Uzor Maxim Uzoatu
The President of the Nigeria Para-Powerlifting Federation, Ichie Chiemeka Charles Ezenwanne, is an all-conquering enigma. He has completely turned around the fortunes of the hitherto neglected sports federation.
From the beginning, at the inaugural meeting of the federation held on Tuesday, August 30, 2022, at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, he charged the elected members of his executive board to rise up to responsibilities beyond the ambit of the previous boards. He was quite determined to arrest the dwindling fortunes of Nigeria Para-Powerlifting.
He vowed that nothing can stop him from making the sport to bounce back into reckoning under his watch. He did not waste any time whatsoever before setting up some committees to actualise his dream. The committees included Marketing/Sponsorship, Protocol, Technical, and Media/Publicity etc.
As an enlightened inclusive leader, he appointed the immediate past President, Ruel Ishaku, a former athlete, as the new Technical Director.
He charged the board to embark on talent hunt programmes all over the country, in all the geo-political zones.
It was paramount in his drive to correct the ills of the past, particularly the embarrassing situation that made Nigeria to lose two crucial gold medals at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games in the United Kingdom.
He refused to be daunted by the issue of funding which was the major challenge of their international engagements such as the Egypt and Mexico championships.
President Ezenwanne had profound words of thanks for the Sports Minister Sunday Dare. He also showered praises on Peak Milk for the immense support in the course of the federation’s engagements.
He cited the instance of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist by stressing that Para-Powerlifting Federation of Nigeria will always need some more.
Born in Umuchu, Aguata LGA of Anambra State, Rotarian Chiemeka Charles Ezenwanne is married to Nneka Adaobi Ezenwanne, and the marriage is blessed with three daughters and a son. A resourceful businessman and Christian, he is the Managing Director of Marvel Nigeria Limited involved in the importation of Christmas decorations and articles.
Educated at Lafiaji Primary School, Modebe Memorial Secondary School, Onitsha, and Lagos State University, he is in the course of earning a Master’s Degree in Diplomacy and Strategy Studies at the University of Lagos, Akoka.
He has been a past President of Rotary of Tin Can Island and a life member of Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship.
As the President of the Nigeria Para-Powerlifting Federation, Charles Chiemeka Ezenwanne has enjoyed uncommon success. He had high commendation for his athletes for their tremendous outing at the African Open Para-Powerlifting Cham-pionship in Egypt.
Team Nigeria won 43 gold, 14 Silver and two bronze medals. There were additional five gold medals won in the women’s team events. The medal hauls put the team at advantage of qualifying many lifters to the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games in France.
The medallists included Esther Nworgu who won eight gold medals and set two world records in the 41kg weight category; Latifat Tijani (45kg) two gold, one silver and one bronze with an Af-rican record; Bose Be-jide (50kg) two gold and two silver medals; Onyinyechi Mark Gift (61kg) four gold and two World records; Kafilat Almaruf (73kg) four gold medals with new Afri-can record; Bose Omolayo (79kg) two gold, one silver and one bronze and set a new African record; Folashade Oluwafemi-ayo(86kg) four gold medals; Loveline Obiji(+86kg) four gold medals; Lucy Ejik-e(67kg) eight silver medals; Kure Thomas(65kg) four silver medals; and Roland Ezuruike (54kg) eight gold medals.
A total of 27 countries including those from outside Africa took part in the tourney.
President Ezenwanne singled out Sports Minister Sunday Dare for his fatherly role in supporting Para-Powerlifting and other sports in the country.
He stressed that the federation needs more support to attend other upcoming Championships which are also pathways to Paris 2024 Paralympic Games. He urged well-to-do Nigerians and sundry corporate organisations to come to the federation’s assistance.
Ichie Chiemeka Charles Ezenwanne, the President of the Nigeria Para-Powerlifting Federation, is a shining star worthy of celebration in the leadership of Nigeria’s sports federations.