On the March 8, 2017, the world celebrated, World Women’s Day, a day set aside by the United Nations to recognize the impacts of women in shaping our world. Throughout history and across cultures, religions, tribes, nations, ethnicity and the global world, women have played and still play great roles in shaping the destiny of societies. Indeed, Women are very important!
This piece is principally designed to celebrate one of Nigerian women’s finest at the moment at the green chamber of the National Assembly, Hon. (Mrs) Nnenna Elendu Ukeji, representing Bende federal constituency of Abia State. But, I will deviate a little to briefly talk about some women who have greatly made impacts and even till now still affecting lives positively across borders. Some of them had gone to the great beyond; some had retired while others are still crisscrossing the length and the breadth of the world positively transforming lives. Women are very special; and unique, no doubt about
it. In this connection without mincing words, no women, no society.
This is why their bravery, loves, and dedication towards the general wellbeing of humanity cannot be quantifiable. Many of them serve as source of inspiration for others. I am talking about global women icon like Susan Anthony, Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, Marie Curie, Mother Teresa, Anne Frank, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Wangari Muta Mathai, Aung San Suu Kyi, Shirin Ebadi, Benazir Bhutto, Dr. Mae Jamison, Rigoberta Menchu Tum, Malala Yousafzai etc. All these women till date, their immeasurable efforts’ are still positively changing lives.
What can we say about Nnenna Elendu Ukeji, the member representing Bende federal constituency at the lower chamber of the Nigeria National Assembly? With all sincerity and honesty, she can be compared to any of the global women icon as highlighted above. Not because of any other specialty but, in view of her commitment towards making Nigeria, Africa and the world better than she met it. Before I forget, my recent encounter with a man at the National Assembly who spoke positively about Nnenna made me to come out with this piece on her.
According to the young man who hails from Edo State, he was just struggling on daily basis to make ends meet until destiny brought him to her. As a result of that encounter, today this young man from Edo State is gainfully employed and doing very well all to the kind gesture of Nnenna. This testimony about her is just one out of thousands of lives God has tremendously used her to positively impact.
Back in her constituency that she is representing, the story is the same ranging from her constituency projects of primary school structures, scholarships for secondary and higher institutions students, constructions of bore holes, training of the youths, women and the downtrodden on skills acquisition programmes, provision of free medical care for the elderly and the poor, electrifications of the rural communities, and building of market stores among others.
She also holds quarterly town hall meeting to directly relate with the grassroots people to know their needs and to urgently attend to them.
At the national level, Nnenna has performed excellently beyond imagination in all the assignment given to her especially at the National Assembly. She stands tall among her colleagues in the area of sponsorship of bills, and contributions on issues of public interest.
Prominent among the life changing bills she has sponsored include; Bill for the Public Officers Protection Act. She is a well known advocate of human equality. It was as a result of her quest for human equity, justice and fairness for all devoid of religious, tribal, political affiliations and parental background that made her to venture into the murky water of politics in 2007. She contested and won the House of Representatives seat under the platform of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP). As a result of her excellent performance, she was reelected in the year 2011 and 2015 respectively.
Nnenna before taking a shot into politics was a development manager with Hudson Petroleum. She later went into hospitality business and rose to become a manager of the defunct Protea Hotel at Victoria Island, Lagos, Lagos State.
Nnena presently is the House Committee chairman on Foreign Affairs.
The position which she is using to build up good image for Nigeria across the globe. Many Nigerians across the globe are also feeling the positive impacts of her legislative experience as a result of her efforts in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs to make sure that Nigerians abroad are treated decently. To say Nnenna knows the business of legislating is like asking Maradona whether he knows how to play football. Nnenna is a well-bred politician, a detribalize Nigerian, kind, generous, intelligent, pretty, benevolent, outspoken, God-fearing and above all, humble to a fault. A believer in Nigeria as an entity and promoter of African culture. She can hardly be seen wearing foreign attires thereby projecting the culture of Nigeria to the world. This woman of substance has shown that when women are given opportunity, they can perform, even better than men.