In W. Clement Stone’s words, ‘Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity.’ The above quote typically captures the person and personality of Bishop Dr Emeka Michael Nwankpa, a man who, by words and deeds, and at all times, demonstrates rare courage, honesty and impeccable integrity.

Bishop Dr Emeka Nwankpa is a true child of God, revered cleric, shrewd businessman and philanthropist of great note. All his life, he has made truth, honesty, fairness and justice, his four cardinal points. He is a man who stands by truth, fairness and justice, no matter where the rest of the people choose to stand, and even when it does not favour him.

Emeka Nwankpa’s integrity and honesty were put to the test when, in the build up to the March 18 rescheduled governorship election, he was offered a humongous amount of money to step down for one of his co-frontline governorship candidates and also to prevail upon his teeming supporters to realign, to which he had the courage to say NO, and insisted that only the collective will of the good people of Abia State would prevail. Not even the pressure and promises from high places could sway him.

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Again, Emeka Nwankpa’s courage came to the fore when, during the quagmire that enveloped the collation of the guber election, in which he was a contender on the platform of the Accord Party, he rose up and called on INEC not to tamper with the choice of the people, even when the outcome of the exercise was not favouring him and his party. He didn’t mind who the winner was. All he wanted was for the right things to be done. This is typical of Emeka Nwankpa.

After critically analyzing the situation on ground and the circumstances therein, he called out INEC to immediately conclude the collation and declare Dr Alex Otti the governor-elect. The question remains: ‘Were it not Alex Otti, would Emeka Nwankpa have called out INEC to declare the winner? The answer is a capital YES because the winner didn’t matter to him. What mattered to Emeka Nwankpa was for the right things to be done.

This rare gesture and gallantry was praised by many well-meaning Abians, including the beneficiary, Dr Alex Otti, who acknowledged it on all the major television stations in the country, and even in his acceptance speech. It is important to point out that it was after Bishop Emeka Nwankpa issued the statement that others followed suit. He led the way for others to follow.

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Unlike sycophants, Emeka Nwankpa fearlessly speaks truth to power, and will continue to do so. His press statements concerning the emergence of the governor-elect are out of genuine concern. He neither seeks favour nor any other thing from Dr Alex Otti. While advising Dr Alex Otti to be magnanimous in victory, Bishop Emeka Nwankpa prays to God to grant the governor-elect the wisdom and knowledge to make Abia State better, and also continues to appeal to all aggrieved parties to sheathe their swords and accept the outcome of the governorship election in the overall interests of Abians.

Like Dr Martin Luther King Jnr would say, ‘A man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice’, Emeka Nwankpa would rather choose to die than not stand up for justice. He is a man full of rare courage and impeccable integrity. He does things because they are right and just, not because of the person or people involved.

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