Chimaroke Nnamani (born 30 May 1960) is a medical doctor and Nigerian politician from Enugu State. He was Governor of Enugu State from 1999 to 2007. He subsequently served as a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Senator for Enugu East Senatorial District from 2007 to 2011 and was re-elected in 2019
Chimaroke Nnamani Biography and Education
Nnamani, though born in Port Harcourt, hails from Agbani in Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State. He attended the Methodist Primary School, Enugu, and the College of the Immaculate Conception (CIC), also in Enugu. He is a graduate of the College of Medicine, University of Nigeria (Enugu Campus). He had his post-graduate training in the State University of New York and the Inter-faith Medical Center/Down State Medical Center, Brooklyn New York (Obstetrics and Gynecology). His postgraduate training and research continued at the Perinatal Biology Center, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, Southern California; Molecular Biology and Tissue Cytology Laboratory, Jerry “L” Pettis Veterans Administration Hospital, Loma Linda, California; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Perinatal Biology, College of Medicine, Loma Linda University (with specialization in maternal fetal medicine); and College of Medicine, University of South Florida.
Basic Science: Gap junction physiology, cell-to-cell communication modulated by connexin protein, tissue cytology, molecular biology and prenatal biology.
Clinical Interest: Premature labour, prematurity and high-risk pregnancy, obstetrics ultrasound, prenatal diagnosis and genetics. He has had research publications and abstract presentations in major scientific journals and meetings (Nnamani et al, 1994, Biology of Reproduction, 50, 377-389).
Division of Perinatal Biology (3), Department of Gynecology/Obstetrics (4), Department of Pediatrics (5), Departments of Anatomy (6), Physiology and Pharmacology (7), Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, California, 92354; Molecular Cytology Laboratory (8), Veterans Administration Medical Center, Loma Linda, California.
Medical Practice/Teaching: Before he veered into politics and public service back home in Nigeria, Dr. Nnamani was an attending physician in the following health facilities in the United States: Loma Linda University Medical Center, California; San Bernardino County Medical Center, California; Riverside General Hospital, California; Florida Hospital, Orlando, Florida; and Arnold Palmer Hospital for Women and Children, Orlando, Florida. He was a maternal and fetal medicine specialist with the Maternal and Fetal Medicine Associates, Principal Practicing Group, Orlando, Florida.
Professional Societies: He belonged to a number of professional societies such as the Society for Perinatal Obstetricians, American Society for Cell Biology, Society for Gynecologic Investigations, American Institute for Ultrasound in Medicine, and Licensure of California, New York, West Virginia, Virginia, Florida and District of Columbia. He is a member of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Enugu State.
Dr. Nnamani’s first foray in national politics was his election as the National President of the Nigerian Medical Students’ Association (NIMSA). He was elected Governor of Enugu State of Nigeria and re-elected for a second term in 2003. His eight years tenure witnessed many groundbreaking projects including the sprawling new permanent campus of the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), the Enugu State University Teaching Hospital and College of Medicine at Parklane, Enugu, the Enugu Campus of the Nigerian Law School, the Ebeano Tunnel, dualization of Rangers Avenue and Chime Avenue, opening of a new route linking Nza Street and Chime Avenue in Enugu, the new State Judiciary headquarters, the International Conference Centre project, the Enugu State Building in Abuja, amongst others.
He was first elected to the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria representing the Enugu East Senatorial District and served from 2007 to 2011. He re-contested for the seat in the April 2011 elections, this time on the platform of the People for Democratic Change (PDC), but lost in controversial circumstances. He vied for the same seat again in the 2015 elections and was widely projected to win when, to the consternation of the populace, his main challenger was surprisingly declared as the winner, this time provoking spontaneous mass protests that rocked the capital city of Enugu for days.
Return to the Senate
Following overtures from the Enugu State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he returned to the party in 2017. Ahead of the 2019 general elections, he rested mounting speculations over his political future when he picked the senatorial nomination form of the party for Enugu East Senatorial District. At the senatorial primary election held on 2 October 2018 he polled 601 votes to easily beat six other contestants, amongst them the then incumbent Senator Gilbert Nnaji, who polled 69 votes. He soon embarked on a vigorous street-to-street campaign that enlivened Enugu metropolis as the people surged out to cheer him up. He also took his campaign to all the development centers in the 6 local government councils of the senatorial district as well as the major markets, reconfirming his reputation as a crowd puller. In the ensuing National Assembly elections of 23 February 2019, he won with a wide margin. Nnamani scored a total of 128,843 votes to trounce his closest rival, Prince Lawrence Ozoemeka Ezeh, who garnered 14,225 votes while Uchenna Agbo of APGA came third with 1,586 votes. Nnamani has repeatedly credited his smooth return journey to the Senate to the strong backing he received from the Governor of his state, Rt. Hon. Lawrence Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (aka Gburugburu). He received his certificate of return as a senator-elect from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on 14 March 2019 and assumed office on 11 June 2019 following the inauguration of the 9th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He was subsequently appointed as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Cooperation and Integration in Africa/NEPAD and Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Drugs and Narcotics, in addition to membership of the following Senate Committees: Health, Foreign Affairs, Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Diaspora and NGOs, Land Transport as well as Women Affairs.
