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Anambra 2013: The battle of three senators

By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor

They are three senators with a common streak of having been pushed out of office by the courts. Now Senators Chris Ngige, Emma Anosike and Andy Uba are in the frontline in the battle to succeed the outgoing governor of Anambra State.

Yesterday, Senator Chris Ngige stole the show in the Senate chambers as the two of the three senators from Anambra State declared their intention to vie for the forthcoming gubernatorial election.

Senator Ngige, ACN, Anambra Central and Andy Uba, PDP, Anambra South in  separate letters to the Senate informed the legislative house of their separate decisions to contest the election.

The acclamation of Onwa! Onwa! that trailed Ngige’s letter was only characteristic of the charisma and camaraderie the former governor gathers in his public and private outings.

Remarkably, the two senators were former governors, and both of them remarkably, governed on illegal footing. Dr. Ngige governed the state on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP between 2003 and 2006 when the Court of Appeal ruled that Mr. Peter Obi and not him, was the winner of the 2003 gubernatorial election.

Senators Emma Anosike, Andy Uba and Chris Ngige
Senators Emma Anosike, Andy Uba and Chris Ngige

Mr. Obi had barely occupied the seat for one year when Uba, at that time, one of the most powerful men in Nigeria being the then president’s alter ego, sauntered majestically into the office of governor of Anambra State in May 2007.

However, the Supreme Court surprised him just 17 days after his inauguration with the ruling that he was occupying an office that rightfully belonged to Mr. Obi.

Moments after that historic judgment, Uba’s associates tried to spin the story that the judgment suspended his governorship until after Obi’s first term. But that was not to be as Obi successfully fought off all other challengers, including Uba in the 2010 election. Uba who contested that election on the platform of Labour Party, a party many of his associates had long been associated with, trailed badly in the 2010 election despite winning the 2007 election conducted by Prof. Maurice Iwu.

Both Ngige and Uba come to this year’s contest with the hanging issue of zoning that is now stirring up. Ngige is from Anambra Central, the zone of the outgoing two term governor, Mr. Obi.

Senator Uba is from Anambra South, a zone that produced three former governors of the state: himself, Chinwoke Mbadiniju and Emeka Ezeife.

While Ngige is hailed for his historic accomplishments in office in the three years he governed the state and for changing the style and structure of governance as dictated by the godfathers, the looming question of equity that has recently been raised by Mr. Obi is a snare upon him. It is in this perspective that the approach of a third force, Senator Emma Anosike comes into play.

Remarkably, Senator Anosike like Uba and Ngige, was also removed from the Senate by the judicial decision which ruled that Senator Joy Emodi was the rightful occupant of the Anambra North seat in 2005.

Senator Anosike, however, comes with the advantage of coming from Anambra North, the only zone in the state that is yet to produce a governor for the state.

Senator Anosike was the PDP’s gubernatorial running mate in the 2010 contest.


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