Though not feeling very well for some days now but when I got the news about the birthday celebration of my very good friend and brother, Hon. Asondu Temple Wena on this auspice day of 12th June 2021; I asked whatever that was wrong with me to step aside so that I can join the world to celebrate a fellow whose character and actions have kept most of his colleagues and associates not only intact but united in a very strong and unbreakable bond.
Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New Peoples Democratic Party nPDP in a statement he issued to celebrate the birthday of this enigma described him as one of the greatest influence and heroes of democracy in Rivers State which may have caused among other events for the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to declare his day of birth as a Democracy Day, 12th June. In his drive to restore peace and freedom to his country, this unique gift to the people of Rivers State was so prepared to play a key role in the affairs of not only his State but his country considering that he was born during the Nigerian Civil war.
Eze stated that when it becomes fashionable in order to gain relevance in the politics of Rivers State, one is expected to defect, sabotage and rain abuses on their political mentor and benefactor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi the workaholic, visionary and inspiring Minister of Transportation but not Hon. Aso Wenah who have stood firm as one of the most trusted aides and allies of the erstwhile Governor of Rivers State
Looking at the life of this young and energetic fellow two great quotes from two great minds came to my mind: Maya Angelou who stated, “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 Wenah 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 enable them prove themselves as the future leaders of this country. He exhibited it not only assigning the likes of Aso sensitive roles to play in the politics of Nigeria but through his educational policy where he approved scholarship and 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.
Eze further highlighted that Hon. Asondu Wenah has played and is still playing very key role in the political Institution (Amaechi) as he has established himself as an outstanding Registrar of this institution thereby making it one of the most remarkable and outstanding Political Institutions in Nigeria today.
In this regard 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.”
Asondu in exhibition of the stand of both Reagan and John Maxwell above showcased his political prowess 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 rightly .
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.
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:
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.
Asondu Wenah apart from politics and adminstration is a seasoned and respected philanthropist,
THE TESTIMONIES OF BENEFICIARIES OF ASO PHILANTHROPIC EXPLOITS:
Asondu Wenah 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.
- 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”.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. Asondu Wenah bought her drugs regularly and gave her money for upkeep. She called him “Ezi Nwo” meaning, good child in Ikwerre language
Encomiums on Asondu by Close Associates
According to Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, “It is my prayer that from this day, the hand of the Almighty shall guard and guide you in a new dimension and build you into the image of his thoughts towards you” Amaechi while Rt. Hon. Asita Honourable the Chairman of the Board of NIMASA, “It brings me great joy to celebrate you today. I pray the Almighty Gos bleseses you and wraps his mighty hands of protection around you on this special say and always”
Others That Felicitated With Aso On This Auspicious Say Were:
Hon. David Okumgba the Caretaker Zonal Secretary, South-South APC in his birthday message titled, “BIRTHDAY GREETINGS TO HON. ASO WENAH — A MAN WHO LIVES HIS LIFE FOR OTHERS” he stated and I quote,
“Benefitting humanity and making life more meaningful, is the primary preoccupation of my good brother and friend, Hon. Asondu Wenah. As if guided by the words of Dieter F. Uchtdorf, who once said: “As we lose ourselves in the service of others we discover our own lives and our own happiness,” Aso has sucessfully carved out a niche for himself as one of the few torchbearers in the Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi Political Enclave, whose outstanding life of service resonates louder than his spoken words.
So, on the commemoration of his natal day, I am left without doubt that Heaven and Earth will be kind to this altruistic Rivers man with a great content of character. It is my wish therefore, that God will continue to bless and uplift him till he gets to heights unimaginable.
Happy birthday my brother!”
To the workaholic and visionary Prof. Henry Ugboma the CMD of UPTH and Leader of Orashi Region in his message titled, ASSOR WENAH: GOD WHO LIFTED YOU UP, WILL NEVER LET YOU DOWN” he reiterated thus,.
“As it pleases God, you are plus one today and the God who lifted you up, will never let you down.
You are indeed a very good man who is as free as air that is without enemy but filled with energy. You are a DEPENDABLE ALLY full of TRUST and CONFIDENCE.
