By Oluchi Ose
On Thursday, January 24, Ugwumba Uche Nwosu kicked off his gubernatorial campaign in Owerri ahead of the March 2, 2019, governorship election. It was a grand occasion, which attracted an unprecedented crowd of supporters and well-wishers. It was the climax of a journey that began over a year ago from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and now berthed at the Action Alliance (AA).
As the AA’s governorship candidate in Imo State, the young and vibrant Nwosu is on the path of victory. No one is in doubt as to the quality, competence and suitability of Ugwumba to steer the ship of leadership in the state. By the flag-off, he has calmly put behind him the chicanery and conspiracy of the APC leadership of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole that deliberately denied him the ticket to contest the governorship position. Despite the injustice meted out to Nwosu by the APC, his quest to serve Imo State and provide purposeful leadership to further transform the state from where the outgoing governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has taken it remains unshakeable.
According to Nwosu, “injustice, impunity, and lack of respect for party’s constitution” forced him out of APC.
It is the laudable leadership attributes of Nwosu that gave him the gubernatorial ticket of the AA. And like the Imo State chairman of AA recently declared, Ugwumba went through due process in clinching the governorship ticket of the party and hence he is the authentic governorship standard-bearer of the party.
According to the chairman, Nwosu has fulfilled all the constitutional provisions to emerge the candidate of AA. In his words: “This is indeed a very great day for all of us. It is indeed a new dawn. Since after the primaries of Action Alliance in Imo State, I have been very careful, especially on the guber and House of Assembly tickets in Imo State.
“Today, whatever I say, I want to be quoted in every position. It was just yesterday (Tuesday) that Imo people gathered at the Imo Airport to welcome the only constituted guber candidate of our party, Uche Nwosu. He is a young man. Action Alliance is not a new party. It has been in existence. The leadership is intact. I want to say here that, with all sense of humility, the emergence of Uche Nwosu followed all due process. In the light of his emergence, AA has continued to set the agenda. Nwosu has joined the party as an entity. He will work with the manifesto of AA.”
Of course, Nwosu is not new to anybody in Imo State and indeed Igboland because of his excellent showing in public office in the last one decade. Due to his achievements and popularity among the people, he is confident and it is clear that he would emerge the next governor of Imo State on the platform of AA on March, 2, 2019. Being the youngest Chief of Staff in Imo State, Nwosu has carried out his assignments with the highest sense of responsibility, integrity and patriotism. He has been able to assist his father-in-law to reposition and place Imo on a working pedestal, which has engendered uncommon development never witnessed before in the history of the state.
Those who doubt Nwosu’s brilliant chances to clinch the Imo’s exalted political seat do not understand the political climate in the state. Right now, the entire APC structure, except those supporting the senatorial ambition of Governor Rochas Okorocha, has defected to AA. And for those who know the history of AA, it is convenient to conclude that it is the party of the moment in Imo and enjoys massive support from at least over 70 per cent of the electorate. Another advantage that Nwosu is enjoying that will contribute positively to his clinching the governorship is his avowed support for the candidature of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Ugwumba has repeatedly declared that the AA will cooperate with APC to have President Buhari reelected, and to also have his father-in-law, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, elected as senator, and him as governor on the platform of AA. According to him, “we are going to work with APC to deliver Imo State to President Muhammadu Buhari. We will deliver Governor Rochas Okorocha as senator because Action Alliance has no senatorial candidate in Orlu zone.
“I have no problem with President Muhammadu Buhari. My headache is the national chairman of APC. It is a divine project and we are ready for the election. It is inter-party marriage between AA and APC in Imo State. We will work with APC to deliver President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Rochas Okorocha, myself and all our candidates.”
So, who is Ugwumba Uche Nwosu that has become a household name in Imo and is bestriding the political landscape like colossus? He is an illustrious son of Umunwokwe, Eziama-Obaire in Nkwerre Local Government Area of Imo State. He was born on August 8, 1975 into the family of the late Rev. Daniel Nwaobi Nwosu and Mrs. Jemaimah Nwosu.
A detribalised and gregarious Nigerian, Uche had his primary education at the Shehu Sanda Kerimi Primary School, Maiduguri, between 1982 and 1988. He proceeded to Government Secondary School, Gubio, Borno State, and Comprehensive Secondary School, Eziama-Obaire, Nkwerre, Imo State (1988-1994). After his secondary school, Nwosu, who came out with an excellent result, secured admission into the Imo State University, Owerri, in 1995, where he studied Urban and Regional Planning. He pursued his studies at the university with zeal and commitment from 1995 to 2000 when he graduated with a B.Sc. second class honours degree.
Nwosu’s leadership qualities began to manifest in his university days with active participation in Students’ Union politics, where he was subsequently elected the first Students’ Union Government director of transport in IMSU. During his time as the director of transport, he played great roles towards the progress of that section. He would later serve as the secretary, SUG Caretaker Committee, and secretary, National Association of Nigerian Students, Imo State Chapter.
After graduation from the university, Nwosu had a robust working experience serving in various capacities from personal assistant to the president of Rochas Foundation to personal assistant to the Special Adviser on Inter-Party Relations to the President and Commander-in-Chief. He also served as the director of finance, Action Alliance, national secretary, and personal assistant to the president of the Nigerian Red Cross Society.
Before joining the services of Imo State, he was deputy Chief of Staff to the founder of the Rochas Foundation. Apart from these, Nwosu has also developed competence and capacity in issues relating to real estate, aviation, consultancy and human resource management. In June, 2011, Okorocha appointed him as his Deputy Chief of Staff (Operations). Further to this and in recognition of his hard work, diligence and sense of responsibility, in April 2012, he was appointed commissioner, with the responsibility of overseeing the tough and challenging Ministry of Lands, Survey, and Urban Planning.
In November 2013, Okorocha again recognised his professional competence, managerial dexterity and calm disposition and re-appointed him as Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Urban Planning. He also became the National patron, National Union of Imo State Students (NUISS) in 2013.
Nwosu, who was decorated as the best Commissioner in Urban Development in Nigeria, for his giant and impactful strides in the Ministry of Lands, was also re-appointed Deputy Chief of Staff, Administration, Imo State Government House, Owerri, in November 2014, an honour well deserved. He functioned in the capacity of Commissioner for Lands and Deputy Chief of Staff until the expiration of that tenure in May 2015. His outstanding performance, great sense of humility and responsibility, which he displayed while holding these positions, played a great role towards his appointment as the Chief of Staff by Okorocha in June 2015.
Nwosu has travelled extensively around the globe and has undergone training in such professional areas as Town Planning, Estate Management, Human Resource Development, Corporate Governance, Intelligence and Security, etc. He is the national patron of the Youth Assembly of Nigeria (YAN). Because of his numerous philanthropic gestures to the downtrodden, he was selected and turbaned by His Eminence, Alhaji Bilyaminu Usman Othman, Emir of Dass, Bauchi State, as the Fan Zakin Dass, of the Dass Emirate. He is happily married to delectable Mrs. Uloma Nwosu and the marriage is blessed with children.
• Ose, a media consultant, writes from Abuja