Two Sides Of Ifeanyi Uba’s Political Coin

Politics most times leaves politicians with devastating wounds. Most times the wound is so horrible that it cripples the dream of the victim and brings his entire life to a sudden and shocking end. One election could make or mar a politician especially if he or she is a greenhorn. It could shoot him or her to the top where everyone would want to associate with him and it could turn him or her to a political orphan especially if his or her life is tied around that election or politics as it were.

For business mogul and oil magnet Patrick Ifeanyichukwu Uba who jumped into the murky waters of politics without any experience even at the local council level, this is time for him to lick his wound and count his loses. He is said to be the biggest spender among the 23 candidates that contested the November 16, 2013 gubernatorial election. Reports have it that the amount committed by the 22 other candidates put together is not half the megabucks thrown into the political pit by the Chief Executive of Capital Oil and Gas Limited.

Uba was severally and serially warned not to venture into a terrain meant for the unclean, a terrain meant for those who have decided to be nocturnal in nature and a terrain where foul is fair and fair is foul. By being nocturnal you have to be holding midnight meetings, eating your breakfast 3am and taking your lunch at 12midnight. Uba was not cut out for that since he was used to waking up by 5am taking his breakfast by 6am and reporting to the office before 8am. Incumbent governor of Anambra State Peter Obi was the first to warn Uba not to get close to politics talk less of trying to contest for the seat of governor. Obi invited Uba to his office in Government House Awka where reports say he made an offer to appoint him a commissioner and when the former refused he assured him that he would be deputy governor to Willie Obiano.

uba ifeanyiAccording to those close to the corridors of power, Obi’s move was to save Uba the stress of politics and also the danger of pouring billions of hard earn oil money into River Niger. Uba went ahead to test his popularity among his kinsmen. He needed to actualize his dream of wanting to be governor, a position that will further give him the opportunity to serve his people. Those who know Uba very well say he has a strong passion to transform Anambra State into Africa’s Japan, to wipe away poverty, create massive employment opportunities, use sports particularly football to attract immense development in the state and make Anambra the envy of all.

He invested in the election but lost. Critics opine that Uba lost because he was in a wrong party. They argued that if he was in Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) he may have won the election or gotten a ministerial appointment since the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA)is an extension of the PDP given governor Obi’s body language and closeness to President Goodluck Jonathan. Another school of thought says the Labour Party is just like APGA when it comes to relationship with the PDP therefore Abuja could have pushed for Uba’s election as governor but that was not to be since Obi relied on power of incumbency to secure victory for his party and political godson, Obiano. May be if Uba was a member of PDP the pendulum would have swung his way. May be if he had listened to governor Obi he (Uba) would have benefitted more later.

However as Uba licks his political wound one very salient lesson which everyone who aspires to pick politics as a career or seek public office must learn from is the fact that there is no such thing as CAREER POLITICIAN. Prof. Pat Utomi describes those who say they are professional politicians or career politicians as “rogues whose interest is just to loot the treasury.” Utomi further argues that,”every person who seeks public office must be a professional in any other facet of life. He or she must be working and earning a living so that if his or her political dream crumbles he or she must have something to fall back on.” This is where Uba must be hailed for immediately returning to office to continue his oil and gas business. It is on record according to Prof Utomi that “people whose say they are professional or career politicians hang around in Abuja moving from one office to another seeking contracts and jobs and once they don’t get it they resorts to either blackmailing government or creating one problem or the other through militancy, Boko Haram insurgency, Kidnapping, robbery or serial killing.”

Uba is not a professional or career politician. He has returned to what was putting food on the table of his family even though he may still nurse other political ambition. That is food for thought as our politicians prepare for the 2015 elections. Already many are suggesting through their body language and utterances that 2015 is a “do or die.” That is if they fail to win election. That simply shows how desperate and jobless these politicians can be. Perhaps the electorates should be wiser now to ensure that come 2015 they will vote men like Patrick Ifeanyichukwu Uba into offices to avoid the massive looting of the treasury and corruption which we have witnessed in the last 15 years of democracy. Jobless men who say they professional or career politicians should be avoided like lepers. Nigerians should look out for people who will gladly lose election and joyfully return to their career or offices just like Uba has quietly done. That is the kind of candidates or aspirants our democracy and its electorates should embrace. That is the way to go come 2015.

Uba has comfortably and conveniently fallen back to something. He is not lurking around powerful doors in Abuja like a hungry cat waiting to pounce on an unsuspecting rat. He is back on his seat contributing to national development from his office and position as CEO Capital Oil and Gas Limited. He is a rich man seeking for where to invest his money to touch and change lives. Yes, Uba is licking his political wounds but the pains in doing that will be cushioned by the fact that he has something to fall back on. Of all the ministers in Jonathan’s cabinet, of all the governors in the 36 states and of all the National Assembly members perhaps just one-third were gainfully engaged before jumping into politics. In fact to most of them politics is just a last resort and a means to run away from frustration.

Already some governors who lost their bid for a second term in office are jobless and seeking the attention or listening ears of President Jonathan to get a ministerial or ambassadorial appointment. Such shameless “rogues” according to Prof. Utomi should relocate to their villages and leave Abuja for the young entrepreneurs willing to change the rots in the system. Such entrepreneurs are the likes of Ifeanyi Uba.

About Francis Ogbonna

francis.ogbonna@nationalweekender.net

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