Anayo Edwin-nwonu: A Man Of Grace At 46.

By Ebonyi First Movement
Rt. Hon Anayo Peter Edwin-Nwonu
Rt. Hon Anayo Peter Edwin-Nwonu

On 12th October 1975, a man evidently under God's grace, Rt. Hon Anayo Peter Edwin-Nwonu (a.k.a. ANATEX) was born to the family of Late Chief Edwin Nwonu in the pastoral community of Nduwhu Ekka in the present Ezza North LGA of Ebonyi State. Little Anayo's educational career began at Central School, Onueke where he had his primary education between 1983 and 1988. His post-primary education began at Ezza High School, Onueke in 1988 and was rounded off at Community Secondary School, Izzikworo where he obtained his Senior Secondary Certificate in 1993. He later capped his academic career up in 2011 with a Bachelor's degree in Public Administration at the prestigious University of Portharcourt in Rivers State.

Within the interlude between his secondary and university education, Anayo Edwin-Nwonu enrolled into the famous Igbo business apprenticeship scheme at the Building Materials Market, Fegge, Onitsha. Upon graduation in 1998, Anayo Edwin-Nwonu's business calculations directed him to the newly created Bayelsa State. He moved into Bayelsa State and started his building materials supplies, construction and general contracts businesses under the flagship of Anatex Multi-Links Nigeria Limited in Yenegoa. A man under God's grace, Anayo Edwin-Nwonu soon connected with the mainstream economic drivers of Bayelsa State and became a known name within Bayelsa business circles as well as the rallying point for non-indigenous people in the state. At this point, Anatex became the leader, a pillar of encouragement and an intercessor for the Igbo community in Bayelsa State. In this capacity, Anayo Edwin-Nwonu provided basic logistics to ensure hitch-free adaptation of visitors and National Youth Service Corps members posted from the Southeast, especially, Ebonyi State to Bayelsa State. As Anayo Edwin-Nwonu's goodwill grew, so did his political relevance even in distant Bayelsa. Above all, God who sees the heart of men graciously blessed and prospered the works of Anatex's hands. Anatex diversified into paint production and paint distribution in 2005; and expanded the geographical scope of his businesses beyond Bayelsa State and the Niger-Delta. Amidst all these blessings, youthful Anayo Edwin-Nwonu shunned pride and exuberances. Rather, he wore his trademark humility like a robe and followed all men with peace. God increased His graces over Anatex.

With a philosophy which holds that "Anything that cannot be given is lost", Anayo Edwin-Nwonu expanded the scope, quantum and quality of his investment into humanity as from 2008: Anatex constantly paid "succour visits" to motherless babies' homes; sponsored free medical outreaches for the aged/less privileged and initiated medical amnesty through which he secured the release of those discharged but detained in medical facilities for unpaid medical bills; and initiated scholarship programmes for indigent but gifted children. To strengthen the bond of his Ezza Ezekuna people, Anayo Edwin-Nwonu donated and sponsored the annual Ezza Ezekuna Unity Cup. He equally repackaged and sponsored the annual flagship wrestling match of his Ekka Community known as Mgba Ekka into a formidable tourist attraction. Anayo Edwin-Nwonu equally mentored many young men and provided them start-up capitals and other logistics to start businesses.

These and other leadership intervention programmes opened the eyes of Ebonyi people to the great leadership qualities of Anayo Edwin-Nwonu, hence they persuaded him for three good years to join politics. In 2009, Anayo Edwin-Nwonu yielded to to the request of his people: He joined politics; contested the National Assembly ticket for Ezza North/Ishielu Federal Constituency under People's Democratic Party, PDP in 2010 and came an impressive second. In 2012, Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State appointed Anayo Edwin-Nwonu as Special Adviser to the Governor of Bayelsa State on Non-indigenes Affairs. Anatex later resigned the position in 2014, recontested the election into the House of Representatives to represent Ezza North/Ishielu Federal Constituency in 2015 and won. He was re-elected into the National Assembly in 2019 and became the Chairman of the House Committee on Reformatory Institutions! A silent achiever and man under God's graces, Anayo Edwin-Nwonu, a unique leader, has consistently and quietly put his position at the services of his people, allowing his achievements and the testimonies of his constituents to speak for him. He facilitated the employment of several youths from his constituency in choice federal establishments; and attracted road and electricity projects in Ezza North LGA, small town water projects, classroom blocks and instructional materials in Ezza North and Ishielu LGAs and water boreholes in all the 27 wards in his constituency. Anatex has continued his free medicare outreaches and hospital amnesty programme at higher scales, providing medical services for the aged and underprivileged at no costs and setting those detained in medical facilities for unpaid bills free and giving them funds to start new lives. Each of the town union leaders in the 30 communities and PDP chairmen in the 27 wards in Ezza North/Ishielu Federal Constituency have brand new motorcycles and other incentives from this unique federal legislator. Anayo Edwin-Nwonu's scholarship programme and post-Covid-19 special grants for indigent students have saved many budding professionals' educational careers and made him an icon in the student community in Ebonyi State. Anatex while working hard on his mandate where he has sponsored bills, moved many motions and presented petitions of his constituents, has continued to pay due obeisance and respect to elders, traditional rulers and stakeholders of Ebonyi State. Hundreds of youths and women have periodically been trained on skills and "agro-preneurship" and provided with tools, fertilizers and funds to enable them pursue economic independence through businesses and agriculture. A man for whom nothing is too big to be given out, Anayo Edwin-Nwonu has commissioned modern bungalows he donated to his constituents while others are under construction.

For all these and more, Anayo Edwin-Nwonu was voted "The Best Federal Legislator from Ebonyi State" in 2017; and is the first politician in the history of Ebonyi State to win an "Award for Non-violent Approach to Politics" from youths of Ebonyi State in 2021. Anatex has equally become a rallying point in Ebonyi State, a human phenomenon of sorts and a man of the people whose leadership style is envied by all. In Ebonyi State, Anatex has become a bold and unique political brand coveted by all political parties and looked upon to take up the mantle of Ebonyi leadership in the coming dispensation. Anayo Edwin-Nwonu, a husband of one wife and quintessential family head is married to his rib, Christian, and the union is blessed with promising children.

As this man of peace and tremendous goodwill ambassador, Anayo Edwin-Nwonu, turns 46, the entire members of Ebonyi First Movement join his family, teeming supporters and Ebonyi people to congratulate him and pray God to quicken the manifestation of Ebonyi people's desire for him in the days ahead.

Happy birthday, Rt. Hon. Anayo Edwin-Nwonu! Truly, the grace of God upon you is not in vain.