Chekwas Okorie is the Presidential
candidate of the United Progressive Party (UPP).
was born on March 19, 1953, at Amaeke Alayi in Bende Local Government Area of
Abia State. He is the eldest surviving son of the late Eze Edward Okorie
Emerih, the Igboji of Alayi who reigned from 1960-1978.
attended St. Michael's Primary School, Umuahia and St. Joseph's Catholic
his secondary education, he attended Annunciation Secondary School Isuikwuato
in 1967 and graduated in 1973 due to the three-year disruption of education
during the Nigeria-Biafra War.
Chekwas, as he is fondly called, proceeded to the prestigious
University of Nigeria Nsukka in 1974, where he studied Management. He graduated
in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science degree
While in the university Chewas participated actively in student
unionism. He had an early tutelage in human rights and civil rights as a member
of the Igbo Forum in the univesity. The organization later metamorphosed into
what is now known as Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
Chekwas had a brief teaching experience as a Lecturer at the Federal
Polytechnic, Bida, Niger State during his National Youth Service. He also had a
stint as an Assistant Manager with the Nigerian Reinsurance Corporation in 1979
and worked for about four years with the West African Water Drilling and Allied
Co. Ltd., where he rose from Commercial Manager to General Manager in 1982.
In 1982, Chekwas floated Chel Water Nigeria Ltd. which has given birth
to other subsidiary companies.
In politics Chewas has been a prominent and vocal member of all the
political parties and associations he had belonged to.
He was the Secretary, National Finance Committee, United Nigeria
Congress Party (UNCP); Founder and Secretary General, Peoples Democratic
Congress (PDC) 1996 and 1998; Member, National Caucus of All Peoples Party
(APP), which later became the ANPP and now part of the APC.
He also pitch his tent with the Peoples Democratic Party and contested
for the secretaryship of the party at the national convention of te party in
1999 but lost out
In 2002, Okorie founded the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
This singular achievement placed him as the first Igbo person to become the
Founder and National Chairman of a registered national political party in
He was, however tossed out of APGA in 2012 due into the wrangling
within the party.
He then teamed up with his supporters to form the United Progressive
Party (UPP). The party was registered by the Independent National Electoral
commission in 2012
By this singular feat, Okorie became the fourth Nigerian to launch two
political parties in their life time. The other three were Obafemi Awolowo who
founded Action Group (AG) and Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), Aminu Kano, who founded
Northern Elements Progressive Union (NEPU) and Peoples Redemption Party (PRP),
and Waziri Ibrahim, who founded Nigeria Peoples Party (NPP) and Great Nigeria
Aside being the party’s presidential candidate,
he is also the party’s National Chairman.