Celebrating A Mentor Worth His Name By Emenike Vincent Onyembi



I have always expressed the notion that it is best to celebrate a great person while he is living and not the other way round as society conditioned – to eulogize a person when he is no more breathing. This case is different. And for very many good reasons. One suppressed reality is that every millennial crave a role model worthy of his name. Often times, many direct such need to the father, in the home. Hon. Solomon Adaelu may not have biological ties to me, but as far as that unique deference one has for a revered role model is concerned, he is my mentor, and my second father. An aside: Please do not jealous this fact, it is noble to extol he who is worth his name, in many respect.

Knowing you came at a time, I never could have fathomed, however, hitherto it has been and still is, wonderful. You have always been there for me, in different times. You’re like a father to me. I make bold to say you are my backbone. No regrets. In the course of the time I’ve known you, my take home lessons have been innumerable. Your personality is a refined mixture of the best finesse in character, that one marvels at the level of personal discipline, focus, valuable principles and motivations that you embody. Onyembi is surely learning.

You acknowledges my ₦10 opinion when my thoughts are solicited. What could a mentee wish for more than such level of mutual treatment that communication is on a balance, not the typical one-way top to bottom style of communication adopted by the Nigerian class of bigmanism. You will always insist I say something. “Vincent Onyembi, what do you have to say with regards to this?” Those are typical of Sloddy ‘s words. If there is any young person that you have accommodated more in your life in your dealings, Onyembi should be counted among the first, before others. This is a fact. You have done a whole lot for me and numerous others. Where will I start from to reel them out here? They have surpassed the matrix of the abacus. But, Onyembi remembers.

I recalled that one time, you unknowingly took a risk, just for my sake. This is between us. Mentor to mentee. Many times, you’d advised me with words of wisdom. Many a time, I drop my ₦10 advise. A mentor who takes the views of his mentee very seriously. He wouldn’t always second-guess them. Once it has come from Onyembi, he acknowledges. Most significantly, it is soul gratifying whenever he seeks my counsel and welcome my ideas. Aside checking on me, I can categorically say he makes out time, irrespective of his busy schedules to call and celebrate me with “Happy birthday” melody, on various occasions on my Born Day. How I enjoy his baritone voice. It encourages me more to remain resolute and embody the very highly minable principles you exhibit.

I remember, one faithful Sunday morning last year, he requested I return to Aba for a special meeting. In fact, he told me he was going to inaugurate his Education Endowment Committee. At about 9am, I was still on my way back to Aba from Port Harcourt. Something happened that would have jolted the project to a setback. My phone rang and at the other end was him…“Onyembi, I’m not comfortable anymore with this Jamb project. You remember the man I told you I was going to use to Chair that Education Committee? He just declined and you know I had decided to use him because of the things I told you the other time. Nwanne, I feel discouraged. I’m worried.”

I replied,

“Sir, please you need to take it easy. I understand you but this project must come to past. We developed the idea together and we will make sure it becomes a reality. Please go ahead and invite other committee members for the meeting, I’m already close to Aba. Once I arrive, we will sit and discuss the way out.” And he took a deep breath and hung up. I arrived Aba and took Keke drop to Elder Emmanuel Adaelu’s compound. He welcomed me. We sat and concluded on constituting a temporary committee so we can kick-start the project. Not quite long, those invited arrived and we were all inaugurated. I’m among the Education Endowment Committee till date.

My lovely readers, I’m delighted to apprise you that that project sponsored the Jamb forms of 300 indigent students from the constituency he is representing at the National Assembly — Obingwa/Osisioma/Ugwunagbo Federal Constituency. 100 indigent students per each Local Government. It was a successful project and the beneficiaries were happy. Just last month, as usual, he intimated me that he is almost set to finance University tuition fees for 30 indigent students, 10 from each of the three LG Areas under his jurisdiction. He is going to clear First to Final Year fees.

I was curious to ask how he intends to achieve that. You know what? He categorically informed me that of the 360 House of Representatives members, each is entitled to a brand new 508 Peugout car as an official vehicle. He would substitute the car for finance and channel it to fund the tuition of 30 lucky beneficiaries. Remarkable. I encouraged him to never relent in doing good. Education is the ultimate redemption for the Nigerian Society. It should be prioritized if we must progress as a people. Democracy can not function properly in any society where there is high rate of uneducated citizenry. Education is the bedrock where the human mind is built to explore greater potentials, skills acquired and innovations harnessed. Education can not be overemphasized in a polity like ours. Hon. Solomon Adaelu is a lover of education.

He welcomes ideas. He believes his people deserves the best and his people believes in him as well. His representation so far has been fruitful and outstanding. He does unconventional things and that stands him out. To his name are deeds worth his name. He is astute, strong, but not rude. He is kind but not weak. He is bold but not a bully. He is thoughtful but not lazy. He is very humble but not timid. He is always available to make peace, proffer solutions and foster oneness and growth. He is exceptional and progressive-minded leader. Onyembi knows a man worth his name.

He is a leader who inspires. He encourages and build confidence in others to accomplish great things. As 2019 draws closer, Hon. Solomon Adaelu is more likely a moon among stars. He is the leader to follow, a leader worth his name. A man who inspires the light in you to glow is worthy indeed of the attraction of great followership. Whatever decision he settles for, come 2019, he has my unwavering support. My personal relationship with him is unshakable and my loyalty to him is not for contest and never in doubt. Hon. Solomon Adaelu is a habit. Hon. Solomon Adaelu leads, Onyembi follows.

Ka Chineke mezie okwu!

Emenike Vincent Onyembi writes from Aba.


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