By Chike Okeke
THE name, Emmanuel Nnamdi Uba may not be such a familiar name to you or even anyone, may even be unknown to many, to say the least.
But I’m 155% sure that one in every three Nigerians is so conversant with the name Andy Uba. Forgive my unauthoritative grasp of mathematics and statistics, but by my “layman’s” calculation, that means over 66 million Nigerians can say a thing or two about him.
No doubt, he is a unique personality, Andy Uba is actually the Emmanuel Nnamdi Uba I told you about in my opening sentence.
Born Emmanuel Nnamdi Uba on the 14th day of December 1958 in Enugu, Enugu State, to the family of Mr & Mrs Philip Uba, Senator Andy Uba is a Nigerian politician who was elected Senator for the Anambra South Constituency of Anambra State, Nigeria, in April 2011, ran on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
An illustrious son of Anambra State, Uba hails from Uga in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Having witnessed and survived the severity and fatality that was the regrettable Nigerian Civil War, with his beloved parents and siblings, Senator Uba continued his education after the war at Boys High School (Union Secondary School) Awkunanaw, Enugu State where he obtained his Senior School Certificate ,SSCE. He gained admission abroad and was engaged in geological studies at Concordia University, Montreal Canada where he graduated with Honours in 1984.
He began his work life with the Golden State Mutual Insurance of California, from 1985 to 1992. With his team, he established a chain of health clinics in different parts of the United States. His duties involved conducting evaluations for the United States Government on workers’ compensation claims.
His vigorous desire for knowledge led him to the California State University and subsequently, Buxton University in the United Kingdom where he earned a doctorate degree in Bio-Sciences in 1996.
Still, Dr.Uba maintained contact with Nigeria, which was under the grip of the military junta then. Perhaps, that accounts for his interest in philanthropic and developmental projects he carried out in Nigeria soon after his return.
It was this pursuit to contribute to the socio-economic and political development of the Nigerian people that encouraged him to play a major role in the presidential campaign of PDP in 1998.
From the history of Senator Andy Uba’s life, one obvious constant is the fact that he is a goal-oriented man of character. For instance, his zeal and dedication to the people of Nigeria in Diaspora earned him the recommendation of the then presidential candidate of PDP, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo who invited him to serve in Nigeria having noticed his deep sense of loyalty, philosophical beliefs, and originality. Subsequently, he was appointed Special Assistant to the President on Special Duties and Domestic Affairs. As the newly appointed Special Assistant to the President on Special Duties and Domestic Affairs, he soon began to make good policies and appointments, which impacted positively on many interest groups in Nigeria.
Andy’s story is incomplete without narrating the part he played in Olusegun Obasanjo’s life before he became president.
Shortly after Obasanjo was released from t Abacha’s prison in 1998, his only remaining faithful partner, who stood fast by him during his ordeal in prison, the now late First Lady, Stella, took him to America for treatment and a good rest. However, they soon ran out of money. Then Stella remembered a childhood friend and tried to get in touch with her. She succeeded in getting in touch with this friend, whose husband is a medical practitioner and businessman based in the US. Stella was not aware of this. Anyway, Stella’s friend introduced Stella and her husband, Olusegun Obasanjo to her own husband, Dr Andy Uba, and when they heard the sad story of Obasanjo’s ordeal and lack of money for medical treatment, Andy Uba immediately came to their aid. He not only arranged for medical treatment for Obasanjo, but after a while, also took them into his own house, where the Uba family took care of all their needs until the former Head of State got better and stronger.
Long story short, Obasanjo and Stella returned to Nigeria and suddenly, he was drafted in to run for the Presidency of Nigeria by the PDP, and the rest, as we all know, is history.
In the year 2007, Andy Uba contested for and actually was declared winner of a gubernatorial election in Anambra State of Nigeria. However, a challenge of the election in court by Peter Obi had the entire process truncated, as the court held that there was no vacancy in the Anambra State Government House to warrant the election in the first place.
In April 2011, Andy Uba contested for and won election as PDP candidate for Anambra South Senatorial district, winning same seat again in 2015.
With politics, Andy now knows how to serve his people better. For instance, in Anambra State alone, he constructed the Nze Philip Uba Endowment Building for Mass Communication, named after his late father at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka; the building of multipurpose hall for the people of Uga and his numerous donations to various charity homes and organisations in Nigeria.
Since charity must begin from home, his Anambra South Senatorial district, he has consistently put smiles on the faces of the people of his senatorial district through his scholarship programmes to students. Many unemployed youths are now into the tricycle business which Dr. Andy Uba facilitated by giving them motorcycles and tricycles free of charge. Equally, many widows can now smile because Dr. Uba granted them loan to start up businesses. Hospitals and orphanages cannot forget in a hurry how Dr. Uba’s infrastructural assistance made them more efficient in the discharge of their duties to humanity.
At the Senate , Andy has sponsored these bills among others: A Bill for an act to provide for the establishment of the Dietitians Council of Nigeria; The competition (Anti-Trust) Commission (Establishment, etc) Bill, 2016; A bill for an act to establish the National Roads funds; And a bill for an act to amend the Company Income Tax.
Sen. Andy Uba has equally moved motions and raised petitions that have not only touched the lives of his people but Nigerians in general. Without doubt, the people of Anambra South Senatorial district can rightly say that he’s done very well representing them. And they would do well by their continuous support of the senator.
.just the best Senator from Anambra but one of the best
t is indeed obvious that Sen. Dr. Andy Uba has shown more face to the course of humanity than any other Senator in the South-East and we must continue to support him
By Chuka Okeke
Chuka Okeke wrote in from Enugu