Growing up as the Only Child of My Mother Remains an Indelible Experience

He had set out in life desiring to be a District Officer like his father, never contemplat­ing to go into politics, much less becoming a governor. He lived in the sublime as a civil servant, though nature had taken him round in high echelons of society as


You appear chubby and more relaxed now. What is responsibl­e for this? Is it that the work in the Senate is less? No, no, no, the work in the Senate is not less but you have to pattern your life in order to survive; take care of yourself, take care of your health so you can live long. I don’t let things worry me unnecessar­ily; I don’t worry any person and I don’t want any person to worry me. I have a relaxed mind, do my job under the relaxed atmosphere; I don’t bother about what people say about you, don’t fight any person and let them not fight you, so why won’t you relax? That’s it.

Did you prepare and angle for leadership or was it thrust upon you?

Well, if you say that you prepared yourself for leadership, yes, a leader must be prepared, once you go to school, once you are literate, you have gone to secondary school and university; these are leadership tutorials. So, if you talk about preparatio­n, I will say yes. From the fam- ily background also, of course, you are a leader in your family, so if you can lead your family very well, you can also lead the outside family very well, which is the society. Even if you are not prepared for leadership, once it is entrusted to you, you will learn it and you will lead.

How and where were you born? I was born in Amaokwe Ugba, Umuahia North Local Government. I attended St. Michael’s Primary School, from there to secondary school at Santa Crux in Umuahia South; from there I branched to Holy Ghost College, which is in Imo State for my higher school and from there to the University of Ibadan, graduated and came out.

What was the most indelible experience you had as a child?

The most indelible experience I had as a child while growing up was that I was alone; the only child, not just the only son or daughter, the only child of my mother. I know what it means; that made an indelible mark in me as a lone child and I tried as much as I can with the help of my mother to manage the situation and fit into the society and do well. It is not easy to be an only child with no person guiding you except maybe your mother. As an only child, you are overprotec­ted.

Were you a troublesom­e or very obedient child?

I wasn’t troublesom­e. All along, I have been an obedient child but that does not mean that you will not revolt sometimes when your parents annoy you. Show them you are an only child and they will come and beg, pamper you, especially when you want to get something from them, you brag as an only child and they will bring it to you. On the whole, I was not stubborn; I didn’t give my parents trouble.

What has been your most joyful moment so far in life?

I think one of the most joyful moments in my life was when I graduated from the university. It gave me happiness that I am now a graduate like I have arrived. There are other ones also that gave me joy but this was the greatest moment in my life, after all the hassles, going through the university with the struggles, I was able to graduate without any problem. I graduated smoothly and went for the NYSC, it gave me joy.

You appear to have many upsides in life. What are your regrets?

The greatest regret I have had in life was when I lost my mother because this is a woman who loved me more than her husband. My mother loved me more than her husband because as the only child she had, she poured all the love on me and I never lacked because my mother had the wherewitha­l. She gave me all, education, pampered me, did all but immediatel­y after the war when I hadn’t anything, when we came back from the war, there was sickness everywhere, cholera and all that and the thing came and I hadn’t the opportunit­y to fight to save her life because I was incapacita­ted. I was just a student, I wasn’t doing anything and I had nobody, no senior, no junior, it was only me, before I could render any help, she was gone. That’s the saddest moment I

 ??  ?? Orji and his wife, Odochi
Orji and his wife, Odochi

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