L-R: Dr. Poly Emenike, the celebrant; Emeka Onwuka, former chief executive officer of Diamond Bank and Pharm. Nnamdi Obi, chairman, Association of Pharmaceutical Importers of Nigeria (APIN) at the event.
It was a spectacular show of glamour at the Landmark Events Centre, Victoria Island extension, Lagos, where top government functionaries, politicians, pharmacists, technocrats and international figures gathered recently to honour Dr Poly Emenike, chairman of Neros Pharmaceuticals, as he celebrated his 60th birthday.
Extolling Emenike’s virtues, Prof. Pat Utomi, former presidential aspirant, described him as a special breed worthy of showcasing to future generations.
“We are in a society where people are beginning to think that education does not matter anymore as long as you have money. At other times, you hear things like you must know somebody in authority to be successful in life. I have spent years challenging such fallacious expressions. I am happy that Poly has justified my belief” he enthused.
A director of registration and regulatory affairs with the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr Monica Hemben-Eimunjeze, equally expressed her admiration for the Neros chairman.
“He is such a hardworking man who stops at nothing to get things done the proper way,” she said. “NAFDAC is proud to be associated with him.”
In the words of Pharm Okey Akpa, chairman of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN), the celebrant is more than just a public figure.
“Such an active fellow he is! In PMG-MAN, we regard him as one of our trusted and most reliable members,” he said.
Pharm. Nnamdi Obi, chairman of the Association of Pharmaceutical Importers of Nigeria (APIN) noted that the Neros helmsman, who he described as a bosom friend, had to surmount several obstacles to triumph over abject poverty and wretchedness to become a paragon of excellence.
“As one of his closest friends, I can categorically tell you that his journey in life was a practical demonstration of the triumph of the human spirit,” he said.
Born on November 28, 1955, at Nnanka in Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State to a peasant farmer and a petty trader mother, Emenike is the sixth child in a family of eight. He was baptised and enrolled in schools managed by churches even though his parents were not Christians.
‘ On completion of primary school in 1971, Emenike looked forward to his admission into secondary school with his mates. But that lofty dream was cut short despite coming out in flying colours in his Common Entrance Examinations. Young Emenike was rather sent to Onitsha, to live with his maternal uncle, a lawyer.
After spending three years in his uncle’s house without being allowed to go to school, Emenike left his uncle and started saving for the future while working as a young entrepreneur.
At the age of 32, with a wife, children and a thriving enterprise, he enrolled as a pupil at Ansar-Ud-Deen Grammar School, Surulere, in Lagos State, wearing the school uniform like his much younger schoolmates. In 1988, he completed his O’Level studies. Thereafter, his hunger for academic excellence drove him to the University of Lagos, where he obtained his BSc and MSc degrees in 1997 and 1999 respectively.
A reserved gentleman, Dr Emenike is the first non-American and fourth person to be honoured in the 50-year history of the Napoleon Hill’s Foundation as well as a recognised Member of the Order of the Niger (MON).
In 2012, at the International School of Management, Paris, France, Emenike capped his academic laurels with a doctorate degree.
Following his acclaimed exploits at home and abroad, he was honoured with the award of Odenigbo Nanka by his beloved people.
In attendance at the birthday bash were Dr Alex Ekwueme, former vice president of Nigeria; Pharm. Kennedy Izunwa, APIN technical director; Prof. Onwuchekwa Jemie, editor-in-chief of Business Day Newspaper; Sir Ifeanyi Atueyi, managing director of Pharmanews Limited; Mr Emeka Onwuka, former chief executive officer of Diamond Bank; Chief Chidi Anyaegbu, chairman of Chisco Transport; and Bishop Paulinus Ezeokafor, spiritual father of the day.
Others were Dr Peter Obi, former governor of Anambra State; Dr Andy Uba, member, senate special committee on public accounts; AVM Lucky Ararile, the Ovie of Umiaghwa Abraka Kingdom, Delta State; Dr Chukwuka Obiora, chairman of Greenlife Pharmaceuticals; Mike Okeke, former vice president, National Football Federation (NFF) and representatives of Meko Pharmaceutical.