Celebrating Dr Chris Ngige At 62

KayCee
By KayCee August 11, 2014 07:42

Chris Nwabueze Ngige, representative of Anambra Central Senatorial District in the Senate, turned 62 last Friday. Onwa, as he is fondly called, was born on August 8, 1952.  He became a political figure in Nigeria after winning the 2003 gubernatorial election in Anambra State, where he fought a good fight and refused to give up on his mandate when certain powers that felt they saw to his governorship success, wanted to kick him out of office through  Kangaroo approach.

Onwa did not succumb to their gimmicks. He fought back as the man he is, although diplomatically. Anambra became a very hot place occasioned by political demagogues and traducers alike, when Ngige was in the office as governor.

The newspapers made him headlines on daily basis, because each day that came had Ngige and his traducers in the news. While his tormentors exhibited their retinue of aides and large collection of cars and were after him, Ngige showed mettle and used his brain more than his mouth.

Nigerians were thrown into the ice when in July 2003, a sitting governor in the person of Ngige was abducted and was forced with a gun on his throat to sign a letter that he would cease to be governor. Nigerians did not go far to look for who orchestrated the plan. Fingers were immediately pointed at a quarter.

When Ndi-Anambra thought all of that was enough as their state was like the menace experienced from Boko Haram today in the North East, thugs in 2004, who were armed with munitions to the teeth, descended on the Government House, Awka, and parts of the expensive and expansive lodges were significantly touched. This was too much for Nigerians to bear. The presidency was mute, as if in total support of those who were against Ngige.

It was heavy on Ngige that he nearly did not know what to do, but he never gave up. He battled at the court that the ‘resignation letter’ be thrown out. The news that worried Nigerians much was that while the urchins went for killing and destruction spree at the Government House where Ngige was the governor, the police people on guard duty were only mopping while the hoodlums had a field day.

Ngige wept as many people were killed during the subsequent attacks and organised restiveness that ensued. The same man who was denying being the brain behind the attacks on Ngige, reportedly granted an interview to Human Rights Watch at his Enugu residence in February 2007; and the following lines were his comments: “I have been in politics from 1999 and even before, but 2003 is the time I produced a Governor for the State. Since that 2003, I have been handling the party—the PDP-—and we have been doing well and we did not have any problem in the party.

“When he (Ngige) became Governor he started playing funny. That is where we disagree. We signed before he became governor. We said that I am going to produce [appoint]six to seven Commissioners. He is going to produce [some]because he is governor already. I am going to produce more; he is going to produce lesser… I spent a lot of money to put him there but I never asked him for my money back…”

Ngige moved on but in March 2006, a Federal Court of Appeal ruled that Ngige’s 2003 election victory was falsified and hence null and void. This brought the frigid relationship between Ngige and his traducers to an end. Mr. Peter Obi of the opposition

All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) was Ngige’s replacement, as he produced what analysts had called quantum confirmation of electoral fraud against Ngige.

Ngige was again there in the 2007 elections. One of the Ubas, Andy Uba, who enjoyed the presidency’s  support was full of smiles when the names of Obi and Ngige were missing from the ballot box. (Others on that issue are history).

Senator Chris Nwabueze Ngige graduated from the University of Nigeria-Nsukka in 1979. He is a medical doctor by profession, and served in National Assembly and State House clinics at different times as a civil servant, and retired in 1998 as a Deputy Director in the Federal Ministry of Health. He was governor of Anambra State from 29th May 2003 to 17th March 2006 with records of indelible footsteps on the soil of Anambra. Between 1999 to 2006, Senator Ngige was a member of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), of which he was a founding member, as well the Assistant National Secretary and Zonal Secretary of PDP in the South East in 1999.

Nigerians know that Ngige has fought many political battles. Like the rave during his tango with Uba, his contest with Professor Dora Akunyili (now late) in the 2011 Anambra Central senatorial election, was  outstanding. There were speculations that Akunyili would win Ngige since she enjoyed Obi’s anointing, but Ngige carpeted her at the election ground and at the different courts where she dragged him to.

When he came back for the state’s governorship election on November 16, 2014 on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, he was not successful this time as Mr. Willie Obiano of  APGA stole the show.

It would, therefore, behoove  Ngige to quit the stage when the ovation is high, lest he drags the faces of millions of his fans and admirers that cut across the world in the mud.

nOnwumere writes from Rivers State. Tel: 08032552855. Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com

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KayCee
By KayCee August 11, 2014 07:42