By Iyke Ogbonnaya
Ohafia Council Headquarters, the socio-political rendezvous of Abia North Zonal Structure came under very intense flow of innumerable human traffic precisely on the 4th of December, 2021. It was indeed a deafening out pouring of Abians who in their droves came to joyfully witness the well intended reception powered by Ohafia Local Government Traditional Rulers Council.
The biblical saying “a Prophet is with honour except in his own town” was dismantled on this occasion. Right Honourable Sir Ude Oko Chukwu’s political sagacity and soul touching disposition appears to be permanently green given the unprecedented response the reception elicited.
“The voice of the people they say is the voice of God” and it does appear that the Traditional Rulers heard very clearly and strategically leveraged the eloquent and unanimous endorsement of their subjects to recognize and decorate their Deputy Governor son.
Reception programmes as it obtains in our clime, is a well thought out initiative designed to objectively celebrate and further motivate outstanding sons and daughters of the soil, who in the face of obvious odds, surmounted same to meritoriously distinguish themselves in their various vocations and callings.
A retrospective incursion into Sir Ude Oko Chukwu’s trajectory of meteoric rise and humanity centered ethics will effortlessly unveil a box load of quality service.
This inspiration is derivable from a humble and unassuming beginning distinctively inspired by academic head start of making it through secondary education at Etitiama Nkporo and without wavering advanced to tertiary levels where he acquired laurels within the Akoka academic environment which is playing host to College of Education Technical and University of Lagos.
He was to later cap it up with a Ph.D at Abia State University Uturu, specializing more in finance management. His foray into active politics largely borne out of a clarion call to serve dates back to 2001 when he contested for and won the House of Assembly seat to represent Ohafia North constituency in Abia State House of Assembly and went on to become the Speaker of the 5th Assembly. His deep mastery of legislative business, made him spoke well at his time and engendered peace and conviviality in the political space of Abia.
He was reputed to have powered one of the most spectacular empowerment programmes which held in September 2014, during which vehicles of different brands and sizes were given out to benefiting stakeholders across the length and breadth of the 17 Local Government Areas of the State. Were it to be that he is tensely enmeshed in cold war with his Governor boss, the Etitiama Nkporo Road and Cottage Hospital would not have been realized.
Nothing could have made Ude Oko Chukwu fared these much, if not for his implicit confidence in God’s divine role over the affairs of man. As an outstanding and God reverencing Catholic Knight of Saint Mulumba, he has had to severally retreat on religious voyage to quietly and solitarily seek and subject his body to spirited and soul lifting exercises.
His mileage in political exploits consequently became more flamboyant and elongated when in 2015 he was unanimously chosen as running mate to Abia State Governor, Okezie Victor Ikpeazu Ph.D. As a dependable ally of the Governor, the Deputy Governor has to the admiration and commendation of Abians demonstrated constant charismatic devotion and availability to the call of duty.
He is known to have clinically tidied up State matters with a touch of finesse and to the satisfaction of his boss.
His comparatively high and unparallel sense of responsibility cultivated from private sector orientation, has always provided the vista for constant engagements in public service.
As servant-leaders who as it were are divinely paired, contagious peace and harmony have always prevailed in the Deputy Governor’s relationship with his boss.
His academic and professional wealth of experience is being tapped and leveraged as the State Revenue Council, which he currently chairs, churns out reliable revenue templates for the economic good of the State.
Under the Deputy Governor’s current constitutional callings, cocoa farmers in the State have been provided with new hybrid and high disease resistance cocoa seedlings. Abia is fast regaining her place as a front line state in cocoa production.
His celebrated disposition to jaw-jaw and diplomatically interface with neighbouring States, rather than war-war has strategically stood him out and in its wake, calmed frayed nerves and won the State many celebrated peace accords with neighbouring States. Else, Abians in Isu Community of Arochukwu Local Government Area and Biase in Cross River State would have by now been overwhelmed by the number of casualties arising from mindless and needless inter-State disputes. It may even have gotten worse at the central political enclave of Abia, where the Deputy Governor wisely chose to allow common sense prevail in a boundary dispute which erupted between a community in Ikwuano Local Government Area of Abia State and Akirika-Obu in Akwa-Ibom State.
Ude Oko Chukwu is evidently well schooled in the complementary role of Deputy Governor and is maximally utilizing same in reducing the burden of governance on his boss.
Abia State Deputy Governor is indeed a prophet who parades honour amongst his people and his reception couldn’t have come at a better time than now.
Iyke Ogbonnaya, a Public Affairs Analyst, wrote in from Umuahia.
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