“If an idea, no matter how innovative, took hold of him, he would knock on every relevant door over and over till he brought the idea to fruition. Some young people can hardly face their lecturers but (he) would call on the principal officers of the university and make himself comfortable, ensuring he airs his views to bring them on board his latest cause.”


This is a continuation of our CELEBRATING SUPER-JACKSONITES (Graduates of the Mass Communication Department, University of Nigeria, Nsukka) series.

He had the bearing of a prince and even though he didn’t always move with an entourage, you could tell that this young man pulled serious political weight among his peers. If you sought to describe him, the words that came to mind were, “bold” and “relentless”. The fellow I’m referring to is Richie Olieh and the time his student years at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), which terminated upon graduation with a Second Class Upper Degree in 2003.

Richie had the conviction that nothing was impossible and if an idea, no matter how innovative, took hold of him, he would knock on every relevant door over and over till he brought the idea to fruition. Some young people can hardly face their lecturers but Richie would call on the principal officers of the university and make himself comfortable, ensuring he airs his views to bring them on board his latest cause.

Those of us who were often his sounding boards before he took his campaigns higher wondered what gave him the guts to be so imposing. And even when he was advised to tone down his demands and he felt otherwise, he came back with unusual accounts of success.

He understood the game of politics: the mobilization, negotiation, seeking counsel, building of alliances, presenting the altruistic side of his goals, decisiveness and so on. As a result, he held various political offices and achieved a lot thereby. He served as the Secretary of the Mass Communication Association (MCA), the name of the students’ body in the department back then and was a member of the Students’ Union Government (SUG) House of Representatives.

Coming to the faculty, he and other students came up with what seemed like a hare-brained idea to the authorities then: the establishment of a Faculty House of Representatives fashioned after the SUG one. In spite of opposition, they were able to set up the house. They bought the gown, the gavel and other working instruments of the legislature and Richie was elected the Speaker.

The whole idea was to provide the students with a forum for distilling their views on issues, to give them a voice at every level, and thus prevent the authorities from taking them for granted. The motions moved in the houses facilitated consultation and negotiations with the authorities on matters pertaining to the students.

Richie was also a kingmaker of sorts at the SUG level and faculties, including those as remote from Arts where he was enrolled as Engineering and Pharmacy. This clout came from his leadership position in the classy Rotaract Club which drew impressive membership from these faculties. He served as the club’s Millennium President.

During his tenure, in addition to the club’s customary charitable activities like visiting orphanages and making donations to them, the Rotaracts instituted what they called a Scholarship Relief Fund to assist disabled students with monetary grants. Ten such students benefited from the scheme.


He joined the Orlean Invest Group in February 2005 and has been with them to date. Orlean Invest Africa Limited is into energy-related logistics and he leads part of a team that manages a segment of the shared services portfolio. He is married to a lovely young woman called Ofuchi, a graduate of Computer Science who runs her own company called Fuchis Signature Limited and they have a son.

I recall his grandiloquent manner of communication, understandable given his political bent and, I presume, a certain fascination with the law discipline. I tried to divorce him from it through the writing courses I taught his class, with little success.

But most of all, I recall his passion to make a difference, his doggedness in pursuit of his goals and his admirable self-assurance. These all make me wonder how he and the likes of Mayor Ikoroha (another Super-Jacksonite and his political mentor) have managed to contain their political juices with the attendant restlessness to serve demurely behind a desk in the corporate world.
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  • VeenSaint

    Richie! And did I read Mayor Ikoroha somewhere there? These were great political gladiators whose immense influence spanned across generations of Jacksonites after them.

