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Historically, leadership is presented as the main purpose for God’s creation of human beings. This thought is sourced from the charge of God to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden to have dominion over everything else that created. In fact, Adam was to lead Eve, the woman and his wife, and together both were to lead the other creatures of God.

Incidentally, shortly after God settled the leadership issues with the first human beings, the failed in their leadership task. That failure of leadership began the story of the fall of human beings in God’s plan and purpose for human beings.

Till date, the greatest problem of the world is bad and failed leadership. In the family systems, in the corporate world, in government systems and in the society, leadership deficiency and outright failure has remained the bane of mankind.

Yet, God in his infinite wisdom has always reserved some people in limited numbers who are successful in their leadership duties and responsibilities. These are often described in the Holy Bible as those who did what was right in the sight of God. They are those that place God and fear of God high, over and above everything else in carrying out their leadership service.

The Bible records it that when the righteous is in power, the people rejoice. But when the wicked is in authority, the people regret. That leaves the understanding that wherever there are complaints about wanton poverty, lack, hunger, disease, sickness and deaths, there you find a wicked leader and bad leadership.

According to the Bible, of all the kings of Israel, right from Saul to the last of the kings of Israel and Judah, most did what was evil in the sight of God, while very few did what pleased God. The kings that offended God were those that served man-made gods, while those served the Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel were the ones that pleased God.

The dawn of the king or leader that pleased God began with David the son of Jesse. He was a young Shepherd of his father’s flock. While he was away tending his father’s flock, he was sent for and anointed King of Israel by Prophet Samuel at the directives and supervision of God Himself.

It is significant that the older, more powerful and much stronger brothers, the sons of Jesse were rejected by God, only for the frail underaged boy to be anointed King by God. That was relevant to the concept of the making of a leader.

In Imo State, South East, Nigeria, among the candidates preparing to vie for the office of the governor of the State is a man who has been exhibiting the features of the biblical David. The man’s semblance with David is so striking that many that come in contact with him is soon reminded of King David of Israel. And to crown it all, with his simple stature, he has proved to be a giant-killer.

We are talking about His Excellency, Rt. Chukwemeka NkemakolamIhedioha, CON, KSC, former Chairman of House Committee on Marine Transport, former Chief Whip, former Deputy Speaker and lastly former Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from 2003 to 2015. He is the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general elections.

The story of the start and progress so far of Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha on the road to power and authority in Nigeria is simply davidic. After graduating from the University of Lagos in 1988, he secured a job in the Nigerian Senate in 1992 at the age of 27. By 1995, at the age of 30, Ihedioha was sitting among the biggest political leaders of Nigeria, including Shehu Yar’Adua, Olusegun Obasanjo, Atiku Abubakar and a host of others that formed the political group known as People’s Democratic Movement (PDM). Ihedioha was the Director of Media and Publicity of PDM.

By 1998 PDM transformed into PDP and in 1999 won the election at the presidential level and majority of the various other levels. Rt. Hon. Ihedioha was appointed a Special Assistant to the then Senate President, Chuba Okadigbo. He was redeployed in 2001 to be a Special Assistant on Political Matters to the then Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, GCON.

By 2003 he contested for and won the AbohMbaise/NgorOkpala Federal Constituency seat in the House of Representatives. He was soon to carve a niche and make his presence visible in the House when he was appointed Chairman, House Committee on Marine Transport. Within the first term, 2003-2007, Ihedioha sponsored several bills, of which ten passed and signed into law.

In 2007, Ihedioha was re-elected into the House and became a principal officer by virtue of his election as the Chief Whip. In this capacity he equally excelled very highly. That legislative term ended in very successfully in 2011.

In 2011, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha won a third term to represent the same AbohMbaise/NgorOkpala Federal Constituency. The highpoint was his unanimous election as Deputy Speaker by the 360-member House. By virtue of this, Ihedioha became a presiding officer of the House and the National Assembly. He was draft to the position of Speaker, when the substantive Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal became the governor of Sokoto State.

It is pertinent to mention here that Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha kept updating and upgrading himself academically. He attended a number of best citadels of higher education viz Harvard University Business School and Stanford University Business School, both in the United States; Oxford University Business School, and London School of Economics, both in the United Kingdom. He also attended the British Columbia University in Canada. His course of study in these great institutions focused business, economics, accounting, finance, government, management and administration.

