PROFILE OF HIS EXCELLENCY, SENATOR THEODORE AHAMEFULE ORJI
Senator Representing Abia Central Senatorial district, 2015-2019.
Theodore Ahamefule Orji was born in his hometown Amaokwe-Ugba, Ibeku in Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State on November 11, in the year 1950. His father Chief Tom Orji Ikoro was a man of great means by all measurable standards and ramifications. Going by his background as the only son of his mother, and one whose father was a well known warrant Chief that built the very first storey building in the modern Umuahia capital city. One can say without equivocation or any iota of contradiction that Theodore Ahamefule Orji was indeed born with a silver spoon.
For his academic pursuit, Chief Theodore Ahamefule Orji started his primary education at St. Michaels Catholic Primary School, Umuahia, Abia State. From there, he proceeded to Santa Crux Secondary School, Olokoro in the present-day Umuahia South LGA in Abia State, and Holy Ghost College, Owerri. Theodore Orji capped his educational pursuit with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from the prestigious University of Ibadan in 1977.
Upon graduation from Nigeria’s premier University, young Theodore got enlisted, for the National Youth Service Corps Scheme, and was deployed to Sokoto State where he was posted to teach at Government Secondary School, Shinkafi, Isa Local Government Area of present-day Zamfara State.
On the successful completion of the National Youth Service Corps Scheme in 1978, Theodore Ahamefule Orji offered himself for public service and was employed as an Administrative Officer in the old Imo State Civil Service on 18th December, 1979.
Subsequently, as an Administrative Officer, he served in various capacities in the Cabinet Office, Ministry of Lands and Survey, Ministry of Agriculture and Imo State Government House.
Upon the creation of Abia State in August 1991, Theodore Ahamefule Orji returned to Umuahia to contribute in the course of laying a strong foundation for the smooth take-off of the new state. He served at various times in Government House, Umuahia, Bureau of Budget and Planning, and Ministry of Agriculture. In all the places he served, Theodore Ahamefule Orji left indelible footprints in the sands of time. This is one special feat that has endeared him to all who came in contact with him.
On March 1st 1996, T.A. Orji was seconded to the National Electoral Commission of Nigeria (NECON) now INEC, Abia State, as Administrative Secretary, and was later redeployed to Enugu State in 1997 where he supervised the elections that ushered in the democratic government in that state in 1999. Thereafter, he returned to Abia State to take up another assignment as Principal Secretary, Government House, Umuahia, and later Chief of Staff to the Executive Governor.
In December, 2006, Chief Theodore Orji heeded the clarion call of his people of Abia State to offer himself for the governorship of Abia State, having left no one in doubt of his possession and command of the administrative arsenal needed to propel his dear state to an enviable level. Consequently, he contested for and won the Governorship primaries of the Progressive Peoples Alliance, to contest the 2007 governorship elections in Abia State.
Shortly after he clinched the ticket of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) to contest the 2007 elections, he became the target of the most vicious campaigns of calumny from many political foes who knew correctly, that his participation in the polls would seal his opponents’ political ambitions for life.
Since hard work never fails, and the divine wish of God must come to pass, history was made on April 14, 2007 as Chief Theodore Ahamefule Orji resoundingly emerged the Governor of Abia State, and was sworn in on May 29, 2007 as the 3rd Executive Governor of Abia State.
Through out his years as the executive governor of Abia, his administration embarked on massive reforms that improved Abia till he left for the senate. Indeed, Governor T.A. Orji did not leave anyone in doubt, regarding his dream for Abia State, which made Abia a reference point.
His policies and programmes have been geared towards providing a foundational synergy in all sectors of Abia State’s development which transformed the image of the state and positioned her as one of the most active states in the country in terms of sustainable development.
Senator T.A. Orji as governor liberated Abia State from the clutches of god-fatherism, ushered in a new lease of life in Abia, with his developmental projects that span across the three senatorial zones in the state and drove kidnappers out of Abia State.
In a twist of fate, the PDP then at the center came for him with all frenzy and he was able to unite the party in the entire Abia and led one of the most formidable reelection quests in 2011 which true to type resulted in a landslide.
Senator T.A. Orji (Ochendo) is an ardent Christian who took his religious evangelism to the seat of governance and politics in Abia State and now to the senate. He in actual facts renewed hope in Abia as he reinstated Abia State to its epithet as ‘God’s Own State’. First, he abolished the politics of oath taking and allegiance to false gods which hitherto dominated the activities of Abia State, and through that opened the political space for participation of all citizens without allegiance to godfathers and other ethnic hindrances.
Senator T.A. Orji hugely integrated the role of the Church and the State as agents for moral and social development in Abia State, and saw the need and partnered with the Church in a non denominational basis and improved the delivery of services, where necessary.
It is not easy to state all that he did while governor but we can isolate some landmark events. He handed over 19 Mission schools which have been run by the State in the past 40 years, back to their original Mission owners, because he appreciates their effective moral stronghold in the building of the ideal citizens.
While Governor, T.A. Orji sponsored many Christian and Moslem pilgrims to the Holy Lands, both at his personal and Government’s expense, and strongly supports religious freedom and plurality. He believes strongly in the building of great edifices in support of Christians and other religious bodies. The sky remains his limit and he is a man to watch!
