By: Yusuf Anka
Growing up with zeal and keen interest on one’s desire goes a long way in the pursuit of one’s goals in life. Unlike some Nigerians who find pleasure in chitchats, small talks and preoccupation with unnecessary things while at work, some Nigerians have continued to rekindle hope in various sectors; through their commitment and resilience in carrying out their basic duties. One of these exceptional Nigerians is Mrs. Onojoa Joy, a traffic warden in Lokoja, Kogi State.
The Chinese thinker, Confucius, might have Onjoa in mind when he said that “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day of your life.” Onoja who joined the Nigerian Police about 16 years ago grew up admiring how wardens controlled traffic and facilitated movements of people and vehicles on the road. The gesticulations and courtesies display while doing this by some traffic wardens stimulated her interest in the work. “I started working with the Nigerian police force in April 2003 and in those years I was privileged to serve in the Traffic unit of the Force. I count it a privilege because it has been a lifelong dream of mine to be a traffic warden. As a young lady, I will get really thrilled when I travel across highways and see traffic controllers gyrate in tune with the movement of vehicles. I would say to myself: I must surely become one of them someday,” she disclosed.
Loved by all
Onoja’s dedication to service endears her to many people who ply the road. She continuously shows that despite the negative image that characterizes the Nigerian Police, her resolve to put in her best while at work is vital. Hence, she has become cynosure of all eyes in the Lokoja Metropolis. According to her, “I have made lots of friends since I started this job and I am loved by old and young, rich and poor. What makes me stand out is the apparent energy and zest with which I discharge my duties.”
Meanwhile, her dedication to work has not been free from some individuals’ cynicism. Some even go as far as alleging she takes drugs to be agile while on duty; whereas what drives her has been her inner enthusiasm and fulfilment of her childhood dreams. “Most people have described me as having no shame and relying on some narcotic drug or the other to be able to do what I do, I simply ignore such comments because I am a proud born-again Christian belonging to the Deeper Life denomination up until I joined my husband’s Mountain of Fire Church,” she recalled.
Many Nigerians are kind-hearted and this kindness has often been displayed through their supportive gestures to the less-privileged and the needy. A mother of five, who probably doesn’t get enough wages to take care of her needs, Onoja’s exemplary discharge of her duties as a traffic warden has earns her kind supports from many Nigerians. She stated that, “I have been given a couple of awards locally and I get financial gifts from people who appreciate what I do especially when they find out I am not just a wife but a mother of five.”
Looking at Onoja’s professional lifestyle beckons on our conscience as a people to be dedicated in whatever position we find ourselves. It is not enough for us to chant ‘change’ without entering the room of changing ourselves.
The reforms so much desired in every sector in Nigeria and the progress we long for as citizens will only become reality when we play our individual roles in our respective offices. After all, we should not forget that, “do not worry about holding high position; worry rather about playing your proper role,” Confucius counseled.