Aso Wenah: An Insider’s Account Unveiling The Unsung Philanthropist And Pivotal Force Behind The Amaechi School Of Politics And philosophy16 min read
By Eze Chukwuemeka Eze
Some heroes such as Hon. Asondu Wenah Temple are unsung, for the mere fact that they focus on doing what they are doing so as to achieve specific results for others while playing down on issues pertaining themselves. When it becomes imperative that I unveil to the entire world Hon. Aso Wenah, one of the most trusted aides and allies of Rt. Hon. Chibhike Rotimi Amaechi, the erstwhile Governor of Rivers State and incumbent Minister of Transportation, two great quotes from two great minds came to my mind: Maya Angelou with Hon. Wenah in mind stated and I quote, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”. This great Amaechi disciple whose principle of life is stewed in living his life for others is in tandem with the belief of Maya Angelou.
Orison Swett Marden on the other hand while emulating Maya Angelou described this great but unsung son of Rivers State thus, “There is no investment you can make which will pay you so well as the effort to scatter sunshine and good cheer through your establishment”. Asondu is a fellow who believes that you can only be helped when you help others out of their problems.”
One of the unique principles of Amaechi as a seasoned administrator is his belief in building the youths of Nigeria and assigning to them responsibility to prove themselves as the future leaders of this country. He exhibited it through his educational policy where he not only approved scholarship but sponsored most of them to study professional courses outside Nigeria. Amaechi also craves for younger ones to enjoy what was not possible for him; unlike many leaders who find it difficult to see younger ones enjoy what eluded them.
The fact remains that Amaechi, no matter the thinking of anybody, is an Institution as far as Nigerian politics is concerned; a man who out of nothing but by divine grace and influence has become a rallying point for the unity, greatness, and brighter future for Nigeria and Nigerians.
In order for us to understand and appreciate the impact, import and role that Hon. Asobdu Wenah has played and is playing in making this Institution (Amaechi) one of the most remarkable and outstanding Political Institutions in Nigeria one needs to explain how Amaechi is an Institution.
THE MAIN AIM OF THIS TREATISE
An Institution is assumed to mean a place or schools through which leaders are trained to enable them occupy sensitive leadership positions in their place or places of work or country. In Nigeria particularly in Rivers State there exist such an Institution that have trained and turn out great and creditable leaders that it will be out of place for us not to expose such a school and the force and forces behind its greatness. That is the main aim of this treatise.
FIRST, HOW IS AMAECHI AN INSTITUTION?
Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, a humanist, administrator par excellence, visionary, egalitarian mentor, radical giant, a respected pragmatist and exemplary leader, was twice the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly (1999-2007); Chairman, Conference of Speakers of State Houses of Assembly in Nigeria (1999 – 2000), Governor of Rivers State (2007 – 2015), and two-time Chairman of the Governors’ Forum in Nigeria from 2011 to 2015. A winner of several awards including the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON), he successfully led the Presidential Campaign Organization of President Muhammadu Buhari to victory both in 2015 and in 2019, a feat never before achieved in any party of Africa for an individual to lead a Presidential Campaign Organization to two victories back to back.
In his capacity as the Minister for Transportation of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he has redefined the transportation system in Nigeria with gigantic and unique feats uncommon in the rail system in the country. His plot to link up most key State capitals in Nigeria through rail system is a feat that has changed the thinking of many Nigerians towards the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari of which he played a pivotal role to influence his victory both in 2015 and the 2019 general elections.
Testifying about Amaechi through his Media Aide, Mallam Shehu Garba, the Nigeria President, General Muhammadu, stated and I quote: “As the Minister of Transportation turns 55, President Buhari believes that Amaechi’s investments in the development of Rivers State, and current efforts in building infrastructure across the country, will always be remembered by posterity. The President urged him to stay focused on the larger picture of working to improve lives. The President also extols Amaechi for his willingness to make sacrifices and support the governing party, APC, recalling with appreciation, the major role he played in the 2015 and 2019 presidential elections, and his continuous contributions to promote peace and unity of purpose. President Buhari prays that the almighty God will position the Director General of his Presidential Campaigns for greater glory, and grant him more opportunities to serve the country and humanity.”
Other worthy minds also spoke; one of them is Prof. Nelson Brambaifa who said: “To a steadfast and energetic achiever, a serial record breaker, a higher goal setter; may your days be long and full of unprecedented achievements.”
