“Deliver the cargo, don’t tell me about the storm”. The very first time I heard this aphorism, I deeply reflected on it and came to realize that in life, some men are born to dominate their environment and for such people, impossible is nothing and there is no alternative to success. They can walk through thorns and bristles to realize their vision and get to their destination. We call them men of passion and vision. Their lives are governed merely by one thing- the ambition to succeed in whatever endeavor they find themselves. Aha a bu ‘Opuruiche’. They always make a difference.
One man that certainly belongs to the class of people referred to as the above is High Chief Obiora Okonkwo. A man of zeal and determination, he has conquered his environment both in academics and entrepreneurship. The Russian-trained political scientist and business mogul from Ogidi in Anambra State, best known for his exceptional philanthropy and dedicated support for humanitarian; devout inclination resulting to several Nigerians now in European, American and Nigerian universities enjoying his educational scholarship offered through Joseph Okonkwo Foundation, a foundation dedicated to the memory of his father. He also built and donated a school to his home community in Ogidi, brought in the Catholic religious order of Sisters of Divine Mercy as the management body. Fees at the school are subsidized by him, N’ezie, Ibu Omenkeahuruanya, Dikeora na Ogidi. Through him, the difference glitters. Chukwu gozie gi n’ihe ina emere ndi Anambra na umu Igbo nile. The blessings of God should always be with you.
High Chief Obiora Okonkwo holds a Doctorate Degree in Political Science (with distinction) from the Russian Academy of Science, Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Moscow. A Professional Fellowship Doctorate from the Institute of Chartered Economists of Nigeria and Fellowship of the Institute of Chartered Arbitrators and Mediators of Nigeria. He earned an MSc Degree in Economics, also with distinction from the Russian Peoples Friendship University in Moscow and first class in economics from the same institution. He is a talented entrepreneur and chairs the boards of several companies including the ‘Dome Entertainment and Hospitality Limited’, an umbrella organization comprising the Summit Restaurant and Lounge, the Camelot Spa, the Bodytrust Health and Fitness Bar, Private Airline Services Limited (PASL), among others. He is maintaining a combined employee strength of over 600 including Nigerians and foreigners. He is the founder of Nigeria-Belgium Business Forum among other business fora. Ohamadike ka ibu. The great ones should be recognized
It is not astonishing to anybody that ahead of the 2021 governorship election in Anambra State, Okonkwo’s name has continued to ring a bell, ‘maka na Ugo chara acha adighi echu echu’. Yes, the eagle is noticed from a distance. Many believe that the state needs another man of vision to sustain the development pace of the current governor, Willie Obiano. Chief Obiora Okonkwo having acquired from around the globe the international skills and involvement, is the best candidate for good governance. Plato in his works, the ‘’Republic’’ was dissatisfied with rulers who lacked knowledge and moral strength to act according to the common good. In other words, rulers motivated by self-interest were not strong leaders. Plato opined that the states should be governed by philosophers and lovers of wisdom. In line with this, the Anambra people both home and abroad believe that at this time in the history of the state, Anambra needs a governor who has the vision, wisdom, and competence, who is able and focused on doing what is required for the office. The Igbos say: There are various leaves in the bush, but people go in to look for ‘okazi’ leaves. Obiora is the One.
As Aristotle argued, man is a political animal and it is inevitable, not just for an elite of old men, to be interested and have a say in politics, as it is a force that inevitably affects us all. Late Odumegwu Ojukwu, wrote a book called ‘Because I’m Involved’, and the title looks quite captivating. When a man is involved in any case, he tries every possible way within his powers to eradicate any funny stories, ‘maka ndi uta’. People will always talk, even when there’s nothing to complain about, they will ask, “why is this or that person always doing things the right way?” Okonkwo’s Slogan pictures it all “Deliver the cargo, don’t tell me about the storm”. His love for humanity, particularly his state is unimaginable because he is involved. Obiora believes so much in Anambra’s potentials for greatness and excellence, hence he’s vying for this noble office.
In one of his major publications titled “Democracy and Development” and “A Prolegomena For growth”, published in Okwadike, commemorative books on the 80th birthday of a former governor of Anambra State, Obiora noted that “One can only be prosperous when all our material resources and highly equipped human capital with all intellectual profiles are fully developed and harnessed. He added in one of his interviews: “Anybody who wants to govern Anambra come 2021 must not look at the end of his four years. He must be someone who can lay the foundation for the next 30 years of the state.
Talking about his people, he said: “I do not think that we should continue to tamper with local governments, they must be autonomous”. It’s only when development starts from bottom up that we can realize our full potentials. When that is done, we should have by then restored the pride by repositioning it to take its dominant place in commerce again and strive towards full industrialization, which is the next big thing if combined with agriculture.
“We have our youths who had done so well in many areas of human endeavor, but they do not come home to play any role in our communities. Some rich people send their children to the best universities in the world, but do they come back to play any role in the development of our society? The answer is no; they remain overseas because of a lack of job opportunities back home. We are losing those who can help develop our country. That is why we need a government that could create an enabling environment for those youths to come back to contribute their quota in our development.
Igbo si na ‘ogologo okwu adiro n’uka mgbede’. I’m sure our brothers and sisters in Christ know that the evening sermons are brief). High Chief Okonkwo is a strong man, a strong leader with a strong balanced institution. A strong leader with the right vision, and honest mission, a man of conviction who understands Anambra, its cultural and historical dynamics.
High Chief Okonkwo, a visionary, development-minded businessman is the only candidate I think will seek the good of the state when in lead. Let’s vote him for good governance in Anambra State of Nigeria. He is ‘Udara na amiri oha’. Let’s gather our votes under the apple tree.
By Iwueke, Charles A. – Moscow, Russia
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