    Richie, or Rich sometimes, really packed a heavy political punch on campus then. His words and opinions were like unwritten laws in the political circles on campus in those days. I remember what his endorsement of my candidacy did to my opponents in those days…

    He was not loud; always soft-spoken. He chose his words very carefully. Rather than tell you to do something, he would put it as a mild question and watch your face with a grin that looked somewhat omniscient. And who were you to say no to his request? You obeyed him not because he persuaded you but because you didn’t want to hurt the sense and logic of his proposal…

    He once caused a great stir in the political waters when his friends (I was honoured to be among them) attempted to make him run for the SUG presidency. ‘Rich Olieh – THE COMING’ littered the billboards. Most of the aspirants began to run from pillar to post, trying to confirm his real intentions. Some chickened out in advance. The few bold ones who managed to confront him went away more confused as Richie would only respond with an imperial smile after acknowledging the usual cheers. There was palpable relief among the presidential hopefuls when he eventually decided not heed that call.

    To me, he was the Zik of our time: articulate, charismatic, regal and handsome (ask the ladies, LoL) Any wonder they both hail from Onitsha, Anambra State…. No, no, no, this is not the part two so I have to stop…to continue another day.

    Cheers to my Bold and Relentless mentor, while we await The Coming…

  • Edith Ohaja

    Naturally, VeenSaint (a fellow student back then) knew Richie a lot better than I did but I’m glad his comments confirm my observations about the subject were spot on. Thanks, VeenSaint, but the question posed at the end remains unanswered: How do guys like you manage to sit behind a desk and do a more or less routine job?

  • Richie! Hmm!!
    Can’t wait to be like him in some aspects in life.
    Just pray that God help me make it.

    I’m already filled with aspirations.
    Really was HE a great Jacksonite.
    Kudos to you oh super Jacksonite.

  • Bridget

    Indeed Richie is a great guy. For the 11yrs I have come to known him at Orlean Invest Africa. At first we didn’t really get along but much later, we became the best of friends. Sweddie as I call him in the office which would make him laugh his heart out has made most of our colleague call him my best friend. Good to know more about you on this platform. This means you were born great. Greater you I pray. I thank God for your family and pray that the good lord that has set you on this enviable path will lead you through all your endeavours. Set his word before you & you would never be wrong. God bless you.

  • nkechi

    A fellow Rotaractor and junior colleague in the department. In today’s parlance, Richie has always had ‘Swag’ and clout. I remember him as a rotaractor and kingmaker (actively involved in the Ofala thing in school). With regards to been able to sit behind a desk in the office, all of those skills developed in school politics are brought to bear in the corporate world especially, if you want to get to the peak. Well done, Richie!!!

  • This is really a nice story… it.

  • Luke Chinyere Esther

    what a focused and determined student, i would love to emulate his positive attitude towards development and progress

  • Onuorah chinemerem

    Nice one Richie! But it should be on record that during school years, very few people will be fond of these Richie ways, he could’ve been seen as ‘over-sabi’ yes,we have people like that in our class now.. But after school,teachers and classmates will look back and say ‘wow,that was some student’ just as Ms Edith is doing now.


    Richie is a wonderful guy. he was determine to achieve his goal without any distraction. I think his courage is worth emulation

    • While reading I vividly pictured an outspoken, intelligent and brave Mr Richie making his moves. His personality is really striking, and I sure know he is still making his voice heard as well as pulling giant strides. Richie, the world awaits you.

  • chinaza ezenwa


  • Oweka Chioma Sandra

    Living testimony

  • chikodili ozulumba

    this is lovely,

  • Asogwa Emmanuel C.

    I think, i av gotten another role model. Ms Edith end Hichie

  • i’m jealous. wonderful achievement

  • Okwor Donald Chidubem

    very readable post



  • Flawless Ifeanyi

    I also want to make a difference in school and in the outside world just like Richie. But with all the political stunt he pulled in school, I was expecting him to be a great politician by now but all the same being in the cooperate world is not that bad, at least he is doing well for himself.

  • Chioma Ezeudu

    His story is really motivating and has proven that in a school like UNN, one needs a passion for making a difference, doggedness in pursuit of one’s goals and admirable self-assurance in order to be more than the passive student. Great motivation!

