All four major contenders Chris, Ifeanyi, Andy and Nicholas are strong candidates and share many things in common, including, but for Ukachukwu, the same surname
Very few people will contest the notion that Anambra South senatorial election will be a tough contest – perhaps the toughest in the state. Apart from the fact that the frontline contenders are well heeled, have contacts and reach they are determined to prosecute the expensive war to a conclusive end. It is neither going to be a cakewalk nor a facile victory. A winner will emerge, reasonably exhausted.
All the four major contenders Chris Ubah of the PDP, Ifeanyi Ubah of the YPP, Andy Ubah of the APC and Nicholas Ukachukwu of the APGA are all strong candidates and have so many things in common, including sharing, but for Ukachukwu, the same surname. They are equally young and will not hesitate to deploy their youth to effective use. None of them is patient with slow process, not even Andy, the seeming gentleman among them. All four are set to go for broke.
Two things make the perception of a tough contest possible – things that ordinarily temper situations and keep men on the path of prudence. Sadly, they are either lacking or are complicit in making the perception evident. One, none of the candidates has borne, at least in recent memory, the unremitting malice of fortune. They are all rich and exude confidence.
Unhindered by lack of money that thwarts many a promising effort, they are willing to stretch its services to the limit. Two their political views are not tempered by deep reflections borne out of years of disciplined academic pursuit. At best they were forged in the field of politics rather than in the restraining walls of a university.
It may be right to say the battle is not only for the fittest (for all are fit), but for the real politician who knows how to pull the right string. The individuality of the candidates will play a major role. How each and every one of them is seen by the people will determine the reward to expect. What value, if any, each of them has placed on the least of the people. Money influence will have its limit.
This is where the Ochiagha (war commander) persona in Chris Ubah will resonate across the three major divisions of Aguata, Ihiala and Nnewi that make up the Anambra south senatorial district. Of the four, only Chris Ubah can claim reasonable political followership within and outside the state. He alone has political structure that can win elections across the three major divisions in the zone.
It is to his credit that two senators who, incidentally, are his blood brothers, Ugochukwu Ubah and the incumbent, Andy, were elected senators. Chris, for whatever reason, had chosen to work from the background as a grassroot mobilizer, crowning governors and making legislators. From 1999, Chris had been participating in making leaders of high political offices in the state and elsewhere.
But for the betrayal which he suffered in the early part of 2000 that nearly cast him in negative light, Chris has contributed more to the political development of Anambra south senatorial zone and the state in general than any of his rivals.
Contrary to public opinion only Chris underwent political tutelage enough to understand what it means to offer leadership at the level he is currently engaged. He was long weaned on the art of building political bridge which is the main thrust of legislation. Chris has come a long way in politics to understand the importance of networking for the benefit of the people whose mandate he intends to hold in trust. He has lived among his people long enough to appreciate their lack. He is most accessible and has been in the game to know what to give in return. Only a few politicians within and outside the state can claim not to be indebted to Chris.
Unfortunately, what readily comes to mind once the name Chris Ubah is mentioned is the long drawn battle he had with his political godson, Senator Chris Ngige. How he wanted him out of office, forgetting the betrayal that went into the entire saga.
Nobody remembers that Chris remains the only politician in the entire Southeast that selflessly deploys both his contact and resources in making governors, senators, house members, ministers, etc. It is not very common among the Igbo to see politicians who work to build others. Maybe that happened in the time of Zik. The only politician who came close to this is former Governor Chimaroke Nnamani. But Nnamani’s political patronage began and ended in his Enugu state.
Only Chris can replicate in the east what Tinubu has done in the West. The political network Tinubu has built today makes not a few persons green with envy. Like Tinubu, Chris is generous and a loyal party man.
Unlike his co-contestants who have changed parties like work dress, Chris has been consistent. He has remained in the PDP in high and low seasons. Even when every hope of resuscitating the party was lost, Chris stayed put to work for this day. Mild tempered and politically savvy, Chris is without the class consciousness that defines new political status. He is as comfortable with the high as with the low. Anybody who counters this view about probably has not experienced him on personal basis. He probably runs with the wrong perception foisted on him by political opponents.
Compared to those he is to do battle with Chris stands tall. Fair enough this knowledge is not uncommon with the masses whose mandate he seeks. Unlike others Chris is not affected in manners and is at home with his people. He is one politician who will deny himself just to have the problem of his people solved. He sometimes jokes that if he has to hold anyone by the cloak, he must, so long as that will help facilitate the passing of his bills.
As the days draw close, it is not to be forgotten that the decision on who represents the good people of Anambra south senatorial zone rests with the masses. And the battle will be won or lost on this score.
Ofomata writes from Awka