Integrity is holding fast to our convictions regardless of the consequences and never compromising our ideals or values even though it affects the bottom line but at the height of his career in 2009 as a top boss at the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation NNPC, Ogiemwonyi dared to serve in a higher capacity as a Minister and how he navigated his way through what has now been labelled a corrupt government can only live one in bewilderment. Yet he was able to preserve his unblemished record of integrity, discipline and incorruptibility.
A seasoned technocrat and a revered administrator, Chris Osa Ogiemwonyi has always been a mover and shaker of the system, skilled in the art of negotiation and management. Amongst his prized career experience spanning the best part of more than three decades are some of the largest federal government portfolios in the energy sector. As an Exploration and production chief, he managed a staggering seven oil and gas companies, ranging from NAPIMS, NGC, NPDC, IDSL, crude oil marketing, to LNG and power division. Under his stewardship he initiated some of the best ideas that has been churned out of this sector such as the local content policy which now allow Nigerian own indigenous companies a competing chance at securing bids. For this, on retirement he was lauded by the Benin Kingdom in recognition of his contribution to the progress of the Edo people as many of its sons and daughters have made gains from this initiative.
But Ogiemwonyi in his true nature has never coveted individual accolades rather his efficiency speaks of a man who has pursued service for the glory of servitude, and his most sincere desire is to contribute as much as possible to uplifting his people and eliminating poverty. Born in Orhionmwon L.G.A in 1951, Chris came from humble beginnings and early on had to help his mother trade to support the family before his father became one of the prominent transporters in the old western region. In a meeting with some party delegates, he narrated how he has always felt the need to give back considering his background.
From a foundation that caters to children educational scholarship to borehole projects aimed at eradicating river blindness, Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi contributed as a civil servant without fanfare and has encouraged everyone to practice this method of philanthropy. As the unemployment numbers sky rocketed and the economy plummeted into a recession, Ogiemwonyi pushed for an economic drift back to agriculture in form of the two acre Modupe palm farm and a skills acquisition centre in his community which employs hundreds of personnel bi-annually. As a junior Minister of works he ensured Edo state secured two quality projects on the federal government budget in the form of the Dawson/Ofusu road in Benin city as well as the rehabilitation of the Igarra Bridge. In the same year he extended his influence even further by facilitating a budget for the dualisation of the Benin/Abraka highway on the Niger Delta Ministry’s portfolio. However in May of 2011, barely less than a year as Minister he went on to resign and then quit the ruling party on the grounds of the massive scale of corruption under the PDP lead government. It was amidst this tough decision that the legend of Mr Integrity was born.
In all Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi has been tested time and again and he has always proven that he will not stand for corruption, insisting that a good name is better than riches. Now once again he desires to shake up the status quo as he solicits for the people’s mandate but this time around this election is asking questions of far greater importance because we are in a frugal period. Are we prepared to defeat an ideology of rewarding unqualified opportunists with leadership? Are we ready to begin a change process of nominating leadership based on character, accomplishments and an unwavering antecedent to share with kith and kin? Whether Engr. Chris Osa Ogiemwonyi gets the nod and one more chance to etch his name in history as a progressive phenomenon, only time will tell. But in my own opinion it has already been written.
Abdul Razaq Momodu sent in this piece from Benin City
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