By Dr. Chike Amobi, MCIArb(UK)
Ezekwesili Eziowelle

“Primus Inter Pares” is a Latin phrase which literally means “First Among Equals”. It is basically an honorary title used on someone who regularly distinguishes him or herself amongst peers. It basically sets one out as a person who stands tall among equals. As my WARRI friend aptly calls it, a person “wey nor dey carry last”!!

The Nigerian Senate is filled with eminent personalities from different walks of life, each of whom has distinguished himself/herself either in profession, or in politics. Or sometimes in both, as in Senator Uche Ekwunife’s case. Amongst this fold of Senators are very eminent men and women in their own rights. Ex Governors, multi-term Senators, veteran legislators, ex Ministers of the Federal Republic, Et cetera. Basically the creme de la creme of Nigerian politics. Organogramically speaking, it is very easy to get lost in this eminent crowd of Distinguished Senators. What the Igbos call “Ógbò ili Mmadu”. Because whatever you think you are bringing to the table, some other person has already been there and done that. It even gets tougher in ANAMBRA State, with the eminent personalities from this “Light of the Nation”.

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It is therefore very reassuring to observe that our own Senator Uche EKWUNIFE consistently makes the list of lawmakers who are chosen to perform tasks of great national significance. A recent case in point is just last Thursday. The Senate President inaugurated a committee of 56 Senators as the Senate Constitution Review Committee, and charged them with the onerous duty of driving the Holistic review of the 1999 Constitution. This is very significant, given the increasing agitation by the Nigerian population for a review of the 1999 Constitution.

Recall that previously, Hon. Uche EKWUNIFE (as she then was), was also appointed as a Member of the House of Representatives Constitutional Amendment Committee (2011 to 2014). She was also among the appointed delegates who represented NIGERIA in Geneva, Switzerland for the Interparliamentary Union Assembly in 2015. Most recently in this present assembly, Senator Ekwunife was also appointed as part of the distinguished Senators charged with the responsibility of developing a Legislative Agenda for the 9th Senate, an assignment which has since been successfully concluded, received resounding acclamation by the Senate and set the tone for the great Legislative strides of this 9th Assembly.

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Senator Ekwunife’s presence on these lists cannot be a mere coincidence. Time and again, she is handpicked to serve in positions and assignments of great national importance. It is not a mere happenstance. It cannot be. On the contrary, I believe it is a carefully orchestrated design by the APPOINTING OFFICIALS, to select a capable APPOINTEE, having regards to the political sagacity and capacity of the said Appointee. That she is well equipped to do the job. That she has CAPACITY to do the job. And that she has a track record of successfully completing previously assigned duties. That’s what I see in play here. As someone wisely said, “The result of doing a good work is MORE work”!! Or something like that.

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Congratulations our Distinguished Senator. You do really stand out amongst your peers, truly a PRIMUS INTER PARES!

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