Recently, two closely related occurrences were recorded.
Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo was widely reported to have put pressure on President Goodluck Jonathan to impose Senator Emmanuel Nnamdi Uba, commonly called Andy Uba on the PDP as ‘consensus candidate’ for Anambra 2014 gubernatorial race.
Secondly, a ‘learned’ commentator, almost about the same time in an online forum asserted that in 2007, Uba cleanly and clearly won elections to become the governor of Anambra State. He then went on to say that since that was the situation, Uba, who governed for only 17 days before he was dethroned by the implication of the Supreme Court ruling on a matter not directly connected with the elections that he won ’cleanly and clearly’ should be allowed to return to Anambra State as governor in 2014, because ‘injustice has been done to him’.
Indeed Andy Uba reigned as governor for just a little over two weeks and was excused from governance by the Supreme Court Verdict of June 2007 which held that the tenure of Mr Peter Obi as governor should run from March 17,2006 to March 16, 2010, and not till March 16,2007 as assumed by subsisting political institutions.
Whereas ,the suit brought before the court by Obi did not have to do with the content of the ‘elections’ of April 21, 2007 which threw up Uba,it had grave implications because two governors could not enjoy overlapping tenures.
The Supreme Court therefore held that elections of April 21,2007 ought not to have held at all. This ruling was a judicial intervention to an election acknowledged as the worst in the history of Nigeria nationwide, but most critically so in Anambra State .
Before delving into the details of that election, it is trite to say that the arguments of the latest learned friends seeking ‘justice’ for Andy Uba has thrown up the injustice perpetrated by Uba himself who now happens to be a senator by whatever design, to Anambra State, in the course of that better- forgotten election and before then.
Andy Uba came to the limelight as a presidential aide to former President President Olusegun Obasanjo. Uba reportedly related to Obasanjo by marriage seized the moment to bond himself closely with the power centre in Abuja. Most states in Nigeria would have celebrated that opportunity, but not so Anambra, at least in that era.
Uba extracted the PDP structures in Anambra State as Shell Petroleum would extract crude oil and handed it over to his younger brother, Chris Uba (Eselu), who became very visible on the Anambra horizon as the man who called the shots. Yet the chief puller of the trigger was the worm in the Aso Rock beans called Andy. Like General Tunde Idiagbon of blessed memory, the senior Uba spoke once in six months, leaving the boisterousness to his home brother, who in rigged in his eldest brother Ugochukwu in the Senate along with a full compliment of legislators.
The major Czar, Obasanjo sat pretty as the chain of jobbers unleashed by this family connected to him set physical and metaphorical fire on Anambra State. They organised the burn-down of facilities built with hard-earned tax-payers money under the cover of federal government controlled Police. They had earlier attempted the removal of a sitting governor by abduction and choreographed resignation.
. When they failed they proceeded to the court to get night judgements sacking a governor outside the provisions of the law. Instead, two judges –Wilson Egbo Egbo and Stanley his Enugu counter part were sacked.
These are the horrifying preludes to the virtual installation of Andy to rule over the people of Anambra State without elections by Obasanjo in 2007.
‘’In a word, summed up very simply, based purely upon the hard facts and objective evidence, we personally saw and witnessed on the ground in Anambra State, what we physically SAW and witnessed on April 21, 2007 was that THERE REALLY WERE NO ELECTIONS, pure and simple’’ reported the observer group of Anambra State Association (ASA), an association of Anambra Citizens in Diaspora led by Dr Benjamin Anosike.
It is the shove-aside of this nasty experience in the name of election that someone has the effrontery to describe as injustice done to Andy Uba, that needs to be addressed. The proper counter-proposal to me made is that Andy Uba has a lot of restitution to bring to Anambra State.
It should therefore be worrisome to every living Anambra State citizen for whatever national pride is worth that the same forces that threw up an evil election in 2007, from which Anambra State was saved, are hovering again to repeat the same feat eight years after. Eight years ago Anambra state would be forgiven that it could happen under a military head of State learning to be civil, not not today many more years after with so any sacrifices undertaken to develop our attitude to democracy and improve our polity.
This writer would have nothing against a ‘cleanly and clearly organised PDP primaries in reality and practice in which Andy Uba wins other 22 aspirants to become the candidate and goes ahead to wins the formidable candidates of other political parties to become governor. But Anambra State must be united by now in its resolve to totally reject any imposition no less from Obasanjo. For PDP that would be the ultimate burden that will further defer the party’s recovery in Anambra State, which they lost to some of the unprintable events described in this piece.
But in order not to jump from frying pan to fire, there should equally not be another imposition from the Jonathan angle, because one must notice the significance that both Obasanjo’s aide and Jonathan’s aide are in the same Anambra race.
If democracy must be democracy and continue to be held as a system of government in Nigeria, lets us practice it as it should be. But should we reject democracy and agree to fight it out on the street, so that that those who survive can rule as governors, then it would be our chosen system, still better than imposition from any and every quarter, particularly from god fathers outside Anambra State, who are gradually showing us the other side of colonialism.
Or, how do we want it in Anambra State?