By CHARLES OKOGENE
He became the subject of discussion in Aniocha South Local Government Area in 2014; that was when he threw his hat into the political ring as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), for Aniocha South State Consituency. He was the talking point not because of his oratory power on the soap box or because of his ability to, like other politicians, promise the masses heaven on earth nor the amount of Naira he was able to distribute. No, he became the subject of discussion anywhere two or three Aniocha South people where gathered because rather than regale them with stories of what he will do when they elect him to represent them at the state house of assembly, he was meeting some of the communities at the point of their needs, like Christians will say.
He was helping to rehabilitate rural roads, provision of electric solar panel for street electrical lights and in some cases upgrading facilities at the rural schools in the villages, which where long neglected by successive governments of the state.
I am talking of Mr. Austine Eneduwa-George.
Though, at the end of the electioneering and voting, he came out second, at the polls going by the results declared by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), behind his fellow town’s woman, Angela Nwaka; that will be another story for another day. While those that ‘defeated’ him at the polls, failed to attract the needed development project their constituency needed either from the state or federal governments, Eneduwa- George, contrary to the expectation of the people, is still using his personal resources to provide development projects for the people like he did when he was soliciting for their votes. His failure at the polls or his ‘rejection’ by the people, has not dampen his moral to see a well developed Aniocha South Local Government Area, which at present, is about the least developed by the governments at all levels. And where he cannot use his personal money to solve the development need of the people, he has played advocacy role that has led the government of day to swing into action.
Enduwa-George is one name the ruling party in the state loves to hate because of his ability ‘ to do’ before talking and not like others who talk and do nothing.
Though, after the 2015 experience, he has vowed not to have anything to do with elective position for now or in 2023, he has equally vowed to use his own hard earned money and connection within the corridors of power to help bring the good things of life to the people just as he has said that he would support candidates of APC that want to represent Aniocha South State Consitituency or govern the state provided such candidates’ manifestoes are people-oriented.
” I have realised that it is not until one is in one political post or the other before one can do the greatest good to the greatest number of people. My 2014 experience opened my eyes to the suffering my people go through and I have told my God that whatever it takes, let Him use me to lessen the suffering. I am no longer seeking political power for now or in 2023 but I will continue to use what I have to bless my people, I will also support my party candidates that have the people in mind” he told this writer in a chance meeting in Ogwashi – Uku recently.
A widely travelled fellow, Eneduwa-George wanted to replicate what he has seen in other climes, hence he aspired to represent the people at the assembly but the same people seem not interested to be liberated.
He has seen service to humanity as a chance to make a difference in people’s lives and improve the world.
An administrator, politician, businessman, a frontline member of Rotary Club with several awards of excellence and performance from both local and international organisations and bodies. Eneduwa-George is a stickler for high performance and his decisions are never based on race, gender, ethnicity or religion.
He attended St. Finbarr’s College, Akoka,Yaba, College of Technology, Ahart Aviation inc California, USA, University of Cape Town, South Africa. Since he graduated from the citadel of higher learning, he has been deeply involved in public service, tourism consultancy and human capital development with highly developed skills in sports administration, tourism development, risk assessment, human capital development, civil aviation, hospitality management, talent identification, sports consultancy, international tourism and hospitality, aviation consultancy, motivational speaking.
Eneduwa’s passion has greatly helped him in protecting the community that has been his career. It is this passion that drives him to do what he does every day.
This simple-lifestyle young man with an impeccable character, believes he can make a difference, not just in politics and in advocacy around all these important issues; he has always prepared himself for the task ahead that he’s not going to get 100% approval from people based on our mentality of doing things.
He is one of those who share the belief that the best way to promote and protect opportunity is through collaboration, consensus-building, and pragmatic problem-solving. Throughout his years in public service, Eneduwa-George has approached tough challenges by making room for as many people as possible around the table in search of common ground. He’s married to a Briton from Yorkshire in the UK.
In The year 2014, he served as a member of a think tank group involving prominent members of his community, to develop a blue print that would see Ogwashi-Uku community and its environs as the proud owners of a fruit farm that would be sited in Aniocha South Constituency by the last quarter of 2016. It’s a project that will indeed open doors of opportunity for every one as well as creating jobs and put the local government area prominently on the world map.
He belongs to several social clubs and committees, he’s a past president of the Rotary Club of Maryland and currently an Assistant Gov, Naija Gunners Football Club, Belle United Football Club, Anioma Economic Group (headed by Prof. Pat Utomi), Member of Lagos State Entertainment Outlets Owners’ Association, Lagos State Nite Club Owners’ Association, 1st Vice President Lagos State Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria (FTAN). Lagos State Tourism Board, Dynamic Club of Nigeria, Rotallum, Ifedinma Social Club of Ogwashi Uku, Finbarr’s College Old boys’ Association and other organizations and clubs.
He led residents of Ogwashi Uku to agitate openly for restoration of electricity in the town; a protest that caught the attention of the then Power Minister, Mr. Babatunde Fashola who directed for immediate restoration of electricity to the town more than 10 years after.