Today in the politics of Nigeria no matter the stands of some pessimists, Amaechi with the above staggering feats is an Iroko and Institution. Affirming this belief two great Nigerians: Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Prof.Wole Soyinka stated thus, “Rt.Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi is the Commander and General of the Common sense revolution army that defeated a sitting President, he is a wonder boy!” – Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu while the otherhand the Laurent. Prof Wole Soyinka stated and I quote, “Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi is the most courageous Nigerian I have ever seen, he is tactful, fearless, reliable, workaholic, honest and blunt.
While those of us that knew his capability and commitment towards raising great and astounding leaders describe him as the Lion of Niger Delta region a region comprising of about nine States and to many other Nigerians he is the Bridge Builder unites and connect the entire tribes and Sections of this country into a virile and vibrant force. Now that the Institutionalism of Amaechi is established, let me therefore use this opportunity to expose and highlight the very few Lecturers and Students that have passed through this Institution before presenting the amiable, indefatigable, unsung and gentle Registrar of this Institution, Hon. Asondu Wenah Temple.
SOME OF THE LECTURERS AND GRADUANDS OF AMAECHI SCHOOL OF POLITICS:
Though, it is difficult for one to claim to have graduated from this school that has produced many timbers and shakers of our politics both within and outside Nigeria as there is always a new dimension or area of study to most of the committed and honest students of the school. The fact remains not minding any contradictory opinion the following great minds can boast that they have made a reasonable impact on his political philosophy as they have either lectured or graduated in flying colours from the school.
The most remarkable figures were:
Chief Nyesom Wike, Senator Magnus Abe, Igo Aguma, Chief Austin Opara, Engr. Tele Ikuru, Chief Uche Secondus, Hon. Marcus Nle Eji, Hon. Chidi Wihioka, Hon. Allwell Onyeso, Barr Worgu Boms, Chief Tony Okocha. Though some of these great politicians who either lectured or graduated successfully have gone ahead to other political schools or established their own brand of political school totally away from the principles that were handed to or bestowed on them during their stay in AMAECHI School of Politics.
Others who have continued to lecture and study in the school are include:
Senator Andrew Uchendu, Dr Dakuku Peterside, Ambassador Oji Nyiemenuate Ngofa, Chief Sam Sam Jaja, Prof Henry Ugboma, Dr George Tolofari, Pastor Tonye Patrick Cole, Dr Chidi Julius Lloyd, Dr. Davies H. Sokonte, Prince Tonye Princewill, Ibim Sementari, Prof Onwunari Abraham Georgewill, Prof Steve Okodudu, Hon Ike Chinwo, Dame Aleruchi Cookey-Gam, Chief Victor Giadom, Chief Asita O Asita, Dr Ibiamu Davies Ikanya. Ambassador Dr Maureen Tamuno, Aso Wenah (Registrar), Chief Kingsley Wali, Dr Oyirinda Chris Amadi (PhD), Akpobari Celestine, Chizi Nyeomasila K, Rt Hon Leyii Kwanee, Dawari George, Emma Chindah, Fubara Imangimama, James George Fuayefika, Okey Amadi, Emeka Nwogu, Henry Ogiri, Charles Anyanwu, Ishmael Singarr, Lawrence Chukwu (PhD), Ojukaye flag Amachree, Azubuike Byke Wanjoku, Chikode Dike, David Okumagba, Sunny Ogbowo, Achi William-Wobodo, Chris Finebone, Lucky Omenka, Zuby Dike, Reginald Okuoma, Ambros Nwize, and Kennedy Ebeku.Hon. George Ukwuomanwogba, Dr Dabota Jumbo, Chief Dr Mike Nwlieghai, Lady Christie Obiaruko Ndukwe, Barr. Forgiven Amachree, Barr Chizy Enyi, Chief Alex Wele,Hon. Ordnance Odinakachi, Prof Andrew Efemini, Barr. Achi Godwin William-Wobodo, Hon. Omenka, Barr Enyi Chizy, Hon. Ordinance Odinkachi, Chief Fortune Oguru.
