The reason for the season of Christmas is the celebration of our Lord Jesus Christ, who out of humility and love for humanity offered himself as a sacrificial lamb for the redemption of mankind.
That is to say, humility is a critical virtue which those who are Christ-like people (Christians) should possess. Sir Ude Oko Chukwu PhD is not just a Christian but his humility is infectious. His track record as a politician bears true testimony to his level of unparalleled humility. As a politician, Oko Chukwu while he served as the member representing the people of Ohafia North state constituency, represented and served his people at the State legislature with humility.
As a result of his humble nature; his colleagues at the State legislature deemed it fit to elect him speaker. Unlike his predecessors, the then Governor of the State, Senator Theodore Orji had no need to watch his back. The legislature under Oko Chukwu partnered rather than confront the executive arm.
His reign as Speaker was rancour free and devoid of the usual drama that characterizes state legislatures in Nigeria. Oko Chukwu did not just serve colleagues well with humility, but he also ensured that the relationship between the legislature and the executive in Abia remained mutual and non confrontational.
Once asked why his reign as Speaker was peaceful. Oko Chukwu said he had been in the legislature and knew the things that cause bickering among legislators.
According to him, the antidote to the frequent bickering
between legislators in Nigeria is that leaders must show humility and transparency in their dealings to earn the confidence of their colleagues. He explained that this is necessary avert the frequent bickering which has often led to the high turnover of speakers in state legislatures in Nigeria.
He said; “Leadership is an innate attribute. When you are operating in an environment like the legislature, you must recognize the fact that all of you are equals. Be aware that every one of them is a potential Speaker. Also know that being at the helm of affairs does not make you higher than your colleagues. You are only there to serve them. You must see yourself as their servant, not their leader. I’m aware of those things that cause problems. You can avert crisis by being transparent. Above all, you must operate an open door policy. You have to be humble and transparent and open to them. Treating them as equals will make you enjoy their confidence.”
Like the Holy Bible said” God resist the proud and gives grace to the humble. This portion of the Scripture has indeed manifested in the life of Oko Chukwu whose humility, maturity, level headedness and outstanding performance as a Speaker endeared him to his party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). The party rewarded with the deputy governorship slot in a joint ticket with Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, in which they were eventually elected and sworn-in as Governor and Deputy Governor, in 2015 and 2019 respectively.
Despite Oko Chukwu over a decade experiences and exposures in Abia politics, he has remained loyal to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, working hand in glove with the Governor to ensure that they deliver the dividends of democracy to justify the mandates Abia people gave them in 2015 and renewed in 2019.
As a Deputy Governor, Sir Oko Chukwu has maintained a low profile, working diligently to ensure the success of the Ikpeazu led administration. He is the longest serving Deputy Governor in the history of the state. Recall that most of his predecessors fell out with their principals even before the expiration of their first tenure in office. Governor Ikpeazu is blessed to have a loyal, mature, level headed and hard working Deputy Governor like Oko Chukwu.
The history the 6th Abia House where the Assembly had three Speakers, shortly after Oko Chukwu left as a speaker, testifies that his humility was infectious during his reign as Speaker. He maintained a cordial relationship between himself and his colleagues as speaker on one hand and the legislature and the executive on the other hand while he held sway as speaker.
Indeed, as we celebrate this yuletide, while reflecting on the reason for the season, we should endeavor to imbibe the virtue of humility as it is a currency that has the ability to take men from lower ebbs of their lives to the pinnacle of their pursuit. Sir Ude Oko Chukwu’s humility is exemplified by Jesus Christ.
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