By Emmanuel Fateman
Going by any unforeseen circumstances, Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha representing Isuikwato/ Umunneochi Federal Constituency of Abia State will contest for the position of Speaker in the House of Representatives. She emerged a member in 2007 and has been reelected four consecutive times to occupy same position.. She is the current Chairman, House Committee on Aviation for the Second consecutive term. There are those who believe that she will make the difference if given the opportunity to serve.
In a related development, Arewa women and youth groups led by Movers and Shakers Organisation of Nigeria and Northern Emancipation Network recently endorsed the candidature of, Hon Nkiruka Onyejeocha, describing her as the right person for the position of 9th speaker of House of Representatives.
Other groups that also endorsed the female lawmaker are Northern Women Political Canvassers, Arewa Students League for Justice, North for Peace and Unity, Network for Women Support, Arewa Youth Stakeholders Forum and Civic Education for Grassroot Mobilization.
These groups recently made their position known at a press conference, held at Holiday Conference facility in Kaduna.
Reading the endorsement document on behalf of other groups, President, Movers and Shakers Organisation of Nigeria, Ruqayya Sani, said, South East was the best slot for the speaker of the house in line with federal character arrangement.
Unkown to some people Nkiruka had her primary and secondary education in a rural setting, it was with so much proper preparation and impactful tutelage that have over the years, combined to build in her the determination and courage to excel in all areas of her life. After obtaining her First School Leaving Certificate (FSLC) and West African School Certificate (WASC) from Isuochi Central School and Ovim Girls Secondary respectively, she applied for and secured admission into the prestigious University of Nigeria, Nsukka from where she graduated in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts (BA. Hons) 2nd Class Upper Division. Still burning in her desire for further education and acquisition of more knowledge, Chief (Mrs.) Onyejeocha enrolled in and successfully completed a postgraduate degree programme in Imo State University in 2006. Thus, she holds a Masters Degree in International Affairs and Diplomacy from Imo State University , She has completed her Law degree programme from Abia State university, Uturu and currently a PhD Degree candidate in Political Science at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and also attending the Nigerian Law School, Bwari for her BL degree..
Apart from university degrees, Chief (Lady) Onyejeocha is also a recipient of many professional and social awards. To mention a few, Our Lady is a Member of National Council of Women Society (NCWS); Associate of the Chattered Institute of Shipping (ACIS); and Associate of Institute of Personal Management (AIPM).
During her university days, Hon. Onyejeocha actively participated in the Students’ Union politics, holding important positions as Chairman to various committees of the Union. It was while in the University, that Hon. Onyejeocha developed a passion for politics and established herself as a political leader with charisma and ambition. However, after her National Youth Service programme, the exciting and rich working experiences she gained while serving in the Protocol Department of the Osun State Governor’s Office motivated her to join Kingszol Nigeria Ltd (A General Merchandise Firm) as a Manager. While developing a rich experience in the private sector, Hon. Nkeiruka did not lose sight of her interest in and passion for politics and public office, which she had developed from her university days.
Thus, in July 2002, the opportunity presented itself for Hon. Onyejeocha to serve her State in the capacity of a Commissioner; she accepted the opportunity with all humility and determination to give in her best. As Commissioner for Resource Management and Manpower Development in Abia State, Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha among other landmark achievements, worked tirelessly to reactivate and institute many skill acquisition programmes in the State. This resulted in the economic empowerment of many Abia State indigenes and especially the women.
Following her outstanding performance as Commissioner, she was appointed the Executive Transition Chairman, Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia State by the State Government in July 2003. This further presented her with the opportunity to show her exceptional qualities in leadership, community mobilization and human resource development. As part of her effort in affecting positively on the lives of her people, Hon. Onyejeocha instituted a scholarship foundation for deserving students in tertiary institutions of learning in her Constituency. Nonetheless, the Foundation recently added over Fifty-two (52) beneficiaries in Primary and Secondary schools.
Over the years, Hon. Onyejeocha’s excellent performances in her home State endeared her to the heart of her people. In recognition and appreciation of her contributions to their well-being in particular and societal development in general, the people accorded her with high honours.
Amongst these honours are; prestigious Chieftaincy titles of :-ADA-EJI-AGA-MBA 1 of Umunneochi Local Government Area; ONUNEKWURU OHA 1 of Uturu Ancient Kingdom; and ADAUGO 1 of Isuikwuato L.G.A.
