Send Me To Serve: Anayo Edwin Nwonu On His Life Of Service

By Michael Oganyi-Okwor
Rt. Hon. Anayo Edwin Nwonu
Rt. Hon. Anayo Edwin Nwonu

William Shakespeare, many years ago, had encouraged men and women aspiring to great height to be bold and courageous. He said, “Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” Mark Twain also admonished men of ambition to “Keep away from people who try to belittle their ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great (people) make you feel that you, too, can become great” because as Albert Feinstein puts it, “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” Indeed, it is envy that gathers the mud which failure throws at success.

Anayo Edwin Nwonu, a Two-Time Member of the House of Representatives, National Assembly, Abuja, representing Ezza North/Ishielu Federal Constituency of Ebonyi State, is a man whose journey to prominence and public service, no doubt has not been a bed of roses. He could actually be said to be a man of destiny. He is a man whose compassion for human soul, his philanthropy and openness has no boundary. Yet he remains one of the most underrated and unsung. But being underrated is one of the signs of known great men in history. Raph Waldo Emerson raised a rhetorical question many years ago: “Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood or (underrated)? Pythagoras was misunderstood and/or underrated, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood or (underrated).”

Participants in the Agri-Business Training Programme of Rt. Hon. Anayo Edwin-Nwonu in session on 30th September, 2021.

But in about Six Years (6) years representation of the people of Ezza North/Ishileu and entire Ebonyi people in the House of Representatives, Hon. Edwin Nwonu has proved not to be an undergo. Indeed, he has been described by many of his constituents as the only man with visible presence in the House of Representatives in the history of representation of that Constituency. He has become household name not only in his constituency but in the State of Ebonyi. In fact, the perception about Edwin Nwonu is a clear indication that people are beginning to understand a young man who rose to prominence just by a stroke of destiny and has refused to disappoint God and humanity. Like many heroes in history, he has been building a profile that both the elites and the ordinary people in the street understand are signs of greatness without media frenzy. The history of the world is full of such stories of great men and women who were born and dedicated their life to the service of humanity and at the end, left their names on the sands of sound history and they are remembered not for their houses, cars, industries or other primitive material acquisitions. They are remembered for their impacts in human capacity development and inspiration to others in the society. Kemal Attatuck of Turkey, Pandit Nehru of India, Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania and even Obafemi Awolowo and most recently, Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria. They were men known for their political sagacity, social engineering and service to the human society.

When Edwin Anayo Nwonu joined politics in 2010, having returned to Ebonyi from Bayelsa State where he was carrying out a private business, his level of participation and commitment left nobody in doubt that he was a man of vision, character, focus and determination to change the society he lives for better. A public administrator by profession, Hon. Edwin Anayo was elected through the goodwill and support of the people of Ezza North and Ishileu into the House of Representatives in the 2015 general elections. He went to Abuja carrying on his shoulder, the a responsibility to the people of the Constituency, a mandate he cherished with the greatest honour.

For this reason, he began from day one in the National Assembly to ensure that the needs of those who put him in the Hallowed Chambers formed the menu of his daily activities in the Chambers and oversight functions. It is no surprise that he has achieved so much in few years in comparison to his predecessors. The scorecard here is just a few examples and counting: it is on record that Hon. Edwin donated drugs worth hundreds of thousands of naira during Cholera Outbreak in Ezza North; paid medical bills worth hundreds of thousands of Naira for indigent constituents who could not afford their bills after discharge; constructed the hitherto impassable 1km Onu-Nwitecha Road that linked many communities in Ezza North L.G.A; constructed three (3) box culverts with concrete side drains along Ndufu, Integration, Onunwachi, Igbudu Road. He attracted over 10km Rural Agricultural Road projects across some wards in Ezza North and Ishielu L.G.As; Constructed 2km kilometer of fully Asphalted road in the constituency. Constructed motorized boreholes in some locations in Ishielu and Ezza North L.G.As and constructed ( a total of 43) Hand-pump boreholes in all the twenty-Seven wards that make up the constituency. He distributed customized exercise books to pupils in various primary schools in Ishielu and Ezza North L.G.As. He distributed over one hundred Motorcycles to youths and the needy in all the wards in Ezza North and Ishielu L.G.As.

