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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Anambra 2014: The Harvest Of Goodwill, Solidarity And Support By Andy Uba/By Emeka Oraetoka



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Perhaps if Governor Peter Obi had not kick started the Zoning debate in Anambra State, the good people of the State may not have had the opportunity of evaluating and putting Zoning in proper perspective. That is, they will not be asking the fundamental question of:  If Zoning is done to ensure Equity or to correct Injustice, as they are currently doing. The political maneuvering in the State, particularly the media propaganda deployed against Andy Uba after his unjust removal from office in 2007, will still be alive and kicking. Specifically, the plethora of solidarity and support coming Uba’s way arising from the goodwill he has purchased via Peter Obi’s blunder on zoning would not have been if Anamberians have not been offered the opportunity of juxtaposing Peter Obi’s position with the injustice done to Andy Uba in 2007. Possibly, Nigerians may have now realized that opposition to Andy Uba’s quest for justice after his removal from office was in-fact, born out of sentiment and inferior argument in the first place. Events after 2007 in Nigeria have made people to conclude that injustice was actually done to Andy Uba.

On the issue of governorship election in 2014, the questions the people of Anambra State are asking Peter Obi are:  As he wants the Governorship election in 2014 zoned to Anambra North based on his interpretation of Equity, what happens to the fellow that was asked to vacate office 17 days after swearing-in, for offence he did not commit? Has justice been done to the zone or possibly the Local Government Area where Andy Uba hail from?  Which out of Equity and Justice ranks higher in order of priority? From the point of view of politics, what constitute equity? Is Peter Obi implying that all registered political parties in Nigeria must cede their Governorship positions to Anambra North, come 2014? Is he as well saying that Anambra North has no electable candidate[s]? Or is the Governor saying that the people of the zone are weak in all ramifications and therefore cannot compete politically in the State?

These questions and more have made the people of the State to be wary of Peter Obi and what he is trying to represent. In a nutshell, there is nexus between Peter Obi’s shifty call for zoning and the current call by majority of Anamberians for the righting of the injustice done to Andy Uba in 2007. Perhaps the multifaceted nature of the injustice has made people to be vociferous in their call for compensation for him. In the first place, he was asked to vacate office by the Apex Court after 17 days. Secondly as the holder of the mandate of the people of Anambra State, he was not allowed to continue his term when Peter Obi finished. Thirdly, in defiance of the party’s unwritten policy of allowing anybody holding its mandate to  represent the party in an election, Vincent Ugbulafor led Peoples Democratic Party[PDP], refused to allow him fly the flag of the party in 2010 Governorship election for reason[s] best known to it.

Media reports on count down to 2014 Governorship election in the State have been suggesting that Nigerians are aware that indeed, injustice was done to Andy Uba in 2007 and therefore the need to right the wrong in the interest of justice and peace. The reports show that people are impressing it on PDP on why Andy Uba should fly the flag of the party in Anambra State. Compensation for the injustices from the Court and PDP under the leadership of Vincent Ogbulafor is the uniform call. It could be recalled that when Peter Obi’s court induced tenure came to an end, Vincent Ogbulafor, the PDP chairman then refused to allow the holder of its mandate, Andy Uba, to represent the party at the governorship election. To the surprise of many Nigerians, Vincent Ogbulafor led PDP conducted fresh primary election in Anambra State, where very unpopular candidate, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, emerged as the flag bearer of the party.

Political pundits have reasoned that the current outpouring of solidarity and support for Andy Uba by the people of State is a function of the matured and democratic manner he, Andy Uba went about his case in 2007. Having pursued the reversal of his removal from office to a logical conclusion, he stopped and refused to take laws into his hands; instead, allowed providence to fight for him. By now, he may be pleasantly surprised at the turn of events in Anambra State.

Being a serving Senator in Nigeria has even placed him in good position for 2014 Governorship elections in Anambra State. The surmounted hurdles firmly placed on his path by the incumbent Governor in the 2011 Senatorial elections and in the Re-run election that took place after the Appeal Court in Enugu State cancelled his earlier election on technical ground; appeared to be the greatest advantage he will be carrying into the Governorship election proper. It could be recalled that Andy Uba defeated Chuma Nzeribe, heavily backed by the incumbent Governor, Peter Obi in the Senatorial re-run election in 2012. Analysts believed that for Andy to defeat a candidate with financial backing from a sitting governor, nobody can threaten his hold on power in Anambra South Senatorial Zone.

Come 2014 Governorship election, Andy Uba will surely have the solid support of Anambra South behind him. His populist policies in the State will also put him in good stead ahead of 2014. In general, the call by majority of Anamberians that he should be compensated with the Governorship position of the State is perhaps, the main advantage he will be carrying into the battle field. Surely, Andy Uba has purchased Goodwill, Solidarity and Support from the people of Anambra State, courtesy of Peter Obi’s hypocrisy on Zoning.



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