By Chijioke Ifediora
Anambra politics has been one of the most dynamic in the history of the country since the 4th republic. Remarkable for the kidnap of a sitting governor Senator Chris Ngige, the emergence of the first female governor Dame Virgy Etiaba, having the governor with the shortest term in office Senator Andy Uba and the state that had the 3 governors in less than 4months.
These stories are riddled with intrigues which shape the political history of the State and Nigeria, but gradually the political terrain is moving from the common or conventional politics to political leadership backed by a proven record of exceptional community development. The term leadership is simply to qualify the politics. This movement is built on an individual’s track record of commitment to public good, grassroots development, support for youth development and youth inclusiveness, political leverage and sacrifice, political accessibility and communal advocacy for the ethnic demands of your locality.
The election that pulled massive victory in the November 18th 2017 gubernatorial election for Willie Obiano had many helping hands, including those who felt aggrieved from the actions of other political parties. Ifeanyi Ubah falls into this category. Ifeanyi Ubah needs no introduction in Nigeria’s politics, embarking on such dissertation for anyone is synonymous to claiming that you don’t know that England is in Britain.
It can be argued that his emergence under the Labour Party as the party’s gubernatorial candidate in the State in 2013, was his first political outing, in an election that massive financial resources watered the communities like fried dust during the harmattan season and took the media wide with rumors that the amount being circulated in the State was equaled to that of a Presidential Election. Ubah lost the contest in an election marred by allegations of irregularities, vote buying and other forms of electoral malpractices. An election where it was alleged the Presidency sacrificed his party’s candidate then, Dr. Tony Nwoye for the choice of the incumbent in the State. The Presidency was accused for complicity, collusion and connivance with the ruling party in the State, such that the detention of Mallam Nasir El Rufia in his hotel room for “his own security” by the State Secret Service tolled the headlines.
Ifeanyi Ubah embraced his defeat, dusted his political career and pursed his political voyage through the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the party that was alleged by his party, Labour Party at the time to have changed the fortunes of the election using their power as the ruling party. He joined the PDP, remained steadfast, and was committed to play it big this time. He was willing to make political sacrifices, sowed the required seeds that should earn him a fruit, in a more conventional term he began to pay his ‘political dues’. He paddled the PDP boat with an uncommon perseverance, where he labored for the re-election of the then Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, with the platform Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN). It became a movement of its kind with various rallies held across the country to sway the general public towards the incumbent at the time.
Maybe at first Ubah thought politics was like other businesses, though it may be in some respect but it doesn’t necessarily follow, the basic principles of politics are more dynamic than trade. Political outcome marvels its players and shocks its spectators. Could it be said he thought he hadn’t made any political contribution towards a successful political movement and like proverbial earthworm that withdraws its face when it hits a big obstacle, Ifeanyi Ubah can be said to have flipped the other side of the coin, this time delivering President Goodluck Jonathan was the mission. The efforts were visible but the Greek gods of politics had another plan unknown to the mortal man. Goodluck Jonathan lost the election but Ifeanyi Ubah remained in Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), resolute to accomplish his career. It appeared the cloud had discharged itself of any rain of opposition. However, a fight he did not provoke threatened his ambition; Willie Obiano’s disagreement with Peter Obi interfered with Ifeanyi Ubah’s ambition in PDP. He waited and observed patiently. When the cowries of consultation was thrown before the Dibia in 2013 the only two things that was seen was Peter Obi’s joining of PDP after Deputy Senate President Senator Ike Ekweremadu led a delegation to his House prior to the presidential election which was solely to accomplish an excellent task for the Preseidency at the federal level and also because Peter Obi felt APGA was a small party that had little influence on the fortunes of the East, playing a small fish in a big ocean of sharks was not the politics he wanted after being a governor. Joining a more National party would most probably replicate the same ideals on a larger scale and give igbos a proper vocie. Ifeanyi Ubah knew Obi had completed his constitutional prescribed years of 8 years and successfully installed a successor and the second uncertain issue was even if Obi had a political ambition this time around it would likely be for the Senate, there was no threat as Obi would represent Anmabra Central why Ubah will keep Anambra North on his palms assuming he had the intention to. The law of celestial mechanics states that “when two objects collide there is a damage of a collateral nature”. Obi and Obiano’s disagreement became the very collateral damage. As Willie Obiano suffered at the time heavy criticisms on governance prior to the election year, Ifeanyi Ubah set sail his political yacht towards achieving his Governorship ambition…
To be completed next week