  • Chigbo God'spromise E

    “I recall his passion to make a difference, his doggedness in pursuit of his goals and his admirable self-assurance” these qualities are all in the nature of a leader, which is needed in a society for progress and development.

  • Victoria Nonike

    wonderful piece! one can see that he was born to make a difference and his relentlessness sets him apart from the crowd.

  • Anyadubalu Oluchi Maryrose

    Now, I wish I had met this Richie guy,his confidence no be here, If I have that kind one, nne eeh i will move mountain with it.
    His story is really inspiring.

  • Afiadigwe Nnedinso Rita

    Wow, He is really a super lion. Determination is the key to success, Richie was confident and determined and eventually He made it. Father lord, please give me your Grace and wisdom so that I can have a positive mind like him.wonderfull post ma.

  • Orji blessing chidubem

    I envy Richy…wish I had so much courage and the enthusiasm to do certain things.
    He is a doer and he is set to attain much greatness if he never relents.

  • Agwu Tochukwu Frank

    This is an inspirational and educative story indeed. Richie is a typical example of a determined personality.
    His political doggedness fetched him this height he has attained in life.
    Similarly, I relate this to my political ambition here in the DEN lol.
    May God be with us all.

  • Let people know you for who you are not for what you have. Richie was known for who he is. He passed through the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and he was known for his impact and achievements. This story also revealed that nothing is hidden under the sun, people are watching every attitude we display and one day,that attitude can make or mar us.

  • Paschal Odigonma Victoria

    This is so motivating. I wish I had such passion for politics. Richie Olieh is a born leader and we undergraduates have a lot to learn from him.

  • He is an inspiration to us. Especially me. Though am not a fan of politics. I love his brief university political life. It encourages and inspires.

  • Nnaukwu Emeka John

    This is very interesting. I look forward to adopting Richie’s style of politicking, especially, his doggedness to achieve his plans.

  • Brown Favour Felix

    Self-confidence pays a lot. Being confident will save one from being misled by bad company. Congratulations to Richie and more grace!

  • Nnadozie Judith chidimma

    People think and believe that politics is a dirty game but I totally disagree with them. Politics is a dirty game to those who do not understand it. But to those who do it is really an interesting thing to engage in because it will take you to a very high level and greater height. I think I now have interest in politics, next year I will contest for election in my department. Thanks ma.

  • Anabude oluchi m.

    Am deeply motivated with these achievement. And his courage and boldness is commendable. Life requires taking a bold step because you make little or no impact If you go doing the usual thing but when you do extraordinary things your impact is felt is not only around but across the globe

  • Orakwue kosisochukwu

    Most females do not like the idea of partisan politics but i am a huge fan of it…Thanks ma for this inspirational post you are really a blessing to our generation.

  • Egbo Paul Uchenna

    I feel so motivated reading about some super jacksonite that have done immensely well during their stay in campus. “Doggedness” that word strikes a cord.

  • Anokwuru Catherine

    This is a success story to learn from. Such desire to participate in politics is worth applauding. We hope to see people like this rake up the responsibility of leading Nigeria some day.

  • chah ugochukwu adiensa

    This inspires me to get hold of my ideas and bring them to life, not fearing anything or anyone. i have never had that much guts but maybe i will try it out a little. I admire his confidence so much.

  • Godwin Grace Chinyere

    This post reminds me of a quote that says : nothing can stop the firm resolve of a determined soul. The first step to success is knowing what you want and going for it. I’ve also learnt to be bold and courageous and to stand up for what I want!

  • Eze Vivian

    it is an inspiring thing to get hold of ideas and bring them to life without any form of hindrance. Participating in politics is wroth applauding, we hope to see individual like this some day.

  • Nnamani Sylvia onyedikachi

    He was determined had great ideas was bold I really am motivated by Richie’s story and how successful he had became married With a lovely kid to show for it

  • AKUPUE Vincent

    Richie is a man with many ambitions. He stood up for what he has passion for, regardless of many obstacles that occurs on his. All these is just “determination”. He knows what he wants, that is why he works diligently towards it.

