RIVERS 2023: Eze Commends TCCO for Appointing a Very Versatile, Sound Media Chief, Barr. Eli Sogbeye as Spokesperson …Makes Case for Ike Chinwo, Oby NDUKWE and Others …Convinced that APC is Set to Reclaim the Brick House
Erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New People’s Democratic Party (nPDP), member of APC Legacy Projects Media Team and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze says he is delighted with the appointment of Barr. Sogbeye Eli as Director, Strategic Communications and Official Spokesman of Tonye Cole Campaign Organization.
In a statement made available to media houses in Port Harcourt, Eze said the party has clearly exhibited wining streaks in virtually all her actions in the recent, assuring that the public will see a robust result in the exchange of ideas on the project to turn the fortunes of Rivers State and her people.
Describing his appointment as well merited, the party Chief said having worked with Barr. Sogbeye in many Media Committees, he remains optimistic and very convinced that the Law expert will bring his wealth of experience to bear on his new task for the party’s guber campaign.
Assuring his unalloyed support and inputs in every possible way to ensure that the party succeeds in the election, Eze appealed that characters like Lady Oby Ndukwe who have sacrificed so much for the struggle of the political family, should also be considered while compiling list of the enlarged Campaign Team.
Accordingly, Hon. Ike Chinwo who has over the years, distinguished himself as a trusted member of the political family should also be trusted with one or two crucial positions within the Campaign Organization given that his mastery of the political system will aid the party in no small ways.
Eze further postulated that Barr Sogbeye was born at Usokun-Degema, Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State in the middle of the Nigerian Civil War, he is an Old Boy of Degema National High School and Kalabari National College. An Alumnus of the University of Port Harcourt; Rivers State University of Science & Technology, Nkpolu-Oroworukwo, Port Harcourt (as it then was) and the Nigerian Law School, Bwari Abuja, he holds Bachelor’s degrees in English Studies and Law. He is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, Port Harcourt Branch as well as other professional organizations which includes the Nigerian Literary Society.
He has spent valuable time in public communications and media practice where he edited titles such as Ofirima (Journal of the Department of English Studies) 1994 to 1995; Soku News (1997 to 1999); News Now (1999 to 2001; XCEL Magazine (2001 to 2004), etc.
He had previously written for PEN (Port Harcourt Evening News) and The Solicitor Magazine while he was a student at the University of Port Harcourt and RSUST respectively.
A progressive politician by nature, he was elected pioneer State Youth Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State in April 2014. He was also elected Executive Chairman of Degema Local Government Council on the party’s platform in 2015 and has served the APC in various capacities including, Secretary of the Senatorial Appeals Committee, North-Central Zone in 2019; Chairman of the Media & Publicity at the 2022 State Congress; Member of the statutory State APC Media & Publicity Committee, 2021 till date; Member of the Rivers APC Media & Publicity Committee for the Special Thanksgiving in 2022 at which former Governor of Rivers State and Minister for Transportation, His Excellency, The Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, CON declared his intention to run for the Nigerian presidency in 2023.
A member of the Degema Caucus of the party, he was a Delegate to the National Convention in 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2019. In the latter, he attended the Convention as an Observer. He also belongs to and serves on several other party technical and strategic Committees as well as internal party mobilization groups at the Ward, LGA, State and national levels.
His political career which began as an undergraduate student at the University of Port Harcourt can be traced to his registration as member of the National Republican Convention in Lagos even though his sympathy had always been with the progressives. The reason he signed up for the far right NRC in Lagos was the inability of the rival SDP to sort out the bickering that arose between Prof. Femi Agbalajobi and Chief Dapo Sarumi over the gubernatorial ticket to the Round House at Alausa; a crisis which finally cost the party her fortunes with the election of Sir Michael Otedola as Governor of Lagos State.
