Will Senator Andy Uba’s choice to fly the ticket of All Progressives Congress (APC) change the political equation in Anambra State or will the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) continue to occupy the governorship seat after the election slated for November 6, 2021?
Although there are few dissenting voices, the choice of Senator Andy Uba as the flag bearer of the All Progressive Congress (APC) for the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State appears to have the backing of many party stakeholders.
But, will he and his group be able to address the agitations of a few, who are not toeing the line of the party, which has endorsed Uba’s interest?
Should the reconciliatory effort fail to pacify the aggrieved, can their hardline position hurt the chances of Uba in the APC has its own internal crisis. But, compared to the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party PDP), it is relatively more stable. The only legal matter that is capable of destabilising the party is the one instituted by one of those who contested the primary, Comrade Maxwell Okoye.
Okoye, who is an aide to President Muhammadu Buhari on Political Matters, has also gone to court to challenge the emergence of Senator Andy Uba as the candidate. But, the case is yet to come up for hearing.
Aside from that, the party appears to have accepted Uba as its candidate, notwithstanding the initial crisis generated by his emergence.
The election holds on November 6, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Governor Willie Obiano’s second tenure ends on March 17, next year.
The political parties in the state have concluded their primaries for the journey ahead.
The major parties in the race are the APGA, the PDP the APC and the Young Progressives Party (YPP). Other candidates who were not successful during their primaries have joined other parties to pursue their ambitions.
APC held its primary through a direct method.
But, some members of the party are saying that the primary did not hold anywhere in the state.
The APC primary committee was headed by the governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun.
At the end, Senator Uba was declared the winner by the Committee, having polled over 380,000 votes
But, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige and some others have countered, alleging that Uba did not win the primary.
Their stand has led to protests. Notwithstanding, the feeler from the party is that the National Working Committee (NWC) is not moved.
Observers are beginning to have a rethink on the whole situation, as Uba and his group have continued to soldier on.
Majority of the members are calling on the stakeholders and aspirants to sheath their swords and come together.
This, according to them, will propel the APC to victory.
Even the State Working Committee (SWC), led by Sir Basil Ejidike, is solidly behind the result as declared by the Governor Abiodun-led Committee.
One of such groups is the House of Assembly candidates of APC in Anambra State in 2019 general elections.
The group said that everyone should unite for the battle ahead, instead of rancour.
They said they were solidly behind the State Working Committee, led by Chief Basil Ejidike.
They are Eyisi Ikechukwu, Anaocha 1; Alocha Jerry, Awka South 2; Ogochukwu Ikeme, Idemili; Patrick Dara, Ogbaru 1; Rapjoe Chibuzor, Oyi; Samuel Nnalue, Anambra East;
Nicholas Aromeh, Anambra West; Kingsley Onwuka, Ihiala 1; and Prince Emeka Okeke, Orumba South, among others.
They said: “We are the House of Assembly candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Anambra State, who contested the 2019 general elections in the state.
”Our attention has been drawn to publications concerning the APC primary election of June 26, 2021, in different wards and local government areas in the state, which some people claim, did not take place in Anambra State.
”We hereby stand with our State Working Committee to congratulate the winner, Senator (Dr.) Andy Emmanuel Uba (Igwebuike), and pledge to work with him to achieve winning the main election for APC, come November 6th, 2021.
”Some members are free to be aggrieved and that is what politics is all about. We’re pleading to other APC faithful to join hands to ensure that our candidate, Senator (Dr.) Andy Emmanuel Uba is victorious in the forthcoming November 6, 2021, election.
”We also commend His Excellency, Prince Dapo Abiodun, the Governor of Ogun State and his committee members for conducting the said primary election for APC in Anambra State.
”As a group that always abides by APC’s decisions, we have started the real mobilisation to set the machinery in motion to reconcile some aggrieved aspirants, other stakeholders and party members to align towards our goal to emerge victorious in the main election, come November 6th, 2021″ the group said.
In the same vein, the APC Patriots, led by a former member of the House of Representatives who represented Ogbaru Federal Constituency, Victor Ogene has thrown their weight behind Uba.
The group has vowed to reconcile the winner of the primary with all the aggrieved aspirants and other stakeholders for the party to win the November 6 governorship election.
Ogene said the primary had come and gone, adding that, it is time for all to close ranks to win the election.
He said in such elections, there must be winners and losers, adding that, attention should be focused on how to win other political parties in the State.
He said: “I bring you warm wishes, on behalf of the steering committee of the APC Patriots, Anambra, and wish to make the following submissions in the aftermath of our party’s governorship primaries held a few weeks ago, precisely on Saturday, June 26, 2021.
”Our appreciation largely goes to the 14 aspirants of the party, who over the last one year laboured to sell the ideals of the APC to ‘Ndi Anambra’.
”Indeed, the sheer qualities of our aspirants, and their individual as well as their collective accomplishments have put the APC on the great highway to taking over the reins of governance in our dear state, by March 17, 2022.
”In more ways than one, all the 14 men of goodwill who aspired to fly our party’s flag are great ambassadors of the APC.
”In every contest, however, there are bound to be winners and losers, but in the instant case, we all, as loyal party members, are the victors.
”This is because the outcome has only produced our party’s standard-bearer, who we are all expected to assist to win the November 6, 2021, governorship stool for the APC.
”As it stands, the party and its rank and file have spoken. We, therefore, congratulate our flag bearer, His Excellency, Senator Andy Uba on his nomination.”
One of the leaders of APC in the Southeast, Chief Modestus Umenzekwe, told The Nation that it’s the turn of his party to take over Anambra.
He said that it’s time all the stakeholders come together as one unit to face other opposing parties and deliver the party.
Besides, Umenzekwe said Uba has what it takes to deliver the state to APC, having won the primary conducted by the party.
Chief Obi Okoli said Uba is ready to deliver Anambra to APC come November 6 election.
The chieftain said the overwhelming support for Uba was loud during the primary, adding that the party has become the mainstay in Anambra.
He said Uba has the support of professionals, traders, the church, women and the youth in the state.
But, Okoye does not believe Uba won the primary.
He said he was the right person to have been declared the winner, having scored the highest number of votes during the primary.
Okoye said he was ready to challenge the declared result anywhere, adding that the status quo should be maintained by his party.
Already, the candidate, Senator Uba, has many issues to tackle before the election.
These include fostering unity, and mending fences with those who claimed he abandoned them before now among others.
From every indication, things have started falling in place for him, including support from the government at the top, a development that is currently sending shivers down the throat of the other parties.
A political analyst, who spoke with confidence, said “Uba is the next governor of Anambra State. You can take it to the bank.”
From what we are seeing and hearing from other parties and APC leaders, I don’t think any candidate from any other party can match him in the election” the source said.