*Gov. Oyebanji helping one of his new commissioners to adjust his agbada

By Segun Dipe

The statement credited to the immediate past governor of Ekiti State, Dr John Kayode Fayemi (JKF), recently, that his successor in office, Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji, codenamed BAO, was fast turning Ekiti into a one-party state was received uproariously. It was not negatively intoned, neither was it a brag or trash talk, Rather, it was meant to show the qualities in the sitting governor and how everyone is reacting to them. According to Fayemi, the choice of Oyebanji was a deliberate one at that, and so far, he hasn’t been disappointed by a jot.

Hear him: “When I was asked by an interviewer to describe the quality of my would be successor, I remember saying that I would want a successor that can perform excellently well, relate well with the people, be sociable and one that possesses street credibility.

“I am happy to say that Governor Oyebanji is doing all of that. He is doing a great job, the evidence is all over the place. He is also out there relating well with the people, regardless of their political leaning. He has been able to broaden the base and bring more admiration for the government.”

However, there is the need to peel into the personality of Oyebanji. What gets him ticking so much that he has become a phenomenon in the State?

BAO is such a charismatic governor, with some attractive qualities. Quite literally, people swoon over him, like moths to a flame; everyone is finding themselves fluttering around the amiable governor. His magnetic energy seems endless as he keeps dotting the ‘i’s and crossing the ‘t’s of governance with each passing day.

There are certain irresistible things inside him that just spark you up and make you feel alive each time you meet the governor. You find your eyes trailing him around and a part of you lights up whenever you hear about him or get the pleasure of speaking to him or spending time with him. You just won’t be able to fault him.

BAO’s charisma helps him immensely in connecting with everyone in the State, which in turn opens plenty of doors of admiration from both political friends and foes alike. Nature or nurture, either way, BAO is an irresistible personality and he doesn’t seem to have any apology for being who he is.

Here, let’s try to probe into the governor’s closet and find those soft skills that BAO possesses, which have been assisting him to navigate the slippery terrain of governance, so far, so good:

*1) BAO is naturally hilarious.*
Not in the I-laugh-at-my-own-jokes kind of way. Rather, his quips have kept people bending over in stitches of laughter, even when laced with some serious talks. He is witty and entertaining, yet thorough and firm.

*2) BAO really cares and is empathic.*
He often laces his interaction with “How’re you?” “How’s it going?” “What’s up?” These 3 statements all have something in common; they tend not to be actual questions about your well-being, but simply to unbuckle your heart towards him. Imagine seeing BAO addressing the market women and chanting their mantra _”Motor wa, ko s’okada…”_ People love it when tiny details of their lives are picked up on and shown consideration. And BAO doesn’t take this for granted when meeting with anyone.

*3) BAO’s conversation skill is second to none.*
Part of showing he really cares about people is through using his exemplary listening skills. No one has to tell him twice, nor do they have to worry about him butting in or forgetting what he had said. He’d give people his full and undivided attention and listen wholeheartedly. Trust me, this doesn’t go unnoticed and BAO has been capitalizing on it.

*4) BAO is wise and insightful.*
After he might have listened to someone tell him about their sorrows, be assured he’d offer the most insightful advice. He is knowledgeable and educated. In the same way that he attracts people, he also absorbs information. This means that he has all sorts of fun and quirky facts hidden up his sleeve, and he can speak on a topic of any interest. He also welcomes new perspectives and actually enjoys learning about how other people think.

*5) BAO is a curious cat.*
Truly, part of that wisdom and insight is built on your inherent curiosity. As is his ability to remember even the most minor of details someone shares with him. Put succinctly, curiosity attracts an influx of information from other people. It’s natural that it would therefore be one of the strongest pillars of what makes up the charismatic BAO.

*6) BAO inspires others.*
Not in a way that makes them feel bad about themselves, but rather in an affirming and encouraging way.

*7) BAO is open-minded.*
There’s nothing quite as dreary as trying to converse with someone who can’t see beyond their own grey thinking. Sure, charismatic people tend to be amongst the more open-minded individuals out there, and BAO is one of a kind.

*8) BAO is upbeat.*
No doubt, the governor has a good dose of energy in him. Always down to adventure, or to try something new, people love the enthusiasm with which he approaches life.

*9) BAO is positive.*
Being realistically optimistic is also a big part of being charismatic and BAO is the type of person others want to associate themselves with, notwithstanding who they are or what they stand for. What is nice is having someone who tends to see the bright side of things, and who enjoys even the little joys life has to offer. Give that to BAO. His joy is contagious, and the way in which he has plenty of it in his own life starts permeating the lives of others, especially in the political space.

*10) BAO is pretty confident.*
There’s a fine line between charisma and arrogance, which, if one is the magnetic type of individual we’re talking about, he can be regarded as oscillating between both. But as charismatic as BAO is, he does not feel insecure. He feels safe in his skin. It’s nice to stand in the light of someone who believes in themselves (not blindly), who sees and accepts their own flaws but is still proud of their capabilities and knows what they bring to the world. People find themselves gravitating towards those with self-confidence because it inspires them to be more confident in return. Just like we all want to relate with BAO.

*11) BAO is kind.*
True, one can be charismatic and magnetic and not be kind. This probably goes down well in many cut-throat environments. But then people start to realize that BAO’s charisma comes as part of his Unique Selling Point.

Truly charismatic people exude this trait subconsciously. Such pure kindness as BAO has within him feeds into the way in which he cares and shows concern for others.

*12) BAO is honest.*
In a world filled with fake news and editing and falsified realities, there are few things more alluring than someone who you know to be honest. People gravitate towards BAO because they know that they can count on him. Be assured he will give you straight-up, honest answers, anytime, any day.

*13) BAO is welcoming to newbies.*
Anywhere you find BAO, he’ll be one of the most magnetic and most confident in the room, even if he’s not the most popular. He will go out of his way to make way for a newcomer to take them under his wing, so they will be able to let out a deep sigh of relief.

Most people want to be as charming and as effective as BAO. They desire to be liked and loved, But how honest are they in dealing with people? How consistent or how well do they keep their promises? Don’t they take people for granted? Do they compliment others? Are they polite? Are they generous? Do they always remember their manners? Do they think of others or even go the extra mile for them? And do they make the best out of every situation as BAO is doing now?

If you have all of the above in you and you take all the above into consideration in your daily dealings, then there are elements of BAO in you too; go ahead and manifest them.

* Segun Dipe writes as a public affairs analyst.

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