The list is long but also includes Chief Chibuike Ikenga, Dr. Victoria Nyeche, Bright Jacob, Irene Inimgba, Kieran Wobodo, Ezemonye Ezekiel Amadi, Hon. Marshall Isreal, Apostle Eugene Ogu, Nyema Wele, Wele, Theodore Georgewill, Emeka Beke, Tekena Flag Amachree, Mike Igonima, Francis Elechi, Uche Okwukwu, Nancy Ijaopo Stevens, Joe Poroma, Fubara Imangs, Henry Halliday, Chukwudi Dimkpa, Sunday Amangi, Allison Anderson, Martins Manna, Lucky Worluh, Godstime Orlukwu, Lucky Odili, Henry Odili, Gift Okere, Prof Imegi, , Bekks Dagogo-Jack, Ode ThanksGod, Batam Ndegwe, , Chris Oboh, Eric Apiah, Felix Nwabochi, Bisi Nwankwo, and Ogbonna Nwuke, Barr Isaac Ogbogbula.
The list is endless but I will not fail to mention the following great graduates of the school: Chief Ambrose Nwuzi, Collyns Owhondah, Opubo West, Awara Biokpomabo, Kingsley Owhondah, Chikaodi Dike, Caroline Nagbo, Austin Ahiamadu, Bestman Amadi, Captain Akarolo, Felicia Tanen, Mike Awalanta Ejire, Ngozi Yagbs Abu, Mohammed Bello Koko, Fortune Oguru, Collins Ordu, Sydney Nyeche, Chimenem N. Wali, Barr Chizi Woko, Chief Nelson Wali, Hon Francis Eleto, Hon Emeka Woko, Ihunda Mbata, Control Asobi, Kerian Nwobodo, Bestman Amadi, Akul Georgewil, Edwin Oludi, Dr Ugo Ugorji, Lax Damabara, Erima Peterside, Amachree, Arisky Alabere, Achi W. Freddy Ichego, Chris Nworgwu, Peter Emejuru (PhD), Sunny Dike, Eberechi Wagbara, Chris Obasiolu, Edwin Oludi, Emeka Worgu, Eli Sogbeye, Omenazu Jackson (PhD), Dagogo Emma, Chief Eze C. Eze and Abiye Festus.
As I said the list is endless and if I have failed to include your name here, please forgive me as the list that the Registrar gave to me is not what can be contained in a treatise like this but will surely be included in the book that will soon be released on who is who in Amaechi School of politics and Philosophy.
With these characters, Nigeria and Nigerians should wait to witness a change of fortune by the time they take their relevant positions in the scheme of things in Nigeria.
A LOOK AT ASO AND HIS ROLE AS THE REGISTRAR OF THE AMAECHI SCHOOL OF POLITICS:
Ronald Reagan one of the most outstanding Presidents of USA with Aso in mind stated and I quote, “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” while John C. Maxwell in his input stated, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”
We all know that the functions of a Registrar in any given Institution apart from running the administrative organ of the Institution is to formally admit, screen students for admission and prepare policies and strategies on how to make the school meets up with the ideals and principles of the founding fathers.
I will attempt in this study highlight areas in which Chief Wenah have tried to showcase his talent as one of the most outstanding Registrars of any political school in Nigeria.
Before, I go any further in this study, let me reiterate that one of the trademarks associated with this enigma and outstanding Administrator is his ability to keep the record of the birthdays of all former and present students of his school and to wish and send birthday messages to them as the occasion demands. Example of this is this message he sent to one of the Head Of Department, Dr Dawari George on his 50th birthday, “A rare breed…Calm and stubbornly upright…An HOD in ‘THAT’ Amaechi’s School…Happy birthday my dear friend Dawasco…I welcome you to the 5th floor..”
This example of an ideal Aide was put into practice during the first APC Primary to elect her Presidential Flag-Bearer for the 2015 general elections. This man who doesn’t know what sleep means whenever he embarks upon any project for the number of days that the Primary was organised was everywhere organising the Delegates to ensure that they were comfortable and to vote right.
I was privileged to watch this gentle man from a distance at Lagos and I told myself that this Amaechi knows how to raise true and capable leaders.
I will pick up other areas of this man’s endeaavours as we go further with this study and ascertain if he has succeeded in this regard or not.
MY FIRST CONTACT WITH DR ASO WENAH:
Though, it was fate that occasioned my admission into this great school after successfully passing in flying colours from one of the most outstanding political schools in Nigeria the Atiku Political School. My admission was directly processed by the Founder of the School, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi when he was on exile occasioned by the K-leg episode of his gubernatorial ambition under the platform of PDP in 2007. During this period, Sir Celestine Omehia was holding sway as the Governor of Rivers State but reading most of my Press Statements hitting so hard on the administration of Omahia through Dr Doris Fisher and Dr Sampson Parker, Amaechi reasoned with Dr Sampson Parker one of his foot soldiers then that “if this Eze and his Principal, Prince Tonye Princewill can be in Rivers State and issuing this type of Press Statements in the then volatile Rivers State under a PDP Government then they are the type of people that we need to work with”. By the time, God made it possible through the Supreme Court for Amaechi to reclaim his mandate as the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze has already been enrolled into this great school.
