By Sam Nwanze
THE man, Emmanuel Nnamdi Uba, popularly called Andy, is now seen as the one to beat in the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra State. A two-time Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he wants to move into Awka Government House after the November 18, 2017 election. This by a long shot is not the first time Andy put his right foot forward for the state’s top most office. It would be recalled that during an earlier election, he won clean and square but that election was truncated for reasons best known to the authorities. But the dream to govern his state has refused to die.And to keep the dream alive, he refocused, turning his attention to another platform of service, the Senate
There is no doubt that Senator Andy Uba, has seen a lot of situations that would have put him off the track, many of these mere controversies with little or no substance and he has made every effort to clear and put the records straight. This is not surprising because, one hallmark of political contest in Nigeria is mudslinging, character assassination and in some cases, physical harm. Indeed, the political arena in Nigeria is a minefield and practitioners are aware this and do their best to tread softly so they do not step on a grenade. But many have not escape unhurt. But the strong hearted ones go through it unharmed. Andy Uba belongs to this group.
Andy Uba who was born in Enugu just two years before Nigeria’s independence in 1960, is a philanthropist to the core. Those who have had the opportunity and privilege to work or get closer to him, have not stopped singing about his good nature and kind disposition to help the poor and down trodden. He presents a polished outlook having stayed, schooled and worked in the United States of America USA, for many years.
The Uga, Aguata Local Government Area born politician, joined the Presidential Campaign of the People’s Democratic Party PDP, in the USA in 1998. That courageous move earned him the appointment of the Special Assistant, Special Duties to the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo after the party won the 1999 Presidential election. As he packed his bags and moved home to serve his country, he has not looked back since then. He later contested for the governorship election of Anambra State in 2007 and won but this was short-lived after his swearing-in in May 29, 2007 as the Supreme Court nullified his election few weeks later. He took it calmly and was not discouraged.
Andy Uba, is a knight of the Anglican Communion and holds the national honour award of Member of Federal Republic of Nigeria,MFR. Some of his philanthropist works are the donation of a building to the Department of Mass Communication, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, named “Nze Philip Uba endowment building” in honour of his father. He also built a multipurpose hall for his Uga community. As senator, he has attracted so many projects to his Anmabra South Senatorial zone and made numerous donations to charity homes and organisations.
Speaking about his vision recently in an interview, he said: “My vision is very clear. My vision is an honest vision. I am not in the race to rip the state off, I am not going to set the state back. I am going to serve the state. So, what I am asking the people of the state is to give me the opportunity so that I will be able to work with them, with the ideas that they have so that we can turn the state around”.
This is his purpose. This is his mission and vision to Anambra state if he is given the opportunity again to pilot the affairs of the state as the governor. The people trusted him before and I think they still trust him. This is one of the reasons the South-East Professional Women Association of Nigeria and the Diaspora, SEPWAND, recently conferred on him, the award of “Dike Igbo”, meaning Igbo Strength. The President of the Association Mrs. Nwanganga Ibeh at the ceremony, said it was “a mark of appreciation for his contributions in the senatorial zone, humanitarian efforts towards empowerment and protection of women in the state in particular and Nigeria in general”.