When Dr Chimaroke Nnamani assumed the mantle of political leadership as Governor of Enugu State upon the return of democracy in 1999, he was confronted with a number of problems such as dilapidated infrastructures due to several years of neglect by the outgone military administration. He also was challenged by the low level of political awareness and participation by the citizenry.
Most of the major roads in the state had broken down due to several years of neglect. There was also no potable water supply, particularly in the rural areas, no electricity, no health care facilities, while most of the schools were in a serious state of disrepair. Gradually, he began to tackle these problems.
Under his “Enugu Link Road Programme” by which he had aimed at connecting Enugu, the state capital, with the headquarters of each of the 17 local government areas of the state, Chimaroke Nnamani embarked on massive rehabilitation of several roads both in the urban and the rural areas of the State. He also built some housing estates like the Ebeano and Loma Linda housing estates.
On healthcare facilities, he divided Enugu State into health districts to ensure that health facilities reach to those living in the remotest parts of the state, and recruited many doctors to man the various hospitals located in these health districts.
He equally embarked on a number of elitist projects such as the construction of the Parklane Specialist Hospital, the permanent site of Enugu State University of Science and Technology, the Nigerian Law School, the Air Force School, among several others projects.
Chimaroke Nnamani is an idealist and a visionary. He had delivered several public lectures across the length and breadth of the country that touched on various socio-political issues that affect the nation.
He was the author and inventor of the now popularly political vocabulary, “democracy dividends”, by which he meant the social and infrastructural services accruing to the people resulting from the practice of democracy.
He created the Community Council Coordinating Committee (CCDC), a fourth-tier government designed to drive development down to the grassroots level of the administration. He equally subdivided the 17 local government areas of the state into development centres, so as to make their services accessible to the people.
Chimaroke Nnamani is a political mobilizer and grassroots politician. He is the founder of the Ebeano (the place to be), political family. He virtually had picked every member of the group almost from nowhere, many of who some people say previously had “no political address”. Now, many of these people are occupying important positions in government, both at the state and federal levels.
Like every living mortal, Chimaroke Nnamani is not a saint. He had his faults. He made some mistakes while in power, due perhaps, to the advice of some of his lieutenants. Yakubu Gowon, a former Nigerian head of State, once said that no leader is bad, but only made worse by his advisers. Gowon realized this only after he had left office. Chimaroke Nnamani can equally not be an exception.
For quite some time, Chimaroke Nnamani had been on political wilderness, separated from his protégés many who have ascended the political pinnacle. Now that he has reunited with his political family, the Ebeano political family, the sky is going to be his limit.
By winning the Enugu East Senatorial ticket on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chimaroke Nnamani is now almost back to power. He is a popular politician. He only has one more bridge to cross, which is, winning the actual senatorial election which is scheduled for February next year.
Chimaroke Nnamani had represented Enugu East Senatorial Zone in the Senate before. Therefore, he will be treading on a familiar terrain. For a very long time, that zone had been like an orphan, without a voice in the National Assembly. If therefore he returns to the Senate as a ranking Senator, he is going to make a lot of difference. He has the intellectual acumen. He has the political sagacity. He has the oratorical skills.