By Grace Danjuma
Frontline contender in the November 18, 2017 Anambra governorship election and candidate of the United Progressive Party (UPP), Osita Chidoka has picked economic strategist and multitalented administrator, Marcel Ogbonnaya Okeke as his running mate.
Okeke’s selection was after extensive consultations among key opinion leaders and stakeholders, in line with the UPP’s determination to enthrone meritocracy, visionary leadership, dynamism, and all-inclusiveness in the governance of Anambra State.
An intellectual, administrator and philanthropist, Okeke, who hails from Ogbunka Town in Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra State, brings to the race a stellar reputation as a technocrat arising from his problem-solving expertise derived from decades of meritorious service in the private sector, making his combination with the candidate, Chief Osita Chidoka, an inevitable winning team. Together, Chidoka and Okeke will deliver the modern economy that is desirous to Ndi Anambra.
Okeke brings his administrative expertise and private sector experience, which includes strategic roles as Chief Economist and Head of Research, Economic Intelligence and Sustainability Group at Zenith Bank Plc as well as in his career as a Divisional Head in Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC). Okeke sits on many corporate boards where he brings his intellect and commitment to excellence to building and transforming businesses.
He holds a B.Sc. in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and an MBA (Finance) from the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. This is in addition to Specialist Certificate in Financial Journalism at the Centre for Foreign Journalists in Virginia, USA.
Speaking at a meeting of the leadership of the United Progressive Party, Chief Chidoka said, “Chief Okeke brings a wealth of first-hand knowledge on how to build modern economies. His work as Chief Economist of one of Nigeria’s biggest banks brings a network of contacts in international financial centres that would be relevant for the transformation we intend to deliver in Anambra State.
He continued, “Chief Okeke would be a strong partner in our commitment to reform the public service in our State to deliver on the hopes and aspirations of our people.”
In response, Chief Marcel Okeke commended the vision, drive, and impact that Chief Chidoka has brought to the various offices he has held in Nigeria.
“I am happy to join Ike Obosi and Ndi Anambra in this journey to, within four years, begin our journey of becoming an economic success story, not only in Nigeria, but in Africa. We will apply the Chidoka principles of “Uche, Uchu, na Egwu Chukwu” to claim Anambra’s rightful place as a globally recognized modern economy,” he said.
Okeke has been screened and cleared by the National Leadership of our great party and his particulars have since been submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ahead of the election.
He is a devout Catholic who has contributed immensely to the development of the Church and his community. He is married with children.