By Chidi Emeagi
I am not given to writing praises for public figures but each time I did, I painstakingly paint an unusual picture of truth told as it were, even in the days of John the Baptist.
After Sen. Hope Uzodimma emerged governor of Imo State on January 14, 2020 and subsequently sworn-in the next day January 15th, a lot of people dismissed the regime with a wave of hand, insisting that such government was bound to fail because it had no men and women of honour to assist the new governor to possibly assemble a team that could deliver and probably win back the hearts of Ndimo.
But unknown to many, there was one man who had got so much experience, wisdom and knowledge to advise a governor whose emergence as at then was greeted with the highest degree of rejection by a number of Ndimo.
Immediately after Gov Uzodimma’s swearing in, Sir Barr. Nnamdi Anyaehie, a leading light in Nigeria’s political landscape and illustrious son of the famous Nkwere Opia egbe clan among a few others sat down with Sen. Hope Uzodimma after which some critical appointments were made with highly skilled, smart and distinguished personalities so appointed. Sir Barr. Nnamdi Anyaehie was picked by Gov Hope Uzodimma as the Chief of Staff, Government House Owerri saddled with the responsibility of coordinating the governor’s staff, as well as His Excellency’s personal and official engagements, Anyaehie hit the ground running with such candor, courage, vision and panache.
He is always eager, ever ready and available to serve his boss not minding his background as a great son of an eminent father. Nnamdi’s father, Sir John Richard Anyaehie of the Anyaehie Toyota Crown fame was during his time among the 10 richest men in West Africa. Late Sir John Anyaehie single-handedly built the magnificent edifice, the multi-billion naira Cathedral Church of SS Peter and John the Divine which is the headquarters of the Diocese of Orlu (Anglican Communion). He owned estates in Aba, Ghana, London, USA, etc and was famed for his unimaginable support for the have-nots until he died a few years.
So by all standard and evaluation, Sir Nnamdi Anyaehie is a multi-billionare but that he brushed aside and had continued to breathe fresh air into the shared prosperity government of Sen. Hope Uzodimma. At any forum where he is billed to represent the Governor, Chief Nnamdi Anyaehie unlike some of Uzodimma’s appointees does not project or market his personality. He will always present the governor first, his programmes and policies, and raps it up with an appeal to Ndimo to lend their support to a man who has come to re-design and re-model the eastern heartland.
Popularly known as Eze Umuokorobia, this Knight of St Christopher in the Anglican Communion prefers to leave the government with less fund in his pocket provided that greater number of Imolites are satisfied and pulled out of poverty. This apostle of brutal frankness always tells the governor the truth about the state of affairs and what are the thoughts of Ndimo as per the 3R administration of Gov Uzodimma.
One month ago, at the heart of the pension brouhaha in Imo state, the Chief of Staff had a meeting with Publishers of Imo based Newspapers, where he (Anyaehie) frankly told a chilling story and unraveled the controversies surrounding the pension system in the state. First, he pleaded with Ndimo through the visiting Publishers to give Gov. Uzodimma just two years and see if Imo will not compete with Ogun, Lagos, Akwaibom, etc. He revealed how some pensioners in Imo with the help of some fraud elements in the pension payroll system jerked up pension amounts to the extent that those who retired as teachers were pay-rolled with CONHESS, a salary structure meant for health workers thereby giving government heavy pension bill. This fact made previous administrations in Imo to shy away from pension payment.
Today, though a lot of pensioners are yet to be paid, but some of them have their arrears of several months cleared at a time, which was actually the message of assurance and hope Sir Nnamdi Anyaehie dropped with the Newspaper Publishers that truly fascinated them all.
The Chief of Staff as a lawyer of outstanding repute goes even out of his way spending his personal funds on some needs of the present government all in a bid to ensure his boss succeeds.
His humility is second to none, his approach to issues more mature than most people around Uzodimma and his passion unequalled such that he is so much loved by most people in Imo state.
This proud alumnus of Imo State University Owerri and other top ivory towers across the globe, lovely husband, Knight of the Anglican Church and exceptional father of seven, is indeed a blessing to Gov. Hope Uzodimma’s administration. He is not only occupying a strategic position in the engine room of the 3R government in Imo State but a team player who believes in action and good result.
Anyaehie has succeeded in being a unifying and rallying factor among all the aides of the governor and does not believe in cheap gossips and blackmail common among appointees of government, and this has singularly singled him out as a model among his contemporaries. Nnamdi Anyaehie is simply best described as a great son of an eminent father diligently, delightfully and cheerfully serving his boss (Dist. Sen. Hope Uzodimma) as Chief of Staff.