By Ralph Egbu
I’am a minister in the temple of God and so I should know about courage, fate and faith. However, the truth is that no mortal is totally immune against the ravaging effects of bad times. Prophet Elijah was heavily anointed, he killed people by mere pronouncements! But it took a woman, Jezebel, to make the one who effortlessly gave people death to ask for death himself, sequel to a storm. After Dr Stanley Macebuh transited suddenly a few years back, the Great Egbu dynasty has lost another gem, Hon Chinonyerem Macebuh . He had represented our Ukwa Federal Constituency, Abia State and our country as two time member of House of Representatives( HOR) .
A graduate of Nuclear Physics from University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), holder of Masters degree in Economics, radicalised Chinonyerem had worked as teacher, journalist and lecturer before his foray into politics. Those who knew him can attest that he lived simple, hated ostentatious lifestyle. He was concerned about the poor and the worrisome mental state of average African leader. He detested corruption in private and public life. He had no qualms being himself; he carried no airs and couldn’t mind walking a distance on foot if that was the option.
He could sacrifice anything to pursue principle. He could give away anything to help a less privileged whether related or unknown to him. He insisted on merit and excellence. Together we lived with our senior late cousin, the brain behind The Guardian newspaper, late Dr Stanley Macebuh. Being a family of intellectuals, both of us Marxist thinkers at the time, most of the nights, squared up against Stanley who we branded comprador Bourgeoisie and collaborator with imperialism! Our engagements were lively and educative.
Stanley pushed Nonye’s case for national service and I with others handled the practical side. It was no surprise that at a time in our national history, the Egbu larger dynasty had at same time Dr Stanley Macebuh, living patriarch as Acting Chief of Staff up from Deputy Chief of Staff to President Obasanjo; Hon Chinonyerem Macebuh, House of Representatives; Pastor Ralph Egbu, as Secretary to Government of Abia State and Chief Innocent Egbu as National Secretary, Nigeria Institution of Surveyors.
Chinonyerem was very close to me. Severally, we talked about our family, community, Ukwa, Abia and national challenges. We had great expectations, neither of us knew his time was up. I have been traumatized since the sad news hit me a few days ago. It was a knock out punch; Other members of the family and I are devastated but with our faith in God we have refused to go down. Our biggest consolation is while alive Chinonyerem fought like a Trojan. As long as the Niger Delta Development Commission is in existence, his memories would be there. Chinonyerem was the originator, a product of his search for the well-being of people of oil producing areas who have remained victims of poor leadership.
The greatest one: Chinonyerem died a believer. The family is in tears, so are Umuiku Autonomous community, Ozar and Asa people, Abia and Nigeria. A gem has gone too soon , leaving behind great despair and gloom. Good bye great brother and warrior.