His wife Chief Mrs Mercy Odochi Orji is a prayer warrior who has instituted and supported many prayer groups, especially the Abia Prayer Network – which meets every week to reverence God. She complimented the efforts of her husband in her many charitable and religious works, through her pet project Hannah -May-Foundation which supported humanity by alleviating the plight of widows and the less privileged in the society. Additionally she embarked on lengthy skills acquisition and partnered with government and non governmental agencies.
Chief T A Orji and his wife are blessed with five responsible and successful children.
His humane and down- to- earth nature coupled with foresight, sense of history and judgments are the qualities that manifested in the legacy projects of his administration targeted at sustainable growth and development of the socio-economic rights of the people of Abia state. There are these today for all to see.
These qualities and projects have been recognized and appreciated through several awards bestowed on him by highly respected and objective organizations and agencies across the world, some of them include;
- Best Governor on security matters by African Security watch in Ghana
- Best Governor in Agricultures by All Farmers Association of Nigeria
- ICON of Democracy award by Champion Newspapers
- ZIK Award by Hallmark Newspapers
- Man of the year 2012 by Daily Independent Newspapers
- Best Governor on Health.
- Housing Governor of the year 2014 by Nigerian Hosing Group Abuja.
- Best Governor in Sports by Sport Writers Associations off Nigeria.
- Justice of Peace.
- Peace Ambassador bestowed by The Abba Gana led National Peace Committee.
- Commander Order of Niger CON by the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
- Most Gender friendly Governor of the Year
Senator T A Orji is a perfectionist who insists on quality , efficiency, honesty, thoroughness, equity and fairness in performance of duties was the chairman of the South East Governor’s forum until he left office as Governor.
He is the first Ibeku person, first Umuahia person, first Abian and the entire Nigerian to win election from hot enclosures of the prison yard and first Governor to insist on a power shift to Abia South, which produced Ikpeazu as a governor today.
He made history when he promoted all civil servants to the next level.
He is equally the first Civil Servant to be elected Governor in Abia State!
It is on record that he is the first to install industrial size elevators located at the new secretariate built by him!
He built the first International Conference Centre in Abia!
It is through the instrument of his governance that a female was appointed a registrar in ABSU for the first time!
Before now, dialysis machines were only seen on photographs or by those who could travel abroad but he installed six at the new diagnostic center.
He built the first Government House in Abia, independent of colonial structures.
Most importantly, he is the first governor to genuinely advocate for power shift as contained in the Abia Charter of Equity. There could be more firsts if properly verified.
Bills in the senate:
- SB. 71 A bill for an Act to make provision from freedom from hunger-Food security bill 2015. This bill in an Act waiting presidential accent.
- SB 72. A bill for an Act to repeal the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council Act Cap N117 2004 repeal and re-enactment Bill. Now on second reading.
- SB 73 A bill for an Act to provide for National Planning Process and for other matters connected-Bill 2015
- SB 77-National Emergency Bill, also for second reading.
- SB 119-A bill for an Act to amend the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act CAP D3 LFN 2004 Amendment Bill 2015 (SB – 119)
- SB 79-A bill for an Act to provide for the management and conservation of Nigeria’s Biodiversity Bill 2015 (SB. 79)
- SB 129 A Bill for an Act to alter the provision of Constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 [alteration] portfolio Designation Bill 2015
- SB 78-A bill for an Act on Deoxybionucleric Acid (DNA)Bill 2015 (SB. 78) is aimed at checking crimes.
- SB 256 A bill for an Act to provide for the establishment of the National Centre for disease Control Prevention (Establishment etc) Bill 2016 (SB. 256)
- SB 260-A bill for an Act for the regulation and effective monitoring of metallurgical inspection and raw material development in Nigeria. Bill 2016 [SB. 260]
- SB 259-A bill for an Act to regulate the manufacture, importation, distribution and quality control of fertilizers in Nigeria and for related matters. Now for second reading.
- SB 500 The Nigerian palm oil research and development Board 2017
- Fed Coll Of Education Arochukwu 601 2018 Jan 25
- Fed Polytechnic Aba Abia State SB 602 2018 Jan 30
Motions…Indiscriminate Rock blasting,
Motion on public procurement Council in accordance with the Act 2008
[AIB] Accident investigation Bureau, The need to publish results of investigations on air accidents
Motion urging the senate to investigate the continuous use of Malaria drugs banned in the UK.
Urgent need to deploy scanning machines and adequate security personnel in al railway stations across the country
Senator Orji has outside these attracted electricity, road and water projects here listed. He has embarked on self sponsored scholarship programme that has empowered 180 students in different schools to indigenes of Abia Central and will be topped to 240 students by 2019.
Additionally, items like wheelchairs, Generators, fertilizers, tricycles, motorcycles and numerous materials shown in the pictures have been doled out as empowerment components.
Senator Orji has continued his achievement oriented style in the senate and was selected 3rd most productive senator of the 8th senate in 2016, [see Daily trust newspaper of 13 June 2016]. Quite a big feat for a rookie and a towering honor to the people of Abia CENTRAL.
March 20 2018
Important facts on U I -VC at his time Prof Tekena Tamuno
- Hall—Teder Hall
- Favorite Lecturer—Prof Niyi Osundare
- Favorite food—Amala and Ewedu soup
Enjoyed the environment and cannot recall any horrible scene