Chibudum Nwuche, Stella Omu: Where are they now?

They were at various times occupants of different public offices until they left the scene. Since then, nothing has been heard about them again. ELEOJO IDACHABA writes on where they could be now.

Chibudum Nwuche

Hon. Chibudum Nwuche was the deputy speaker, House of Representatives between 1999 and 2003 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). A lawyer by training, this Rivers state indigene was raised in Enugu state. His major breakthrough in public service came when the people of Ahoada East/Abua Odua Federal Constituency of Rivers state voted for him as their representative at the House of Representatives in 1999. His colleagues later elected him as deputy speaker on June 4 of the same year. While in that capacity, he chaired the Committees on the Whole House, vice-chairman, House Committee on Selection, vice-chairman, National Assembly Joint Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution. He has also led several delegations to various international summits and conferences.

Prince Nwuche played an important role in the passage of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Act and also bankrolled the Onshore Offshore Dichotomy bill. He also set up scholarships and grants schemes for indigent students and small/medium scale business men and women in his state. He, however, failed to return to NASS after he lost the bid to Osinakachukwu Ideozu for the Senate seat in 2003.

In 2016, he defected from PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in what analysts say was his bid to gain the attention of Abuja and overshadow Rotimi Amaechi, the perceived leader of the party in the state. But that attempt landed him in the black books of Amaechi who saw the move as a threat. While he was yet to recover from that shock, he took swipe at Governor Nyesom Wike for what he called poor handling of security in the state. In his reaction, the state chairman of PDP, Felix Obua, said, “It is obvious that Prince Nwuche’s statement on security in the state is that of a drowning and an uninformed 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.”

These days, no one has heard anything about him.

Stella Omu

Mrs. Stella Omu, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) board of trustees, was a senator on the party’s platform between 1999 and 2003, where she represented Delta-south constituency. While in the upper chamber, she was appointed as the chief whip and also as vice-chairman of the Senate Committees on National Planning, Women Affairs & Youth Development.

Senator Omu can best be described as the lawmaker who first caused a stir in the red chamber in 2001 following a letter containing suspicious powdery substance with the logo of the Federal Ministry of Communications she allegedly received. Around the same time, other National Assembly members were alleged to have received similar letters. Letters tainted with anthrax had before then been reported in United States after the September 11, 200,1 terrorist attack.

Senator Omu was also the lawmaker of the 4th Senate that moved for the amendment of the 1999 Constitution. This is because in June of that year after the Supreme Court ruled that the National Assembly did not have the power to make laws for the governance of the local governments in the country, she started the process of amending the relevant provisions of the 1999 Constitution by sponsoring a bill to that effect in the Senate. That move never saw the light of day before she left the chamber.

She voluntarily resigned as Senate chief whip because of the frosty relationship she had with the leadership of the upper house then. In June 2003, she called on the National Assembly to quickly pass the bill to establish an agency that would cater for citizens’ welfare. In an interview she once granted sometime in August 2003 in the wake of the Niger Delta crisis, she urged all the warring groups in Warri to lay down their arms, saying that the Ijaw and Itsekiri were brothers and should not allow political differences or other socio-economic factors to separate them.

Omu was again a PDP nominee for the same position in 2003, but lost to James Manager, a former commissioner for works in the cabinet of James Ibori. Long after this former lawmaker who is now in her mid 70s left the Senate, not much has been heard about her anymore.

Mike Ajaegbo

Not much was known about this former lawmaker until 1999, when he was elected on the platform of the PDP to represent Anambra Central in the Senate. While there, he was one of the vocal voices whose words made headlines, but when he failed to return to the Upper House in 2003, he has not made any attempt in politics again. However, what is more appalling about this former senator is the fact that it appears his exit from the Senate also dealt a blow on his business empire, for which he was renowned. For instance, he was one of few Nigerians who pioneered private broadcasting in the country. He in particular owned what was then known as Minaj Broadcasting International (MBI) whose network transmits both the radio and television signals in many parts of the country in mid/late 90s but had, for long, gone into extinction. Writing about this.

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 percent of its staff were Igbo people. 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 a few months before finally dying a natural death.”

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