ColumnsNigeriaOpinionPoliticsConsolidation of Political Relevance: The Ifeanyi Ubah’s Model

“By far, the 2023 General election was the best outing ever recorded by Ifeanyi Ubah throughout his political voyage ” —Ebuka Onyekwelu

For about a decade and half, Ifeanyi Ubah, the senator representing Anambra South senatorial district, has continued to build a fascinating political model that is worthy of some close examination. At first, he was launched into the scene as a ‘philanthropist’, with resounding media buzz. Years on, he has normalized that identity within the political arena.

Having tried his luck to become governor first in 2013 and failed, in 2019 he tried to instead become a senator, then, he won by landslide. In 2022, he tried again to become governor, he did not succeed. And in 2023, he tried to return to the senate and again, he won by landside. This time around, he is going to the National Assembly with a member of the House of Representatives, and in the State Assembly, his party, the YPP, has three members for the first time ever. This by all accounts, is Ifeanyi Ubah’s best political outing.

Interestingly, after an outstanding electoral victory for himself and his party, one would think that Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah would have disappeared and kept himself busy with other things like most politicians do after an electoral victory. At least, he would have been in Abuja busy with work, but he is in his constituency of Anambra South consolidating his relevance by deploying energy and resources towards arresting the security crisis in Anambra South senatorial zone. Again, instead of being trapped in the euphoria of mega electoral victory, Ifeanyi Ubah is on the ground where it matters, working hard to justify his mandate as if there is another election next month. This, understandably, might leave some confused as to why he is doing what he is doing.

Normally, Nigerian politicians are only disposed to their constituents when there is an election by the corner, so they want to be seen around identifying with the people. But in this instance, what exactly is Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah doing and where does this lead to?

He knows nearly everyone that matters within the political space and knows his or her capacity.

At worst, Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah can be said to be simply interested in public good and working hard towards it. However, there is even more. Having secured the people’s mandate as their senator overwhelmingly for two terms, and still working hard as one begging for the same mandate, therefore, what Ifeanyi Ubah is doing is consolidation of politic relevance. Political relevance is consolidated from a position of advantage just as it is now for Ifeanyi Ubah. As of today, there is no man in Ubah’s level as a senator or former senator, who has attained his position in political bearing within Anambra State and perhaps, southeast. In fact, Sen. Ubah enjoys the status of the most outstanding human capital developer within the political cycle in the whole of Southeast. Ubah’s weight is such that there is today hardly a political camp across all political parties in Anambra State, where there is no individual that has been empowered or undergone some kind of tutelage under him in the past. In other words, Ifeanyi Ubah knows nearly everyone that matters within the political space and knows his or her capacity. No other politician in Anambra State today can boast of this.

By far, the 2023 General election was the best outing ever recorded by Ifeanyi Ubah throughout his political voyage. This is symbolic to the effect that it also marked the beginning of his political empire, which he must dutifully build to last or allow to evaporate. In addition, this is why, while many see it as his victory and a good one deserving of rest, Ubah sees it as his beginning deserving of more work for consolidation. It is important to observe that consolidation of political relevance is achieved from a position of strength and of success. So while many see the just concluded elections as a good outing for Ifeanyi Ubah and one that should make him feel rewarded and fulfilled, Ubah himself understands that it is only an opportunity for him to roll out the roadmap of his political empire in earnest.

After consolidation, not only would it be unthinkable to take his political empire away from him in any political contest, it will also be difficult to dismiss Ubah as an inconsequential rival in any election. The impression Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah is creating is that he deserves the mandate he was given. If anything else, then, it is the point that he only needs the mandate to work for the people and not for himself. In the coming years, therefore, Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah would be able to determine the direction his political empire goes even when he is not on the ballot.

Ebuka Onyekwelu (Staff Writer)
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