On this occasion of your birthday, may God continue to preserve you as you live longer than expected and eat the fruit of your hard labour.
Happy birthday Hon. Assor Wenah.”
While to the vibrant and vocal RANMT in their message titled, “WE CELEBRATE A MAN OF QUALITY CHARACTER, ASO WENA…
Distinguished Federal Commissioner and astute public servant, a mentor to millions of young people,
You have tutored many on the way of service and firmness in credible leadership; you are indeed a source of inspiration, and indubitably, you have rightly proved yourself a director of discerning minds, on that path of CRABism,
This is a way of reaching out to you on a unique and solemn day as this, in your wonderful life:
Happy Birthday to you Hon. Aso Wena, brother, friend, worthy servant, mentor and father-figure to us.
To the brave and fearless Barr Princewill A. Dikein his message titles,
HURRAH, TODAY IN HISTORY A GOOD MAN WAS BORN, ASO WENAH! He thundered,
“First, let me say this. I don’t know how to circulate/socialise. I keep so much to myself. That is why when I was in Amaechi’s government; I didn’t know 95% of government officials, including Assembly members and LGA Chairmen. Today too, I don’t know about 95% of Rivers APC big and small men.
It was about few months ago I met with Aso Wenah, who is Rivers State representative in Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMFAC). Before he invited me to meet with him, our relationship begun when I syndicated my complaints to him over some things not boding well with me in the Amaechi system. Amid his acutely tight schedules, he spared time to respond . And gave me invitation. I was touched.
When we eventually met in Port Harcourt, I saw a man of humility. One of the things that turn me on in a person is humility.
Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission is a juicy commission. Its appointee would have a fat bank account, but if only he works hand in glove with his state governor. If not, would rely solely on monthly remuneration. But CRA is a domineering spirit in Aso Wenah. Rather than meet with the arch-enemy of his principal, he franchised to function within the circumference of his assignment and thus, sacrificed the perquisite that would have accrued to him had he been in a working liaison with the State governor. As if that is not a sufficient sacrifice, he donated his monthly salary to some party supporters; surviving only with his private onshore venture. Dr. Chris Oyirinda Amadi is another fellow who could make such sacrifice.
The advice he offered me in that first encounter was like a banquet. CRA too had given similar advice about three years ago. Yours truly is a stormy petrel. To that extent, the eye I service now, next minute, when rudely vexed, I hurt it. You know.
Unsolicited, Aso Wenah extended his legendary magnanimity to me. A rich envelope!
I learned one thing in that meeting. Never pass a negative verdict on somebody you have not had bodily encounter with. Aso left a lasting impression in me!
Children of God, let us wish this brother of the people: Good health and more fruitful returns!
Happy birthday Sir!”
In conclusion, Eze reiterated that 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 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.
Happy birthday my very brother as I pray that our great God grants you more fruitful years for better services to humanity
Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze,
APC Chieftain & former National Publicity Secretary, nPDP
UBA Continues to Innovate as RED Radio’s Podcast Now Live 24/7
The United bank for Africa (UBA) is leading again through innovation as it launches a podcast, RED Radio, which is available 24/7. The dynamic and creative online radio channel, RED Radio now provides round the clock informative and entertaining content, bringing out the best of Africa.
RED Radio www.itsredradio.com was berthed as part of the communication suite of UBA to provide real time content to listeners across the African continent and globally.
UBA’s Group Head Corporate Communications, Bola Atta, explained that the platform is an affirmation of the leading role that UBA is playing in the innovative space on the African continent as the bank keeps seeking more ways to reach out to and galvanise people.
She said, “RED Radio can be described as a meeting place. It is an avenue to discuss all kinds of issues that affect the youths on the continent, whether it be business related, health, relationships, sports, lifestyles.. anything. As we bring people together, we also entertain them with music from across the continent.’ ‘it’s such a cool and diverse platform with shows in different languages to appeal to a wide section of listeners. I leave it on quietly on my ipad constantly, catching up with anything I have missed’ she added.
