By Chukwuemeka Eze
One of my areas of strong strength in my media activities is the area of writing on human characters but when I attempted to write on Chief Christie Obiaruko Ndukwe various thoughts flooded my mind not knowing the angle I should approach her case because she represents a lot of things to divergent people depending on whom you are or how you met her. Her case reminds me of the proverbial story of the elephant with some blind men who have to interpret the elephant from the angle they were allowed to touch.
To some, she is the mother of media in the Niger Delta while to some she is that fearless Amazon who parades herself with much dignity and respect. To many, she is that lady who dissects any issue no matter how difficult that issue may look like as if she was the originator of such an issue.
This Amazon is to some special persons a fearless enigma, a courageous and rare gem who strikes fear in the camp of Amaechi’s enemies. A journalist and publisher of repute. Her passion for good governance in Nigeria made her see the formation of Citizens Quest, an NGO that she uses to date to bring public institutions closer to the populace.
She bestrode the media space in such a way that I once likely her to the great Christiane Amanpour the CNN’s chief international anchor of the network’s award-winning, flagship global affairs program “Amanpour.” After that write-up, I was not surprised when she was renamed the African FBI because of her spirit and capability of unearthing any hidden issue forgotten by many. In case you have forgotten, The FBI stands for Federal Bureau of Investigation of the national government of the United States in other words; Lady Ndukwe is the African version of the USA FBI.
I must confess that in my state of confusion on how to approach this write-up my great friend, and mentor Martin Luther King, Jr. in one of his most celebrated quotes came to my aid when he stated, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” The fact remains that if there is any outstanding controversial Media Chief in the entire Niger Delta then this Amazon of a lady can easily fill the gap as no matter how hot any issue is she will like to be involved.
In another clime, John C. Maxwell with this lady in mind stated, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”
Trying to throw more light on this enigma of a lady one of her most trusted partners, Alabo Chris Finebone the modern father of Journalism in Rivers State in his birthday message titled TESTIMONIAL stated thus, “Oby Ndukwe is a special kind of an individual who believes whatever she’s set out to do especially in her area of calling – Media and Politics. She is incredibly passionate, committed, and true to her vision and mission in pursuit of excellence in whatever she does”
Praying fervently for Lady Ndukwe, the Principal of all, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi the Minister of Transportation in his birthday message highlighted, “It is my prayer that from this day, the hand of Almighty shall guide and guard you in a new dimension and build you into the image of his thoughts towards you”
While to Dr. Dakuku Peterside erstwhile DG, NIMASA, “Chief Oby Ndukwe is a woman of impact. Like her or not she is a woman of firm belief and conviction. Not many wonders that she bestrode the media landscape like a roaring lion. She has earned her place in investigative journalism and has been dubbed ” MEDIA FBI” as she leaves no stone unturned to unearth the truth. It’s my prayer that the Lord will continue to uphold Chief Oby in Jesus’ Name. Amen”
Going down memory lane, Hon. David Okumagba the Caretaker Zonal Secretary, South-South APC in his birthday message stated, “My beloved sister, Oby (as I fondly call her), is a pointer that indeed angels dwell on the earth. Her entire life is dotted with rare impacts and selfless accomplishments. From our days in Rivers Success Movement (RSM) until now, she has remained unchanged. Creative, calculated, and ever willing to take up arduous responsibilities; she leaves every assignment with a touch of excellence. Chief Oby is also very easily one of those whose loyalty to the APC is not in doubt. On this very historic anniversary of her birthday, I join her family, well-wishers, and our political family, to celebrate and appreciate God for the life of this great woman, who has conscientiously paid her dues as a foot soldier of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. May God bless her new age and fulfill her heartfelt expectations, as she mounts the stairs to further greatness”
To Apostle Eugene Ogu the Spiritual Leader of the political family of Amaechi, “Dear chief Oby, I join millions of the progressives and press gurus to congratulate and celebrate you on this very unique day of marking your birthday. I can only pray that the rewarder of consistency and diligence will bless and keep you long in good health as you age gracefully in your service to God and humanity. Happy birthday and many glorious returns in Jesus’s mighty earth!”
In trying to expose Lady Ndukwe’s impact among our upcoming leaders, the Rivers State APC New Media Team RANMT in their message stated, “You are the reason many young persons see reasons to be on the media to give reasons for the continuity of the progressive narratives, your magical hands on the media, not only entertains but also educates, informs; you persuade, clarify, convince, mobilise and build.
Your impact on the lives of progressive youths and particularly, young and burgeoning practitioners within the fourth estate of the realm, is legendary and immeasurable. Your humanitarian strides ring bells within the realm, and your love and passion for excellence are quite didactic; you are a huge blessing to those of us who have come to know and work with you.
Your roles in the media agenda for a progressive Nigeria and penchant for a truly democratic pace shall continue to propel people of goodwill to continue to of firm standing in positions and dispositions,
On this great day of your birth, we wish to particularly appreciate you for standing tall in your choice disposition to be a faithful friend, partner, and progressive ally of our great leader, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, while yet maintaining a very powerful hub of seasoned change advocates, development workers and preachers of good governance, and even doing this with your private and hard-earned resources.”
To his Media Son and Aide Mr. Meinyie Okpukpo AKA Crack Commander, “…You have helped me in my life beyond my wildest dreams, showed me hidden truths I’d never have known, and taken me into places I’d never have been to. I thank you very much for all that you have aided me to do in my life and for the beautiful opportunities you have given me, you are indeed the winds beneath my wings, and I am proud to say that you have taught me many valuable lessons in the last two (2) years than I have learned in the last decade.
Your versatility, ingenuity and exposure leave many to wonder why you are yet humble; you can be best described as a burden hauler, quietly shouldering the burdens of many. How you do this, remains to be imagined. You are a woman of standard quality; grade ‘A’ personality and a widely sought media strategist.
Mom, I need you to realize that you are unknowingly building a nest of refined and highly responsible men and women, of which I am very proud to be a part, and in due course, you will reap all the fruits from the trees you are planting.
I pray that God’s grace will continue to be upon your life. Those higher revelations and understanding will be granted unto you as you continue to show us the accurate knowledge and pathway to media dexterity.
You are a blessing to many and on behalf of my immediate family, my dear friends, and those you have inspired, we are extremely grateful and appreciate you and all that you do for us.
We love you and thank God for your life and placing you in ours….”
Reading most of these comments on this Iron Lady one is likely to remember, Mother Teresa considering the level of thought of Lady Ndukwe, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.” Oby Ndukwe alone can’t change the world but at least she has started to impact and creation of her own type of world, which she desires.
In appreciation of hundreds of birthday messages, lady Obiaruko Christie Ndukwe stated, “Yesterday is gone, not without the avalanche of testimonials and good wishes. The seed of love you planted in me, through your messages of love, made it all the more memorable. Words will fail me to express my appreciation to every one of you for the celebration of my birthday. I am still shocked in amazement at the unprecedented outpouring of prayers and wishes.
The calls, text messages, and unassailable presence on social media yesterday truly overwhelmed me. I am eternally grateful for it.
Beginning a new chapter, I am charged to be better than I was, and you (my friends and well-wishers) have a prominent role to play. May God guide us as we journey together. Once again, I am grateful. God bless you all”
Finally, Happy birthday the true Iron Lady! You are a blessing to our generation and God will continue to guide and bless you in all your endeavours no matter the odds and challenges. Age gracefully my dear.
•Eze is a Media Consultant based in Port Harcourt and can be reached through email@example.com, 08022049770