Also, Religious, Civil Society Organizations and Student bodies were not left out in recognizing and appreciating Nkeiruka’s magnanimity and benevolence in leadership. Thus, she was conferred with the:-
Nneoma Nwere Ugwu” title by the Methodist Church Nigeria, Nneochi Diocese; International Service Award of Rotary Club of Maryland, Enugu Rotary International District 9140; and Merit Award in Visionary leadership by National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS), Umunneochi.
Believing in her capacity to do many more things that are significant for her people, in 2007, the people of Isuikwuato/Umunneochi Federal Constituency overwhelmingly elected Chief (Mrs.) Nkeiruka Onyejeocha to represent them at the Federal House of Representatives, Abuja. As a Federal Lawmaker, Hon. Onyejeocha has successfully put together and assisted in the passage of several pieces of legislation. Moreover, as the current House Committee Chair on Aviation, Hon. Onyejeocha has consistently supported the Transformation Agenda of the current Administration and has significantly contributed in bringing sanity to the aviation sector that was becoming a source of nightmare to Nigerians and a reproach to the nation at the international community. These laudable efforts have been commended by all stakeholders’ in the industry.
Combing law making activities with efficient representation of her people, Hon. Onyejeocha has since her election into the House of Representatives attracted over fifteen monumental projects to her Constituency. These include:
Yearly Free Medical Treatment for Isuikwuato and Umunneochi People;Design of Mmam/Achi Bridge in Mbala Isuochi;
Design of Erosion Control Drainage/Environmental impact assessment for Abia University – Afikpo – Uturu road; and a Isuikwuato – Uturu road, Construction of Classroom Blocks and Supply of School Furniture at Eluama Isuikwuato Secondary school, Methodist College Obilagu Ngodo, Nneato High School, Ngodo Girls Secondary School, Achara Uturu Secondary School, Isuochi Secondary School, Mbala Secondary School,
Comprehensive secondary school Umuchieze, Hopeville Rehabilitation Centre Uturu, Ngodo Town Primary School Obinulo.
Supply of Library Books to Mbala Primary School, Nneato Primary School and Leru Primary School. Constructed a Hand Pump Borehole at Umuaku Secondary School; Drilled a borehole at the Umunneochi General Hospital, Nkwoagu Isuochi, Purchase and Installation of 25 Nos. 300 KVA Transformer; Built Community Library at Isuochi Secondary School; Built a Health Centre at Umuchieze and Eziama Nneato, Built over 4 houses for widows, Built 480 Stands of Street Light Solar Energy across the constituency; and Construction of Rural Roads at Umuehihie Amuda and Ngodo Isuochi, amongst others.
Hon. Chief (Mrs.) Nkeiruka Onyejeocha is a dynamic, vibrant and a well-informed lady, whose records of accomplishments both in the public and private sectors have left no one in doubt about the height she is yet to attain.
Socially, she is a mixer, relating freely and humanely especially with the low and down trodden in spite of her exotic position in the society.
In politics, she has become an IROKO; (“First among Equals”) dealing with a wide spectrum of issues of national, regional and local importance. This is evidenced with the recent Constituency Empowerment Scheme in October 2014 for her constituents where several household items were distributed freely to support the economic empowerment of the constituents. These items are as follows:
- Vehicles – (Transportation Use), 450 Motorcycles, 300 Refrigerators, 350 Power Generating Machines,1000 Grinding Machines, 300 Television Sets, 2000 Hair Dryers.
To the Glory of God, Lady Nkeiruka erected a Chapel at the Bishop’s Court at Nkwoagu- Isuochi. She also erected an ultra- modern Church building for the Umurueliline, Methodist Church at Amuda Isuochi as well as another ultra-modern church building for St. Mathew’s Methodist Church Nigeria, Ezingodo Isuochi. In-addition, she has assisted many Abia State indigenes to gain employment in several Federal Ministries and Parastatals.
These attributes and many more led to recent distinguished awards: WAF-MDG 2013 Award in South Africa because of her contributions towards the socioeconomic advancement of women in rural communities as well as giving them a voice; and
The Most Vibrant Female Legislator in Nigeria’s 7th Assembly. Distinguished Fellow of the Institute of Public Diplomacy and Management. (November 2014), Pilot Newspaper, Outstanding Female Legislator 2016, Authority Newspaper, Outstanding Female Legislator, 2016 and many others too numerous to mention
Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha is happily married and blessed with Children.