Not minding my position with Amaechi the need of formal registration need to be followed accordingly. Based on this it becomes imperative that I need to contact Hon. Asondu Temple whom I have not met or known. My contact with him was dramatic as I was expecting to see one grey head and heavy bearded man but when I met him, I told him that I need to see Chief Aso for formal registration if he is in office, I was shocked when he told me that he is the Aso that I want to see. I wonder how such a young man could be in position to manage such a great and influential school. This unassuming young man simply showcase humility in all its ramification.
ASO AS RIVERS STATE LIAISON OFFICER IN CHARGE OF LAGOS STATE OFFICE
It is on record that since the inception of Rivers State in 1967 Hon Aso Wenah’s feats and innovative ideals and policies as the Rivers State Liaison Officer in Lagos dwarfed both the past and present officers appointed to handle that sensitive organ of government administration.
His feats earned him the title of Ambassador Extraordinary of Rivers State as he used his office to attract foreign and local investments to Rivers State. He ensured that Lagos and Rivers states maintain wonderful and cordial relationship throughout his period of stewardship.
The leading role he played to ensure that President Muhammadu Buhari got the ticket of APC during the party’s primaries held in Lagos is still evergreen in the minds of most of the delegates.
ASO AS A MEMBER OF RMAFC
Sequel to his confirmation by the Senate, President Muhammadu Buhari on June 27, 2019 swore in Hon. Wenah Asondu Temple as a commissioner of Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) representing Rivers State together with Elias Mbam from Ebonyi State as the chairman of the Commission alongside these other Commissioners: Chris Akomas (Abia), Ayang Sunday Okon (Akwa Ibom), Chima Philip Okafor (Anambra), Prof. Isa Mohammed (Bauchi), Samuel Adaa Maagbe (Benue), Ntufam Eyo Nsa Whiley (Cross River), Andrew Ogheneovo Agbaga (Delta), and Victor Eboigbe (Edo).
Others confirmed were: Amujo Philip Ajayi (Ekiti), Maria Aniobi (Enugu), Musa Abari (FCT), Mohammed Usman (Gombe), Alhaji Ahmed Mahmoud Gumel (Jigawa), Alh. Kabir Muhammad Mashi (Katsina), Barr Umar Farouk Abdullahi (Kano), Rilwan Hussein Abarshi (Kebbi), Hon Suleiman Kokori Abdul (Kogi), and Abdullahi Shuaibu Yaman (Kwara).
Wright Olusegun Adekunle (Lagos), Aliyu A. Abdulkadir (Nasarawa), Ibrahim Bako Bagudu Shettima (Niger), Mr.Fari Adebayo (Ogun), Mr. Tokunbo Ajasin (Ondo), Kolade Daniel Abimbola (Oyo), Mr. Alexander Shaiyen (Plateau), Alhaji Modu Aji Juluri (Yobe) and Abubakar Sadiq A. Gusau (Zamfara) were also among the nominees confirmed for the Commission.
President Buhari, during the event which held at the Presidential Villa stated, “The mandate of the Commission is very wide and has an important for our country’s economy. The Commission must be fair and just to the three tiers and arms of government without compromising its core mandate. The officials were chosen based on their integrity and proven track records thus, much is expected from them. I appeal to the commission to work hard towards meeting government’s target of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty”.
“In my speech on June 12 Democracy Day, “I set a target for our country to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years. This commitment is to further challenge the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission to rise to its constitutional responsibilities and mandate.
“I will charge the chairman and honourable commissioners to concentrate more on expanding the sources of revenue to the federation account and other non-oil sources including solid minerals, use all legal ways and means to strengthen its monitoring mechanism and block leakages of revenue from the federation account, all relevant laws and regulations on revenue collection and remittances should be fully complied with and appropriate sanctions visited on defaulters,” he said.
RMAFC was established by Decree No.49 of 1989 (now an Act of National Assembly) to handle revenue allocation and fiscal matters on a continuous basis.
The body is also responsible for fixing the remuneration of political office holders as well as monitoring the revenues accruing to the federation account from revenue-generating agencies.
