It will not be wrong to say that “Eagle has landed at the National Assembly” for the new dispensation called the 10th Assembly.
His Christian name is Paul. And Christians who know their Bible well can easily reflect on the role and indeed antecedent of Apostle Paul as recorded in the New Testament of the Holy book for the propagation of the gospel.
But the Paul I am talking about here can be regarded as David in the Bible who killed Goliath and saved the Israelites from the humiliation of their oppressors, the Philistines. And I will come to this shortly.
But let us look at the background of this man I am trying to paint in true colours. His is Professor Paul Nnamchi recently elected Hon. Member of the House of Representatives representing Enugu East and Isi-Uzo Federal Constituency.
This man of “iron and steel” is coming from the academic or if you like “Ivory Tower” background with outstanding qualifications and impeccable character. A man that can’t be compromised. A man who will be noticed in and out of the House of Reps. A man to watch.
As a Professor at the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), he headed the Biomedical Engineering Department. He also handled postgraduate students and other departmental assignments.
This erudite scholar is grounded on interdisciplinary research experience in new and emerging metallic materials. A man with the heart of metallic materials so to say.
Professor Paul Nnamchi is a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Metals and Mining (UK), Chartered Engineer (UK), Chartered Scientist (UK).
He obtained his PhD, Meng and B.Eng at Sheffield University, UK. He also attended Technical University of Delft, Netherlands.
He held various academic appointments in top universities in Netherlands, UK and Germany. They include; Northumbrian University, Sheffield University, Max Planck’s Institute for Iron and Steel Research Düsseldorf Germany, the Netherlands Institute of Metals Research etc.
He is a member of International Bio Metals Association, Council for Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), amongst others.
From UNN he later joined The Enugu State University of Technology (ESUT), where he built the Toyal Academy Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Tural Sustainable Development. The Centre was seeded by Royal Academy of Engineering, United Kingdom. From here he left to join politics, contested and won to represent his people at the House of Reps under Labour Party.
Before his emergence, his constituency has been under the grip of one family as far as political positions were concerned. Either as Chairman of his L.G.A, positions at the the state or National Assembly, if you don’t belong to that family you “go-no-where”.
But the Prof broke the jinx and caused a political paradigm shift during the recent elections.
Enugu state has been ruled by the PDP since 1999 until 2023 elections when the LP swept them off, winning 14 out of 24 State Assembly Seats, 7 out of 8 HOR, and 2 out of 3 Senate Seats.
However, the Governorship seat was won by PDP.
For achieving the feat of defeating strong opposition candidates especially the PDP, Prof Nnamchi is now regarded as “Giant killer”, or “David” as I explained at the beginning of this story.
One good thing about the Prof is his simplicity not minding his high position in society. Very approachable, humble, humane and generous.
He moves with measured steps, soft spoken, likeable and hardworking.
My first encounter with him was in my village Amurri in Nkanu West LGA when he came with other LP candidates to seek for votes from our people. They were led by the late Barr. Oyibo Chukwu an indigene who was contesting for the Senate before he was murdered by yet-to-be found murderers. Venue was our village square called “Obodo Okorochukwu” where the entire Community meets to discuss very important matters. It was a Saturday, September 17th 2023. The late Oyibo was consequently replaced by his younger brother Sir Kelvin Chukwu who reluctantly accepted and later won. He is now a Distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Prof Nnamchi at the occasion at our village square meeting was introduced as the candidate for HOR, he made a brief speech and ended with his infectious smile. We exchanged numbers and he promised to meet me at Enugu. And he did on the appointed date and time.
It was at the meeting I observed him very closely. We interacted as if we had know ourselves for decades. He is such a friendly fellow.
No wonder people of his constituency and many other invited guests, political heavyweights and the masses gathered recently at Nike, his community to celebrate with him and give thanks to God. It was an occasion where his people confirmed their love for him and pledged their continued support for his political journey just started with his recent inauguration alongside others.
It was at the occasion he urged the youths and other politicians to be courageous and hardworking in their desire to be anything in life including political positions since he could make it and broke the barricade. “This has shown that a child of nobody can be somebody tomorrow with God and hard work” he admonished.
It was established that Prof Nnamchi couldn’t have won if money was the main factor. As a lecturer at the top of his career in Nigeria, he was barely surviving just like many of his colleagues. When I asked him in one of our discussions who was behind him, “only God and those who desire a change” was his immediate answer. I was told that his supporters contributed all their could to make sure he won the election. The new wave called Labour Party also made the struggle a bit easier it must be acknowledged.
At the recent ceremony marking his success, he assured the people of his constituency that he will operate open door policy. According to him, “You will witness a kind of representation and actions never seen in our place. I am for you and my doors will be open to hear you and I will do my best to meet your demands”
He assured also; “there will be a paradigm shift in the House of Representatives this time around because of the kind of people now elected”.
From the classroom to the HOR Chamber, Prof Paul Nnamchi, the Eagle, has landed in Abuja.
Nwanze, Author, Journalist, is Media/PR Consultant based in Abuja.