The Real” Sins” Of Senator Andy Uba
BY IGBOELI ARINZE
Of a truth, asides President Mohammadu Buhari, Atiku Abubakar and Nasir El Rufai, no other politician has been so unfairly maligned like Senator Andy Uba.
This suave, debonair and gentleman politician has been so misconstrued and misrepresented to his people and Nigerians in general, that you would simply think that the man is an Idi Amin, Jean Bokassa and Sani Abacha in one person.
Uba, who happens to be a senator for six years has been cast in many scandals and controversies, many the making of beer parlour story renditions, a few the evil machinations of a number of his fellow politicians who see Uba as their joint nemesis.
For the beer parlour genres, I shall not waste my time or the reader’s as a majority of us ought to understand the overreaching effects of liquor on the thought processes of a drunkard. The veracity of these stories are usually drowned with the last sip of liquor as well as the counter attack of a blistering hangover.
I shall rather focus on the propaganda churned out by some rival politicians.
One prevailing rumour is the story that Uba made his money through practices deemed as fraudulent. Another, is centred on his role in the state and her share of crisis, mostly during the Ngige/Chris Uba era. The third, is the talk of Uba as been mentally unfit for any kind of leadership.
Naturally, particularly in this part of the world’s climactic politics where everything is overheated and a number of falsehoods are made to largely pass for truth, an Uba would largely not be bothered by such manifested maliciousness, but for the fact that sometimes when falsehood is allowed to remain alone on the pedestal meant for truth, it may be mistaken for truth.
Yes, Uba is a wealthy man! There’s no disputing that but to label his wealth as shady and as proceeds of fraud is indeed unfair to the man who through the dint of hard work and business savvy made the most of his opportunities. Some say that he made his wealth through his connections, and how is that a crime against the state? In the course of using such connections to advance his business empire, were there unethical practices ? This is a man who acquired his businesses through loans painstakingly taken from banks and successfully repaid each loan without been harried by the banks as is the custom here. This is a man that has striven to be so transparent in his dealings with fellow businessmen and the public, . Until anyone is able to pinpoint to me a shred of fact linking Uba to any fraudulent dealing as regards his business, I want to urge all to disregard all stories regarding such.
Let’s travel back to the troubled era between 2003 and 2006, where a former Governor Chris Ngige was engaged in a supremacy battle with Uba’s younger brother, the Enfant Terrible of Anambra’s politics, Chris Uba.
Each episode within that sad chapter of our history naturally cast Chris Uba as the villain and Ngige as the saint or the protagonist, this is true and I do not intend to be a revisionist on that matter. However, the attempt to blame Andy for the sins of Chris is indeed unfair and sickening. Is it fair to blame the brother for the sins of his brother? Should Andy Uba who informed Obasanjo about the sins of his brother in the kidnapping of Ngige, prompting Obasanjo to immediately act and direct that Ngige be restored to power be blamed for the crisis; the kidnap or the criminal height where the state’s properties were vandalised by supporters of Chris Uba? Will Andy Uba’s detractors and pull him down signatories not stop to think that had Andy Uba wanted, that is if he was neck deep involved in the plot to oust Ngige, he would have not handed President Obasanjo the phone in far away Maputo, Mozambique.
May we then ponder on the consequences of an Obasanjo not giving orders that the status quo remain precipitated by the right intervention of an Andy Uba.
The third issue is the trite talk of an Uba not being intelligent enough to aspire for any elective government. Trust me, I have read this and heard it from a few simpletons, persons, I myself regard as intellectual midgets, a case of the proven outcast labelling another as an outcast. For Pete’s sake, would it have been possible for a perceived “ dullard” in Andy Uba to serve a president with a tremendous personality as Obasanjo? This largely reminds me of a story I heard of the former Governor of Imo State, Sam Mbakwe who we know was “fearfully made” Tired of hearing that he was ugly, the weeping governor one day blurted out to the amusement of all and posterity thereafter the following, “ You that is beautiful or handsome, how many in your family have been governor!” These” professors” who are all knowing but with nothing much to show for it, who cannot be trusted even with the leadership of their own homes, who are nine out of ten proven failures will look at a successful person like Uba and call him dull!