SIR EMEKA IHEDIOHA
Is by different definitions, a self-made man, who has painstakingly but steadily risen through the ranks of his chosen career to meritoriously become the Deputy Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives. He is indeed one of the few Nigerians, living or dead, who has been returned to the House to represent his people for a record three times. His achievements and attainments in life today are all traceable to the grace of God Almighty, his personal grit, loyalty to his convictions and his refusal to make compromises on issues that will not advance the cause of humanity. Thus, his quest to become the next elected Governor of Imo State is borne out of personal convictions and a burning desire to bring his consummate wealth of public service experience, political dexterity, wide network of national and global contacts, and visionary focus to improve the lives and living conditions of the good people of Imo State.With about two decades of his life spent in public service, there were indications early in Emeka’s life that his strength of character and the obvious sparks of academic brilliance he exhibited in school marked him out for future leadership.
EMEKA IHEDIOHA, CON, KSC
A Knight of the Order of St. Christopher of the Anglican Communion
Background and Education
IRt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha was born on March 24th 1965 and hails from Mbutu, Aboh Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State, South-East, Nigeria. He began his primary education at Town School, Mbutu in Aboh Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State, completed same at SDA Primary School, Abule Oja, Yaba Lagos in 1976. He then moved on to St. Ephraim’s Secondary School, Owerrinta in present day Abia State for his secondary education, rounding off his academic sojourn in Nigeria with a Bachelor of Science (B. Sc.) degree in Food Technology from the University of Lagos. This was in 1988. He has taken Management and Leadership Development courses at Stanford and Harvard Universities, both Ivy League institutions in the United States; Oxford University Business School and London School of Economics in the United Kingdom; as well as the University of British Columbia, Canada.
Political Experience/Public Service Record
Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha has lived a life of service, beginning with his appointment as Press Officer to the then President of the Senate of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu in 1992. This appointment was in recognition of his capacity as a publicist of immense abilities and a media person of known effectiveness. Within three months of this appointment, he was elevated to the position of Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Albert Legogie (late).
When the military cut short Nigeria’s democratic experience and experiment in November 1993, Ihedioha returned to his public communications practice as Chief Executive Officer of First Page Communications. In 1995 when the whistle was blown for transition to civil rule under the aborted Third Republic, he readily found his sails in the familiar waters of politics and was appointed Director of Publicity of the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM).
Rt. Hon. Ihedioha made the right moves, maintained the right contacts and retained relevance in an environment where even the biggest of ocean-going sharks and fish are known to drown quite easily. In 1999, Ihedioha was appointed into key positions in the budding democratic dispensation. First, he was appointed Special Assistant to the Presidential Adviser on Utilities (July 1999); Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President of Senate (November 1999); and eventually Special Assistant on Political Matters to the Vice President (September 2001). It was from this last assignment in the Office of Vice President Atiku Abubakar that he contested election and won a seat into the House of Representatives as Member representing Aboh Mbaise/Ngor-Okpala Federal Constituency of Imo State in 2003 under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He is currently serving his third consecutive term in the House of Representatives as Deputy Speaker.
Since his first term, Rt. Hon. Ihedioha has been prominently positioned in the House of Representatives. He was Chairman of the ranking House Committee on Marine Transport between 2003 and 2007, where he brilliantly coordinated legislative oversight functions over Nigeria’s maritime sector. The passage of two key legislations which reformed the maritime industry to allow for increased participation of Nigerians in that sector of the economy is credited to the sterling, committed and determined efforts of Hon. Ihedioha. The legislations in question are: the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Act, 2007 and the Merchant Shipping Act, 2005. He led the way in ensuring that Nigeria complies with International Maritime Organization (IMO) Conventions and that these conventions became part of our Municipal Laws, through their domestications. These laws include:
• The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (Ratification and Enforcement) Act 2004;
• The United Nations Convention on Carriage of Goods by Sea (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, 2005;
• The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (Ratification and Enforcement) Act 2005; • The International Convention on the Civil Liabilities for Oil Pollution Damage (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, 2006; and
• International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for the Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage 1979 as amended (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, 2006.
It is noteworthy that Hon. Ihedioha’s pivotal and timely role perfected the legislation for the domestication of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, which ensured that Nigeria complied with global shipping standards. Within the period, he also personally sponsored and facilitated the passage into law of the bill that established the Council for Regulation of Freight Forwarding (CRFFN) in Nigeria. This is one of the few legislations sponsored by a legislator that received Presidential assent. This has brought order in the sector and given pride of place to our local operators.
A Core Party (PDP) Man
Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha has been on the national political scene for about two decades during which period he has made his mark convincingly and creditably. And in all this time, he has played politics of consistency, loyalty and commitment to his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). As a core party man and one of its founding stalwarts, Rt. Hon. Ihedioha joined forces with other prominent politicians to fight military incursions into the polity especially after the botched Third Republic where he played an active role. The PDP is a notable result of the political activism of that era. It could be safely said that Hon. Ihedioha was actively involved in midwifing the PDP and he has not left the party since inception. It is notable that Hon. Ihedioha served as Publicity Secretary of the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) which is the precursor of the PDP. And he has always served the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) faithfully since then including being prominent in the presidential campaign organization that brought President Olusegun Obasanjo to power in 1999.
In the 2012 National Convention of the PDP, he served as Chairman of the National Screening Panel that screened and certified the qualifications of aspirants to the various National Offices of the Party. In the following year, 2013, he also served as Chairman of the Publicity Committee of the Special National Convention of the party. In that capacity, he ensured that the proceedings of the Convention were well publicized in both local and international media. And only in September 2014, he was appointed into the National Integration Committee of the party for North-Central. These appointments are obviously in recognition of his intellectual and political standing within the power echelons of the party.
At the state level, Rt. Hon. Ihedioha has been a major bulwark and one of the major financiers of the PDP in Imo since the party lost the gubernatorial office in 2011. In his capacity as Deputy Speaker, he has rallied other party stalwarts, members and supporters to rebuild the PDP in Imo State to make it such a formidable force that is set to retrieve the governorship of Imo State in the 2015 General Elections. He has ensured that Party members and others receive federal government patronage and facilitated employment of party members and other qualified citizens.