Senator Chimaroke Nnamani has been described as the father of the modern politics of Enugu State and a believer in the youth.
In a tribute on the occasion of the 60th birthday anniversary of Senator Nnamani, yesterday, the former Chief of Staff to Nnamani during his first tenure as the Governor of Enugu State, Mr Frank Nweke said that Nnamani was an erudite gentleman with the vision and commitment of mentoring a new generation of young leaders.
Mr Nweke, who is also a former Minister of Information and Communication, extolled Senator Nnamani as ‘an inclusive leader who extended his stewardship to all demographics and across socio-economic strata – women, children, people living with disabilities.’
He noted that Senator Nnamani was a committed believer in the rights, agency and dignity of women, a progressive boss and loyal friend, adding that he was ‘a man of great courage, a man of keen intellect, a counsellor, and a man of expansive generosity and nobility of spirit.’
Mr Nweke further described Senator Nnamani as a visionary, leader, mentor biologist, researcher, medical doctor and maternal-fetal surgeon, saying he was also a fellow of the American College of Gynecologists, a historian, philosopher, teacher, thought leader, critical thinker, mobilizer, political disruptor and servant of the people.
He also praised Senator Nnamani’s attribute as a charismatic leader who embraced different perspectives, independent thinking, dissent, and ideas, regardless of the age difference between him and his mentees and/or team, as well as a humble and accessible intellectual who constantly sought feedback and committed to course-correcting and improving his human flaws.
Nweke recalled that Senator Nnamani was elected Governor in 1999 at the age of 38, turning 46 years by the end of his second tenure in 2007 when he was first elected as a senator representing Enugu East Senatorial District.
In a well-worded statement, he said: ‘This is the man who not only invited me to the government in 1999 as a young man, green between the ears, he trained and mentored me, eventually appointing me his Chief of Staff and ultimately ‘donated’ me to Nigeria by nominating me for appointment as Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
‘We, his mentees, are where we are today, simply because he believed in us and offered us the platforms to develop our skills & hone our talents and serve our society.
‘He continues to nurture an entire generation of politicians in Enugu who have held sway at all levels, state and federal, from 1999 to date. It would be rare to find any number of politicians in Enugu who did not emerge either directly or indirectly via people who were nurtured and mentored by Senator Nnamani.
‘We are indebted to him for his mentorship. A lifetime is not enough to thank him for his faith in us, young and the political greenhorns that we were.
“As he turns a hearty 60 years old today, May 30, 2020, it is with great honour and gratitude to God for his life, that I share with the world, that this is my boss and mentor, founder of the Ebeano political-ideological family.
‘Kindly join me and indeed all his mentees- Governors, Senators, Ministers, Ambassadors
Representatives, Directors of Federal Parastatals, Commissioners, Local Government Chairmen, Advisers and Assistants, in praying for God’s blessings, good health, favour and protection upon his life. With best wishes for many more years in the service of mankind,’ he concluded.