Posted by By UCHEM OBI ESQ on
"The cruel politics of the Ubas" was the screening headline of a piece of writing published in some national newspapers penultimate week and credited to one Steve J. Collins.
"The cruel politics of the Ubas" was the screening headline of a piece of writing published in some national newspapers penultimate week and credited to one Steve J. Collins. The unique flavour of the publication was induced by its characterization. It was meant to be devastating to the Uba siblings but this intended potentiality could not be achieved because the writer dared immaturely where professionals earlier on failed.
The writer obviously had an illusion of an upper-cut against the Ubas but unfortunately, reading his write-up, was like re-playing a movie that had ended with saturated viewing. Have we not had enough balderdash in the name of politics in the State? Have we not all made mistakes either by commission or omission? I believe that war has ended in Anambra and the time has come for all of us to unite in building a new brotherhood.
The time has gone when we looked for who was wrong. This is the time for all of us to do what is right and nothing, can be more apt now, than putting to eternal silence, all trumpets and chants of war.
Even though Collins quoted Senator Ubaís advertorial out of context, it is still pertinent to point out, that the Uba family is just like any other family, where siblings disagree over issues from time to time and later find a common ground for agreement. It is very rare to find a family with accomplished siblings that do not disagree once in a while. If there is any such family anywhere, let it rise up and cast the first vote of confidence for Collinsí write-up.
The attempt to dig up from the archives and distort the distinguished senatorís warning to his younger brother Andy is neither here nor there, but certainly looks like crying wolf after the beast had gone. This is a mischievous way of fomenting trouble in time of peace. It is against the philosophy of peace we all crave for, for someone to play back remarks made last year by the senator, when he was obviously campaigning for lasting peace in the state.
It is, however, heroic, spectacular and very rare, for a Nigerian politician to criticize his blood brother publicly. Not many of us have the capacity to dwell on this moral high ground and I would want to see, rational and reasonable people give applause and honour where and when they are due.
An Igbo adage says that it is the man closest to a person with decayed teeth that perceives his foul breath. Only the same man can also tell how and when the foul breath became odorized. The distinguished senator had publicly warned his brother, about the characters he was co-opting into his campaign organisation. Would it not have been excellent if Collins had found out from the senator, why he suddenly began to drum up support for his brother?
Collins referred to the senator as a man of advertised learning, experience and stature and I must add also, that he is very disciplined and principled and his reasons for every action are often well-thought out and informed. This is why we must pause for a moment to find out the reasons for the senatorís latest judgment of his younger brother.
Having had the public good at heart and the moral courage to warn his brother about the hawks hovering around him, is it now difficult to accept, that the senatorís current position could have been informed by the positivism of his brotherís intentions towards the people? The point that must not be overlooked, is that if we believed in the senatorís judgment when he publicly criticized his brother, we must also believe in his judgment now that he is supporting him.
Let it also be noted that the persistent criticisms against Andy Uba has now become hackneyed and too politicized, that it is beginning to appear like the sustenance of the very war that Collins wanted stopped in our dear state. There are many people across Nigeria, who did not even own an ordinary flat-booth Mercedes prior to 1999, who today, cruise around in posh jeeps and hybrid sedans. This, on its face value does not raise a presumption of corruption and Andy Ubaís case cannot be different from this generally accepted standard.
Political opportunism comes in moons and seasons. One man, may in a particular moon and season be favoured far and above others. Some may call it being at the right place at the right time or having the right contacts at the rights moments and this does not require the vilification of anyone because it is a transient natural phenomenon. In other moon and season, it could yet be another personís turn for such favours and this naturally would not call for vilification because the favoured person does not have control over destiny.
The Uba siblings have had the opportunity of being so favoured. It is simply the moon and season of their favours. Vilifying them tantamounts to sheer ignorance of natural forces and their dynamics. However, it must be remembered, that they had enough sense of natural justice and equity to give up willingly a senator seat, when Andy was vying for governor.
There are people who believe that the Ubas have been so partially favoured but the truth is that, the Ubas, like other individuals do not control destiny. Somebody was yesterday in the position they found themselves today and someone else would be in that position tomorrow. We must learn to accept certain natural dynamics that are beyond our mundane permutations. What the Ubas do with what destiny had thrust on them is what they will be remembered for when their moon and season come to pass.
For instance, Ochiagha Chris Uba, whether it is believed or not, remains the most pragmatic political mobilizer Anambra State will recall in recent years. A seasoned grassroot politician with eloquent structures, he validly made PDP invincible in the State. When an oil mogul from the state, who was then reigning as god-father, successfully exploited his own contact and friendship with the former Vice-President to strangulate the Mbadinuju administration, it was the emergence of Ochiagha on the political scene that saved the situation and helped the over-battered and blackmailed administration back on course, before it ran out of time.
Despite this, Ochiagha would still be remembered as the man who colluded with others to impeach the electoral rights of Anambra people and the consequent war between godfather and godson over spoils of their stolen mandate. However, it must be noted that from the debris of this social and political disorder, emerged an Ochiagha, who openly confessed his role in that infamy and sincerely apologized to the people. Is this a mark of villainy or heroism?
Senator Ugochukwu Ubaís eloquent contributions to the development of Anambra State is engraved on marble. He was once a Special Assistant to the Deputy-Governor of the State, a Senior Special Assistant to a former military administrator, a Director-General in charge of utilities and a two-time commissioner for Sports and Agriculture respectively. This is outside the fact, that as an intellectual of great reckoning, he made indelible marks as a university don.
It is important to note that these feats were accomplished when Andy was still in the United States of America and must be acknowledged as achievements recorded by dint of hard work. This point has become necessary because it has become mischievously fashionable for propagandists to cite Andy Uba as the turn around engineer of the Uba family. The truth is that long before Andyís advent, the Ubas had been formidable achievers.
As far as Anambra State is concerned, the distinguished senator was the man who saw tomorrow. His advertorial in question, that was reproduced by the Anambra Renaissance Movement and which formed the basis of Collinsí write-up, was indeed, a prophetic warning against the hawks who were out to exploit Andyís ignorance of the political terrain of Anambra State. Today, the senator has been vindicated, as the present band of critics, who are using every available forum to attack Andy are the same hawks the senator warned against.
Only time will tell if Andy Uba is a villain as created by the hawks or the silent hero, targeted for destruction by a mob led by trusted Brutus. Time also will reveal the nomenclature of the Anambra Renaissance Movement.
Suffice it here, to let the reading public know that the movement is a two-legged monster created in Oraifite by a former minister, who lacks the courage to hold himself responsible for his infantile outing as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and a former Principal Officer of the Anambra House of Assembly, who has failed to accept, that rather than Andy Uba, it was the pact agreed upon by his constituency, that each town in it would produce a one-term legislator on rotational basis, that denied him a second tenure as Legislator.
It is also dubious to drag the name of Anambra Governor, Mr. Peter Obi into this latest macabre dance. The Governor is doing well in a climate of peace and we must all ensure that we do nothing that will alter this climate. This is my fear because in Anambra, crisis is big business and there are individuals who survive on these crises. There are others who incite these crises secretly and appear openly to criticize it, hoping to achieve relevance with their hypocrisy. These people can go to any length to foment and sustain crisis.
This is what the Anambra Renaissance Movement is all about. Crying wolf when there is none, chanting war songs in times of peace and struggling to cause disaffection between the Ubas and respected Anambra indigenes.
This is senseless and does not depict the mood of the time. We must tower above this parochialism and unite to make Anambra great again.