The man Alhaji Abubakar Usman also known as Young Alhaji is perhaps one of the most famous Idoma man today. He is best known for his philanthropy and community development. Young Alhaji is also known as the Messiah, a name given to him by the Idoma people who once see him as the savior of the Idoma nation.
I have heard of him but never met him until recently when I was opportune to go to his house. I was hoping to interview him and he actually gave us time for the interview but he was so busy seeing people we couldn’t make it to interview him.
Young Alhaji addressed crowd of over one thousand people in his house when I went there. He was a workerholic and a great orator. He talked for over three hours straight, sermonizing, quoting the bible perfectly and making reference to verses from Genesis to revelation. He would have been a very good pastor but Alhaji Usman Abubakar is a Muslim.
He is tall and athletic, dark and has a charming smile that woos. He is down to earth and a natural leader. He knows how to talk to everyone and knows exactly the right thing to say. He knows people by name and talks confidently and loudly but there is a softness to all of it. He shouts to control the crowd and walks gallantly to take care of things himself. There is no air of pride about him. You can immediately see why the crowd are attracted to his charm.
They scream his name “Messiah!”, as he talks. They pass by hailing him from here and there. Even though I am allergic to praise singing you can see they really meant it.
I went round Otukpo asking people here and there this and that about Young Alhaji and they all say the same thing, “he is a great guy.” The people stand overwhelmingly behind him. They love him and they listen to him.
He told the crowd that people have said all sorts of things about him. They have called him a fraudster, a drug addict and all, but that no one has done what he has done for the Idoma people. He told a story about how he went to the United States and bought a limousine for the Ochi’idoma when he saw the embarrassing car the Idoma chief was riding to meetings. No Idoma rich son saw it as an embarrassment but he told that crowd that he saw it as such and did something about it because he loves the Idoma people.
One journalist whispers, “the man likes to talk. Another said, “he is a politician, what do you expect?” None bother if what he we saying was the truth. I later found out all he has said is the truth and the people genuinely knows he loves them.