Deputy Governors of the South-East


In a special series by Daily Trust, the backgrounds and career trajectories of the present Deputy Governors come under focus. Below are the 5 Deputy Governors of the South-East:

Abia Deputy Governor, Mr. Ude Oko Chukwu
Abia Deputy Governor, Mr. Ude Oko Chukwu

Abia Deputy Governor was once a street hawker

Mr. Ude Oko Chukwu, who is the deputy governor of Abia State, was born to the family of Chief Okochukwu Mba at Etitiama Nkporo, which is now known as Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State.

He attended his primary school and secondary schools in Nkporo community. He is the son of a businessman, who traded in fairly used clothes, popularly known as ‘okirika’ in the village.

Shortly after his secondary education, the Abia State deputy governor went into private business in Lagos State where he was a street hawker, selling belts and ‘second-hand’ clothes.

After years of business activities on the streets of Lagos, he proceeded to Federal College of Education (Technical), Akoka, Lagos, where he studied Accounting Education. After his study at the College of Education, Mr Oko Chukwu started business again.

In 1989, as an undergraduate of the University of Lagos studying Accounting, he qualified as a chartered accountant, having satisfied the requisite conditions and scaled through the final hurdles. In 1991, he graduated with a B.Sc degree in Accounting. In 1997, he obtained his MSc. in Accounting from the same University of Lagos.

He is an Associate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).

In the year 2001, Mr Oko Chukwu joined politics and contested the State House of Assembly seat to represent Ohafia North constituency of Abia State.

He presided over many committees in the House, including Inter-governmental Affairs, Anti-corruption, and Public Accounts.

For 12 years, Hon. Oko Chukwu represented the people of Ohafia North constituency in the House of Assembly. He became the Speaker of the 5th Assembly. In 2015, he was nominated as the deputy governor by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Mrs Ezeilo is Enugu’s first female Deputy Governor

Enugu Deputy Governor, Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo
Enugu Deputy Governor, Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo

’s is the first female deputy governor of Enugu State. Pundits say her election excited gender activists who feel that barriers against women in the state are being broken down gradually.

Ezeilo was the running mate to Mr Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the PDP governorship candidate in the 2015 general elections.

Her choice was considered as a strategic political masterstroke to woo majority of the electorate who are chiefly women and youths. Another school of thought maintained that Mr. Ugwuanyi settled for Mrs. Ezeilo in recognition of the wind of change blowing across the country as more women have been occupying sensitive positions in government.

During the visit of former President Goodluck Jonathan to Enugu for his presidential rally at Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium last November, Mr. Ugwuanyi described Ezeilo as a gift to the people of Enugu State. The governor promised that his administration would have a human face for having a mother as his deputy who would provide the ‘soothing balm of peace and progress’.

Mrs. Ezeilo, a lawyer and widow of late Chief Malachy Ezeilo, a traditional ruler and one-time Commissioner for Works during the old Anambra State, came to the fore through her husband’s fame.

She was elected into the Enugu State House of Assembly in 2011. During her stint at the House, she served as the Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary, where she adopted the Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanism (ADRM) as a faster and better means of resolving public disputes arising from numerous public petitions sent to her committee.

Analysts believe that the instincts as a mother may have inspired her motion for a bill to cater for the needs of people with special needs. Ezeilo’s quest to empower the unemployed women and youths in Enugu State motivated her to move a motion for the re-activation of the moribund Cashew Industry, Ezeagu as a panacea to the plight of women and youths of the state.

The soaring rate of auto crashes in and around the state caught her attention as she also moved a motion at the House which sought to ensure that vehicle drivers underwent driving examinations before drivers licences were issued to them. The idea behind the motion was to reduce the death rate associated with auto crashes.

Okorocha’s trusted ally is Imo’s Deputy Governor

Imo Deputy Governor, Prince Eze  Madumere
Imo Deputy Governor, Prince Eze Madumere

Prince Eze Maduakonobi Madumere is the current deputy governor of Imo State. He became the deputy governor during the first tenure of an All Progressives Congress (APC) – led government under Governor Rochas Okorocha, following the impeachment of the former deputy governor Chief Jude Agbaso by the 7th Imo State House of Assembly.

Since then, Madumere has been the number two citizen of the state. He was re-elected in the 2015 general elections. His hard work, humility and support to his boss was said to have worked for his choice as Okorocha’s running mate in the last governorship election.

He had had a stint in the private sector in the United States of America before he was prevailed upon to return to Nigeria by his friend and mentor, Governor Okorocha. The deputy governor has been a close confidant, a reliable lieutenant and a business associate of Governor Okorocha. He was the first Chief of Staff to the Governor.

