife, as well as the commitment of his fellow ministers; he was able to raise the hitherto small parish (branch) to the biggest RCCG church in Edo State.
He was later appointed the Area pastor of the GRA 1 Area church overseeing three parishes with headquarters at the Upper Room parish, and became an inspiration to thousands of youth in Edo State.
The church building
His work and passion later gave birth to a magnificent edifice that drew the attention of the highly reverend Pastor Enoch Adeboye, who was personally in Benin City to dedicate the church.
Today, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is the District Pastor, Overseeing Zonal, Area and parishes of the RCCG in Edo State. Besides, he is in charge of the provincial regional headquarter parish in Benin City.
These great strides however, did not only manifest in his faith but also in his political life. Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu sowed a seed of his political activism long ago during his university days as a vibrant member of the Student Union at UNIBEN and following his graduation and brief spell in private legal practise he was a central plank in the emergence of Lucky Igbinedion as chairman of Oredo Local government area under the zero party system.
He served as his personal assistant and it was a virtue of his loyalty and dedication that when Igbinedion again became governor in 1999, he was appointed as his chief of staff.
His dedication to service and ability to use the office as a melting point for consultation, strategy and was central to the emergence of a cordial relationship between the state and critical stakeholders including labour and pensioners.
From 2003 to 2007 he served as Secretary to the State Government under the same government. He showcased his sagacity in management and entrepreneurial spirit when he set up the I.O Farms Training Institute- a model farm settlement at Ugbor-Amagba communities, Benin City, Edo State, an institute that has churned out hundreds of young farmers.
He was the National Vice Chairman, South-South Zone of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).
He was the Director General of Oshiomhole’s 2nd term Campaign Organisation.
He was also the Coordinator of Goodluck/Sambo Campaign Organisation.
He has been honoured by the Benson Idahosa University with an honorary doctorate degree in Public Administration.
He is married to Pastor (Dr) Idia Ize-Iyamu.