Chibudum Nwuche, Patrick Osakwe: Where are they now?

Chibudum Nwuche, Patrick Osakwe, and Mike Ajaegbo, were at some point law makers in the National Assembly. They were not just law makers but held their own in the parliament, making headlines each time they contributed to debates. However, for long, not much has been heard about them. Where are they now ELEOJO IDACHABA asks?

Chibudum Nwuche

He is the former deputy speaker of the House of Representatives between 1999 and 2003 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). A lawyer by training, this tall and handsome River state indigene could rightly be described as one of few Nigerian politicians born with a silver spoon.

Nwuche came to limelight when he was elected to represent Ahoada East/Abua Odua Federal Constituency of Rivers stain as their representative at the lower chamber in 1999. He was subsequently elected as deputy speaker June 4. While in that capacity, he was chairman, Committees on the Whole House, vice-chairman, House of Committee on Selection; vice-chairman, National Assembly Joint Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution.

He has also led delegations to various international summits and conferences. A community worker and grass root activist, Prince Nwuche played an important role in the passage of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Act and the Onshore Offshore Dichotomy Bill.

He has also set up scholarships and grant schemes for indigent students and small/medium scale business men and women, respectively.

He, however, failed to return to NASS after he lost to Osinakachukwu Ideozu for a Senate seat. Since then he has practically been running from pillar to post in order to gain political relevance. This could explain why he defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2016, in what analysts have described as a bid to gain the attention of Abuja and catch up and probably overshadow Rotimi Amaechi, the perceived leader of the party in the state. However, that attempt landed him in the black book of Amaechi, who saw the move as a threat.

While he was yet to recover from that, he took a swipe at Governor Nyesom Wike for what he called poor handling of security in the state. Reacting to this move by Nwuche,  Chairman, PDP Rivers state, Felix Obua, said, “It is obvious that Prince Nwuche’s statement on security in the state is that of a drowning and an uniformed person, no wonder he continues to jump from pillar to post in search of political visibility after losing relevance as a result of his failure to adequately represent his people at the National Assembly and failed attempt to secure the highly competitive ticket for the Rivers West Senatorial seat in the Senate on the platform of our great party, the PDP.

“It is disappointing that his apparent quest for relevance and recognition in his new and unsuccessful party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, has eventually beclouded his sense of judgment, leading him desperately to suppress facts and the truth on the uncompromising stance of the Rivers state government under Governor Nyesom Wike in tackling insecurity all over the state.”

The last time the former Assembly man was in news was in 2016 when he was detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over his role in the amnesty fund under the leadership of Kingskey Kuku.

Mike Ajaegbo

Not much was known about this former law maker until 1999 when he was elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to represent Anambra Central in the Senate.

While in the upper chamber, he was one of the vocal voices whose words made headlines but when he failed to return to the Senate in 2003, he appears to have gone into a quiet life and has not made any attempt into politics again.

However, what is more appalling about this former senator is the fact that it appears his exit from the National Assembly also dealt a blow on his business empire, for which he was renowned.

Ajaegbo was among the pioneers of private broadcasting in the country. He owned what was then known as Minaj Broadcasting International (MBI) with network transmitting both radio and television signals in many parts of the country in the 90s. This business has since gone into extinction. Writing about the failed venture, a public affairs analyst, Ifeanyi Maduakor, said: “An Igbo man in the person of Senator Mike Ajaegbo, an Obosi man from Anambra state, used to be the proprietor of a television station known as Minaj Broadcasting International in the late 90s which went off air immediately he left the Senate in 2003. MBI.

“Apart from the pride and sense of belonging it gave Igbo people all over the country while it operated, 60 per cent of its staff were Igbo. In the advent of the Fourth Republic in 1999, I recall with nostalgia that MBI used to be the voice of Ndigbo and their activities. The station’s news bulletin and programmes gave ample air time to the activities of Ndigbo down to the hinterland.

“Sadly, MBI extinguished immediately Senator Ajaegbo, who owned it and still owns the licence, left the Senate. At times I ask myself if the station was set up by Ajaegbo to cover his activities while he was in the Senate. The question became necessary because immediately Ajaegbo left the Senate in June 2003, MBI signals were no longer received by those in Abuja and Lagos cities. It only operated in its Obosi station for few months before finally dying a natural death.” The fate of the media outfit is not a surprise because it was learnt that it was living on what analysts call ‘borrowed terms’ as the network on which it operated was leased from Global Plus Media, an outfit owned by Christ Embassy Church which was to last for only five years but failed to be renewed. In the sixth Senate under Senator David Mark as president, Ajaegbo’s name conspicuously appeared among the list of failed bank debtors complied by the Senate Committee on Banking. He was said to be indebted to the tune of N210, 291, 896.00.

Patrick Osakwe

He was the Senator representing Delta North constituency up till 2011, however, since then Senator Osakwe, who was a favourite guests of major programmes in the electronic media has not been able to find his feet in the political sphere of the country.

Osakwe, who had shuttled between Accord Party and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was reported to have told National Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomole, in the wake of the campaign for governorship last year that Delta state fully belonged to the PDP and that in the fullness of time, it would be clear.

“Well, Comrade Oshiomhole is the national chairman of APC, whatever he said, he has his plans; he is a friend, I will not want to castigate him, but the PDP in Delta is there to tell him that he and his party cannot take over Delta because it is a PDP state.”

Sen Osakwe, who celebrated his 70th birthday last year said, “First and foremost, I have to give glory to God because it is not everybody that clocks 70. Well, I started life very early and when I tell people I am 70, they say are you sure you are 70. It has taught me to know that the ultimate thing in life is to be a child of God, live a life that will please God.

“At 70, I am already an old man, so I have to live a life that the younger ones can emulate and it is what you are that they will emulate. If you live a bad life, it means that you have nothing to offer them, but if you live a straightforward Christian life, not just your children, but others will have things to learn. And any day that God calls you, they have something to remember you for the way you have affected their lives. In all modesty, I can tell you that one of the major things life has taught me is to be nice to others and help people, especially the less privileged ones. And that is exactly what I am doing.”

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