Monday June 3rd 2019 was the date Ambassador Charles Nzechi celebrated his birthday, which came barely three months after the controversial 2019 General Election, in which he was a candidate. Though he was not present at home to mark the day like before, however his birthday did not pass unnoticed as it generated a lot of buzz on the social media as friends and well-wishers rushed to post on their timelines and other platforms to celebrate the peoples Ambassador cum politician.
Few years back, precisely in 2016 when he marked his birthday party at his palatial residence in Umuokwenuta, Okpu-Isingwu autonomous community of Umuahia North Local Government Area, the celebration had all the trappings of a royal party. The roll call includes the shakers and movers of the Abia State political and economic life.
Some of the personalities in attendance were, Chief Vincent Ogbulafor, Chief Empire Kanu, Chief Henry Ikoh, Chief Uzodimma Okpara, High Chief Okosisi Onwuneme, HRM Eze Alozie Emekobum, Hon. Acho Obioma, chief Johnson Onuigbo, Hon. Kelechi Onuzuruike, Prince Tony Eze, Chief Alozie Ndulaka, just to mention but a few. Also, Nollywood was well represented at the event with the who is who in the industry in attendance. In fact, the birthday celebration was the first of its kind in the history of Umuahia. The exponent of Zigima dance, Bright Chimezie performed to the delight of the respected audience.
But this year’s birthday celebration was more of a social media affair whereby his friends and well-wishers, including political supporters invaded the social media space to celebrate Nzechi, who just three months ago was on the ballot as House of Representatives candidate for Ikwuano/Umuahia federal constituency seat. This newspaper is overwhelmed with the effusion of love shown to this great son of Ohuhu land by his brothers, sisters, friends and well-wishers on the occasion of his birthday.
At the last count, his birthday message received well over 10, 000 likes and comments on Facebook alone with about 30 shares, enough to win the election. One Reuben Onuoha Has this post on Nzechi’s birthday: ‘’The meaning of the phrase leadership revolves around Amb. Charles Nzechi (Aha Eji Aga Mba Nke Mbu), an eminent philanthropist, who lives just for the welfare of the people and society sake #PASS. He continued, ‘’his humanitarian gesture has restored so many lost hopes and turned their dreams into reality. On this auspicious day of his birthday anniversary I pray for more heavenly strength and empowerment so as to see charitable living as a way of life’’. Another post described him as a good man and good friend.
His Ohuhu brothers did not fail to celebrate him either with commendable posts that touches on brotherliness and as one who is out to live the life of a humanist. The Nzechi that I know is a man who has the interest of the less privileged at heart. One who through the Charles Nzechi Foundation has touched many lives in Ikwuano/Umuahia local government area and beyond.
His house of representatives run in 2019 may not have panned out as expected but that did not take away the good spirit in him. Just like one commentator observed that if the likes and comments he received on his birthday translates into votes, Nzechi will be representing the people of Ikwuano/ Umuahia in the green chambers today.
His love letter to his constituents prior to the election in which he stated his mission and called for their support was convincing enough to give him a trial. But in Nigeria, our best and brightest hardly win in a free and fair election, as there are other extraneous and irrelevant factors that come into play in determining the candidate to ‘vote’.
I believe that having given the race the best shot he could, and it turned out the way it did, he must not abandon his call to leadership, and being the true representatives of the masses.