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Opinion

Nnamani; Hero or Villain? 

Senator Chimaroke Nnamani: Whither a Hero or a Villain

By Prince Ejeh Josh

In past months, there have been rising but surreptitious battles for the soul of 2023 in different parts of the country. Many political bigwigs have started pitching tent, taking sides, touring the shore of Nigeria in the guise of consultation for their preferred candidates and choice political party. This move is not surprising since it’s not new in the political landscape of our system. Politicking is long expected from different quarters. National dailies and social media outlets are already reminding us that we’re gradually approaching 2023—the year a new history will be made. Hence, the clandestinely fluting of partisan jingles by different quarters.

Political watchers and analysts have described this metallic discordance as normal and healthy for every progressive democratic political system. What seems to be abnormal, however, is the deliberate assault, calculated blackmailing, vindictive and cruel attacks on individuals in a desperate move to prosecute inordinate political ambition. Democratic institutions provide defined and enabling platforms to engage opposing candidates constructively and reasonably too. This must be done within a line of civility and respect for the dignity and essence of the individual concerned. Any deviation from this principle and rule of engagement is simply a reversion to the state of nature, where animalistic tendency is garbed in human form.

The recent malicious attacks and campaigns of calumny by some sponsored youths from Enugu East Senatorial District against the person of the revered former Governor of Enugu State and now a high ranking Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Chimaroke Nnamani, is not only demeaning of human civilization, it’s a savage affront to the good people of Nkanuland. It’s a desecration of our long valued tradition of deference for our elders and leaders. It’s sad that some youths could allow their stomach to be their focal point of reasoning and reference. These set of disgruntled persons, having submitted their conscience for monetisation and also commodify their independent will to think within acceptable paradigm, now turn pawns and objects of manipulation in the hands of their macro and micro-motivated paymasters.

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Senator Chimaroke, in all sincerity, deserves all the respects any statesman and noble figure deserves, especially in Enugu State and Nkanuland. For the record, Senator Chimaroke has always been a Pro-Nkanu advocate, and will continue to be. This may sound pungent and acidic for the sponsored social media gangster and their patrons: the history of Nkanuland can never be told without marshalling the invaluable contributions of Dr. Chimaroke. Although, I’ve never been the Senator’s advocator, but take it or leave it; Chimaroke remains the foremost and number one Nkanu man alive today. History will forever be kind to him in the state, and in Nkanuland.

Whether one sees Chimaroke as a hero or as a villain, what matters most is that he did well for the people of Enugu state. He opens up Nkanuland for recognition and development. His era as governor of the state, for the first time, puts Nkanuland on the map of the world. We’ve had people in power before him, but where was Nkanu and where were the people of Nkanu then? Chimaroke came and swiftly transformed Nkanuland. Be it in term of human capital development or in term of infrastructure. The hitherto deficit structure and derogatory outlook of the senatorial district got transformed with unimaginable speed. And today, with his long term plan for the zone, new developments and programmes keep springing up. But for the second time senator, the zone would still be wallowing in lackluster and perpetual enslavement.

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It may serve well to remind these social media cat-s-paws and their belligerent guerrilla commanders, both within the zone (micro) and outside the zone (macro), that their success stories will never be complete or gloriously told without recognizing the inestimable roles played by Dr. Chimaroke except they are living in a self-denial. Many of them were picked from the dungeon of poverty and throe of abandonment and hunger to fame and glory by the same man they are sponsoring smear campaigns. However, the ruthless fact nobody can change is that Chimaroke’s shoes and name are bigger, mightier and stronger for anyone to drag. In the end, that name they’re bent at destroying will still be their grace for survival. Let them be reminded too that Chimaroke is a cat with nine lives. He has withstood tribulations not a cent of them would, and he came out victorious. He fought battles that a battalion of political strategists would not survive in the ordinary course of things. Interestingly but sadly, he fought for the people fighting him today. He made them whatever name and office they parade at present. Instead of the accolades he deserves, many of those he helped have turned out to be fiends because of inordinate quest for power. Brutus!

For the record, Nkanuland becomes a hub of activity today because Chimaroke fought for it. He’s a hardcore Nkanu apologist, and as we speak today, Nkanuland or Enugu East Senator District is adjudged the most developed of the three zones. When he moved Enugu State University of Science and Technology to Agbani, he was merely doing it for the interest of Nkanu people (for those aggrieved about the land where the institution is situate, they should take comfort at the provisions of the Land Use Act, and how a land without no improvement should be treated). He attracted the only Nigerian Law School Campus in the south east to Nkanuland. The University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital was attracted to Nkanuland—Ituku-Ozalla by the same man some people have resentfully detested for no reason. In his quest to do more for the people, the Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, Parklane, and its College of Medicine were given a world class attention. This too was at the Eastern senatorial district. Plethora of Special Science Schools and Airforce Comprehensive High School were all erected in different parts of the state including Nkanuland. But the ingrates would not appreciate that because of their fanatic thirst for power. This doesn’t speak well for Ndi Nkanu. This rustic behavior must be weaned by those involved.

As a Senator representing the people of Enugu East Senatorial District, we’ve seen Dr. Chimaroke rising in defence of the people, more so, the youth. We’ve seen him spoken against tyranny and an attempt to gag the people and silence their voices. We’ve seen the senator championed robust bills in his area of jurisdiction. We’ve seen him awarded multiple scholarships to the girl-child, paying for the West African Examination Council fees for all the girls in his senatorial zone, numbering thousands, at a time of despondency and hardship orchestrated by COVID-19 and economic recession. This is in line with the dictum that “if you want to build a home and a nation, educate the girl-child”. As Chairman, Senate Committee on Corporation and Integration in Africa and New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), Dr. Chimaroke has vigorously worked for the integration of Africa, forged a common ground with his counterpart lawmakers in other African countries for robust policies that would enhance the well-being of the people. The effect, therefore, is that the senator operates from the international plane, and has broadened his spectrum of responsibility beyond local politics. This is the exactitude of “service to humanity”. It’s a burden the senator is shouldering to make the world a better place for all of us.

As the Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Drugs and Narcotics, the senator has also contributed immensely to the development of our youth. Healthy policies have been evolved, since his appointment, to rehabilitate and reintegrate victims of drug abuse into the society. In the face of the monstrous corona virus collapsing the world into untold catastrophe, our ably representing senator has continued to work actively behind the scene with other relevant research agencies to advance a local remedy that would meet the peculiarity of Nigeria environment. This is not forgetting the ongoing road construction attracted by him in the zone.

With the above in mind, should Senator Chimaroke not be seen as a legendary hero rather than the vicious attacks some people are sponsoring against his person? Should he be crucified like a villain because of his good deeds? I wash off my hands from any condemnation against his revered character and integrity personified. I will add this: Chimaroke is our leader in Nkanuland, and Enugu state. His footprints, despite all odds, keep resonating from all the parts of the state. He made men through empowerment. He mentored almost, if not all, the major political players at the corridor of power today, both those in Enugu state, Abuja and outside the shore of this country, including those sponsoring malicious and unrestrained invective against his person. These young boys who didn’t know where the rain started must be tamed by those bankrolling them. Their owners must take them back into their cage and curtail their wildness. The youth must learn how not to hate a man who has not hated them. They must learn how not to make an enemy of a man who has not offended them. The peanut and chicken feed they are paid today may boomerang to haunt them in the future. You don’t make an enemy because your friend or boss declare that innocent person an enemy.

Prince Ejeh Josh, B.Sc., Politics, M.Sc., Int’l Relations & Strategic Studies, LLB, NIM, writes from Independence Layout, Enugu

 

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