His arrival in Port Harcourt for University education in 1990 however changed all that. It saw him switch to the far left Social Democratic Party in Rivers State. A core Mandelite in his Students Union days, that switch was a natural progression. Even though the State had came under the firm control of the National Republican Convention with His Excellency, Chief Rufus Ada George and His Excellency, Dr. Peter Odili serving as Governor and Deputy Governor respectively in the staggered transition programme of the General Ibrahim Babangida Federal Military Government, he believed and still believes, that all politics is local. Given Braide of the SDP had been elected Executive Chairman of his home Degema Local Government Area. The natural harbour to pitch tent was the SDP therefore.
With the collapse of the Third Republic following the controversial nullification of the June 12, 1993 presidential elections presumably won by Bashorun M. K. O. Abiola of the SDP, he joined the Grassroots Democratic Movement in 1996 during the dreadful General Sani Abacha years before enlisting his membership with the Peoples Democratic Party in December 1998. He was one of those Rivers patriots who exited the PDP in 2014 for the APC in a mass exodus in protest against the impunity the Federal Government led by the PDP had subjected the State Government and Chapter of the party at the time to.
Widely traveled and a pan-Nigerian, he began his working life as a Staff of DHL International Nigeria Limited at the Isolo, Lagos Head office and was instrumental to the opening of the courier company’s first offshore office in Rivers State at Bonny Island in 1996. He was deployed to Kwara State for the mandatory one-year national service in the NYSC scheme and distinguished himself at the Yikpata Camp as Radio Host on the Orientation Broadcasting Service (OBS) FM along with the likes of Claire Abdulrazak (nee Onuoha) who is now a Director at the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).
Sogbeye Eli also had a spell in the Civil Service when he was employed at the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC) where he served as Electoral Officer in-charge of Omuma Local Government Area between March 2004 and October 2010 when he voluntarily resigned to contest for the Degema Constituency seat at the Rivers State House of Assembly in pursuit of his Destiny in politics. It was in this capacity that he superintended over the two Council elections that produced the Administrations led respectively by Hon. Nwuke Anucha and Hon. John Anucha in 2004 and 2008. He had worked in the law firms of B. M. Wifa (SAN) & Co. (Ebipnale Chambers); Ishmael Blue-Jack & Co. (Salem Chambers); Law Clinic (Lord Ibiene Chambers) and founded St. Clement’s Solicitors which has since been renamed Sogbeye Eli & Clement Thomas Law Partners.
Amongst other appointments, he served as Member, Degema Local Government Council Caretaker Committee, December 9, 2002 to June 17, 2003; Member of the Legal Framework Review Committee of the Rivers State Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, 2010 to 2011; and was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari as Member of the Presidential Visitation Panel to Federal University, Gusau, Zamfara State under the very distinguished chairmanship of Prof. Isaac Itodo in 2021.
A dutiful husband and father, at the level of community service, he has served his beloved community in several capacities. He is currently serving simultaneously as Legal Adviser to Ukuronan Usokun-Degema, Port Harcourt and Secretary of the Usokun-Degema Joint Committee on Legal, Judiciary, Research and Documentation.
He has written, published and continues to write several articles for an impressive number of newspapers, magazines and blogs.
Foraging into business ventures since 2017, he sits as Chairman on the Boards of CLINTOB Investments Ltd., JOSSOG Logistics Ltd., Eli Thomas Energy Ltd., and Dynamics of Change Ltd. He is also on the Board of Hector Barnesfield Ltd with core interests in International Maritime domain.
With extracurricular interests in football, travel, leisure reading and swimming, he has just been appointed Director, Strategic Communication & Spokesman of the Tonye Cole/Innocent Barikor Governorship Campaign Council of the APC in Rivers State for the 2023 general elections.
With this great visionary and versatile personality as the TCCO Spokesperson coupled with the personalities of Pastor Tonye Cole the APC Flag-Bearer and Hon. Micheal Ibinabo West piloting the affairs of the Organization and coupled with the help of all party faithful, Eze says he is very convinced that Governor Nyesom Wike will start to packing up and writing his handover note before elections.