ColumnsNigeriaOpinionPlausibility of Unseating Senator Ifeanyi Ubah

The National Assembly Election is in February 2023, which effectively means that contenders for positions at the National Assembly has just December and January, to make their case.

In Anambra South senatorial zone, the incumbent will be squaring it up against House of Representatives member, Hon. Chris Azubogu, who is the major challenger of Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah, the incumbent. There are candidates like Hon. Chukwuma  Umeoji of APC, Chris Uba of PDP and Obinna Uzor of LP. Out of these three, Umeoji has an impressive political credentials in his Aguata zone. But do not have enough spread in Nnewi and Ihiala zones. Chris Ubah is often remembered in the notorious vandalism of Anambra government properties, nearly two decades ago. Aside his close associates, no regular voter will look his direction even in his own Aguata zone. Obinna Uzor represents a fading ray of the past, with no serious subsisting political capital, even in his own Ihiala zone.

Effectively therefore, the contest for Anambra South senatorial seat is clearly between Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah and Hon. Chris Azubogu. Both have spread in all the blocs in the senatorial zone. Therefore, if there be any plan to dislodge Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah, that task has been understandably given to Hon. Chris Azubogu for onward execution.

With the election now counting in weeks, how would Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah possibly be dislodged by Hon. Chris Azubogu?

Both Ubah and Azubogu are Nnewi natives. Right now, thousands of Nnewi voters have taken a stand with one of them, for diverse personal reasons. Even among Nnewi elites and stakeholders, many have also taken a stand. Some feel that Nnewi cannot bend towards the desires of one man and this for them, is one major problem with the candidacy of Hon. Chris Azubogu who, it is alleged was helped by Chief Cletus Ibeto to secure APGA ticket, to run against Ifeanyi Ubah. Yet, some say that Hon. Azubogu is just better. Either way, it is neither here nor there.

Ifeanyi Ubah has been an issue in Nnewi politics since around 2007. But from 2012 till date, Ubah has established himself as a human capital giant and impaccable Philanthropist. Ubah’s tentacles is so spread through so many outreaches, such that there is hardly any political camp in Anambra State today, without someone that has worked with Ubah in the past. More specifically, someone Ubah has brought to limelight. His philanthropy and large heart has endeared him to the masses, so much so that no one comes close to Ubah’s social capital in Nnewi and arguably in Anambra State. Although this has not earned him the state governorship, who knows, it might still do.

It is true that in governance, charity has no bride of place. But in politics, the people cannot distinguish charity from governance, and it is so strong that they cannot tell the difference. It stands to reason therefore, that charity matters if one must win an election in our clime.

Chris Azubogu, Ubah’s main challenger has earned a reputation as “Mr. Project”, and has been in National Assembly for 11 years now. He is seen as a modest politician and a consistent person. However, so far, not much has been seen of Azubogu as a competent challenger, positioned to dislodge Ubah. Many people feel that Azubogu should not be contesting against Ubah and they justify their position. But politically speaking, Azubogu, it does not seem, has the type of energy that can match Ifeanyi Ubah’s social capital. Even after many years in National Assembly, it does not appear as if Azubogu can dislodge Ubah in a free political contest. But, not given to any form of certainty ahead of time, it is left to be seen what, or how Azubogu intends to navigate.

Ubah and Azubogu has played in the public space for more than a decade. For the most part, both are an open book in public court. It is therefore, more or less, easier for voters to pitch tent with one of them. At this point, those that have not pitched their tents might just be waiting to give their votes to the highest bidder on Election Day.

The trio of Chukwuma Umeoji, Chris Uba and Obinna Uzor would definitely get some votes, perhaps, running into a few thousand. Yet, it is still a contest between Chris Azubogu and Ifeanyi Ubah.

With Azubogu’s presence not felt in the contest so far, Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah might just have a field day in February next year. If otherwise, then, given prevailing reality of today, it might pass for a political miracle, and that is what it might take to dislodge Ubah.

Ebuka Onyekwelu (Staff Writer)
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