By Bisi Ezekiel
Rt. Hon. Austin Adiele Opara is a pilitical quintessential, a consensus builder and astute supporter and ally of the Rivers State governor, Chief Nwenwo Nyesom Wike.
Since Wike’s assumption of office in 2015, Opara has been a behind – the – stage key player in the administration, lending his wealth of political experience which spanned over two decades.
As an illustrious son of Rivers State, he decided to stay put in the state since he left public political space as Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives. He has been contributing his quota to the development of the state.
Gov. Wike has a very high regard for this political enigma who has become mentor to younger politicians in the state. It is obvious thst many public office holders in the state today, either in Wike’s government, National Assembly or Rivers State House of Assembly owe their political elevation to Rt. Hon. Austin Opara.
He started his political career in 1999, when he was elected to the House of Representatives, representing Port Harcourt II (federal constituency). He was reelected in 2003 and served as the Deputy Speaker until 2007.
While at the Assembly, he served also as deputy chairman of National Assembly Joint Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, sub-chairman of House Committee on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, member of House Committee on Petroleum, deputy chairman of House Committee on the Niger Delta Development Commission and member, House Committee on National Security and intelligence.[
In November 2015, Opara was appointed board chairman of the Rivers State Microfinance Agency.
Born on August 29, 1963, Opara has a Higher National Diploma and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing option from the Rivers State University of Science and Technology.
He obtained his Master of Business Administration, from the same institution. In addition, he is certified in Public Financial Management and Mastering Negotiations from John F. Kennedy School of Government in the United States.