Some of the flagship shows on RED Radio include the Barbershop Chronicles – a talk show featuring Shody, Sess, Alhaji Popping and Femisoro who discuss life matters from the perspective of men; Diary of an Africana follows the journey of a young African woman as she manoeuvres through various obstacles whilst she explores her true self; The Red Pill which brings you exciting news and music from the Congo and so much more.
The shows are recorded in video format and are also available on REDTV.
You can access the podcasts via www.itsredradio.com
WE’LL DELIVER SIX-LANE IBEJU-LEKKI-EPE HIGHWAY PROJECT FIRST QUARTER 2022 – SANWO-OLU
Barring unanticipated event, the construction of 18.7-kilometre six-lane rigid pavement carriageway from Eleko Junction in Ibeju Lekki to Epe T-Junction in Lagos State will be completed and commissioned. This was the assurance from Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu when he and members of the State Executive Council went on an on-the-spot assessment of the project, on Monday.
Sanwo-Olu was excited by the pace of work on the road, persuading the contractor handling the project to increase its momentum in order to push the progress to an encouraging level before the end of the year.
The Governor flagged off the first phase of the expansion on the Lekki-Epe Expressway last November, kick-starting the rehabilitation of the 40-year-old infrastructure. The second phase of the project, which will start later this year, stretches 26.7Km from Eleko Junction to Abraham Adesanya Junction in Eti-Osa axis.
At the time of the Governor’s inspection, the contractor had completed a stretch of 3km on the lane from Eleko Junction inward Epe, while the right-of-way for the entire project has been fully cleared.
After communicating the work progress to the Governor, representatives of the contractor led Sanwo-Olu and cabinet members on legwork for assessment of features on the completed stretch, including drainage channels, kerb and segregated lane for heavy-duty vehicles.
The Governor was optimistic the project would be delivered on record time, charging the contractor to scale up the pace of work.
He said: “This exercise is an on-the-spot assessment to view the status of the 18.7Km six-lane rigid pavement road construction we are doing from Eleko Junction to Epe. The contractor has been active on site in the last six months, and they have touched every part of the entire stretch. We are currently assessing the project from the 3km lane already completed. On either side are three lanes. Two lanes are for cars, while the last lane is for heavy-duty vehicles. There will be 1.5km pedestrian walkway on both sides.
“We are happy with the progress of the project, because the contractor works day and night. I believe the work is on track. Residents on this corridor are also happy with the level of work done. They are waiting on us to hand over this important infrastructure to them in earnest.
“The beauty of the work is that it has reduced the journey time, even as the road is still being constructed. There is no hindrance on the road; motorists have the right-of-way for free movement. Not until when we finish the entire construction, we would have the full benefit of this investment. We are happy with what we have seen and we believe that the contractor should be rounding off the work by end this year or first quarter next year.”
Lagos-Ibadan Rail Line: Amaechi, a Personification of Service – Eze
Erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New People’s Democratic Party (nPDP) and Chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, has joined the lengthy roll of Nigerians and Nigerians in the diaspora, aliens and diplomats alike, who have felicitated with the President Mohammadu Buhari/APC-led Federal Government for the giant strides it has continued to record in critical areas of governance especially, the revival of the nation’s moribund rail infrastructure, covering a country mile and traversing the nook and cranny of the Nigerian territory and choreography.
Recall that President Buhari, Thursday, June 10, 2021, inaugurated the commercial operations of Lagos-Ibadan railway project at the Mobolaji Johnson Railway Station, Ebute Metta, Lagos.
In a statement made available to media houses in Port Harcourt, Eze said the efforts of the Transportation Minister, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, in driving the Buhari administration’s policy on infrastructural development is selfless, worth commending and cannot be overemphasized.
He said Amaechi’s display of rare dexterity in public administration has continued to break new grounds and discover and open up opportunities for Nigerians to sustain their livelihoods in the face of the harsh economic realities of the times, and called on those on whom the responsibility of leadership is saddled especially, in the public sector, to brace up and take a clue from the Minister.
The party Chief said aside priding itself as the first double-track standard gauge rail in West Africa, the 156km Lagos-Ibadan rail project is renowned for its peculiar status as the first Nigerian railway line to be started and completed by the same administration, since 1960.
