OSITA IZUNASO; A LIFE OF SELFLESS SERVICE & FIDELITY TO CAUSES
Senator Osita Bonaventure Izunaso is a Journalist, Administrator, Lawyer, Philanthropist, Lawmaker and Politician whose foray into the political firmament of Nigeria has been marked with remarkable successes and selfless service which has made him a critical factor even outside public office till date.
Born on the 30th of October, 1966, Izunaso who hails from Ohakpu in Oru East LGA of Imo State has by dint of hard work and grace of God worked his way into national and international reckoning and recognition and a critical factor in our politics and polity.
Kpakpando as Sen. Izunaso is fondly called by his friends and admirers, has a deep love for education and hence is still in the business of reading and enlightening himself, a trait rarely found in members of our political class and leadership.
He started his quest for tertiary education with Advanced Level at School of Basic Studies, Benue State University, Makurdi in 1986 and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, B.A in English Language and Linguistics from University of Jos in 1989. Not satisfied, he also earned a Master of Business Administration, MBA, degree from the University of Calabar in 2002. His passion for knowledge and scholarship propelled him to read for a post-graduate diploma in Journalism, PGDJ in the International Institute of Journalism, IIJ, Abuja. For a man so busy and connected, one will assume he is done with knowledge but not Osita Izunaso. His childhood desire to read law pushed him to enroll for a Bachelor of law LLB degree in Nile University where he bagged a First Class degree and was adjudged the Best Graduating Student of his set and went further to attend Law school in 2021 with a BL second class upper and is consequently a BARRISTER and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. What a feat.
The working career of Kpakpando has seen him transverse all the arms of government in Nigeria including the 4th estate and the private sector as well.
He was a CHIEF CORRESPONDENT later Bureau Chief with Satelite Newspaper.
Between 1992 to 1993, he was CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY to the Speaker, House of Representatives. From 1995 to 1997, Izunaso was CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY to the Minister of Youths and Sports and worked in the same capacity to the Minister of Labour & Productivity from 1998-1999. In 1999 to 2000, he was also CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY to the Senate President.
His working career by providence saw him move to the Executive Arm of Government from the 4th Estate of the Realm with his appointment as EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT on Publicity & Strategy to the Imo State Governor, 2001-2002
In his state of Imo, he also was privileged to serve as CHAIRMAN, INTERIM MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE, Imo Broadcasting Corporation, IBC, 2002-2003.
Due to his love for his people and spirit of selfless service, he was elected as a MEMBER, House of Representatives (representing Oru West, Oguta, & Ohaji Egbema) between 2003-2007. That marked his sojourn into the legislative arm of government as a lawmaker. Having observed his outstanding service to his federal constituency, the good people of Imo West (Orlu Zone) elected him overwhelming as their SENATOR between 2007-2011. This elevation made him the first Imo son to GRADUATE from the House of Representatives to the Senate.
While in the Senate and HoR, Izunaso Chaired and was a member of several vital committees including…
*CHAIRMAN, House Committee on Housing 2003-2007.
*MEMBER, Senate Committees on Rules & Business, Local & Foreign Debts, Housing, Foreign Affairs & Sports.
*CHAIRMAN, Senate Committee on Gas.
Sun Newspaper celebrated his outstanding achievements as a legislator and Chairman of Gas Committee with the following words on his 50th birthday:
“It was during his tenure as Senate Committee Chairman on Gas that the issue of gas flaring in Nigeria got national and international attention and was addressed”. I will address another article on his achievements as a lawmaker.
His service to Nigeria went beyond the hallowed Chambers of the National Assembly with his appointment as:
*HEAD OF MEDIA, Nigerian Contingent to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference, Lincousia
*HEAD, international International Parliamentary Union conference, Sydney
*EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, Ministerial Public Relations Committee for France 98 World Cup
*MEMBER OF COUNCIL, Nigeria Institute of Public Relations
“In a mid-term evaluation of Senators in May 2009, ThisDay noted that he had sponsored bills for the Conveyance of Persons in Articulated Vehicles Bill, Treatment and Care of Victims of Conflict, National Agency for the Promotion and Preservation of Local Languages in Nigeria and Amendment of the Oil Pipelines Act Amendment. He contributed to plenary debates and was active in committees. As Chairman of the Committee on Gas he was responsible for a controversial investigation into an alleged huge increase in the contract sum of the Escravos GTL project from $1.7 billion to $5.9 billion” Source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osita_Izunaso.
The crowning glory of his achievements as a politician was his service to his party, the All Progressive Congress, APC, he served meritoriously without blemish as premier National Organizing Secretary from 2013 to 2018 and consequently led the new party to victory with the election of President Buhari in 2015.
Sen. Izunaso has brought light to his people, by attracting numerous infrastructure, empowering youths, women and especially the less privileged hence his reward with a chieftaincy title, KPAKPANDO. He consequently named his charity organization, KPAKPANDO FOUNDATION that has provided succor to the less privileged especially physically challenged citizens for over 17 years in and out of public office.
Orlu Zone today is highly under represented, there is no better time to recall one of her best (POLITICAL) STRIKERS to get back to the FIELD OF PLAY (The Red Chambers) and reenact his outstanding performance again than in 2023. As a ranking lawmaker, Izunaso will be ripe for any Principal Office allocated to the South East.
Ik Ogbonna is a Media/PR Consultant based in Owerri.