Senator (Dr) Emmanuel Onwe, a Sir Thomas More Scholar, has been unveiled as the Director of Operations, National and Diaspora, of Njiko Igbo, the rainbow coalition movement dedicated to the struggle for president of Igbo extraction in 2015. Announcing the appointment at his Aso Villa residence in Abuja ,the Protem Coordinator of the organization and former Governor of Abia state Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, said that he “took full cognizance of Onwe’s solid background, resilient political spirit, passion for the Igbo cause and vast international exposure and decided to nominate him and propose him to the executive organ of the body for approval. The approval was unanimous.” The resilient political spirit might be a reference to the epic three and a half years court battle that Onwe waged to regain his Senatorial mandate in the 6th Session of the Senate (2007 to 2011).
Senator Onwe brings with him and impressive resume, by any international standards. He was educated at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), University of London, where he bagged an LLB with honours. He proceeded to University College London and earned LLM. He holds a PhD from the University of London and a PGD in Specialist Legal Skills from City University London. He was trained as a Barrister at the world’s topmost professional legal training institution, the Inns of Court School of Law in London. Dr Onwe was called to the
bar by the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn more than a decade ago. Following a successful legal practice, he served briefly at the Senate, representing Ebonyi Central, from late 2010 to early 2011.
“As the Director of Operations, National and Diaspora, Senator Onwe will bring his considerable intellectual abilities and creative political mobilisation strategies to bear on his work for Njiko Igbo. His impressive network of connections cut across the length and breadth of Nigeria as well as globally”, Dr Kalu enthused.
Contacted at his country home in Agubata in Ebonyi State, Senator Onwe said that he is extremely thrilled to be called upon to serve on a project which he is very passionate about. He said that as a student of jurisprudence, the concepts of justice, equal opportunities and equity are deeply ingrained in his intellect. “As an Igbo man, I harbour a deep sense of sadness at the manner in which we, as a people, have been consigned to the peripheral reaches of the Nigerian power structure for more than four decades. Where is the justice or equity or the idea of equal opportunities in a pluralistic society such as ours? When shall these be accorded Ndigbo in order that we can have the assurance that, yes, we are not Osu (outcasts) in a nation family where we have played a brave and distinguished role to make its history more solid and more enduring? As a Nigerian, observing our unending national degradation, I feel a sense of outrage that the Igbo option appears never to be in contemplation as a legitimate instrumentality through which our national challenges could be finally confronted in a manner that could genuinely yield transformation.
Pressed on the framework and strategy for achieving such a herculean task, Onwe was effusive: “A unity of purpose which must be demonstrated through the pursuit of one irreducible and indivisible goal. The sacrifice of the personal on the altar of the collective which must be demonstrated through allowing ourselves to be dedicated to a purpose greater than individual selfish commitments. The battle spirit of our old struggles must be summoned. A hand of friendship and solidarity stretched across and over the Niger to other tribes and tongues. Summon our greatest powers of persuasion and the will to persuade. The courage to take a stand and the stamina to stay the course. An open, genuine and transparent exhibition of our intentions and methods so that the distrust of our friends and allies can be allayed or eliminated. These are some of the ways and means through we can attain the goal of ascending to the presidency. But let me add that the organising principle of our struggle must not be founded solely on the capture of power. It must be headlined and concluded with a revolutionary manifesto for Nigeria and Nigerians – and of course I do not mean a neoclassical violent revolution.”
By scouting and recruiting this calibre of people, Dr Kalu has signaled the real seriousness of his mission to erect a solid structure that will pursue the goal of a president of Igbo extraction with everything at his disposal.