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Ike Ekweremadu: An Embodiment of Experience, Competence and Wisdom

Source: pointblanknews.com
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By Kendy Ovbiebo
A colleague of mine asked me to examine the Nigerian senators in a cursory

manner to determine if they match up with their United States

counterparts. This came up when we were arguing about the effectiveness of

lawmakers in the United States. During my mini research, I stumbled into

plethora of information on one Nigerian senator, Senator Ike Ekweremadu,

the Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate. As I was reading up on him,

three major things kept coming up, experience, competence, wisdom, as well

as being the most detribalized Nigerian, who sees it as his moral

obligation to uplift people and empower them to lift themselves off of

poverty.
How did I come to this conclusion of a man I have never met? I read

everything I could get my hands on. I read what people have written about

him, including what his detractors wrote. I subjected every story to

strict scrutiny and found that Ekweremadu is a rare senator in Nigeria. It

is a fact that he gave scholarships to people. For Ekweremadu to award

22.3m Scholarships to 525 students is commendable. It is a fact that he

established education-related programs and projects for people to empower

themselves. Most importantly, his fetish for education is to provide

people the opportunity to attain their highest level of education. Without

this opportunity, many would have stopped at level that would force them

to live in perpetual poverty. Ekweremadu himself is a life-long learner.

His recent completion of his doctor of philosophy program is a powerful

testament to his philosophy.
Similarly, Ekweremadu has the Ikeoha Foundation that promotes and funds

his humanitarian projects in communities around Enugu State. He has

attracted enormous federal programs and projects to the people in the form

of health centers, roads, rural electrification, as well as other projects

he has personally funded to make life better for his people. Here, in the

United States, senators work hard to attract federal presence in their

respective constituencies. The more seniority you have in the Senate, the

larger the piece of the pie you bring home. As a result, most senators are

reelected over and over again by their state to allow them membership on

powerful committees. In addition, based on their seniority, they may

become chairs of committees, a position every senator wants. Suffice to

say that longevity in office breeds experience and experience breeds

competence. Senator Ike Ekweremadu is the type of senator many in the

United States would want. For instance, the “roads and development

projects you see around Awgu, Oji-River, Ezeagu, Aninri, and many parts of

Enugu and the South East came courtesy of the quality representation” of

Ike Ekweremadu—this type of representation is what every constituency

wants.
Ekweremadu's work ethic could be seen in the number and quality of

legislations he has shepherded in the senate. Like me, he does not look at

thinks from the tribal lenses. He works hard to preserve Nigeria utilizing

his competent knowledge in lawmaking. He is a trustworthy and honest

legislator. As the Chairman of the Governing Council of the National

Institute for Legislative Studies, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, said, “The

legislators cannot afford to fall short of being worthy of their mandates

and the trust reposed in them and it is in light of their great

responsibility that the National Institute for Legislative Studies was

established with the mandate of supporting and strengthening the

legislature in pursuit of the ideals of democracy through research,

training, legislative support, advocacy and networking. He also said that

the partnership between NILS and University of Benin is a testament of the

Institute's achievements and growing relevance.”
Senator Ike Ekweremadu has always been a bridge builder; he brings people

together from different backgrounds and communities for a common goal—for

a common purpose of unifying the country while representing his

constituency in particular and Nigeria in general effectively. He knows

that the job of a public servant is one that never ends, so he constantly

and continuously sharpens his legislative skills. Without a doubt,

Ekweremadu has the skills, sense of duty, the integrity, and above all he

has pragmatic leadership qualities to move us forward—to carry everyone

along. So why would one want to change a good leader who embodies

experience, competence, and wisdom at a time our country needs such a

person most? It is therefore essential that Ekweremadu should remain in

the Senate to work with President Jonathan to move the country forward.

After all he has a successful track record and in-depth knowledge of how

to get the job done. Indeed, Ekweremadu is an inspiration to most of us.

Kendy Ovbiebo, an auditor, writes from Seattle, Washington State.

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