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Abia deputy governor: A prophet with honour

Abia deputy governor: A prophet with honour

Ohafia Council Headquarters, the socio-political rendezvous of Abia North Zonal Structure, came under intense human traffic on December 4, 2021. It was the day the Ohafia Local Government Traditional Rulers Council held a reception for the state Deputy Governor, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu.

Contrary to the biblical saying that a prophet is with honour except in his own town, the occasion showed that, indeed, some prophets do have honour among their people. The unprecedented response the reception elicited showed that Sir Ude Oko Chukwu’s political sagacity and soul-touching disposition remain green in the minds of the people.

It is said that the voice of the people is the voice of God. Indeed, Ohafia traditional rulers seemed to have heard very clearly and strategically leveraged the eloquent and unanimous endorsement of their people to recognize and decorate their Deputy Governor son.

Civic reception, as it obtains in our clime, is a well-thought initiative designed to celebrate and further motivate outstanding sons and daughters of the soil who have surmounted the odds to distinguish themselves in their various vocations. In the case of Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, the reception was an honour well deserved.

A man of humble beginning, the Abia Deputy Governor had his secondary education at Etitiama. Thereafter, Ude Oko Chukwu without wavering advanced to tertiary levels where he acquired laurels within the Akoka academic environment, host to College of Education Technical and the University of Lagos. He was to later cap it up with a PhD at Abia State University Uturu, specializing more in finance management.

Ude Oko Chukwu’s foray into active politics, largely born out of a clarion call to serve, dates back to 2003 when he contested for and won the House of Assembly seat to represent Ohafia North State Constituency in the Abia State House of Assembly and went on to become the Speaker of the 5th Assembly. His deep mastery of legislative business showed in the way he conducted the affairs of the Assembly and engendered peace and conviviality in the Abia political space.

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He was reputed to have powered one of the most spectacular empowerment programmes in September 2014 when different brands and sizes of vehicles were given out to benefitting stakeholders across the 17 local government areas of the state. Were the Deputy Governor enmeshed in a cold war with his boss the Governor, the Etitiama Nkporo Road and Cottage Hospital would not have been realized.

One thing that has made Ude Oko Chukwu achieve so much is his implicit confidence in God’s divine role over the affairs of man. A Catholic Knight of Saint Mulumba, he has had to occasionally retreat on religious voyage to seek and subject his body to spirited and soul-lifting exercises.

Ude Oko Chukwu’s gained greater political mileage when in 2015 he was unanimously chosen as running mate to Abia State Governor, Okezie Victor Ikpeazu. 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 unparallelled sense of responsibility cultivated from private sector orientation has always provided the vista for constant engagements in public service.

The contagious peace and harmony that have prevailed in the Deputy Governor’s relationship with his boss are a proof that both men are servant-leaders who, as it were, are divinely paired.

The Deputy Governor’s 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. Also, under the Deputy Governor’s current constitutional callings, cocoa farmers in the state have been provided with new hybrid and disease-resistant cocoa seedlings. Abia is fast regaining its place as a frontline state in cocoa production.

When it comes to interstate relations, Ude Oko Chukwu’s disposition is to jaw-jaw and diplomatically interface with neighbouring states rather than war-war. This has strategically stood him out and in its wake, calmed frayed nerves and won the state many celebrated peace accords with neighbouring states. Otherwise Abians in Isu Community of Arochukwu Local Government Area and their neighbours in 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 got 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 two warring communities in Ikwuano Local Government Area of Abia State and another 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. The 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.

Ogbonnaya, a public affairs analyst, wrote in from Umuahia.