Opinion: What Does Amb. Kema Chikwe Want?

Ambassador Kemafor Chikwe’s rise in the political firmanent of Nigeria is phenomenal and salutary. From a humble ambition of running to represent Owerri Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives in 1999, Ndaa Kema as her admirers call her, rose to become Nigeria’s Minister of Transport and later Aviation, two grade A ministries for that matter. She is a Board of Trustees member (BOT) of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and was named Chairman of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB, and later appointed Nigeria’s Ambassador to Ireland by late President Musa Yaradua where she currently serves. Apart from being a two-term minister, Kemafor ‘crowned’ Prof. Fabian Osuji and Mrs. Obaji as ministers.

Kema, a PhD holder in education, author and a grand mother, was part of the quartet comprising Senator Ifeanyichukwu Araraume, Chief Hope Uzodinma, and Sir Tony Ezennia who succeeded in getting the then President Obasanjo to order the former PDP national chairman to dissolve the state EXCO and install their stooges as caretaker committee (CTC) members with the resultant crises that is yet to abate till date. The scourge of CTC only ended in Imo PDP less than 2 weeks ago with the elction of Barr. Eze Duruiheoma and others in a brand new EXCO that would lead Imo PDP to the promised land.

The dissolution of the Dr. Alex Obi’s EXCO and installation of Prince M.O Nlemigbo led care-taker committee saw the Udenwa’s government and the political titans locking horns resulting in the inability of PDP to get a candidate and consequently lost the guber seat and the rest as they say is history. All to the divine advantage of Sir Ikedi Ohakim.

Kema’s battle with the Udenwa’s government was a long drawn one similar to what is happening between the Alliance for Doom sorry Good Governance with the Ohakim’s government. Udenwa never got a respite from the political missile and ‘ogbunigwe’ Kema threw at him resulting in Udenwa being denied the ‘right’ like other governors had to nominate ministers from their state and many other privilages she grabbed owing to her closeness to the then President. These privilages were extended to Mrs. Chikwe who gave herself and anyone else that suited her fancy?

The Ambassador was ceredited to have succeeded in nominating Mrs. Obaji, as education minister. She was credited to have also nominated Prof. Fabian Osuji. Kema allegedly facilitated the appointments of Arch. Amaugo Ugorji as JAMB Chairman, a position she ‘took back’ to serve under her ally, Obaji, the then minister for education. She also made several other high profile nominations in other ministries, parastatals and agencies too numerous to mention and even up to the United nations were her son Obinna currently serves.

One common trend that was noticeable between Ndaa Kema and her nominees was the quarrel she entered into with them shortly after they took office. She reportedly ‘dethroned’ Obaji when she had differences with her after installing her younger brother Chimdi Ejiogu to ‘monitor’ the minister as a Special Assistant. Her quarrel with Obaji, a former very close friend and confidant of hers who assisted her in the past occured shotly after she also allegedly brought Osuji down, drew public condemnation. In her attempt to remove the minister for allegedly over asserting herself, Kema threw everything into the ring and ofcourse she won and Obaji kissed the political dust. Till date Kema has not made up with her DEAR friend, Chinwe Nora Obaji.

Kema Chikwe also was reported to have ensured the success of Sen. Eze Ajoku in 2005 with the assistance of the then PDP state Caretaker and fell out with the Senator for no good reasons. She again ensured Sen. Ajoku never saw the Red Chambers as a member owing to her influence in the PDP CTC EXCO she had ‘controlling membership’. This trend was a common occurance between Mrs. Chikwe and all other appointees of hers.

If there is anyone in Imo who has enjoyed more federal government patronage the most, Amb. Chikwe comes tops. No one and I beg to be countered has enjoyed half the privilage and pecks from the federal goverment as Kema Chikwe has. These privilages she also extended to her close friends and cronies. She was a 2 time minister of grade A ministries, BOT member of PDP, board chaiman and presently an Ambassador. WHAT ELSE DOES KEMA CHIKWE WANT?

In 2007, madam Chikwe ran to be governor of Imo inspite of the fact that Okigwe had all calculations in her favour and she lost woefully. She was consequently compensated by the government with the Ambassadorial posting.

As Aviation minister, Imo people had expected to see the facilities in their darling Sam Mbakwe Airport improved but the minster was alleged to have declined to do so to avoid the Udenwa’s government claiming the glory? Cheap politics? As minister of Transport, Imo did not fare any better from her sojourn in the ministry. Capt. Ihenacho today atleast if not for anything else has promised Ndi Imo a new prison outside Owerri town while Mrs. Obaji attracted loads of PTF projects to Imo in her short and eventful tenure.

