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  • Sunday, 22 May 2022


Valentine Obienyem, a media colossus and erstwhile media aide to the immediate past governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, is now a successful businessman courtesy of an empowerment from his former boss.


Val, as he is fondly called, was a very loyal aide of Peter Obi, his closest aide and confidant all through the time that he (Peter Obi) served as Anambra state governor.


When Peter Obi was impeached as Anambra state governor, Val did not jump ship by joining the traducers of his boss. Rather, he stayed with his boss through thick and thin, under the rain and sun. He kept faith with his boss and went through the drudgery of the legal processes with him before Obi was finally reinstated by the court.


According to Dr. Okey Ikechukwu "It is true that Peter Obi travelled light as governor, carrying his own bag, unescorted by security personnel, etc. It is true that he did not waste state resources on large entourages, or send large delegations to the often-pointless annual World Igbo Congress held in the US.


“Let one person who will pay real attention to what is going on there, and who will also tell them our mind on key issues, go and represent the rest of us,” was Obi’s position when he pruned down the bloated list he received after assuming office from over 35 names to two. But it is also true that he did not travel alone to major national and grand public events. While others of equivalent standing will arrive at such events with at least a ten-man team, in addition to a press crew of not less than five persons, Obi will come with Valentine Obienyem alone.


"The jobs of photographer, video cameraman, television crew, news reporter, interview, newsroom supervisor, social media handler, media strategist, press Secretary, political adviser, protocol manager, image ambassador, journeyman and temporary Secretary to the State Government (SSG) were combined in Valentine.”


When Obi handed over to the outgoing Anambra state governor, Chief Willie Obiano in 2013, he still retained Val as his media aide but beyond this, he went beyond the call by using his influence with the Sabmiller Breweries (makers of Hero beer) to get a Distributorship slot for his beloved media aide. Obi is an executive director in Sabmiller Breweries now known as International breweries.


Even when Sabmiller was acquired by Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), Val continued as a key distributor in Nigeria for the new company. Because Peter Obi made it possible, Val is today one of the biggest distributors of International breweries in Nigeria, the Nigerian affiliate of Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev)


International Breweries is the makers of Budweiser, Hero and Trophy brands of beers. Val’s beer trading company has been winning, back to back, the best distributor of the year in Nigeria from International breweries.


Interestingly, Val's business interests have grown so big that he has diversified into fashion and restaurant. At the moment, he has the best state of the art garment factory in the whole of the south-east, located in Awka Anambra state, a big boutique, a leather factory all located in Awka with a premium restaurant which is also the best in Awka.


All these business accomplishments are possible because one man gave his media aide his shoulder to see far, because one man took a bet on his media aide. Other persons would have still retained Val as media aide to be carrying him around for him to report his activities in place of N100,000 monthly payment but not Peter. Other big men would have prefered that Val ends up as his online Otimkpu with no capacity to do what Val is doing now.


Obi believes in shared prosperity and that the best investment is building people up, giving them your shoulder to see far, changing their life for the better and opening doors they would not be able to open for themselves. It is said that “when you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime”


Just like Obi has changed the life of his former media aide, tomorrow Val will do the same to another young person by giving the young person an opportunity to see far because this is the only way you change destiny, one person at a time. After God, it is Mr Peter Obi in the life of Val.


Peter Obi’s life philosophy is that we rise by lifting others, taking as many people as we can in this journey. This is why Obi is just a different politician that does not behave like the average Nigerian politician that thinks only how to empower themselves and their family members.

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