Highlights of Governance
As governor, Dr. Nnamani established District Education Centers in the state, conceived and built the permanent campus of the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), constructed and handed over to the Federal Government, the Enugu Campus of the Nigerian Law School, and also constructed and handed over to the Nigerian Air Force, the Airforce Comprehensive High School at Agbani. His administration established new special science schools in different parts of the state, carried out the renovation of public primary and secondary schools and provided them with school desks and teachers’ tables and chairs.
Being a medical doctor, it was no surprise that health was a top priority to Governor Nnamani. His administration established four district hospitals and 19 cottage hospitals in the state. A partnership with the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) saw to the rehabilitation and upgrade of many healthcare facilities under the Partnership for Transforming Health Systems (PATHS I & II). The flagship project of the administration in the health sector, however, was apparently the transformation of the former General Hospital at Parklane, GRA, Enugu, into the present ESUT Teaching Hospital and ESUT College of Medicine. The massive project involved the construction of new buildings, refurbishing of existing ones and the provision of modern equipment that enabled the facility to pass the accreditation of the relevant authorities in the health cum education sectors.
Road construction and rehabilitation was one area that won the Nnamani administration early popular acclaim. Among the rural road network undertaken by the administration were the Opi-Nsukka Road, Awgu-Ndeabor Road, Ozalla-Agbani Road, Agbani-Akpugo-Amagunze Road, Amechi-Obeagu-Amodu-Umueze Road, Oghe-Aguobu-Umumba Road, Aguobu-Ugwuoba Road, Oji-Awgu Road, Nsukka urban roads, University of Nigeria roads, Nsukka-Ibagwa Road, Obolo Afor-Ogrute Road, etc. There were also new road infrastructures like the Nyaba Bridge, and the Ebeano bypass linking NBL Ama Brewery at 9th Mile Corner with the Enugu-Onitsha expressway. In the Enugu metropolis, the Nnamani era witnessed the dualization of Chime Avenue as well as Rangers Avenue, Ebeano Tunnel connecting the busy Ogui Road and Garden Avenue, a new route linking Nza Street in Independence Layout with the Upper Chime Avenue in New Haven, amongst the streets rehabilitated in Abakpa Nike, Trans Ekulu, Achara Lawyout I and II, Uwani, Coal Camp and so on.
The administration pursued a policy of lighting up the rural communities with the provision of electricity. Over 130 rural communities benefitted from this intervention.
The administration improved public water supply in the state. Some of the interventions in the sector included the Ozalla Ezimo Water Scheme in Udenu LGA, expansion of Enugu Urban water supply, expansion of the Ajali River water works, reactivation of the Ede-Obala booster station for water supply to Nsukka town, Agbani/Amodu water reservoir, revival of Awhum water scheme, and the construction of hundreds of motorized boreholes in the rural communities across the state.
Reforms in Locality Administration
The administration consciously pursued a policy of enhanced mass participation in the political process and bringing governance closer to the people in the grassroots. Governor Nnamani carried out far-reaching reforms in locality administration which have continued to define the structure of grassroots politics and governance in Enugu State. Following a democratic process, his administration created 56 development centres out of the 17 local government areas of the state, complete with the simultaneous construction of 39 headquarters for the new development centres, while the existing 17 council secretariats served as headquarters for the remaining 17 development centres. Over 200 new autonomous communities were also created (each with its own Town Union and Traditional Ruler), the first time since the creation of Enugu State, thus bringing the total number of autonomous communities in Enugu State to 367 as at May 2007. These reforms went hand in hand with the Community County Council (CCC) initiative, later refocused as the Community Development County Councils (CDCC), a rural development partnership between the rural communities and the State Government. The administration established the Ministry of Poverty Reduction and Human Development which has evolved into a grassroots poverty management scheme in the state. There was also the Local Empowerment and Environmental Management Projects (LEEMP), another bilateral rural development partnership with the World Bank/UK Government that focused on the construction and grading of rural feeder roads and other poverty eradication projects in the rural communities.
His academic honours include – Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Diplomate of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, D.Sc. (Honoris Causa), University of Nigeria; Distinguished Fellow of the Nigerian Law School, D.Sc (Honoris Causa), Babcock University, Illisan Remo, Ogun State, Adjunct Professor (Political Science), Babcock University, Illisan Remo, Ogun State, Honorary Fellow of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria, Ijanikan, Lagos, and Distinguished Fellow of the West African College of Surgeons.