The litany of Ihedioha’s legislative accomplishments and achievements is long and lengthy. But as a testimony to them, he was honoured by Federal Government of Nigeria with Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON), which is the fourth highest national honour.

The following is a summary of the Ihedioha bills:

1. The International Convention for the Safety of life at Sea (Ratification and Enforcement) Act 2004.

Status: Passed and Signed into Law in June 2004.

Role: Rt. Emeka Ihedioha’s was the Principal Facilitator.

2. The United Nations Convention on Carriage of Goods by Sea (Ratification and Enforcement) Bill H.B 118.

Status: Passed and Signed into Law in 2005.

Role: Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha was the Principal Facilitator.

3. The International Convention for the Preservation of Pollution from Ships 1973/78 (Ratification and Enforcement) Bill H.B 159.

Status: Passed and Signed into Law in May 2005.

4. The International Convention on the Civil Liabilities for Oil Pollution Damage (Ratification and Enforcement) Bill 2004 H.B 157.

Status: Passed and Signed into Law in January 2006.

Role: Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha was the Principal Facilitator.

5. International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for the Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage 1979 as amended (Ratification and Enforcement) Bill 2004 H.B 159.

Status: Passed and Signed into Law in January 2006.

Role: Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha was the Principal Facilitator.

6. A Bill for an Act to Establish a Council for Registration Freight Forwarders in Nigeria.

Status: Passed and Signed into Law.

Role: Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha sponsored it.

7. The Chartered Institute of Shipping of Nigeria Bill 2005.

Status: Passed and Signed into Law.

Role: Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha Co-sponsored it.

8. Nigeria Ports Act (Amendment) Bill 2009.

Status: Passed Consideration.

Role: Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha was the Principal Facilitator.

9. Merchant Shipping Act.

Status: Passed and Signed into Law

10. Nigeria Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators Bill 2009

Status: Passed second Reading as at 2015).

Role: Rt. Hon. Ihedioha Sponsored it.

Rt. Hon. EmekaIhedioha also made other legislative accomplishments, including the following viz membership and leadership of committees and delegations:

1. Member, Joint Committee on Constitutional Amendment.

2. Chairman, House Ad-Hoc Committee on Legislative Agenda

3. Chairman, House Ad-Hoc Committee on Constitution Review

4 Chairman, Committee of the Whole.

5. Alternate Chairman, Governing Council of Nigeria Institute for Legislative Studies (NILS).

6. Chairman, Ad-hoc Committee on Process and Procedure for Obtaining Local and Foreign Loans by Federal and State Governments.

7. Chairman, Sub-Committee on the Review of the Police Act.

8. Nigeria Branch Representative, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

9. Member, Leadership Group, National Democratic Institute (NDI) International Observer Group that monitored the parliamentary elections in the Republic of Lebanon.

10. Leader of Delegation to the 6th General Assembly of the International Parliamentary Association for Information Technology, Sofia, Bulgaria in 2008.

11. Member, Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Parliament African Region.

12. Leader Nigerian Delegation to the 41st Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Mpumalanga, South Africa.

13. Leader of the Nigerian Delegation to the ECOWAS Parliament.

14. Chairman, House Ad-committee on the Alteration of the 1999 Constitution

15. Deputy Leader of the Nigerian Delegation to 125th International Parliamentary Union at Barn on 19th of October, 2012.

16. Deputy Leader of Nigerian Delegation to the 126th International Parliamentary Union Assembly at Kampala, Uganda from March 31 to April 5, 2013.

17. Deputy Leader of Nigerian Delegation to the 127th International Parliamentary Union Assembly at Quebec, Canada from 21st to 25th October, 2013.

18. Deputy Leader of Nigerian Delegation to the 128th International Parliamentary Union Assembly at Quito, Ecuador from 22nd to 27th March, 2013.

19. Deputy Leader of Delegation to the 129th International Parliamentary Union Assembly at Geneva, Switzerland from 7th to 9th October 2013.