ASO AS A GRASSROOT POLITICIAN:
The demonstration and practicality of Asondu Temple as a grassroots politician was exhibited during the 2015 rerun elections when he begun massive mobilisation of the grassroots for the coming re-run elections in Rivers State as he took advantage of the public holiday then to reach out directly to voters in their respective houses and kitchens.
From Ogbodo to Adanta, from Alimini to Mgbu-ohara, he visited and discussed with people of various shades of opinions and political leanings in the ancient Kingdom of Isiokpo, signaling a new vigor of rural politicking. As he stepped from one house to the order, he preached the message of hope, assuring the people that very soon, they would have the opportunity of freely casting their ballots in a safe and secured environment.
He enjoined the people to remain committed and faithful, stating that between then and Feb 2016, Dr Dakuku Peterside and all APC candidates would retrieve their stolen mandates. He reminded them to keep their PVCs safe and secured.
THE TESTIMONIES OF BENEFICIARIES OF ASO PHILANTHROPIC EXPLOITS:
Aso Wenah is a wonderful, kind, quintessential character and galvanizer of the people and Servant Leadership Model. He is a generous and an unassuming personality who though very powerful but never acted as if he was powerful or famous. Some testimonies by others can help to unveil the real who does not talk about himself;-
HON. ASO BUILT A HOUSE FOR ME…Mr. Chisa Ogbudu
Testifying of God’s blessing through Hon. Aso, Mr Chisa Ogbudu of Ogbodo, popularly called Go-Slow expressed gratitude to Hon. Aso for building a house for him. He told everyone who cared to listen that he was living in a thatch house before Hon. Aso ordered the demolition of the decrepit apartment and replaced it with a brand new building. He pledged his family’s commitment to the APC.
2. HON. ASO MADE ME A CRANE OPERATOR. ..Mr.Temple Wobike…
Another beneficiary of Hon. Aso’s magnanimity, Mr.Temple Wobike, officially presented his Certificate of Crane Operation to Hon. Aso, who he said paid the entire bills for him to learn the skill. He said “Oga, I no know how I go use thank you; all I can say is, thank you, God bless you sir”
3. Even the blind can see his works:
HON ASO HAS BEEN GOOD TO ME….Mr.King Okparanta (a blind man):
Mr. King Okparanta, a sight-impaired man was almost moved to tears as Hon. Aso stepped into his parlor. He told all that he had never been abandoned as expected of Nigerian politicians, testifying that most of his responsibilities as a father such as school fees payment for his children, monthly upkeep allowance for his family, repair of his leaking roof, etc, had been borne by three hnourable men, Aso Wenah, Achi Wobodo and Chris Oyirinda.
4. WE WILL SUPPORT YOU, ASO TELLS SMART ESEMONU’S FAMILY:
Hon. Aso has assured a family which lost its breadwinner that he will support them in their burial arrangements. He also promised to assist the bereaved wife and children in finding means of sustainable survival.
5. AM VERY PROUD OF YOU – ADA-OROSI:
An old woman, popularly called Ada-Orosi, has commended Hon. Aso for his magnanimity towards her. She said Hon. Aso bought her drugs regularly and gave her money for upkeep. She called him “Ezi Nwo” meaning, good child in Ikwerre language.
Addressing the people, Hon. Aso told them to keep praying for Ex-Gov Amaechi, Dr. Dakuku Peterside and other leaders of the APC.
He charged the people to also pray for Hon. Achi Wobodo and Hon. Chris Oyirinda with whom he has partnered to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people of the kingdom, assuring further that very soon, the three of them shall organize this year’s edition of their annual Christmas support program.
A man must look like his mentor. Amaechi’s legacy and contribution to Nigeria and Rivers State may go beyond what he did as a person but the kind of philosophy and leaders he would leave behind.
I must thus confess that with a character like Asondu Wenah Temple and few of the graduates of Amaechi School of Politics the future of Rivers State and Nigeria is not only very bright but will be prosperous.g
I pray Aso not for any reason forgoes his style of leadership and his humanitarian approach to leadership as God will always guide and prepare him for higher assignments.
The fact remains that Aso is a good man with a selfless attitude and candor.
Finally, with the powers bestowed on me as the Chief Historian and records Keeper of the history of Amaechi and his politics, I hereby unveil to you and the entire world Chief Asondu Wenah Temple the workaholic and brian behind whatever it is that the Amaechi School of Politics is all about. It is now left to you to judge accordingly.
Eze Chukwuemeka Eze is a Media Consultant based in Port Harcourt and can be reached thru: firstname.lastname@example.org