By Isaac Ojo, Nnewi
Some people are born great but there are few who achieve greatness through the dint of hard work. Ifeanyi Ubah fits into the second category. He has broken the yoke of his childhood, infact, he broke the yoke as a young boy when he did what many old men has failed to achieve in their life time.
He was born into a family which cannot be said to be affluent. His mother was a teacher at a time when teachers are jokingly said to measure yams with ruler.
He later traveled to Congo and again started business of buying and selling from where he rose to become chairman, CEO of chains of establishments.
A close encounter with the newest senator-elect in town, Dr Ubah will show a man who is always thinking of what to do to better the lots of the poor and the needy in the society, many of his businesses are set up to give job opportunities to the teeming youths in Nigeria, many of whom would have remained unemployed if not for his intervention.
Definitely, Ifeanyi Ubah and his immediate family member will not work in those business concerns.
Its on record that prior to 2010, Anambra state was notorious for experiencing hike in prices of petroleum products like fuel and kerosene. But he intervened and brought that to a halt. Before his intervention, the people of the state were accustomed to buying the products at a price that doubles the official price.
The YPP senator- elect came in with his Kerodirect. This scheme practically made kerosene available to the people at almost no cost. The same thing was applicable where the prices were slashed to the discomfort of the Shylock petroleum marketers who were holding sway then.
Ebubechukwuzo as he is popular called across Nigeria, embarked on the venture of alleviating the suffering of the masses at personal risk because certain elements wanted the status quo ante to remain. But he persevered and achieved his purpose which is brightening up the faces of the downtrodden.
The political expedition of the Chairman, CEO of Capital Oil and Gas as well as the Publiher, The Authority Newspapers, cannot be said to be rosy since he ran for the governorship election in 2011 on the platform of Labour Party (LP). Many landmines have been thrown on his path but Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah who is not known for quitting anything he believes in persisted.
Labour Party which was relatively unknown in Anambra state became an insstant household name because of his sincere approach to campaign. He opened well furnished offices for the party across the state.
Since then, the political journey has seen the oil sweet merchant oscillating between many established political parties. He normally cast everything he has into any party he is. Ubah was doing this at a time politicians in and outside Anambra state are only interested in their pockets and family alone.
Whenever the unscrupulous politicians are enjoying the money, gifts and other things from the senator elect, the trademark was for the ones managing the party to promise the new kid on the bloc all manner of juicy opportunities only to turn around to speak in tongue in cheek.
Dr Ifeanyi Ubah was the sole sponsor of APGA when the former national chairman,Sir Victor Umeh was in court with Chief Chekwas Okorie over who controls the party structure. He financed the legal battle and many of topmost officials of the party then were actually residing in Ubah’s marble house in Maitama, Abuja. They also flew all over the world in his private jet.
While all the drama was going on, they were promising him the governorship ticket of APGA, today, what transpired then has become a common knowledge.
In 2015, when the opposition was running rings round the former president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, Dr Ubah moved in with his Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria(TAN) and changed the narrative about the government then.
Infact, if not for Ubah’s intervention, Dr Goodluck Jonathan would have lost in his Bayelsa home state. Though the former president eventually lost out, the little success he recorded came on the altar of hardwork, determination and zeal of Ubah who took the gospel of Dr Goodluck Jonathan across the country. This came at a time when many top notchers of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) then were not committed to the reelection project of the incumbent president.
Back home, the Publisher of The Authority Newspapers and MD of Authority Radio tried to run for certain political offices but then the story remained the same. The overlords in many of the political parties embarrassed and frustrated him because they knew he would demystify them.
Their fears were however, not unfounded because Ifeanyi Ubah, though not the richest in the land, has impacted positively on the common people than any other affluent personality in his mold. Others might have been doing their own philanthropies in their own ways, but certainly no one of them is accessible to the poor like Ubah whose gate are wide open twenty four hours to the poor whenever he is in town.
Again, when the journey for the senatorial election commenced, he was promised as usual that APGA ticket. Its important to place on record that the journey actually started during the 2017 governorship election when the governor in the presence of some respectable personalities requested for his services and then promised him the APGA ticket.
Dr Ubah took to the street with his ‘Afa Igbo Efuna’ campaign. He traversed the length and breadth of the state convincing the people on why they should vote for Chief Willie Obiano against other outstanding candidates like Mr Oseloka Obase of PDP and Dr Tony Nwoye of APC. The moment victory was procured for the governor, the story about giving the APGA ticket to Ubah changed. It became to your tent oh Israel.
One thing that the political class particularly the APGA family failed to take in is that while the senator elect was campaigning in the sun and in the rain for Obiano in all his sincerity, he was actually selling himself to the good people of the state.
By the time the powers that be in APGA said Ubah was not good enough for their ticket, he quietly moved to an unknown political party, Young Progressives Party (YPP) which incidentally had Nnewi born Prof Kingsley Moghalu as presidential candidate though he later stepped down few days to the presidential polls.
When he joined forces with the unknown political party, Dr Ubah became a subject of ridicule. Many armchair political analysts cum critics were worried that the senator elect has pressed a self destruct button that would translate to his retirement in politics little did they know that you don’t say die where the Umuanuka, Otolo-Nnewi born strategist is concerned.
Ubah embarked on his campaign, telling the people, old and young, traders, women and everyone in his Anambra South senatorial zone what they would benefit by sending him to the red chamber of the National Assembly.
While doing this, he also empowered many people with shuttle buses, cars, motorcycles and cash. His branded T- shirts are top quality that both the low and mighty in the society are proud to put on.
Many of his opponents thought the business would be as usual where the people’s votes would be manipulated but little did they know that Ubah through his style of empowerment campaign has etched his name in the people of Anambra South zone in particular and indeed the entire people of Anambra state who have never been so empowered.
It would have been practically impossible for the Devil himself to rig the election in which Dr Ubah took part in because in appreciation of kind gesture, a partnership was already formed between him and his people.
Prayers were said for him in churches irrespective of denominational inclination, the traditionalists too believe that in Ubah, they have seen a man who could be trusted with their mandate and responsibility of representing in the Senate. Especially when Anambra South senatorial zone has always had it rough with individuals they have been sending to the senate since 1999.
When the result was released, Dr Ifeanyi Ubah, Ebubechukwuzo Nnewi floored the other seasonal politicians who only come to the state whenever elections are around the corner.
Since he was proclaimed winner, Dr Ubah typical to his person, has continued to positively impact on his environment even before he was given the Certificate of Return by INEC, he has already commenced a- thank- you visit to his constituents who voted massively for him.
Interestingly, during the campaigns, he visited two communities in Aguata local government area of the state which are in utter darkness because of lack of functional electricity transformers and typically, Dr Ubah promised them that he would make transformers available to them if he wins the senatorial poll. As part of his thanks giving package, the Chairman, CEO Capital Oil and Gas has fulfilled his promise to the affected communities.
It is instructive to know that the two communities in darkness are in the same local government area of the outgoing senator who has been on seat for eight years.
Dr Ubah’s approach to politics is indeed a new but a welcome development from a hardworking personality who is determined to go far in politics no matter the level of opposition.