Victor Umeh: A master strategist at 60

Senator Victor Umeh is a man of destiny greatly helped by God to fulfill his destiny on earth. Conscious of his vision and mission to improve the wellbeing of the people of Anambra Central Senatorial District in particular and marginalised Nigerians in general, Umeh has maximised every opportunity given to him to serve the nation. He is an eloquent testimony of a servant leader, full of compassion and abundant milk of human kindness as a renowned philanthropist, seasoned administrator, eminent professional, prominent politician and distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Born on July 19, 1962, Umeh is an embodiment of patriotism, intellectualism, integrity, dignity and humility which attracted numerous admirers and followers to him in the onerous task of ushering a new, better and greater Nigeria.

The ongoing electrifying 2023 general elections season has further brought to light Umeh’s political sagacity, savvy and tenacity of purpose to provide effective representation to the people of Anambra Central and ensure the victory of his bosom friend, political soulmate and birthday mate, Peter Obi, he recently reconciled with as both joined Labour Party to actualise their political ambitions of senator and president in what supporters fondly called “Obi-diently Victorious”.

Senator Victor Umeh had paid his dues in his former political party, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) he was a founding member and served as pioneer national vice chairman (South-east), national treasurer, national chairman, member Board of Trustees and was elected into the 8th Senate. His excellent performance in the Senate was an eye opener to the people of Anambra Central and the entire South-east geopolitical zone of what a visionary, purposeful, dynamic and progressive senator could do in law making, good governance and delivery of democratic dividends. Past, present and future senators of Anambra Central would be assessed by the impact Umeh made in the 8th Senate in barely 18 months due to elongated litigations to scuttle his mandate. He emerged victorious as his name Victor denotes.

It was Ohamadike’s brilliant performance in the Senate where he sponsored and co-sponsored several bills/motions, promptly intervened in crucial national issues and executed massive constituency projects that spurred his people to demand his return to the 10th Senate on the platform of Labour Party.

The wind of change across the country for progressive leadership in place of reactionary and retrogressive forces that want to impose a docile gerontocracy – the old order of impunity, stagnation and business as usual are being resisted by the ever growing population of citizens who desire and deserve a new deal and better life from their government. This is what “Obi-diently Victorious” stands for and the attraction it holds for millions of Nigerian youths and women who are victims of leadership fatigue, marginalisation, suppression and oppression by various governments they voted into power. Today, they are desirous to ensure that power is returned to the people on whom sovereignty resides, and taken away forever from the cabal that has mortgaged the future of the nation.

Millions of Nigerians are now “Obi-diently Victorious” as they rush to participate in the ongoing voter registration. There is no doubt with the new technology (Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS) adopted by INEC votes will be counted and count in the 2023 general election, a departure from the old order of rigging, falsification of results, violence, ballot snatching, vote buying and selling that impeded the nation’s democratic process. 

A quintessential democrat, paragon of patriotism, advocate of electoral integrity and sanctity of the ballot box, Senator Umeh has confidence in the judiciary as the temple of justice and beacon of hope for all aggrieved citizens. He won several landmark cases in court that have strengthened and consolidated the nation’s frail democracy including the tenure interpretation suit to determine when APGA Governor Peter Obi’s government in Anambra state commenced as Dr Chris Ngige of PDP had ruled for almost three years before the election appeal tribunal sacked him. The Supreme Court declared that Obi’s tenure started from the day he was sworn in as governor, March 17, 2007, and continued till March 16, 2010, and terminated PDP Dr Andy Uba’s 17 days in office on June 14, 2007. This led to the current staggered governorship elections in Nigeria – a victory for democracy, due process and rule of law.

He received numerous national and international awards, honours and chieftaincy titles including the prestigious Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) conferred on him by President Goodluck Jonathan on 29th September 2014, in appreciation of his contributions towards the development of the nation and particularly in his efforts in helping to deepen democracy and the rule of law in Nigeria.

The credibility and success of the 2023 elections will be a befitting birthday present to Ohamadike Ndigbo, as political analysts predict his victory in the Anambra Central Senatorial poll. A grassroots politician and astute legislator, he deserves a seat in the upcoming 10th Senate.

Chief Victor Umeh is a Catholic Knight of St Sylvester and fellow of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers. He is married to Lady Prisca Chineye, a perfect soulmate and competent partner in service to God and humanity. They are blessed with children. 

I join millions of his supporters to congratulate him on his Diamond Jubilee. A new chapter in the service to the fatherland has opened. To God be the glory!

Dr Chukwuka, a public affairs analyst, writes from Awka, Anambra state.