< yet another thanks to ONOYIMA >

As provincial president, I didn’t quite think of myself as “President of Presidents” until Amechi Martha started calling me by that title – even went on to popularize it. That was what I was at the time, the President of the presidents and secretaries of the 44 chapters comprising my privince, Onitsha. As it were, the Provincial Executive Council, PEC, was made up of my crew and I (the Provincial Executive Committee), and then the presidents and secretaries of all those chapters.

One of the items on our meetings’ agenda, usually the penultimate one, is what was called “Account of Stewardship” – a sacred ritual in which we all jointly scrutinized the activities of an out-going administration of any chapter, with the admittance of the succeeding administration to the council premised on the approval of the said account. Of course, I get to call the final shot; I get to send one back to redo the entire thing, secure a chaplain’s signature, clarify stuff, effect important corrections, etc. I could guess, at the time, that rendering an account of stewardship must have felt like being on trial for some of them, as some of the questions that get to be asked were characteristically savage.

Until it was my turn. How it works is that I get to be answerable to a higher council, the National Executive Council, NEC, where the secretary and I were only members. November 13, 2013 was the date, Tansian University the place, and I was standing before the council to report what I’d done with and for my province over a period of 27 months. Naturally, I’d have made mistakes here and there, and then was a good day to be messed up by whomever had scores to settle with me. Being star boy of the house and biggest donor at the time, I was prep for possible surprises.

Guess what? The very first response came from the provincial chaplain of Calabar that year, Fr. Ebong, who had seen nothing on his copy of my report but Onoyima’s signature. Interestingly, he happens to have been Onoyima’s student during his seminary days, and got to spending a great deal of minutes convincing everyone that a report signed by Onoyima must be flawless. He goes on and on to painting a picture of the man as epitome of thoroughness and excellence. And the National Chaplain continued from where Fr. Ebong stopped – in praise of Onoyima. Funnily, I got to spending the entire time receiving encomiums for a job well-done, and having to be asked such exotic questions as how we were able to have done so well with so little resources at our disposal.

The referees on your CV, the guarantors on your forms, who are they? That day, I learned that it can make all the difference.

Your No. fan,

PS. Did you notice how I was able to make a big deal out of a pen that ran out? You should sign up for my training to learn some more: bit.ly/writingexpo2ad

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