By Chika Nwabueze
There couldn’t have been any other better way to reward the legendary Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji for his commitment to service and the welfare of the people, than his historic investiture as the Sun Newspapers Public Service Award winner of the year 2020. This prestigious award is in recognition of the Speaker’s outstanding leadership of the legislative organ of the government, and on his various community development and empowerment programmes that have touched the lives of the common man.
Since his foray into the murky waters of Nigerian politics, Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji has not left anyone in doubt as to his mission in politics, which is to serve and contribute to the meaningful development of humanity. His love for humanity is like a covenant which he made and will never look back in spite of the global realities of the time.
Succinctly put, Speaker Chinedum Orji is the poster boy for legislative excellence and political leadership in Nigeria today, given his many contributions to the upliftment of the living standard of the youths and communities in Abia state, a feat that has earned him the sobriquet Ikuku Oma Abia.
The truth still remains that in Abia State and beyond Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji has become a household name on account of his visionary leadership and positive delivery of service. He radiates empathy and benevolence in equal measures, a distinctive character trait that made him a unique breed. This is why the Sun Newspapers Public Service Award is only a validation of the Rt Hon Chinedum Orji’s dedication to public service, an attribute that inspires the youths and endeared him in the hearts of the Abia populace.
In selecting the Abia Speaker for the historic Award, the management of Sun Publishing Limited through the Managing Director, Mr Onuoha Ukeh said “Ever since your entry into politics, you have shown that through politics lives could be touched”. Really, this assessment of Rt Hon Chinedum Orji by Sun Newspapers is one that can’t be controverted. For instance, his ‘Direct touch’ initiative has seen many households, individuals and youths lifted out of poverty and engaged in meaningful economic activities.
Again, Mr Onuoha Ukeh stressed that “in order to discover talents among youths, you have embarked on the construction of nine mini-stadia across your constituency and beyond”. In fact, the stadia are among the projects the Speaker commissioned to help the youths discover their hidden talents as well as put them off the streets.
The Sun Publishing Limited concluded by saying that the Public Service Award is given to that man or woman who has made exceptional giant strides in public service and thereby giving hope for a greater Nigeria’. On this score, one could only rightly conclude that Rt Hon Chinedum Orji is a perfect fit as he has not only recorded phenomenal accomplishments in public service, but has equally given hope for a better Abia in particular, and Nigeria at large.
In a chat with NewsCritic online over the extra-ordinary award won by the Abia Speaker, the former Executive Chairman of Umuahia North Local Government Area, LGA, Reverend Sam Ekeledo congratulated Rt Hon Chinedum Orji for presenting himself for public service to the benefit of mankind and communities in Abia.
He said that the award has endorsed the Speaker’s efforts, while urging him to try to recreate Abia State in a way that it should be done. Revd Sam Ekeledo personally requested the Speaker to consider his political party membership and join the ruling party, adding that it would help to buoy his political future’. However, a concerned citizen who spoke on the condition of identity protection dismissed Reverend Ekeledo’s call, describing it as selfish. He said that appealing to the Speaker to jump ship is not an option because he is better positioned for the top in the PDP and would not consider such advice.
Similarly, Hon Chucks Nwagbara, a development expert and media consultant, said Rt Hon Chinedum Orji has over a period of time shown himself as a serious-minded young man, in spite of the accomplishments of his parents. He opined that it’s not very common to get someone of the Speaker’s background to show good measure of dedication to a course, when his peers are galivanting and known for negative influence on the society.
Hon Chucks Nwagbara stressed that Mr Speaker is deserving of the award as it would send a signal to the children of the high and mighty in the society to make a difference not only in politics, but in other spheres of human endeavour.