In the past, Prince Madumere contested the Owerri zone senatorial seat but lost at the primary election.

He hails from Owerri zone, an area which is expected to produce the next governor of Imo State in 2019.

Between the period he served as chief of staff and now as deputy governor, he has proved to be a crisis resolution manager, an attribute that has led to the maintenance of peace and order in various communities in the state.

Born on July 4, 1964 to the Royal family of His Royal Highness Eze Henry Anorue Madumere and Ugwueze Malinda Madumere of Achi Mbieri, Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo State, he attended primary and secondary in Owerri and Lagos State respectively. He then travelled to the United States of America for further studies. He had a degree in Business Administration from San-Jacinto College, University of Houston in Texas. While in the United States, he worked as the Area Manager of Channel Development in KFC and Pepsi Co Inc. for thirteen years.

Prince Madumere is a family man and a Knight of Saint Christopher. He is also a media strategist, an estate administrator as well as management consultant.

Anambra: Willie Obiano works with an engineer/economist

Anambra Deputy Governor, Dr. Nkem Okeke
Anambra Deputy Governor, Dr. Nkem Okeke

Dr. Nkemakonam Chukwukaodinaka Okeke is the Deputy Governor of Anambra State. Dr. Okeke was born in Zaria on January 13, 1960 to the family of Chief Richard Nwachukwu Okeke of Umuezu Awovu Village, Enugwu Ukwu in Anambra state.

He attended DMGS, Onitsha and St. Finbarr’s College, Akoka, Lagos. He later got admission into the University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA in 1978, where he graduated with a B.Sc. in Civil and Environmental Engineering in 1981.

His desire for higher education saw him through Howard University, Washington DC, USA, where he obtained an MBA in management in 1983, and a Ph.D. in Economics (Monetary Economics) in 1992.

Dr. Okeke has distinguished himself in his career, having served in various departments of Fairfax County Government, USA as an engineer and later as a management analyst.

Back home in 1994, Dr. Okeke moved to the private sector when he joined the family construction company, Renacs Engineering Nig. Ltd.

In 2002, he decided to join the academia where he rose from Lecturer II in the Faculty of Social Sciences (Economics Department), Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka to the position of a Senior Lecturer. Twice, he served as Acting Head of Department of Economics. He co-authored journal publications.

He had a brief stint in politics in 2006 when he was appointed as Commissioner for Economic Planning and Development. He also served in the same cabinet as the Commissioner for Works and Transport. Dr. Okeke was elected as the Deputy Governor of Anambra State in the 2013 gubernatorial election.

He is a member of many professional associations, including the Nigeria Economic Society, Institute of Certified Economists, the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, (COREN) and Nigeria Society of Engineers among others.

Dr. Okeke is happily married to Mrs. Obiageli Ifeoma Okeke. The marriage is blessed with five children.

In Ebonyi, Deputy Governor is a core politician

Ebonyi Deputy Governor, Dr.  Kelechi Igwe
Ebonyi Deputy Governor, Dr. Kelechi Igwe

The Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State is Barrister Eric Kelechi Igwe, who was born on June 17, 1970 to the family of Chief Francis Igwe of Onu-Nwakpu, Ndufu Alike in Ikwo Local Government.

Dr Igwe attended the Umunneato Central School, Oun-Nwakpu Ndufu-Alike, where he graduated with his first school leaving certificate. He later finished his post primary school at Abakaliki High School (Presco) in 1988. He obtained both the General Certificate of Education (GCE) and Senior Secondary School Certificate the same year.

He also attended Nnamdi the Azikiwe University, Awka (1989-1993) and the Law School, Lagos (1994-1995).

He further attended University of Jos and had his M.Sc in Human Resources Management. In 2015, he obtained his Ph.D in Law.

He was a member, Governing Council, University of Jos between 2010 and 2011. He also served as Special Assistant, Operations and Mobilization, the Umaru Musa Yar’adua Presidential Campaign in 2007, Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Industry between 1999 and 2002, Principal Partner, Kellys Chambers from 2002 to date and Personal Assistant to the National Commissioner, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Abuja from 1998 to 1999.

He once served as Executive Director, Dr. Sam Egwu Presidential Campaign, and leader of the PDP in Ndufu Alike Ward, Ikwo Local Government Area, Ebonyi State.

He is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and Institute of Credit and Risk Management of Nigeria.

He was sworn in as Deputy Governor of Ebonyi state on the platform of the PDP on May 29 this year.

He is married with three children.


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