The tales of good governance follow a bespoke pattern; that of laudable achievements, people-focused leadership, and economic development.
In the Nigerian politico-socio-economic landscape, one of the foremost Nigerian governors whose achievements, memories and legacies are still firm, evergreen and resounding is Dr Achike Udenwa (Onwa), a former executive governor of Imo State between 1993 to 2007, under the umbrella of the People’s Democratic Party(PDP), and a former Minister of Commerce and Industry in Nigeria.
The Orlu born politician is a man with natural gifts and capacity for leadership and political service whose entrance in Imo corridors of power reversed the epileptic economic order existing in Imo state then to a buoyant, private sector-driven economy which brought about enterprise, productivity, progress and discipline into the business of governance. He breathed a healthy air into the Imo state economy and entrenched peace and progress in Imo, thereby attracting many investors, organizations, festivals and games of various dimensions who saw Imo as a home of rest, tranquillity and security.
Gov. Udenwa embarked on projects and voyages which are yet unwilted but very much functional and beneficial to Imo people and have contributed exceedingly to the modern Imo we are enjoying today. It is a deeply satisfying pleasure to take you down memory lane to some of the historic achievements of Dr Achike Udenwa which are still very visible and advantageous to Imolites; He built the Imo State Secretariat, he built and developed the only Imo International Market situated in Orlu, the Imo State University Teaching Hospital Orlu, Nekede Exclusive Gardens, Songhai Agricultural Redemption Center Nekede, numerous asphalted and long kilometer road networks which are still in use today amongst other achievements.
Dr Achike Udenwa, the Founder and one time Chairman of South East Governors Forum is a highly educated man and remarkable Nigerian politician, a cool headed detailed leader and a Christian to the core. His winnings made well respected institutions to honour him with Honorary Doctorate Degrees for his academic and intellectual undertakings and exploits. Traditional institutions as well as numerous communities honoured and decorated him with deserving chieftaincy titles for his unquantifiable inputs in community development and nation building. He is a gifted proficient writer with published intellectual works to his credit including The Nigeria/Biafra war: My Experience amongst others.
Humility, transparency and discipline are his stock-in-trade, little wonder he introduced a deep rooted discipline and service transparency in Imo state civil service. Civil servants were duly paid and underwent series of training during his regime. It is appalling that these things are no more obtainable presently. We therefore urge our present leaders to borrow a leaf from this gentle but proactive and courageous leader.
Speaking of the inestimable values of Gov. Udenwa, foremost industrialist, economist and erstwhile member of the Federal House of Representatives representing Ideato North and South constituency, The Hon. Dr. ThankGod Ezeani (Ogbaturuenyi), posited that Gov. Udenwa as an astute leader and grandfather of Imo politics. Dr. Ezeani held further that Gov. Udenwa knows power, understands it, and never abuses it, even in the face of unwanted attacks and humiliation. “He was skillful and magnanimous in victory.”, the economist concluded.
Beyond Imo State, Governor Udenwa as a federal minister of Commerce and Industry remained productive and vocal in the commercial and industrialization matters of Nigeria. His landmark impacts helped to shape the face of the ministry as well as introduced the yardstick of excellence for his successors. Indeed Dr Achike Udenwa is a great leader per excellence and deserves accolades for the transformation, reorientation, development and higher civilization he brought to Imo state.
✍🏻 Nnadozie, is the DG, Ezeani Media Center.