20. Chairman, House Committee on Marine Transport.

21. Chairman, Ad-Hoc Committee on Constituency Projects.

22. Chairman, Ad-Hoc Committee on the Celebration of Ten Years of Unhindered Legislative Practice in Nigeria (1999-2009).

Ultimately, apparently for his uncommon legislative accomplishments, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, CON, KSC was honoured with the award of the fourth highest national honour, the Commander of the Order of the Nigeria (CON).

The period of Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha in Federal House of Representatives has been rated excellent for him, the AbohMbaise/NgorOkpala Federal Constituency, and Imo State in general. He attracted, facilitated and sponsored thousands of people-oriented projects.

In the areas of road construction, education, health, electricity, water, security, marine transport, environment and rural development, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha left a remarkable imprimatur. It is such that in varying quantum each of the 27 Local Governments Areas of Imo State received share of Ihedioha’s projects.

In the area of employment and empowerment, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha transformed thousands of lives of Imo people for the best. For instance, on different occasions, he sponsored skills acquisition trainings and empowerment progammes in which three persons comprising youths and women from each of the 305 wards of Imo State were beneficiaries. At the end of such skills acquisition trainings and empowerment progammes he provided substantial seed money to the beneficiaries.

In the same vein, Ihedioha facilitated the employment of hundreds of Imo youths with graduate and secondary education qualifications. Scores were offered overseas scholarships for undergraduate and graduate studies by Ihedioha.

The records are such that they are quite long and lengthy that reproducing them here may be too cumbersome. But let it suffice that Rt. Ihedioha went to Abuja to represent AbohMbaise/NgorOkpala Federal Constituency and came back home to Imo State with people-oriented, life enhancing projects, employment and empowerment.

In 2015, he contested for the office of governor of Imo State but lost to some better forgotten unorthodox circumstances. During the preparations for that election, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha toured across the length and breadth of Imo State. He met Imo people and acquainted himself with the hinterland and grassroots.

Quickly after the election, which result he took withy philosophical equanimity he moved on with his other life engagements. And how time flies! Before anybody knew it was 2018; the year before the election in 2019.

With due consultations with various cadres of people in Imo State, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha received encouragement to give the governor’s office another shot in the 2019 elections. And effective April 2018 he set out on vigorous tour of entire 305 wards and 27 local government areas of the State. That mission was successfully accomplished in August 2018.

At the PDP gubernatorial primary election that was conducted under very free, fair, transparent and credible atmosphere of peace, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha emerged the PDP guber flag bearer for the 2019. Since thereafter he has not cared to give rest a room. It has round the clock political electioneering campaign engagements.

Only recently, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha embarked on a scheduled tour of London and some States of America where he met with hundreds of Imo people resident in diaspora. He went with the message of his vision and mission to liberate Imo people are rebuild Imo State when he assumes office as governor. In Washington DC, USA, Ihedioha delivered a major policy speech on the topic, “Imo State in the Global Economy”. It is heart-warming that he had in audience some industrialists, investors, intellectuals and technocrats. That according to pundits portends good omen for the economy of Imo State under the watch of Ihedioha from 2019.

The essence of the foray into the curriculum vitae and resumé of Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha is to let those who do not know him make his acquaintance while those who know will relish a fresh citation of the leader who has proved that he is anointed by the Almighty God to liberate Imo people and rebuild Imo State.

It is believed that Imo State and indeed Nigeria need leaders with the anointing of God upon their lives. Periscoping and assessing the pedigree and antecedents, capacities and capabilities of Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, presents the verisimilitude with some of the greatest successful leaders like the earlier mentioned King David who rose from nobody to somebody and from nothing to something great.

There is an increasing conviction among Imo people of various categories, both at home and abroad, that among the candidates that will be contesting for the office of governor of Imo State, Ihedioha is the most prepared and ready to deliver good government and good governance to Imo State and Imo people.

If the unprecedented high level of support being enjoyed by Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha is the pole of measure of his suitability for the office of governor of Imo State, then he will win the 2019 governorship election with votes and mandate of the people of Imo State. May God be with him and bless his ambition with resounding success.

*Ogu Bundu Nwadike, M.A, is a journalist, editor, publisher, writer, author and public affairs analyst and critic. He is in the media team of the Ihedioha Campaign Organization.*


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