By Tom Garba
There are great Nigerians whose talents, wisdom, and ingenuity have never being taped or harnessed well, still underutilized because of the system failure to spot them for nation building.
In the Northeast region, Dr. Johnson H Pongri is an Adamawa-born Academician whose wealth of experience and vast knowledge in the political history of the country is under-tapped. Failure in accessing and harnessing this great wisdom I consider it an unpardonable sin of this great country.
Pongri, a seasoned Educationist is no doubt one of the successful Education Administrators who transformed a motionless and lagged Adamawa State College of Education Hong into an excellent fortress and a refuge of academic excellent through learning.
Because of Pongri’s innovative ideas the institution has become an ideal citadel of learning basking in the strength of academic and infrastructural excellence. He stocked to his neck to change the narratives, risked it all to became the Saviour that saved by thousands of Northern Youths.
Some of the transformation projects worthy of note is the construction of modern hostels, Library, Lecture Theatres, Laboratories, offices as well as staff welfare, provision of water linking the college to the national grid among other projects.
Dr. Johnson’s passion to place the institution in a competitive advantage, led him to facilitated the academic pursuits of Fifty-nine staff at Masters Degree level, over twenty staff at the Ph.D. level. These huge academics achievements were facilitated by him both within and outside the shores of Nigeria.
Long before Johnston’s had the work of transforming the College of Education Hong, the Man had made his mark in the corporate world of academics. He was one of the senior lecturers at the state’s pyrotechnic, Yola, a visiting lecturer at the Adamawa State University, Gombe State University, and Taraba State University Jalingo. Throughout his academic career, Dr. Pongri is seen a moulder and a builder of young Nigerians on his dream of having a great country.
With all the great potentials laying waste and half harnessed, his wealth of experience will be utilized if he delves into politics, to have a glitzy corporate world because he is a man destined for greatness. His footprints remain indelible a champion of fighting a just course of the downtrodden and the voiceless.
Pongri is no doubt a Man having sterling qualities of a focused, pragmatic and progressive leadership that have positively affected the lives of the downtrodden and generality of Nigerians in many parts of the country, especially those from Adamawa state.
In his over one decade of active management of the State-owned College of Education, he has been the issue, both in his native language of Kilba, he has blazed the trail in leadership, he is indeed a model worthy of emulation.
Here comes the gap, the Adamawa political scene is still being nurtured and breeds by many who seem to never satisfy the yearning and the burning desire of the electorates. With the gap in good leadership, this is a man I see very much available for our dear nation to tap from his pool of wisdom, knowledge of administration, and his exceptional academic career which he has inspired millions. Few leaders have indeed developed as many leaders from the ranks of their proteges as he has done. His incredibly large and generous heart, political astuteness, and uncommon intellect have become the stuff of legend.
It is now a passionate appeal to the people of Adamawa and well-meaning to compel the erudite academician to fully participate in the coming 2023 General Elections. It’s a clarion call to Mr. Johnson to consider a national call to help in rebuilding our nation that needs greater minds to contribute to making it a great country.
To Dr. Pongri Sir, you can’t say never, you can’t run away from a task of leadership hanging in your shoulder by divine mandate. Sir, no doubt about it you are called, it’s visible and all signs are glaring seen in you that you are the Man to help build the country, build Adamawa state with a good representation at the National Assembly in order to have a nation where Justice, Peace shall reign.
The people of Adamawa, most especially your immediate constituency Hong and Gombi are hoping to see you answering the call to represent them.
Tom Garba, FIMC, FBDFM
A Journalist wrote this opinion
In Jimeta-Yola, Adamawa state
He can be reached through this means