Today, our 2 time minister, board chairman, BOT member and sitting Ambassador is reported to be angling to represent Imo East (Owerri Senatorial Zone) come 2011 as their Senator. Jesus wept. This desire has got many thinking and wondering aloud: WHAT REALLY DOES KEMA CHIKWE WANT? Is she the only person in the Owerri Senatorial zone, has she not gotten sibblings or relatives to sponsor? WHAT ELSE indeed DOES KEMA CHIKWE WANT?

The recent report in the Newspoint Newspaper of November 22 to 24 were the Owerri Peoples’ Assembly (OPA) outrightly rejected her bid for the Senate even in her home where she hosted them citing over “recycling of dividends of democracy” in a single individual is just a tip of the iceberg of the reactions that would trail her interest. My prayer is let the primaries be free and fair and let the delegates speak with their votes.

Her recent encounter with Harritex in the PDP state secretariat were she was reported by a local tabloid to have spat on the aspiring contestant for Owerri Federal Constituency seat in the House of Reps is indicative of the character of our aspiring representative coupled with her qurrel with the ministers she allegedly made and her running battle with Achike Udenwa?. This was inspite of the fact that Harritex was not even her prime target but she was furious at him when she could not get Capt. Iheanacho, the minister of interior who she insulted with unprintable invectives.

Imo East is yet to recover from the collosal failure that the incumbent represent? and her reported “peacockish”, inaccessible and combative nature resulting in the reported scuffle and assault recently on our reverred Nnia ID Nwoga not to talk of a “repeat performance” come 2011? Owerri Senatorial Zone needs a humane, humble, accessible, well mannered and eloquent personality to represent her in the Red Chambers come 2011.

Imo East needs a man this time to heal the wounds inflicted on her by her representative. Such a person should be one who has not been recycled before. A technocrat with verifyable means of income and a second address. A person who is young and can manage the rigours and demands of the Senate. A man who is an ardent loyalist of the government not a friend of convinience.

Come to think of it, if the Ambassador resigns to contest, Imo would have lost the position and the likelyhood of getting another Imo son or daughter to the post is near zero; all for the vaulting ambition of a single person who has her eyes ultimately on the guber seat in 2015 and would use the Senate as a launching pad?


Godswill Ohaeri, a politician wrote in from Ezinihitte Mbaise

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  1. It is the mission of DR MRS KEMAFO CHIKWE-The Ambassador Extraordinary of Ireland and Island- to help in the breaking down of classes, and to make all men and women feel as if they were brethren of the same family, sharing the same rights, the same capabilities, and the same responsibilities.
    While her hand can hold a pen, she will definitely use it to this end; and while her brain can earn a dollar, she will not hesitate to devote it to this end.It is the mission of DR MRS KEMAFOR CHIKWE-The Ambassador Extraordinary of Ireland and Island- to help in the breaking down of classes, and to make all men and women feel as if they were brethren of the same family, sharing the same rights, the same capabilities, and the same responsibilities.
    While her hand can hold a pen, she will definitely use it to this end; and while her brain can earn a dollar, she will not hesitate to devote it to this end.
    Your Excellency, we the concerned citizens of Nigeria resident here in Ireland, are solidly behind your political aspirations to better the lives and restore hope to the hopeless people of our beloved country Nigeria. Long live Dr Mrs Kemafor Chikwe: Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!!!!!!!
    Your Excellency, we the concerned citizens of Nigeria resident here in Ireland, are solidly behind your political aspirations to better the lives and restore hope to the hopeless people of our beloved country Nigeria. Long live Dr Mrs Kemafor Chikwe: Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!!!!!!! ONYENOBI NICHOLAS ONYEBUCHI IS A BACHELOR OF SCIENCE DEGREE HOLDER IN POLITICAL SCIENCE AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION LEVEL’5′ IN COMPUTER OPERATIONS AND E-BUSINESS Dublin, REPUBLIC OF IRELAND.


  2. Gavin Gallagher says:

    Onyebuchi, I believe you must be one of the numerous trafficed into Ireland on the orders of your so-called Ambassador. By your claimed level you should know that your Island is spelt Iceland. You should speak for yourself Mr Bootlicker. You know exactly how your maddam is busy crushing the aspirations and hope of some people in Ireland. I have done business with the Ambassador and her son. They are nothing to write home about. If the writter of the above article will contact me I am willing to help him with more facts about the old woman.


  3. Princewill says:

    I agree with you Gavin Gallagher Dr.or whatever they called kema chikwe is nothing to write home about. She is here for nothing flying from one place to another without minding what is become of Nigerian’s citizen in Ireland. She has killed so many souls here she only brings in her relations and family friends including the so called Nicolas onyebuchi who is writing rubbish about her presenting her to be a good woman. She has so many price to pay if she didn’t realize what she has done to Nigerian’s in Ireland. She is nothing to me at all.


