Clem Aguiyi at 50
One problem that confronts Nigeria’s political enterprise is the inability of the system to nurture leaders. Ours is an all comers’ political affair, where rascals with dubious background and questionable character emerge from the blues to assume political leadership. The only qualification is connection to the powers that be and moneybags. The fate of the system is discountenanced. What matters is the wealth the individuals want to amass.
But this is not the case in the developed sane societies that have vision. The fate of those societies is not entrusted to unknown individuals. No riffraff or nonentity with cloudy background has a say. In sane societies, those who would lead are groomed from childhood. Everything about them is geared towards leadership. And that consciousness is reined into their psyche. They capture the mission for the society early in their lives.
By the time such people come of age, they would have been solidly groomed to assume leadership as appropriate. And because they have imbibed the tenets of patriotism, selfless service, and altruism, they serve the people and lift their societies. Nigeria’s inability to groom leaders is the bane of our political development. It is a matter of serious concern.
It is against this background that Clem Aguiyi, a budding political leader, who marked his 50th birthday on June 3, 2016, comes to mind. Born Clem Obikee Afamefuna Aguiyi on June 3, 1966, to the family of the late Clem Ali Aguiyi, a retired Assistant Commissioner of Police and Monica Aguiyi, of Enugu Agidi in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State, there is reason to appreciate a young man who is a leader in the making.
Clem, who took after his father’s name, is the third in the family’s eight children and the first among the three boys. There is no doubt that his father, who was a top rank police officer, would have inspired him with virtues of leadership.
Young Clem did his primary school at Central School, Iho Dimeze and Township Primary School, Oguta in Imo State. Although, he was born into ardent Anglican family, his childhood association with Rev. Father Egbuchulam at Oguta Parish, spurred his interest to attend Catholic seminary. Thus, he attended St. Mary’s Junior Seminary, Umuowa Orlu and St. Peter Claver Seminary, Okpala and finished in 1984.
Ordinarily, one would have thought that his parents would resist his move away from the Anglican Church, but instead, both his mother and father solidly supported him to his own surprise. It was the rector of the seminary who readily didn’t welcome him because of his Anglican background. Young Clem was re-instructed and re-baptized before being admitted into the seminary.
Thereafter, as fate would have it, rather than continue in the senior seminary, he went to the Alvan Ikoku College of Education, Owerri, where he studied Political Science and Religion. From there, he went to the Anambra State University of Technology (ASUTECH), Enugu, where he graduated with First Class in Educational Foundations/Economics. Clem holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Ogba, Lagos, and Certificate in Campaign and Elections from UCLA, USA.
Clem’s sense of leadership ran throughout his educational career. From Classes 3 – 5, at St. Peter Claver Seminary, he served as class prefect. He was also the Editor-in-Chief of the school’s Searchlight Magazine, where he maintained an incisive and controversial column, “Even in the Eyes of God”, through which he propagated what he called Africanising Africa, whereby, he pointed out the ills in the church and preached liberation theology. He advocated using African materials like kola nuts and palm wine for Holy Communion instead of the white man’s wine and bread. Because of his radical thinking, he was put on suspension, which prevented him from proceeding to apostolic work with his peers.
At the Alvan Ikoku College of Education, Clem’s leadership instincts unfolded the more and waxed stronger. He was a member of the Students’ Union Representative Council and in his second year elected Commissioner for Information and Public Relations Officer of the Students’ Union. He was also editor of the Students’ Union Press.
With strong professional background, he took to political consulting and advising, an experience that further grooms him for higher calling and responsibility. Clem is a political consultant specialising in campaigns and elections. He is a veteran of many elections with over 90 per cent success rate.
A member of some reputable social organisations like Rotary International and Friendship Network International, he is also the founder of African Free Press and Award, AFP Radio and Video Network as well as Managing Director of Kevin Charlyn and Kimberly Associates.
A good Christian and a minister of the gospel, Clem is also the founder of Igbo Tech Innovations Foundation and Partnership for a Drug Free Campaign.
For Clem, politics should be for service. Politicians should serve their people. Clem believes that a lot of people’s welfare depends on politics and that is why people should be served.
He thinks that political power should be used to change things for good. He believes that good people should be in politics. He cherishes Jesus Christ, who went about doing good.
Clem regrets that people think that politics is bad because their lot is not bettered by it. Politics is turned to business thereby robbing the same people were supposed to be served. Clem believes that politics should not be seen as business venture for amassing wealth.
Part of our problem he thinks is lack of competent hands. That underscores the need for grooming potential leaders before they are shackled with responsibility.
Clem is pieced off that Nigerian politicians don’t believe that they should look for votes from the people. Instead, they believe that they could buy the votes or at worst have it awarded by the judiciary. Judiciary is made to hold the sovereign power.
He believes that people who didn’t contest election shouldn’t be imposed. When votes count, thuggery would give way. People, he believes, are losing interest. Political parties should respect their constitution. Clem plans to commit to issues that would strengthen INEC. He sensitizes people through the AFP platform.
Married to Arit with two lovely children Zikora and Zara, Clem holds the key to the city of Mobil, Alabama. He is widely travelled. His hobbies include music, golf and philanthropy. He is a Peugeot lover.