From his days in academia to public service, current deputy governor of Abia State, Hon. Ude Oko Chukwu, has always found ways to distinguish himself for excellence, writes Solomon Elusoji
Rt. Hon. Ude Oko Chukwu (FCA) was born at Etitiama Nkporo in the present Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State. He attended Ndi Elu Primary School and Nkporo Secondary School both in Nkporo for his primary and secondary education between 1970 and 1982.
In 1983, he proceeded to the Federal College of Education, Akoka, Lagos to study Accounting Education where he became an outstanding student in his department. In his final year at F.C.E, he sat for and passed the A-Level G.C.E Examination in flying colours. On graduation from the College in 1986 and armed with an impressive A-level GCE result, he gained admission for a degree course in Accounting at the University of Lagos.
In 1989, as an undergraduate at University of Lagos studying Accounting, he qualified as a Chartered Accountant, having satisfied the requisite conditions and scaled through the final hurdles. In 1991, Chukwu graduated with a B.sc (Hons) Degree in Accounting. Thereafter in 1997, he obtained his MSc. Degree also in Accounting from the same University of Lagos.
In 1990 he was elected an Associate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ACA) and in 1998 an Associate of Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (ACTI) and a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (FCA) in 2000. Chukwu had his professional training with Eze George & Co. (Chartered Accountants) in Lagos between 1997 and 2000 where he rose to become a Partner.
Between 1988 and 1989 he served as Accountant, SMACS Computers, Lagos and General Manager, CONTECH Ventures Ltd. Lagos from 1989 to 1996. He became Principal Partner of Chukwu Ude Oko Chukwu and Co. (Chartered Accountants), Lagos, from 2001-2003
In the year 2001, Chukwu joined active politics and two years after in 2003, he contested for and won the House of Assembly seat to represent Ohafia North State Constituency in the Abia House of Assembly. He was re-elected in 2007 by the good people of Ohafia North State Constituency because of his quality representation and concrete delivery of democracy dividends to them. As a member of the House of Assembly between 2003-2011, he presided over the affairs of many House Committees, which among other included: House Committee on Intergovernmental Affairs, House Committee on House Services, House Committee on Anticorruption, House Committee on Public Accounts, House Committee on Public Utilities, House Committee on Environment.
He was also a member of so many other House Standing Committees including Boundary and Security Matters Committee, Appropriation Committee, Education Committee, Agriculture Committee, as well as Chairman of many Ad-hoc Committees on various matters.
Socially, Chukwu identifies with many groups in his quest to be close to his people and share with them their problems. At the FCE, besides other post held at the Departmental level, he was the Clerk of House in the Students Union Government during the 1984/1985 Session. He was the first President of Alpha Club Exclusive of Nigeria and Nigeria Federation of Catholic Students (NFCS), FCE (Tech) Akoka, Lagos.
He was also the first National Chairman of his Iyierimba Age Grade of Etitiama Nkporo, first National Chairman of Nkporo Youths Association and Pioneer President of Nkporo Youth Vanguard.
In the religious realm, Chukwu is a God-fearing and devout Roman Catholic Christian. He belongs to the Knighthood of St. Mulumba. He has been conferred with several chieftaincy titles and awards by communities, churches and other organisations. He is a philanthropist par excellence.
For 12 years, Chukwu represented the people of Ohafia North State Constituency creditably in the Abia State House of Assembly. Out of these number of years he presided over the affairs of the 5th Abia State House of Assembly as the Honourable Speaker for four years with an enriched working experience in both the public and private sectors, Chukwu also served as the National Vice Chairman Conference of Speakers (South East Zone) from 2012-2014. He was equally the Chairman of the Selection Committee of the Honourable House by virtue of his position as the Speaker from June 2011 to May 28, 2015. In 2013 Chukwu attended Said Business School, University of Oxford, United Kingdom, and has also attended so many national and international seminars and conferences.
Within this period of stewardship Chukwu recorded outstanding achievements in the Abia legislature which has been described as the most peaceful, vibrant, and united and result oriented legislature in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. His relationship with the people of his constituency in particular and Abia State in general speaks volume of his genuine and unparalleled concerns, love and magnanimity for all and sundry.
His contributions to the development and progress of the people of his constituency included but not limited to the following: the annual grading of roads in his constituency; the attraction of road projects, namely, Abiriba- Etitiama Nkporo road and Abiriba – Ndi Ebe Abam Road, the construction of which are on-going; the building of an Ultra Modern Civil Hall for the people of Amaelu Etitiama Nkporo; the building and equipment of an Ultra Modern Skills Acquisition Centre at Abiriba for training of youths in various skills and trade; the attraction of the construction and reconstruction/renovation of Class Room Blocks and ICT centres in various schools in Ohafia North State Constituency; and the securing of employment opportunities of various cadres for the people of the constituency.
His other contributions are: facilitating the recruitment of interested persons into the Nigerian military, police and paramilitary outfits and agencies as well as tertiary institution admissions for prospective candidates of his constituency; the completion of a story building hall project for the people of Elughu Nkporo in Ndi Etiti Electoral Ward; the empowerment of the people of Abia State especially youths, and women with various empowerment materials, including vehicles, motorcycles, garri processing machines, computers with accessories, sewing and weaving machines, grinding machines, vulcanising machines, small and giant power generating sets, barbing kits with accessories, hair dressing kits with accessories and many others.
He also provides financial assistance to the needy and other tremendous contributions to the overall welfare and development of the people of Ohafia North State Constituency in particular and God’s Own State in general and sponsors free medical outreach/ eye care for the people of Ohafia North State Constituency and environs through the Rt. Hon. Sir Ude Oko Chukwu Health Foundation.
Given his pedigree, outstanding political antecedents and administrative sagacity, Chukwu was nominated by the Peoples Democratic Party Abia State as the running mate to Governor Victor Okezie Ikpeazu, the PDP gubernatorial candidate in the 2015 general elections. Chukwu, a widely travelled person, is happily married to Lady Nnenna Vivien Ude Oko Chukwu and their marriage is blessed with children.