  • Emeka joy

    Richie is bold, dogged and ambitious, he is determined to achieve success,i suggest that all jacksonites emulate Richie for his passion for success

  • Amuzie Chioma esther

    It is good to have a mind of your own whereby you don’t fear anybody but you respect those that deserve respect the story is a typical example richie did not fear anybody his lecturers included but that does not mean that he had lack of respect for his elders he was outspoken and he had ambition

  • Oringanje Chinonso

    Wow! This is a success story. Richie’s confidence is a man with action, determination and ambition

  • Theophilus Blessing

    This is boldness at the highest level. I must say he is born a leader, fearless and imposing. I wish him more prosperity in the heights he aims to scale.

  • Wow! I love Richie’s courage and self confidence. It’s worth emulating. But the thing is who dares to speak up now when trampled upon? Are there no punishment for speaking your mind or exercising your right when hurt? Won’t they hold your result just to make you suffer? I’m just thinking.

  • Agbodike Ogochukwu Maryclaret

    Wow! Sometimes, I look at myself and I’m like ” can I really become like this someday?” Truth is, yes, I can, anyone can, it’s just a matter of vision and should I say luck? Lol

  • Adeke Chukwuka

    His boldness has really brought him this far. Also, his quest for more, made him see no hurdle across his path, which made him advance greatly in life.

  • I love his boldness, confidence ambition and courage to reach a greater level. Taking an extraordinary step to achieve his dreams and was determined to make it come true. This post is really educating and encouraging, his character is worth learning from.

  • Joseph Chizoba Kingsley

    Self assurance is the major requisite that drive one to pursue any goal. It is the requisite to doggedly pursue any goal without fear. Self assurance boosts boldness – one thing that has kept Richie Olieh moving.
    This Story is actually interesting and inspiring.

  • Ominaki pamela

    Confidence mixed with determination brings about success. These two attributes would make you want to be the best version of yourself and it would push you to reach your dreams and goals and it will make you a success…

  • Michael onyedinma

    Boldness and relentless in pursuit of our goals is quite rare in our society, especially us that are students. His character is worth emulating.

  • Onwuamaeze Ikechukwu John

    The young man is indeed a great political gladiator. From what I read, he’s a very passionate and ambitious individual. One who’s got relentless personality. His boldness and strong zeal is what I admire.

  • Nwoye chiamaka favour

    Wow… Richie’s story really points out that if one is determined,sucess is surely not far. It’s good he found out his leadership ability and started to nurture it early and used it wisely too

  • Eze vivian Nkiruka

    One thing I admired more in Richie,was his determination for greatness,his passion to make difference, his doggedness in pursuit of his goals and his admirable self assurance, despite the oppositions,his was still bold and relentless.

  • Ossai Chidimma Linda

    I am inspired to do more and to have confidence. I really love this story.

  • Ibeh Lorretta Chiamaka

    This is so motivating. Richie displayed the quality of a good leader. He is a great political gladiator. I pray some politicians will emulate his lifestyle and stop putting their personal interest as priority.

  • Ibeh Lorretta Chiamaka

    This is so motivating. Richie displayed the quality of a good leader. He is a great political gladiator. I pray some politicians will emulate his lifestyle and stop putting their personal interest as priority.

  • Ekeh Maryann C

    He’s a man full of vigour. I like his determinations and it did fetch him a good spot in life afterall

  • Odumuko Oluchukwu Victoria

    An interesting post. An amazing guy with an admirable confidence.

  • Iyorakpo Dorathy

    Wow… Richie’s story really points out that if one is determined,sucess is surely not far. It’s good he found out his leadership ability and started to nurture it early and used it wisely too

  • Richie Olieh

    Thanks everyone for your very kind words. I am quite delighted .

  • Jacenta ossai.

    What an inspiring story. The enthusiasm and strive to not settle for less until your goal is achieved.

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