  4. Let’s hope her mother does not read this. The fact is this: Kemafo Nonyerem Chikwe, minister of transport, was closer to her father than her mother. When her father died, she thought her young world had come to a mournful end. She recalls – and let no Amebo tell her mother this – “I had a scholarship to go to France but it took me six months (because of her father’s death) to remember. We were very close.”

    She speaks of her father with affection bordering on hero-worship. “My father was a very humble person. He was an achiever, highly disciplined. He related well with people and yet kept his dignity. He did not discriminate. He was very patient and he was very cautious in the choice of his words. Anyone that came in contact with him was charmed by his dignity. He was everything I wanted to be.”

    Let’s see what qualities in the father we can find in the daughter. He was a patient man; she is not a patient woman. No, she does not fly off the handle but she does not let those working with her forget that when she wants something done, she does not allow them the luxury of plodding their way towards tomorrow. Hardworking? Check. She trembled when she found herself saddled with the ministry of transport. The night before her swearing-in, she looked up to heaven from whence her help has always come. After that, she knew she was on her own in an environment crawling with experts whose credentials in the transport industry can fill a ship. She set to work, to arm herself for the job before her. Within a couple of weeks, she had taught herself the language of railway men, added wharf rat to her vocabulary and could hold her ground with the professionals in the maritime industry. Humble? Check. Charming? Check. She exudes charm. She has it delicately wrapped around her delicate person. You feel it in her voice and you see it in the sparkle of her eyes. Love of people? Check. “I love people around me. I love human beings.” We can confirm that. After three hours on the hot seat at The Newswatch Summit, Chikwe hugged each of the editors who had put her through the grill. You knew she was not putting on a show. It was her. It is her. Natural. Warm. Her winning way.

    Chikwe is an educationist. Ironically, when she started school at the age of five at Aba in what is now Abia State, she simply hated school. “They actually used to force me to go to school.” She had her reasons for not liking school. They lived far from the school. This meant that whenever her father travelled she and her brothers and sisters had to walk all the way to school and back. She “did not like it at all.” On her first day at school, her class teacher had a cane in his hand. “He shouted at one or two children and I was really scared of the cane.” And because she feared the cane, she refused to close her eyes during prayers. “One day the class teacher caught me and told me off.” The cane did not come down on her. It made no difference because the incident made her hate “school completely.”

    You would think that being an educationist would be the last thing on the mind of the little girl who did not like school. But her educational career was moderated by two factors. She was an intelligent child. She always came first in her examinations. School taught her to compete and to compete to win. And then there was the looming shadow of the man she adored – her father. “I think taking education as a career was due to my passionate attachment to my father.” Her father, Nathan Ejiogu, was a well-known educationist, who ruled his household of four wives and 22 children with a mixture of care and iron hand. He spared no expenses on his children but he brooked frivolous spending not at all.

    “Another part of him (her father, that is) that I took is that he had a purpose for everything. And anything I do in my life, I must have an objective.”

    Chikwe majored in French at the Advanced Teachers’ College, Owerri. Her first and second degrees in French from Queen’s College of the City University of New York. Her doctorate from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is in curriculum education.

    Why did she study French?

    Chikwe: You see, from the word go, I always see French as synonymous with sophistication.

    You may think that sophistication does not rank too highly as a calculated objective for someone who likes to count her steps towards a set objective but if so you would miss an important point about growing up and choosing a career which is that choices are made early but objectives come in later life. But you must admit that the lady achieved her objective here too. She is sophisticated. Her dress sense is obvious. Her voice has the taste and the colour of honey and the timbre of under-stated elegance.

    Until she was appointed a minister last year, not very many people knew her as a politician. But Chikwe was not an unknown politician. It would be correct though to say that most of her political activities were in Imo, her home state. She took her first unsteady steps into politics in the second republic. Her sympathies were for the National Party of Nigeria, NPN. She cast her political lot with the NRC, UNCP and now PDP. But she denies that her politics is right of centre. If you want to label her politics, she offers you this: choice of political bedfellows is practical politics.

    On her way to politics, Chikwe became a radio journalist, editor and a publisher. She was chief executive and publisher, Prime Time Limited, publishers of Ash magazine. She has published three books, edited a number of publications and contributed to several books. Chikwe’s world is a world of many colours and varied experiences. You may think she abhors standing still and you would be right. Her involvement in a number of non-governmental organisations was her door to a political career, which has taken her to her present position as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is easy to see that her varied careers have left some impression on her politics. She has not yet learnt the fine art of pretentious diplomacy of professional politicians. In other words, she still does not know another word for a spade. Put that down to her journalism background.

    For a woman who defines her objectives in everything she does, what are Chikwe’s objectives in politics? To serve? That is the common objective of all politicians, male and female. So, what is new?


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