BY ABUCHI OBIORA
I have contemplated and ran a good chunk of analysis and commentaries in this medium on socio-economic matters and political history both on the international arena and on the Nigerian national level bringing to view contemporary issues of the day, yet, not but recently did I contemplate a certain hurricane which swept across the Niger.
I am not talking about the inclement type of hurricane that the world is getting used to at this “end time” period. I am talking of a political hurricane precisely in Anambra state, my home state, during the 2019 elections in Nigeria.
Demands of the time threw up the diverse issues of national interest severally discussed by me in this medium, yet, right there in my home state, there were equally very important issues of state interest taking place at the same time.
They say, charity begins at home, so, as I admit my inexcusable failure for not addressing issues of great importance to my kits and kins, that is, not attending first to the “home front” by removing the log in my eye before seeing the speck in another’s, I wish to put on marble a certain national record which has been achieved in Anambra state when the cookies crumbled for the political big wigs.
A POLITICAL HURRICANE
The political hurricane we are talking about revealed a new phase of Anambra politics.
What interests me most in the political revelation is that apart from re-defining the politics of Anambra state, the hurricane unfolded a future direction for Nigeria and new aspirations for the youths to lunch Nigeria into that future. Secondly, a national record was set in the revelation, as we shall see in this work.
As a result of the nationwide clamour for the participation of youths in politics, the “Too young to run” campaign forced the hands of the authorities to amend the electoral laws in order to lower the age limit for electable offices in Nigeria. That clamour birthed the Young People’s Party, YPP, a newly registered political party in Nigeria.
The man at the center stage of the political hurricane we are talking about, Senator (Dr) Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah threw his political future into this least-known, inexperienced new party dominated by youths, and the young- at-heart.
YPP AND SEN. (DR) PATRICK IFEANYI UBAH
Senator (Dr) Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, a Distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria representing Anambra South Senatorial zone needs no introduction in Anambra state politics or Nigerian politics for that matter, so, let me go straight to record my observations about this political enigma. Michael J. Gelb did say that “Champions know success is inevitable, that there is no such thing as failure, only feedback. They know that the best way to forecast the future is to create it”.
So, Senator (Dr) Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, armed with the feedback of previous failed attempts to attain an electable office in Anambra state politics, went ahead to create a future both for himself and the YPP. The appraisal of this future which came about like a hurricane shall revolve as the major theme through this work.
The Young People’s Party, YPP was, so to say, a mere certification (like many other political parties in Nigeria) recognized by the issuing authority. Certificates and office infrastructure do not make political parties. People make political parties.
Antoine de Saint Exupery said that “A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a Cathedral”. With his midas touch and in line with the words of Antoine de saint Exupery, Senator (Dr) Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah changed the game for YPP, a party that would have gone, like a good number of them went, unnoticed during the 2019 Nigeria general elections.
ANAMBRA SOUTH SENATORIAL ELECTIONS
Before the 2019 senatorial elections in Anambra state, three political parties were the most visible and foremost contenders for the Anambra South Senatorial zone as observed by some political pundits in the state. The status of the political parties, the clients and naira power of the fielded aspirants seemed to be the consideration for that assumption.
The political parties were, APGA represented by Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu; PDP represented by Chris Ubah; and APC, who fielded Dr. Andy Ubah.
The APGA candidate was the “anointed” one coming from what was regarded as “our” party. Both the PDP and the APC candidates (blood brothers they are) are known “heavy weights” in Anambra State politics, with the former enjoying the incumbency status.
Nobody gave Senator (Dr) Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah any chance of winning, considering, especially his unknown political party. The only thing he had going for him was his reputation.
But something happened on the Election Day. In the introduction to “The Prince” by Niccolo di Bernado Marchiavelli, Anthony Grafton opined that “Sometimes, like a capricious goddess, fortune simply changed conditions on the playing field, making delay the advisable tactics even though the individual at the time in question, doomed by his character, would continue to hurl himself forwards against all opponents and destroy himself by doing so”.
So it happened that the ninth hour maneuvers of Senator (Dr) Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah including his change of the political platform in which he contested paid off handsomely.
But there is a second reason for his electoral victory at the polls. This second reason is obviously more important than the first reason. Like currency, integrity and goodwill are expendable commodities. Unknown to some people, they dispense them faster than they acquire them, and sooner than later, they will find out that they reside in the red column of the balance sheet.
This was the fate of the defeated candidates, because, while the victorious candidate nursed, nurtured and replenished faster than he spent these two essential ingredients for public office, the defeated candidates did exactly the reverse.
A NEW RECORD
My purpose here is not to do a biographical work of the Distinguished Senator, so, I am not going to dwell on the “first to do this …… first to do that” rhythm which runs in this young senator’s story, but I shall confine myself to the history he has just written with marble in Nigerian politics.
Senator (Dr) Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah is the first ever Nigerian senator of a newly-registered political party standing on that platform in an election which the party entered into, to win a senatorial election for himself and his party without any other candidate from his party to win any of the close to five hundred electable offices (excluding the electable officers at the local government tier of governance) for a political party in Nigeria.
With almost a zero probability chance of success, the percentage success rate of this spectacular feat, considering especially the experiences and “anointing” respectively of the people he had to contend with, is very high. It is almost magical. Indeed, this candidate is a primus interpars in the anals of Nigerian political history. Check the archives …. this has never happened before in Nigeria. It is a new record!
By dint of his popular mandate, the hitherto political lone-ranger has now become the polestar of Anambra State politics as well as the trail blazer in national politics for the youths. He has made history in Nigerian politics. Not only has he doused the impossibility of victory over candidates with dreaded political clout, he has also re-instated the possibility of a landslide win – as he recorded in Anambra south senatorial zone – for lone-rangers well beloved by their people.
The difficult but spectacular victory recorded by Senator (Dr) Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah calls for an amendment in the electoral laws of Nigeria for independent candidacy in Nigeria polls to accommodate the new trail which he blazed for very credible, trusted and popular candidates who may desire not to identify with a political party.
By his electoral victory in Anambra south senatorial zone, Senator (Dr) Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah has contributed to the political development of Nigeria.
ABUCHI OBIORA, wrote in from Abuja