Rivers East Senatorial Seat: First Class Etche Politician, Alwell Onyesoh Occupies Position After 56 Years
A high ranking and well respected politician, Hon. Allwell Onyesoh has become the first Etche indigene to be elected to represent Rivers East Senatorial District 56 years after the Senatorial District was created.
Hon. Allwell who contested under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 25 presidential National Assembly Elections, defeated Bisi Nwankwo of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to emerge victorious.
His victory has been greeted with jubilations not only in Etche but throughout Rivers State.
The day he was announced as Senator-elect, indigenes and non indigenes erupted in celebrations. While some went down on their knees thanking God for his victory, many others invaded drinking joints in and outside Etche, buying drinks for whoever cared to drink.
Many prominent Etche indigenes, had congratulated him on the victory.
Hon Onyesoh is well liked in Rivers State because of his result oriented brand of politics, which had not only brought prestige\honour to Etche ethnic Nationality, but has benefitted so many Etche indigenes.
It was gathered that over the years he had been in political positions, Hon. Onyesoh had used such positions to benefit a good number of Etche youths, training them in skills acquisition, paying tuition fees for indigent students, and offering outright scholarships to some of them. We also learned that his philanthropy had been extended to widows and the less privileged in the society.
It is therefore not surprising that Etche people have showered love and appreciation on the political heavyweight who they have come to regard as a demigod in politics.
Many of these people who have benefitted from his political patronage have been speaking about his prospects at the National Assembly. It is their contention that he will make great impact at the Senate, stressing that his Senatorial District will derive tremendous benefits from his representation.
“He will electrify the Senate with his political intelligence, activism and sagacity. The senators are bound to listen to him when he speaks. He will bring vibrancy into lawmaking “, Amah, an indigene of Rivers State said.
Chief Hon. Onyeseh, the Umuanyagu Etche born political octopus started his political career in his twenties, and by the age of 33, during the early 90s, he was elected as council chairman under the platform of the National Republican Convention (NRC) of the old Etche.Omuma LGA.
Following the formation of new political parties in 1997, Allwell again contested and won the Etche Constituency 2 seat in the Rivers State House of Assembly under the platform of the United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP).
In 1998, Chief Allwell alongside the likes of Hon. Kenneth Kobani, Prince Uche Secondus, Dr. Abiye Sekibo, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and other friends formed the “Restoration Team,”a political front for the actualization of Dr. Peter Odili’s governorship ambition, which was later submerged into Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Collectively, they worked for and championed the eventual election victory of Dr. Peter Odili as governor of Rivers State in 1999.
The political strategist has held other top political appointments/ positions in the course of his career.
He was executive chairman, Rivers State Senior Secondary Schools Board (RSSSSB) between 2011 and 2015 where he recorded tremendous milestones.
For examples, he investigated and fished out many ghost names on the salary pay roll system of the board, he initiated and secured approval of the then Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi for the successful employment of 13,151 university graduate teachers into public schools across the state, he instilled discipline and restored work ethics among the academic and non-teaching staff of the board, he ensured the amendment of the edict establishing the Rivers State Post Primary Schools Board to Rivers State Senior Secondary Schools Board by Law No.5 of 2012, especially elongating the Board tenure from 3 to 4 years, he installed ICT training programmes and fast web access for staff members of the board for efficient work delivery and many other innovations.
Taking cognizance of his superlative performance, he was appointed Rivers Commissioner for Sports in June 2003, holding forte at the Sports Ministry till 2007. Again at the ministry he recorded many achievements, including the upgrade of Elekahia Liberation Stadium (now Yakubu Gowon Stadium) Port Harcourt and many other milestones.
He was also Rivers State Commissioner for Education between 1999 and 2003. There, he laid the foundation for thr Rivers State free education programme. He initiated and implemented the Hipact Agreement Programme between the Rivers State Government and the Rivers State University of Science and Technology on one part, and with a consortium of British Universities. He equally initiated and implemented the increase of bursary payment to students of tertiary institutions from N2,500 to N10,000.
Hon Allwell completed, furnished and opened the Rivers State Library at Kaduna Street, D Line, Port Harcourt. In the same vein, he constructed, furnished and utilized the modern Library at the State College of Education (now Ignatius Ajuru University of Education) Rumuolumini, Rivers State, completed and furnished the Faculty of Law, Rivers State University of Science & Technology (now Rivers State University) in 2002 as well as other mind boggling projects.
The Etche political heavyweight was a member, Rivers State Committee on Land Acquisition of the Greater Port Harcourt City, as well as Chairman, Nigeria Swimming Federation. In 1999, he served as secretary, Negotiation Committee for the purchase of Eagle Cement Football Club of Port Harcourt, and secretary, Rivers State Transition Committee on Agriculture among others.
Sir Hon. Onyesoh has an intimidating educational qualifications, including BA (Hons) Communication Arts, University of Jos 1982, PGD in view (Education) University of Port Harcourt 1987, (LLB in view) University of Buckingham United Kingdom and others.
In the course of his service to humanity, Chief Hon. Allwell had bagged the following awards of honour: In 2006, African Watch International Gold Award for Leadership and Good Governance, Shield of Honour by the Igbo—Agwuruasa Patriotic Front (IPF), Time News Magazine Gold Award for Sports Development in Nigeria, in 2005, the Ogbakor Etche Nation Distinguished Gold Award for his contributions to the development of Etche Kingdom in Rivers State and Nigeria, Award for Youth Empowerment in Etche for positive Development, Merit Award from the Rivers State for Secondary School Media for his immense contribution towards youth Empowerment, the All Stars International Football Club merit Award for most outstanding football Personality, the Onwa Community Merit Award as a Distinguished Son of Etche Land, 2004, the Nigeria Referees Association Award for his contributions to the development of football and referees in Nigeria. The awards were so many to be listed here, but suffice to say that they are more than fifty in number.
Sir Allwell Onyesoh’s traditional titles are also many, including Eze Omemna 1 of Ozuzu Etche, Ohamereze 1 of Omuma LGA, Enyioma 1 of Osisioma, Ngwa Abia State, Nagatu 1 of Umuanyagu, etc.
The distinguished Senator-Elect is a devote Christian and an embodiment of discipline. It is believed that his election into the National Assembly will be of tremendous benefits to the Rivers East, Etche, Rivers State and Nigeria at large. Barring any hitches, he along other elected National Assembly members will be sworn in on May 29 as Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.