Chidiebube Jasper Uche was born on November 3, 1975 to the family of retired teachers from Umuaku Isuochi in Umunneochi LGA, Abia State.
His primary and secondary schools were at Umuaku Central School, Isuochi, and Umuaku Secondary School, Isuochi respectively. His leadership qualities manifested early in life when he became the Labour Prefect of the school, and was actively involved in Debating, Drama, and Press Clubs. Progressively, he gained admission and obtained a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) – Second Class Honours Upper Division in Government & Public Administration, now known as Political Science, at Abia State University, Uturu (ABSU). His election as the President of the Students Union Government of ABSU was a learning curve. While on campus, he was also an active member of Christ Ambassadors Students Outreach (CASOR) and Federation of Isuochi Students (FIS).
As a young graduate, he supported the Igbo question in Nigerian by publishing the booklet – Awakening from Slumber: Towards Political Empowerment for Ndigbo. His NYSC was at Community Secondary School, Akpanya, Igalamela/Odolu LGA, Kogi State. He brought his secondary school experience to bear by organizing extracurricular activities for students, which include: debates, drama, compulsory reading of newspapers and news casting in the students’ morning assembly. He also received commendations from NYSC for his community development service (CDS) book project entitled: Understanding the Development Potentials of Kogi State. His career started at the National Assembly, Abuja, as a Legislative Assistant to Late Senator Uche Chukwumerije.
He was saddled with the responsibility of following-up constituency projects, drafting of the Senator’s letters, compilation of the Senator’s strides and achievements, and generation of legislative ideas. He later resigned to pursue his Master’s degree at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The effort earned him M.Sc. in Political Science with specialization in Political Economy. He also enrolled and earned a doctorate (PhD) in Political Science from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The academic pursuits did not deter his political forays. In 2007, he was appointed a Special Adviser on Sports by former Governor T.A. Orji. He was part of the State Government’s delegation that accompanied Enyimba Football Club during CAF Champions League engagements across Africa.
After a cabinet shake-up, he was re-appointed Senior Special Assistant on Students Affairs. He interfaced between the State Government and the students leaders in the four state-owned institutions: Abia State University Uturu; Abia State Polytechnic, Aba; Abia State College of Education (Technical) Arochukwu and School of Health Technology, Aba. He was also a Senior Special Assistant on Special Duties with the task of strategic media interventions. In 2010, he was appointed the T.C. Chairman of Umunneochi LGA. He was again re-appointed the T.C. Chairman of Umunneochi in 2014 and served out in February 2016. In March 2016, he joined Abia State University, Uturu, as a Lecturer in Political Science. By May 2017, he moved to the prestigious Department of Political Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. In July 2021, he resumed on a parallel appointment as a Research Fellow at the Institute for Development Studies, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus. As a LG Chairman, he built a Library & ICT Centre at Council Headquarters, renovated public schools, attracted economic empowerment grants for youths and women, and successfully provided leadership during the 2015 general elections. He pioneered street naming in the urban axis of the LGA.
In addition, his respect and due recognition to the Umunneochi Founding Fathers Forum earned him a place in their hearts and stood him out among successive Chairmen of the Council. With his contacts and goodwill, his community benefited from government-funded electricity and water projects. He has also assisted numerous persons to secure university admissions. As a public intellectual, he has consulted for CLEEN Foundation, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Frederick Ebert Stiftung (FES). He is published in local and international peer-reviewed journals, and presented papers at learned conferences. He facilitated a number of youth mentorship programmes in his home town and beyond. He is the author of the irresistible page-turner entitled: Footprints of Excellence: 80 Leadership Lessons from Global Titans, with a foreword written by a distinguished Nigerian, Professor Jerry Gana. Dr. Uche is a Member, Nigeria Political Science Association (NPSA) and a Fellow, Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island, Lagos. Lately, he developed business interests in agriculture and commercial real estate. He is a Life Member of Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International (FGBMFI). He is happily married to a virtuous woman, Uchechi, and they are blessed with children.
In a typical biblical dictum ‘the race is not to the swift’, he gracefully emerged the PDP Deputy Governorship Candidate in Abia State for March 11, 2023 election. He is indeed, a covenant child. And I believe strongly that he will bring his versatility, resourcefulness, ingenuity and youthful agility to assist Sir Okechukwu Ambrose Ahiwe, the PDP gubernatorial candidate, in the onerous task of giving Abians a new lease of life.
Written by Dr. Leo Nwiwu, a Lagos-based media consultant and public affairs analyst.