With a holding capacity of over 6,000 passengers, Eze said the Ebute Metta Station, known as the Mobolaji Johnson railway Station, is the largest in the West African region.
Describing the feat as another milestone in the drive of his administration to revitalize the railway system and establish it as a choice mode of transportation for both passengers and freight, Buhari pledged his administration’s commitment in ensuring that priority is given to modern railway system as a transportation backbone that can transform industrial and economic activity in the country.
Reeling out the benefits of the Lagos-Ibadan corridor as well as other on-going railway projects across the country, President Buhari said the project establishes what he described as an end-to-end logistic supply chain in railway transport within its short corridor, Lagos – Ibadan, as goods to the hinterland would now be transported by rail directly from the Apapa port Quayside straight to the Inland Container Depot located in Ibadan from where it can be distributed to other parts of the country.
Lamenting the challenges posed to the nation’s economic growth by absence of strong and effective infrastructure, the President said in addition to other other ongoing railway projects, his administration has embarked on the completion of the outstanding segment of the Lagos – Kano railway, which is Ibadan – Kano.
He emphasized that the Lagos – Kano railway project when completed will link the Kano – Maradi line at Kano and a rail link from the Nigeria southern ports of Lagos to Maradi in Niger Republic will be achieved.
‘‘The connection through rail would position Nigerian ports as the choice for import and export business of the people of landlocked Niger Republic”
The project, Buhari said, would be beneficial to the economy through employment from new business opportunities and wealth creation.
Expressing delight that his directive to the Federal Ministry of Transportation and Ministry of Finance on reaching financial agreements with appropriate co-financiers to partner with the Federal Government for the development of the Ibadan – Kano railway was yielding results, President Buhari noted that Ibadan-Kano project would have a connection to the Tin Can Island port as well as the West – East Coastal rail line from Lagos to Calabar linking Onitsha, Benin, Warri, Yenagoa, Port Harcourt, Aba and Uyo.
‘‘From the beginning of this administration, railway infrastructure development has been given the priority it deserves and various milestones have been reached, right from when the Abuja – Kaduna railway was flagged-off for commercial operation in 2016 to this Lagos – Ibadan railway project being commissioned today for full commercial operation,’’ he said.
Commending the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, for his drive and tenacity in achieving the milestone recorded today, the President praised the ‘‘wonderful team in the Ministry’’ for a job well done.
“It is noteworthy to state that work commenced on the project in March 2017 and test-run commenced around December 2020 and today, what seemed a dream has come to full materialization under Buhari and Amaechi”, Eze said.
Similarly, Chief Eze hailed Buhari and Amaechi over the official launch of assists under the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, also known as Deep Blue Project in Lagos.
The project which is the first integrated maritime security strategy in West and Central Africa is aimed at tackling the incidences of piracy, sea robbery, and other crimes at sea. With three categories of platforms to tackle maritime security on land, sea, and air, the deep blue project was jointly initiated by the Federal Ministry of Transportation and Federal Ministry of Defence, and being implemented by NIMASA the to secure Nigerian waters up to the Gulf of Guinea.
The land assets include the Command, Control, Communication, Computer, and Intelligence Centre (C4i) for intelligence gathering and data collection; 16 armoured vehicles for coastal patrol; and 600 specially trained troops for interdiction, known as Maritime Security Unit comprising personnel from the Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force, Nigeria Police, and Department of State Services. The sea assets include two Special Mission Vessels and 17 Fast Interceptor Boats. The air assets comprise two Special Mission Aircraft for surveillance of the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ); three Special Mission Helicopters for search and rescue operations; and four Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
Eze said Amaechi has manifestly justified the confidence reposed in him by President Mohammadu Buhari and Nigerians and called on Nigerians to continue to support the Amaechi as more dividends are set to be delivered.
Emphasizing the need for Nigerians to imbibe the culture of protecting public infrastructure, the party Chief said it is grossly subnormal for countrymen, who should be proud patriots to engage in acts of vandalism, destroying critical assets and frustrating the efforts of government in putting the country on the right track.