By Thamah Barnabas
Hon (Amb) Uche Ogbuagu represents so many things to many people. He is a lawmaker, a comedian, philanthropist, business man; spirit filled Christian, an activist, communication mogul, politician, and a man who has seen the worst and best of life etc. Presently, he is the honourable member representing Ikeduru State Constituency in the Imo House of Assembly doubling as the majority leader. He is a native of Akabo in Ikeduru local government area.
In a short span of earthly life he has packed so much to his credit which many far older in various privileged positions and walks of life are yet to scratch. On whether he finds himself a fulfilled man given his strings of achievements and unquantifiable philanthropic activities, he had this to say.
‘No no no no. I give God all the glory. At any time reminiscence sets in I take time to reflect on where I am coming from, a son of an artisan, the son of a petty trader mother, an only child, somebody who once lived in a warehouse, a street hawker, I say wow o! This God is wonderful and can bless whoever he decides to bless. What wealth should do to any man is to humble the person and not to get into someone’s head. I feel humbled and have never seen myself as an achiever or a fulfilled person. I am one man who knows how best to celebrate the giver than the given.’’
Uche Ogbuagu is quite accomplished in every area he has ventured into. He can as well be described as the man with the Midas touch. There is this media aspect of his life that many are not aware of. From a modest start he can be described as giant in communication. Hear him, ‘’It has gone down the annals as the first Nigerian artist to own a commercial FM station and that was during MyRadio FM. MyRadio FM has given birth to Gold 89.3 and Gold 89,3 has given birth to Ray 99.1 Aba, Ray 99.1 Aba is giving birth to Majority FM there in Port Harcourt and we are also floating a Television Station.
In the political sphere, he remains a giant and is presently among those who call the shots. Whatever that is lurked in someone’s destiny no one can take it from him. Under the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) the enigma called Uche was very visible in taking the party in the state to power. Naturally, virtually everyone expected him to be rewarded as the Deputy Speaker of the House. Sadly, this was not to be as a result of what political observers tagged political intrigue.
However, by a stroke of Divine Providence, there was a change of guard at the governorship seat and power rotated throwing the Ikeduru born rep as the Majority leader. True to type, he has not failed as he remains one of the most visible, vocal legislators loaded with strategic ideas to advance the state. This is manifest in the bills he has pushed so far which have been signed into laws. Among the bills is the Waste Management Law which seeks to improve the sanitation of the state as well as transforming the wastes into wealth.
There is also the Land Use Law, and also the Law abolishing pension payments to former governors and Speakers of the legislature. This law which was made last week is expected to save the state of whooping sums running into billions. These freed funds will be channelled into other areas of need for meaningful development. Ogbuagu has to his credit too a bill for a law which has been signed into law to amend the University of Agriculture and Environmental Studies, Aboh/Okpala. The amendment bill is designed to correct abnormalities created by the last government.
Uche is the people’s person. He is a grass root man to the core. He loves his Ikeduru people. He has never hidden this love which he has amply demonstrated through numerous philanthropic activities so numerous to chronicle here. We can only but highlight a few. These are visible projects that you can see. They are not just the typical politician’s stuff which is packaged to pool wool over the people’s eyes. They are real they are verifiable. He is God’s gift to the Ikeduruans.
Some of these projects which were accomplished prior to and during his sojourn into politics include ddonation of 500 kva Transformer to Iho Dimeze Community, drilling of 15 boreholes across Ikeduru, rehabilitation of Ngugo Comprehensive Secondary School, appointment of 21 Special Assistants on Community Matters from across Ikeduru who are under his payroll monthly, sponsoring Ikeduru Festival of Praise in 25 centres across Ikeduru which cost millions, modernization of Orie-Okwu market in Okwu Ikeduru, modernization of Orie Akabo Ikeduru with water borehole
Others are reconstruction of Rt. Hon. Bethel Amadi’s Memorial Classroom block at Akabo High School and equipping same with modern lockers, chairs for students, building of players and officials dressing rooms fully air-conditioned with in-built convenience at Ikeduru Stadium Iho, Tarring of Umuobiara ring roads Akabo, bbuilding a modern police station with officer’s quarters at Akabo, with borehole, donation of patrol van and powerbikes to the police, Daily welfare packages to the less privileged through Ucheogbuagu Lovendar Foundation, Ongoing building of Ikeduru High Court complex in Iho etc
The popular legislator whose name rings a bell was once the chief comedian and the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to erstwhile Imo Gov, Rochas Okorocha, a job he has never failed to regret. The comedian once revealed that one area of his life which is not known to so many is his affinity to God leading him to say that his happiest moments in his life is when he is worshipping God. It is not surprising that he has a Chapel in his compound where he spares time to commune with his Creator.
In his words, ‘I have a very strong relationship with God which my social and entertainment status have beclouded and people don’t know about to the extent that when they see me in church they start laughing.’’ The Mass Communication graduate of Abia State University used his comedy to crusade for social justice and this popularized him and endeared him to many fans across the globe. Even in government he is not afraid of criticising his own party in government. Under Gov. Emeka Ihedioha, in spite of the closeness to the governor, he was quick to shout in condemnation when filths was about enveloping the capital city of Owerri. When he joined the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), this was greeted with disapproval from among his admirers as many indulged in name calling. There is no doubt that he may have lost some fans as a result but he had his focus because he sought the best way possible to maximize opportunity to serve his people. From whichever perspective it is looked at, Uche Ogbuagu is a legislator with a difference.