Handover of school desks and instructional materials provided by Rt. Hon. Anayo Edwin-Nwonu for Ebonyi pupils to School Heads on 30th September, 2021

Recently he gave out motorcycles to PDP Ward Chairmen in Ezza North and Ishielu L.G.As; distributed about eighteen Grinding Machines to women in the constituency. Distributed thirty Sewing Machines to women in the constituency; Constructed Electricity Sub-station for power supply to four communities in Ezza North L.G.A. Supported some communities in their community based electricity projects. He attracted vocational training and business empowerment for over Four hundred youths and women in the constituency through SMEDAN, PRODA and other agencies.

He built an ultra-modern ICT Centre at Imoha Comprehensive Secondary School as well as houses (two in number) for some indigent widows and youths. He facilitated federal employment for many (not less than 100) persons from Ezza North and Ishielu L.G.As. Constructed and renovated Class Room blocks in the two Local Government Areas that make up his constituency. He provided writing materials and 1600 school desks/ Chairs for schools in Ezza North/ Ishielu Federal Constituency.

Aside Constituency interventions, Hon Anayo was not silent in the Chambers of the House of Representatives as he either sponsored relevant Bills, Petitions or Motions or co-sponsored with other colleagues. Among others, he has the following to his credit:

Motion on the urgent need to provide public convenience in parks and public places in the FCT.

Motion for the enforcement of the prohibition of use of consultants in the assessment and collection of taxes in FCT, States and L.G.As.

Motion for the inclusion of fertility treatment in the National Health Policy

Co-sponsored the bill for the establishment of th South East Development Commission.

He has presented the following public petitions:
Petition for an investigation into the unwarranted retrenchment of Mr. Nworie Desmond Unara (from Umuoghara, Ezza North L.G.A) by NDLEA in 1994.

Customized exercise books and instructional materials provided for Ebonyi pupils by Rt. Hon. Anayo Edwin-Nwonu.

Petition for an investigation into the gruesome murder of one Mr. Chenedu Edu (from Ntezi in Ishielu L.G.A) by SARS, Enugu State.

Petition for public investigation of the gruesome murder of two brothers (from oriuzor in Ezza North L.G.A)in Port Harcourt, River State by Soldiers.

Hon. Edwin Anayo Nwonu has shown leadership through commitment to his people and humanity in general. If he could translate his vision to reality in Ezza North/Ishileu Federal Constituency in such a short while, it is evident that if given bigger shoes, he could tire the laces and work with it effectively.

HE HAS ASKED TO SERVE THE PEOPLE POF EBONYI IN 2023. It is time that Ebonyi people do consider this request because the Power belongs to the people. Anayo is a man who respects Elders and since 2010, many of the Founding Fathers and Elders of Ebonyi State from the three geopolitical zones have enjoyed close relationship with the Honourable Member. He is a man of the people.

It is evident in history that when God wants to liberate a people under bondage, He appoints from among them, a leader to lead the struggle. The Israelites lived in agony many years in Egypt under a vicious and wicked Pharaoh. God introduced the process that brought Moses to life and he became a leader to take them to the Promised Land. The story of Goliath and David in the Scripture was meant to show that it is not what someone says that matters but what God wants to do with a people. The most important point in that story was that no one can taunt the sovereign Lord of the universe. Until David came into the Israelite camp, there was no one who was willing to step out in faith and face the giant Goliath. However, David's faith was so strong that he was willing to believe that the Lord would go with him and enable him to defeat Goliath”. (1 Samuel 17: 36-37).

At this time in Ebonyi politics when everyone seem to be raptured by fear of intimidation and insecurity seemingly orchestrated against perceived enemies, Hon. Anayo Edwin has spoken out as a man who Fears only God and not the intimidation of a mortal. He is willing to confront the challenges of our time. Like David in the Bible, Anayo is standing up to defend and fight for the right of the people. This is the time to stand together to save a deprived people. HONOURABLE EDWIN ANAYO NWONU IS TELLING EBONYI THAT FOR EBONYI GUBER 2023, I AM HERE, SEND ME…

Oganyi-Okwor is a Veteran Journalist based in Enugu