When Chikwe Udensi took wife, Chidinma to the sky!

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Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, PhD

Saturday March 25th was a day, Chikwe Udensi and wife, Chidinma will always remember in admiration. It was a day that close friends, business associates, government bureaucrats, legislators, politicians, the high and mighty stormed their opulent Abuja residence in the highbrow Asokoro District of the Federal Capital Territory to celebrate his amiable, pretty wife in grand style. Chikwe Udensi, politician and businessman is the founder, Chairman and Chief Executive of Sheiks & Bishops Group Ltd.; an international business conglomerate with interests in ICT, real estate and global security consulting. The event was a special birthday party for his wife and mother of his five children.

Preparation for the party was quiet but efficient. The event was out sourced to Amartha & David, a leading events management company led by a notable Abuja based socialite, Stella Akwari. It was therefore not surprising that invitations to the birthday party was selective, coordinated and restricted to only those it may concern. Organisation was equally outstanding. And the response was amazing and dignifying. The roll call of dignitaries was long; they include former ministers, senators, presidential aides, top public officers and business executives. The dignitaries arrived in very simple jeans and t-shirts, strolling into the party leaving behind their positions, paraphilia of office and protocols but ready to rock the night till dawn.

The imposing and spacious residence of the Udensi’s, located off TY Danjuma Street, Asokoro, where the rich, the high and mighty in Abuja reside swallowed the guests with all their expensive cars and retinue of personal assistants. The residence was the cynosure of all eyes. It is an amazing architectural masterpiece; mighty space, environmentally friendly withexotic flowers lacing the walk ways and adorning the fences.

A first time visitor to the edifice is immediately attracted by the presence of live birds, cultured animals that speak the language which only the flowers, the lawns, the lights and trees that define the compound understand. The first possible impression on entrance into the compound is an environment where humanity and nature are at peace with themselves. Even the trees, the lawns, the animals and the breeze that flow into the compound are not only disciplined but obey lawful orders from Chikwe and his wife. Invited guests to the party therefore had variety of options where to sit, relax and enjoy the natural air of freedom and entertainment put at their disposal by the hosts. It was a night where the DJ was at his best. It was also largely a meeting of like minds taken over by exchange of pleasantries, renewal of old ties. Guests were keen on savouring the relaxed environment that anything else. The music was a mixture of ancient and modern. All the dignitaries applauded the choice of music and responded appropriately on the dancing floor.

The climax was when Chikwe and wife Chidinma stepped out in grand style to the admiration of guests. The spectacular appearance spoke clearly of love and strong family bond. The atmosphere was charged when Chikwe lifted his wife to the sky in response to a particular tune of yester years that sent all present down the memory lane. Chidinma on her part “retaliated” with a dance curve that conveyed her appreciation to her husband for a birthday of a life time. The cutting of the cake was a big ceremony on its own. The cake itself had its own history. Our brother Emma Okoro Egbeukwu (Ugwu Aro) presided with support from civil rights lawyer Festus Keyamo. Then the children and close friends were invited to back the couple. It was a party where lavish entertainment in food, assorted drinks, rib-cracking jokes and irresistible music took center stage than the usual long speeches.

Responding to questions from the media, Mazi Chikwe Udensi simply summed up the event thus, ‘‘this is a token of my appreciation to my wife and a lady who means so much to me and our children’’. The statement was short and direct on the importance of a good wife in the life of any man. Like the saying goes, behind every successful man, there is a patient and dedicated woman. On the other hand, some people have also argued that behind every man that fails, there is also a woman. But the need for men to create time, avenues and platforms to appreciate their wives once upon a time was a clear message that resonated clearly at the party. The Chikwe Udensi example in honour of his wife, Chidinma is one of such good examples. Wishing you a happy Easter!

About author

Orji Ogbonnaya Orji

Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, a well-known Nigerian broadcaster, journalist, political economist and development communication specialist sits on the Editorial Board of Aro News, a leading community news channel of the Aros, south east Nigeria. Orji writes its popular column “Amaikpe”.  
 
He is currently the Director of Communications and Advocacy at the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), the Presidency, Abuja. NEITI is the Nigerian chapter of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), an international organization with 53 member countries which leads the global campaign for transparency and accountability in the management of extractive resources in resource-rich countries around the world. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji was named NEITI's acting Executive Secretary/ceo in 2015, a position he held briefly until 2016.  
 
Dr. Orji represents NEITI on Nigeria’s National Steering Committee of the global Open Government Partnership (OGP) and chairs the extractive sector thematic group in the country’s OGP.  
 
Prior to his current job at NEITI, Dr. Orji was a special adviser to Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Communication on Strategic Development Communication. Between 2004 and 2006, he worked with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) as a national consultant on public procurement reforms. At the UNDP, he worked with other development partners such as the World Bank and USAID on institutionalizing public procurement processes in Nigeria, by articulating a bill on public procurement for consideration and passage into law by the National Assembly. Following the passage of the Bill into law and establishment of the Bureau of Public Procurement on the June 4, 2007, Orji headed the media and public affairs department of the Bureau.
 
He served as Special Adviser to the President of the Senate at the National Assembly from 2000 to 2003. During this period, he provided technical support to develop the institutional framework on strategic media/civil society relations and engagements with the country’s legislature emerging from years of military rule.
 
His career in the media industry began at Radio Nigeria where he was groomed and worked in various capacities, rising through the ranks to the position of Deputy Director at the headquarters. The highest point of his career at Radio Nigeria was his posting to the Presidential Villa, Aso Rock (Nigeria’s seat of power) as the Chief State-House Correspondent, attached to Nigeria’s presidents. Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji served with courage and distinction during five different regimes, part of which were under the military from 1993 to 2000, when Nigeria returned to civil rule. The job at the Presidential villa took Orji on regular entourages of Nigerian Presidents to many countries of the world for the media-coverage of key global events, including several sessions of the United Nations' General Assembly in New York.
 
Orji Ogbonnaya Orji began his early life and education in 1970 at the Presbyterian School, Amanator Isu, Ohaozara in the then Afikpo Division. He attended Ishiagu High School Okigwe for his secondary education from 1975 and obtained his West African School Certificate from the school in 1980. He later proceeded to the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT) Enugu where he graduated with a certificate in Mass communication in 1987. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Abuja, Nigeria in 1999, a master’s degree in political economy and development studies in 2004 and a PhD in the same discipline and from the same University in 2012.
 
He attended the Senior Executive Fellows program on public policy and communication at J.F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He is also an alumnus of Blatvanik School of Government, University of Oxford, England, Thompson Foundation Institute of Advanced Media Studies Cardiff, United Kingdom, the International Law Institute, George Town University Washington DC, the Institute for Public and Private Partnership, Arlington Virginia, the World Bank Institute, the African Development Bank Institute, and the Lagos Business School. Furthermore, he is a recipient of professional fellowships from the US State Department and from the governments of Germany and the United Kingdom.
 
Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji is married to Dr. (Mrs.) Esther Ogbonnaya with three children: Nnenna, Orji (Jr), and Chinatu.

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