By Machiavelli Chidi Okafor
According to the book of Genesis 1:28 “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
To this humble creature Senator Clement Annie Okonkwo, who was born on May 23, 1960, he has beyond every reasonable doubt, fulfilled the aspect of go into the world and multiply to having dominion over the fish of the sea.
For Okonkwo, who represented Anambra Central senatorial district at the Senate being successful in life is beyond coming to the world to multiply. Giving back to community or society is something he has had passion for right from his days of growing up.
For him, recognizing that you have been empowered to empower others is a moral obligation; because there is no government law which obliges its citizens to be charitable; in other words, you will not be imprisoned for not being charitable.
Okonkwo is a known philanthropist, who has affected thousands of lives across the nation. Okonkwo’s philanthropy work, commitment and service have earned him several awards and honours by various communities and organisations both within and outside Nigeria.
He has created several forums through which people could access and benefits from large heart.
For those who not access, he also established Agunechemba Foundation through which many young people can benefit from.
Anyone that knows Senator Annie Okonkwo, will agree to the fact that he is a blessing to Ojoto people, Anambra and nation at large.
His Agunechemba Foundation till date still dispenses a quiet but unmatched flavour of love to communities within Anambra and beyond. With focus on education in scholarships for the underprivileged and the specially gifted, energy infrastructures, security gadgets donations, small and medium enterprises financing, materials and cash gifting to churches and individuals.
Okonkwo, who is popularly called Agunechemba, meaning “the guardian of the people, is a successful Nigerian businessman, has through his several companies empowered over 10,000 youths & also firing me (Machiavelli)through the nozzle of the Rich.
His footprints in the local Nigerian economy in manufacturing, trading, banking, telecoms, oil and gas, real estates development, are vocal portraits of an entrepreneur extraordinaire, whose vision is as large as his employed workforce.
Presently, a global renowned Multinational Company is in partnership with his Topwide Group, pioneering ambitious tech-driven investments in our deserted non-oil Mining sector, at a scale revolutionary in the industry.
Okonkwo, a man lofty in ideals, barrier breaker, a reformer by attitude and a democrat by habit believes in courage as more important than fear. Besides politics and its inherent burdens of spotlight, his public and private philanthropy is exemplary in purpose and outcomes.
He is a recipient of national and international awards amongst which are, the Nigeria Entrepreneurs Award, Democracy Icon of Year 2019 of the Champion Newspapers’ Excellence Awards, National Productivity Order of Merit (NPOM), Kwameh Nkrumah leadership Hall of Fame. He is also a dedicated member of Knight of St John International, KSJI.
Despite leaving the Red Chamber of the National Assembly since 2011, Senator Annie Clement Okonkwo is still reaping from the seed he sowed. Even the bible said: “Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy” (Psalm 126:5)
Senator Annie Okonkwo quality representation while at Senate is none to be compared with. He left a footprint that will no doubt, be difficult to beat. Till date, the people of Anambra Central senatorial district still miss his absence.
Just recently, his outstanding performance at the Senate earned him the Democracy Icon of Year 2019 at the just concluded Champion Newspapers’ Excellence Awards.
The Champion Newspapers Awards was targeted at acknowledging the contributions of some of the outstanding individuals, organisations, agencies and institutions of both state and federal government to the development of Nigeria in particular and humanity in general in the areas of business, politics, culture, social and infrastructural developments.
Okonkwo, who was however, elected Senator to represent Anambra Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly between 29 May 2007 is no doubt a God sent to us.
My relationship with Senator Annie Okonkwo is like a relationship with a father and son. In 2006 when I was denied House of Assembly ticket in Anambra, he took my like son, advising me not to put all my eggs in one basket, saying that I shouldn’t see politics as a business but rather, as a seasonal game that one can participate on.
He took me, accommodated at Abuja and nurtured me through business and politics and asked me to channel my strength and energy more on business.
Under him, I was able to gather a lot of knowledge that has reshaped my life. I have been able to do a lot of successful businesses and contracts in the oil&gas and real estate sectors. In 2010, I was able to travel to United Kingdom for my masters and other studies and on returning to Nigeria, I joined him again.
Under him, I was able to carry out alot successful businesses both locally and internationally. And today, I can proudly say that the advice he gave to me in 2006 paid off and I am still reaping from it.
Okonkwo is humble, urbane, suave, sophisticated, a global citizen with prized academic laurels from both University of Lagos and Harvard Business Schools.
Not only does he seamlessly adapt to address the emerging challenges from the persistent ones that we face in our society today, but he has also always striving to make things better with new approaches and such unfaltering determination.
I will forever be thankful to Senator Annie Okonkwo for all of the amazing efforts over the years to ensure success of young people.
The story of Agunachemba will be incomplete without mentioning his backbone Lady Chinyere Okonkwo, who stood by him and has also supported his vision over the years.
Okonkwo is not just a politician but a true and a unique leader who loves building young people. My advice to the youths is to work with their bosses in all sense of honesty, sincerity and loyalty.
Congratulations to you my leader as you join sexagenarian club.
Machiavelli Chidi Okafor writes from Abuja