NGIGE AT 59: A TRIBUTE
Senator Chris Nwabueze Ngige OON, former Governor of Anambra State and Senator representing Anambra Central senatorial District under the banner of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) was born on the 8th of August, 1952 into the family of Chief Pius(Akunnia) and Late Mrs Pricillia Ngige of Alor Town in Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Dr Chris Ngige, a member of Knight of St John's International is happily married to Dr (Mrs) Evelyn Ngige, a consultant paediatrician and the union is blessed with three children. He obtained the West African School Certificate (WASC) with distinction in 1972 and a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery Degree at the University of Nigeria in 1979, Diploma in Hospital management in Preshawar in 1990 and fellow of Pakistan Institute of Hospital Services.
Dr Ngige before, he became the Governor of Anambra State was the National President of Aka- Ikenga, an Igbo socio- cultural organisation. In 2003, Anambra State was faced with leadership challenges and there was unanimous call to change the leadership of the government of the State at that time through the ballot box. Dr Ngige was gunning for the Senate and out of sheer providence, he was elected the Governor of the State.
His determination to liberate the State from the firm grip of the parasitic political elite and economic vampires was phenomenal. Dr Ngige displayed uncommon resilience to the acclamation of the people of the State who had been traumatised and trivialised by the effete and sadistic leadership of the past.
The people of Anambra State received dividend of democracy especially in the areas of human and infrastructural development. Take for example, his success in road construction was enviable and remains a reference point. The civil servants were not left out as Ngige ensured regular payment of their salaries and clearance of the arrears of salaries. He put smiles on the faces of the pensioners who were once described as dead woods through regular payment and over 100% increment of their pensions.
The people of Anambra State were not found wanting in expressing their appreciation to the point of adulations and ululations to the man who put his life on line and sacrificed the exalted office of the Governor for their sake.
It may be pertinent to mention that the battle Ngige waged against these people who never wished the State well was not without casualties especially from those who out of sheer indiscretion and myopia failed to act within the ambit of the laws of the land. These enemies of the people having been fought to a standstill resorted into burning down the properties of the State as witnessed in November, 2005.
Today, Anambra State and Ndigbo in general are in a state of political quandary occasioned by lacklustre leadership. It is lamentable that Anambra State that produced such pre-eminent people as in Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Dr Nwafor Orizu, Sir Louis Mbanefo, Sir Louis Ojukwu, his indefatigable son, Emeka Ojukwu, Dr Alex Ekwueme, Jerome Udorji, Mokwugo Okoye, Cardinal Francis Arinze, Chuba Okadigbo, Philip Emegwali to mention but some is gradually nose-diving into political oblivion. Anambra people and by extension Ndigbo yearn for a purposeful and an altruistic leader. A leader who is proud of his origin without being tribalistic and who enjoys large followership to enable him enjoy the support of his people, carry them along and re-integrate them into the national politics.
It was in view of these identifiable problems that Dr Chris Ngige with his outstanding courage, astuteness, doggedness and experience was adjudged most appropriate to represent the Anambra Central senatorial zone hence his election into the senate notwithstanding the mountainous bottleneck placed on his way to the senate.