Two brothers-Andy and Chris Uba- are competing for the Anambra South senatorial seat. Chris is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Andy is the flagbearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Who wins? Southeast Bureau Chief NWANOSIKE ONU writes on the sibling rivalry.
All is set for the epic battle between the two brothers, Andy and Chris, who are contesting for the senate in Anambra South Senatorial District.
The two are of the same mother and father.
Both have secured the senatorial tickets in their respective political parties in Anambra State.
Uba is the senator representing the zone. His younger brother has vowed to dethrone him. He is tired of being addressed as political ‘godfather ‘ without any other benefit.
Chief Chris Uba, the senatorial candidate of the People’s Democratic Party PDP, is the youngest of the Ubas’,while Senator Andy Uba of the All Progressive Congress APC has secured his party’s ticket for the third time.
The battle of supremacy between the siblings has just begin.
During the party primaries in Anambra South, the godfather secured the PDP ticket. His elder brother, Andy, got the nod of APC. Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu defeated Mrs Bianca Ojukwu for the ticket of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
This is not the first time the brothers would square up against one other.
In 2015, Chris nearly stopped his elder brother when they were both of the PDP. Their case got to the apex court where the interpretation of the judgement has not been given till date.
Chris believes his brother has not given the people of the zone enough since he was elected.
Besides, he claims the godfathers are not in the equation of what goes on in the corridors of power in the country. Hence, his decision to taste the fruit himself.
For Senator Uba, the second in the dynasty that had served in the Senate, after their eldest brother, Ugochukwu between 2003 and 2007, it’s not yet time to quit
He may likely face some problems in his attempt to seek a third term, as many people in the area are no longer comfortable with his representation.
Some of them accuse him of being selfish.
The only thing working for Sen Uba, which has made him adamant is his closeness to the former president, Olusegun Obasanjo.
Though in APC now, Sen Uba may find it difficult defeating his younger brother and Ukachukwu. Both are political caterpillars in the state.
Again, his emergence as the APC candidate is being questioned by those who contested the ticket with him, including Sir Azuka Okwuosa, and other stakeholders.
They are accusing the senator of securing the APC ticket without going through the primary.
But, Chris emerged at the primary, which was held at the Ekwulobia Stadium, Aguata, where he defeated Obinna Uzor and Chuma Nzeribe .
The primary was witnessed by security agencies and senior officers of the Independent National Electoral commission INEC.
Chris Uba, popularly known as the Ochiagha (war lord), said he is tired of being hailed as the ‘godfather’ of Anambra politics without anything to show for it.
Uba said Senator Uba would not pose any threat to his ambition, having emerged victorious at the primary.
He said he would want his brother to throw in the towel before the election next year.
Chris said: “Why I want to run is because we have been sponsoring people to run for position in Anambra State and across Nigeria. I have been doing that and a lot of people have passed through my school.
“ But, they call us godfathers. We have made cases severally for the party to make some provisions in the party constitution to protect godfathers, but all to no avail.
“Do you know if I bring someone and sponsor that person in the House of Representatives, Senate and House of Assembly, with my own money and everything, I will sit down in my house, and when they call them for meetings at the Villa or anywhere else, they will address them as serving senators, serving House of Reps members, serving this and that. They have never ask any godfather that where are you.
He added: “The truth remains that we are the people closer to the grassroots. A lot of people depend on us. A lot of families depend on us and many families today are hungry.
“But, after sponsoring those people, immediately they get to Abuja, you can’t get them on phone again. Nobody will see them again. They buy all choice cars and the next thing, they will blackmail you. They will start fighting you. They will say they’ve known the President. They’ve known the party chairman and as a godfather, you are in trouble.”
“ So, now we need office to protect our position and the positions of our people. That is why I am running for the Senate. I tell you that my people are solidly behind me in this race and I bet you, it will be an easy sail as my people are ready with their voters’ cards to vote me in because they want me to protect their interest”
“My brother, Andy, on the other hand, knows my position too; he has been there for eight years and must take a bow now. I pray for my brother to go higher; to become governor or vice-president, but not on this Senate. It is now my turn. I want him to throw in the towel because the battle is going to be very serious.”
Chirs is perceived as a grassroots politician. Senator Uba is perceived to as anAbuja politician in Anambra. But, he has his supporters too.
However, the major obstacle the two brothers will face is Ukachukwu, who has been the rival of the Ubas for many years.
The Osumenyi, Nnewi-born politician defeated Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu’s wife, Bianca, at the APGA primary, despite the fact that he lacked the support of the state government.
But, many people believe the 2019 senatorial election in the South District will be between the Uba brothers, despite the presence of Ukachukwu.
Analysts fear that the poll may be marred y violence.
The three candidates are heavyweight actors. They have money and many have alleged that they often promoted thuggery. They are always surrounded by security agents. They have also been associted with disputed election results. Rigging was rampant in Anambra in those days.
Febriary next year is important in Anambra South. The Uba brothers are on the prowl. Ukachukwu is not laving anything to chances. Who wins? Time will tell.