ABIA PDP: DR. JASPER CHIDIEBUBE UCHE: The Man The Job Fits
The nomination of Dr. Jasper Chidiebube Uche as the running mate of Sir. Okey Ahiwe, the Abia PDP flag bearer is another cheering news in the past few days that followed the election of Sir Okey Ahiwe as the guber candidate of our great Party, PDP after the demise of Prof. Uche Ikonne.
In a cosmic realignment of fortunes for the PDP as ordained by Providence, the original Uche Ndi Abia as encapsulated in the brand identity of Prof. Uche Ikonne’s campaign has found expression in the appearance of Dr. Jasper *Uche* in the race. All said and done, Uche Ndi Abia will ultimately find fulfilment in the vox populi, vox Dei aphorism as Abians will elect Sir Okey Ahiwe and Dr. Jasper Uche as the next governor and deputy governor of Abia State.
Born into a humble family of retired teachers in the quiet town of Umukau Isuochi in Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia State, Dr. Jasper Uche is someone who has kept faith with destiny as a born leader and had Providence chart his life’s course for him. As a young man he showed early signs of leadership and has always reflected that character all through his life’s endeavours.
In the days of yore, it was customary to seek out diligent, studious and bright students as Labour Prefects, being that it is a position that demands tact, discipline and intelligence to handle recalcitrant students who always evade manual labour in secondary schools. Dr. Jasper Uche’s first encounter with leadership happened when he was found worthy among his mates to be the Labour Prefect at Umuaku Secondary School in recognition of his excellent leadership potential.
Ever since that encounter with leadership, Dr. Uche has not looked back but grown in leaps and bounds in the advancement of his leadership career which saw him as a vibrant participant in many social activities in the secondary school notably in the Debating, Drama and Press Clubs and culminated in his election as the President of the Students Union Government of Abia State University, Uturu, as a student of Government and Public Administration which is now known as Political Science.
Upon graduation and in his quest to bring his youthful and vibrant ideas to the resolution of the intractable Igbo question in Nigerian politics, he authored a book, Awakening from Slumber: Towards Political Empowerment for Ndi Igbo, just to ensure that Igbos realign into the mainstream of Nigerian politics.
As a corps member, he received commendations from the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC and the Kogi State government for his community development efforts which he capped with a book titled, Understanding the Development Potential of Kogi State.
After his NYSC programme, Dr. Jasper Uche kicked off his working career as a Legislative Assistant to Senator Uche Chukwumerije but gave up that position just to quench his thirst for higher degrees as he enrolled for a Master Degree in Political Science at the prestigious University of Nigeria Nsukka, and later a doctorate degree programme in the same department in the same university.
As a hands-on person, Dr. Uche did not allow his love for education to becloud his ambition to serve his people in a political capacity. In recognition of his leadership potential, he was appointed as Special Adviser on Sports to Governor T. A. Orji in 2007 and later Senior Special Assistant on Students Affairs; a position that gave him the opportunity to build capacity by interfacing between the State government and students in State-owned institutions.
His performance in those positions earned him the Transition Committee Chairmanship of Umunneochi in 2010 and again in 2014 for the same position which exposed him to practical executive administration of a government entity.
As a town and gown person, he took up a teaching appointment with the department of Political Science at Abia State University and later moved to the University of Nigeria Nsukka. In 2012 he resumed on a parallel appointment as Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Nigeria Enugu Campus, a position he held until his nomination as the running mate to Sir Okey Ahiwe, the Abia PDP guber candidate.
As an academic, Dr. Jasper Uche has acquired wide experience in governance at the various levels including the civil society platform where he consulted for different organisations including CLEEN Foundation, Center for Democracy and Development, the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and the Frederick Ebert Stiftung, FES.
As an academic, he has authored many scholastic journals including his seminal work on global leaders titled, Footprints of Excellence: 80 Leadership Lessons from Global Titans. He is a member of Nigerian Political Science Association, NPSA, Fellow, Nigeria Institute of International Affairs and Life Member Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International among others.
The nomination of Dr. Jasper Uche as the running mate to Sir Okey Ahiwe is significant in many respects. As an individual and someone who has had a lifelong romance with leadership, it is very easy for him to slip into the role of a deputy to the governor.
A very humane and humble fellow from an academic background, Dr. Uche comes into office with a disposition that is amenable to tact and discipline, being that he is a team player who understands the intrigues of executive office.
He has played leadership roles all his life and comes into the turf with ample experience to give boost and energy to the aspirations of his principal and the Party they represent.
As a true Partyman, Dr. Jasper Uche has a firm grasp of the rudiments of Abia PDP politics and is therefore not a stranger and fits in at the highest operational level of Abia PDP. He has also paid his dues and has an invaluable network of friends across the entire State which he will bring to bear on the excellent management of men and materials to make Abia better.
The town and gown combination of Sir Okey Ahiwe, an accomplished business man and administrator par excellence and Dr. Jasper Uche, a man who straddles the academic and public governance sectors is the best combination that Abia needs to navigate through the global economic decline that pervades the world.
As a Party, the PDP is proud to present to Ndi Abia Dr. Jasper Chidiebube Uche as the running mate of Sir. Okey Ahiwe because as always, we take the best of the best from our first eleven. The past few weeks have been a trying period for the Abia PDP and we have always weathered the storms of life before now.
As a family, we have a strong dispute resolution mechanism and it has always served us well. At all times, all interests are weighted proportionally to find the most acceptable situation that gives the greatest good to the greatest number. After all, we are one big family that has survived all the arrows thrown at us by nature and opposition.
In the few weeks left before the election, the best we can do as a Party that is desirous of winning the 2023 elections at all levels is to close ranks and work seriously towards the victory of our Party. Now is the time to fight for the space before fighting for the mattress.
The Party calls on all its members to remain steadfast, resolute and determined more than ever to deliver resounding victory to our candidates at all levels.
*PDP – Power to the People!*
*Hon. Elder Abraham Amah*
*Abia PDP Vice Chairman/Acting State Publicity Secretary*