Opinion: Sir Ude Oko Chukwu; The Pathfinder and A Natural Spring

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“In any way, you don’t light your lamp and then put it under the table. It doesn’t make sense at all. I ride a Rolls Royce with a specialized number, is that a big deal?. But inspite of that, I am very happy that people admit that I am competent in whatever I do. I am very thorough”. Rt. Honorable Ude Oko Chukwu, the deputy governor of Abia state has thoroughly negotiated the blurred bends that separate good taste from gaudy flamboyance.

Sir Ude Oko Chukwu’s dressing alone should make him a reference point in the upscale formal clothing market but instead, he has deftly pulled the crowd of admiring compatriots to see more of his immense talents as an accountant, entrepreneur, social reformer and a quintessential politician. There is absolutely no magic to his success. He had nothing but a vision and a mission. As he explained ” I first of all took it that I had a mission which I converted into a vision and that mission, I achieved because of my single minded professionalism and competence.

Achieving one’s goals in life especially building up a political empire could be a life-long dizzying struggle against the reins of our individual circumstances. But beyond the ingredients of raw determination, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu believes one needs a heavenly nudge to scale the heights. He shares this notion with every being who has visited his Nkporo country home in Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia state. Sir Ude Oko Chukwu has a determination; a determination to succeed and to prove that given the opportunity, he has the mettle to attain the commanding height of any executive or political institution and it serves a lesson to all mankind that in all things, man may have his way but in the final analysis, God Almighty will have His way.

Ude’s story is the classic tale of a man who had very humble beginnings but refused to sit on the back-bench. He sprinted through life with amazing grace blended with unwavering consistency and has contributed so much to politics in Abia state that his name will forever be enshrined in the memories of future generations. In return, politics often reserved for the wealthy has smiled back at him. No wonder he has made it where many others before him had faltered and resigned in frustration. He was however bold, courageous and determined to change his life for the better and that must have prompted his political metamorphosis of becoming a statesman; a wise leader; a man of rare quality who displays overriding concern for the public good; a man who possesses a variety of skills and exhibits practical wisdom. To me and most of my contemporaries, Ude Oko Chukwu is a political pundit whose holy charity is his outward venture and lowliness his inner charity.

Some say he is a corporate enigma. Others say he is the political phenomenon of our time. Regardless the appellation pinned on him, what cannot possibly be denied is that Ude Oko Chukwu, 59, accountant, economist, entrepreneur and political scientist is a complex and fascinating political guru and businessman who has managed to reshape Abia’s political landscape in the last two decades. His gait is deceptive. His appearance may not offer many clues about his political abilities but those who are close to him say it is his unassuming personality that has until very recently allowed him garner so much influence and political muscle without being noticed. For instance, he is said to be endowed with unusual ability to concentrate. Once he is keyed into a project, nothing else matters until he pushes it to conclusion and usually with international benchmarks.

A very private person endowed with sharp and unalloyed political instincts, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu shot into limelight some twenty years ago when he contested and won the seat of Ohafia north state constituency in the Abia state house of assembly under the Peoples Democratic Party in 2003. He soujorned in the house of assembly from then and rose to become the speaker in 2011. As the speaker, he was very diligent, honest and dedicated; traits that endeared him to his present boss, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, the executive governor of Abia state and won him commendations and blessings which gave rise to his selection as the latter’s running mate in 2015 hence his emergence as the deputy governor of Abia state till date.

Whatever inspiring role Abia north is playing today in state building was made possible by the collective initiatives of the likes of Sir Ude Oko Chukwu. Ude Oko Chukwu’s foresight and doggedness and his opposition to the attempted breach of the Abia charter of equity as we face the forthcoming elections and transition to a new government will serve as the stimuli for state mobilization and the subsequent convocation of the state political consciousness. He is a committed patriot, a vivacious orator, a relentless fighter and an assiduous statesman who will never compromise the enslavement of his state and people. In terms of crises, Ude Oko Chukwu will always and as usual provide crucial leadership that will make an important difference in the well- being of the Abia society. He is a preserver and will equally become a saviour to whom the survival and emancipation of Abia state can be ascribed.

As we prepare for the 2023 general elections however with Ude Oko Chukwu in the race to clinch the exalted position of the governor of Abia state with a calm deliberation and unflinching resolve, it behoves the Abia electorate especially the delegates to look into the future and behold the unequivocal reforms associated with the Nkporo born politician and reformer.

Ude Oko Chukwu’s activities as a statesman and nation builder can be better understood if they are contextualiazed within the framework of idealistic pragmatism. What is clear however is that he is not a demagogue. As a leader with vast experience, he will not exploit popular prejudices, neither will he distort the truth, nor make empty promises to gain power. He has always been embraced by the voters and has never managed or attempted to capture power by other means, fair or foul. He can be called a citizen- leader because he has in the past decisively influenced the course of political events in the state. His unique dedication to a cause, his personal magnetism and even outright courage garnered for him a considerable political following and rallying point. Above all, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu is tested and proven to be a leader and has the ability, capacity and charisma to lead Abia to a political and societal restitution.

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