By Jude Ndukwe
When on Christmas Day of 1970, Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji was born, it became a double celebration not only for his parents but also for humanity as the significance of such a day is not lost on the world.
51 years on, Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji, the Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly has been so helped by God that he has carved a niche for himself as a highly respected political leader, philanthropist and mentor in Abia State and beyond.
From the religious to the traditional institutions, youth and women groups, political and social organisations, Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji has made his marks and greatly impacted humanity.
For example, since being first elected into the Abia State House of Assembly in 2015, the Speaker who is popularly called Ikuku Oma Abia because of his relentless philanthropic gestures has continued to embark on projects directly touching the lives of the people through his Direct Touch Initiative. Such projects include:
* Provision of water boreholes and water reticulation of communities
* Provision of water boreholes to schools
* Reroofing, fencing and regrassing of schools
* Provision of modern toilets to schools
* Provision of electricity transformers to communities
* Scholarship to indigent students
* Free eye medical outreach for constituents
* Renovation and equipping of health centres
* Ongoing building of mini stadiums at Isieke, St Stephen’s Primary School, Umuahia, Ubakala, Olokoro, Ikwuano and Umuopara
* Ongoing attracting and construction of road projects to constituency
* Gifting of cars, sewing machines, power generating sets, grinding machines, cash, barbing clippers, tricycles, household items etc as empowerment items to Abians
* Sponsorship of ICT training programme for youths
* Offer of automatic employment to the needy and disabled, among others.
To underline the importance and impact these projects are making on individuals and communities, The Sun Publishing Ltd, publishers of Daily Sun, Saturday Sun and Sunday Sun, after what it described as a rigorous process, selected the Abia Speaker as winner of its Public Service Award 2020, an award which was presented to him at an epoch making event that held on Saturday October 16, 2021, at the Expo Convention Centre of the prestigious Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
In the same vein, religious and traditional institutions, youth, women and sociopolitical groups, have been giving awards and conferring chieftaincy titles on the Speaker in recognition of his contributions to human capital and infrastructural development of the State, the latest coming from the pinnacle of the State’s traditional institution when he was conferred with ‘Ubazuoke Nke Ndi Abia’ by His Royal Majesty, Eze Ndubuisi J. Nwabeke, Eze Amara 1 of Eziama Ntigha Ancient Kingdom and Chairman of the Abia State Council of Traditional Rulers.
Apart from overseeing the transformation of the Abia State House of Assembly Complex to a world class edifice, the Speaker has also deployed his leadership skills in ensuring that the House works harmoniously among members for the sake of the state and her people despite comprising lawmakers of different political parties with divergent opinions and ideologies. This has also given rise to a mutually supportive and collaborative relationship between the Executive and the Legislative Arms of Government without one compromising its independence for the other, hence, the resultant political tranquility that is a prerequisite for the development of any society.
The courage and commitment exhibited by members of the House in passing quality and people oriented laws, motions and resolutions, sometimes being the first to do so among other State Houses of Assembly in the entire federation, like in the case of the Abia State Diaspora Commission Law, has earned the 7th Abia State House of Assembly under the leadership of Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji the enviable tag of ‘House of quality and many firsts’
Indeed, Abians are thankful to God for gifting them a man like Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji through the noble family of Senator T.A. Orji and his delectable wife, and as he marks his 51st birthday today, Abians from all walks of life have continued to pray for him and wish him a happy birthday, long life, prosperity and many happy returns of the day.