When Sen. Emmanuel Uzor Onwe appeared in Ebonyi, nay Nigerian, political scene in 2006, he was received with mixed feelings by the polity. While the masses opened their arms to receive him, the political elites who were thrown into panic by the presence of Onwe built thick walls of conspiracy and exclusion against him. As a man of the people and political meteor who surveyed the Nigerian political terrain before stepping into it, Onwe rode on the tide of massive goodwill, metamorphosing into a political phenomenon whose strength of appeal dwarfed contrary political structures and sentiments as well as competing hegemonic political forces lined up on his way. Attempts to shortchange Senator Emmanuel Uzor Onwe failed as he reclaimed his mandate at the Court of Appeal and represented Ebonyi Central senatorial district at the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, albeit for six months before a mercantile decision of the Supreme Court of Nigeria reversed his Court of Appeal victory. However, the donations in Onwe’s brief duration in the Nigerian Senate have conferred on that period the permanent label of “the golden political era” in the history of the district.
Sen. Emmanuel Uzor Onwe Ph.d working in his rice farm
To the chagrin of Onwe’s political adversaries whose intention was to ward off the new and better political song which Onwe personified, Senator Emmanuel Uzor Onwe returned home to Ebonyi State and involved himself deeper with the masses through extravagant charity works like scholarships to indigent undergraduates, status-enhancing empowerment of the ordinary masses with bias on youths, free medicare programmes for the poor and sponsorship of community development projects like roads, bridges and town halls. Onwe’s charity works are distinct from others’ because they are unpretentious, meaningful and the beneficiaries are spared the usual embarrassment before camera lenses. For this professional and unconditional giver who has been described in various edifying epithets by different classes of people, charity works are matters between him and God Almighty. A thorough-bred public affairs analyst and connoisseur of wisdom and foresight, Onwe equally designed profitable political and business strategies for well-meaning politicians and business men for the benefit of the society at large.
Sen. Emmanuel Uzor Onwe Ph.d, and His Excellency Engr. Gov. Dave Umahi
In 2015 when the battle for the political soul of Ebonyi State pitted the hegemonic political cult in Ebonyi State against the masses led by Engr. David Nweze Umahi, Senator Emmanuel Uzor Onwe fought on the side of the masses. The victory of the masses bequeathed Ebonyi State with the Divine Mandate administration of Governor David Nweze Umahi which was inaugurated on 29th May, 2015. As expected, the mantle of the Honourable Commissioner for Information and State Orientation rightly fell on Onwe. Onwe inherited a gigantic broadcasting station – Ebonyi Broadcasting Corporation, EBBC – which lacked experienced manpower. Senator Emmanuel Uzor Onwe, a radical investor in mankind, exposed the staff of EBBC to standard broadcast trainings oftentimes at personal costs until he built a rich and experienced manpower base to power the modern station. The result of this is that EBBC is about the only government-owned broadcast station in Nigeria that is self-sustaining with meaningful revenue returns to the government and an 18-hour daily broadcast schedule.
Onwe is a talent-hunter who has nurtured many young talents in Ebonyi State into full blossom. This firebrand commissioner for information and state orientation united the entire media constituency in Ebonyi State which included professional journalists in EBBC and other broadcast stations, print media, members of the correspondents’ chapel, and sundry online media practioners under his “Strategic” group which was literarily a “refinery” for media practitioners. Through the strategic platform, hyperactive Onwe monitored and mentored the media practitioners individually and collectively; correcting them with filial love where necessary; defending them with his clout, guts and humongous goodwill; and encouraging and empowering them with his personal resources in times of need. Through Onwe’s intervention, 90 per cent of media practitioners in Ebonyi State got either a laptop or an i-phone from Ebonyi State Government.
Sen. Emmanuel Uzor Onwe Ph.d
A man to whom words bend and bow in order to effectively beam his thoughts to his audience, Onwe enriched Ebonyi as well as Nigerian political and media interactions with electrifying imageries that do not only appeal to the senses but equally soothes them. This way, Senator Emmanuel Uzor Onwe who is an orator by birth and inclination, effortlessly communicated Ebonyi State Government policies and programmes to an ever receptive audience. In oral, written and non-verbal communications, Onwe is regarded as a Grand Commander of Attentions, GCA, whose power and skill of communication are coveted by all and emulated by none for obvious reasons! When Senator Emmanuel Uzor Onwe, a man who deploys his fully-functional head, heart and hands into whatever he chooses to do, was to preach Ebonyi State Government’s radical Agricultural revolution programme which Governor David Umahi tagged “One man, one hectare” farming programme, he preferred to “walk his talk” by preaching through practical farming. This cerebral lawyer and London School of Economics alumnus ventured into rice farming and has comfortably cultivated 350 hectares each farming season for five years in a row, thus becoming the greatest rice farmer in the present Ebonyi State. An avid schorlar and experimentalist, Onwe successfully developed reliable templates for land preparation, rice cultivation, harvesting, processing and preservation; such that he has become a resource person at symposia Agriculture.
Sen. Emmanuel Uzor Onwe Ph.d working in his rice farm
Senator Emmanuel Uzor Onwe’s sense of humilty, discipline and contentment is unrivaled. This man of many firsts, unconditional giver and firebrand information commissioner who successfully mirrored Ebonyi State to the world; and the world to Ebonyi State for a full term of four years without blemish made yet another history by opting out of Governor David Umahi’s second term Executive Council to create room for younger ones and to enable him concentrate in his farm. He was the first to take this type of sacrificial decision in the history of Ebonyi State. Speaking about Onwe’s altruistic decision, his former boss and dear friend, Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State commended Onwe for his exemplary decision. According to Umahi, “Senator Onwe though opted out of executive council with our understanding remains in our government to perform greater assignments for the benefit of the state especially in agriculture, training of our youths and empowerment – more responsibilities now and tomorrow. Example of how leaders should behave. We must sometime create space for others especially the younger ones. Some of us have been in different offices in the past twenty years… We must learn to try business and wealth creation. Onwe is around”.
Senator Emmanuel Uzor Onwe has no doubt excelled in scholarship, charity, humility, discipline, diligence, agriculture, mentorship and service to God and humanity. From the testimony of the Governor of Ebonyi State in whose administration Onwe served and the deluge of hearty encomia that trail this divine gift to humanity and personification of excellence are clear signs that Onwe is a riddle that will be solvedled in time to come. Certainly, Senator Emmanuel Uzor Onwe’s best is yet to come!
Disclaimer: “The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Monday Eze, The Nigerian Voice Senior Correspondent, Abakaliki and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article.”
SOURCE :The Nigerian Voice (opinions)