By Emeka Anene
Andy Uba has the sort of desperation and indebtedness that is dangerous for Anambra State and its future prosperity. When a governorship candidate is so obviously drowning in debt and bank foreclosure, history shows that trusting such a person with the treasury of the state is an open cheque for the politician to raid the state’s treasury and impoverish the state and its citizens.
Anambra cannot afford to fall to Andy Uba because it will set Anambrarians back 50 years at least.
Recall when Mr. Andy Uba was governor for 17 days in 2007 before the Supreme Court invalidated his win and extended the tenure of Peter Obi until 2010; within 17 days Mr. Uba was said to have sold off key assets of the state including the state-owned Ikenga Hotel Royale.
It is even alleged that he sold it to himself for the paltry sum of N5 million, effectively stripping the state of an asset for his own gain.
As things stand now, Mr. Uba owes Heritage Bank billions of Naira, up to N50 billion Naira when you factor in interest, and he has been evading the bank’s effort to recover the loan. Although, reports suggest that altogether Mr. Andy Uba may be indebted to the tune of N50 billion. The sum is so significant and long-standing that if unpaid it threatens to sink the bank and cause the mass loss of jobs.
While Mr. Andy Uba is personally broke, reports indicate that his campaign is also not well funded. He is hoping on money from APC governors who have been levied N500 million each for Mr. Uba’s campaign, but so far only Hope Uzodinma, the Imo State governor has given him N40 million for his campaign. Governor Hope Uzodimna is making this investment with the hope of turning Anambra into Imo State which is controlled by Fulani elements, and Buhari’s cabal.
Regardless of how much Mr. Uzodinma invests in Mr. Uba’s election, Anambra State is an entirely different landscape and cannot become what Mr. Uzodimna is turning Imo State into. Anambrarians should not stand for it and demonstrate their resistance by voting against Mr. Andy Uba in the November 6 governorship poll.
Currently, Mr. Andy Uba is trying to sell some of his properties to raise money for his election; he is frantic because he is not getting the support; financial and otherwise from APC. Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi is not supporting Mr. Uba. Amaechi is disenfranchised after his prefered candidate, George Moghalu was rigged out of the ticket by Uba and his collaborators in the ruling party.
In addition, the APC governorship aspirant challenging the legitimacy of Mr. Uba’s candidacy in court, George Moghalu is Mr. Amaechi’s candidate and so it’s a no-brainer. Mr. Andy Uba is not getting support from APC bigwigs and APC governors are not putting money into Mr. Uba’s campaign.
It is also ironic that Mr. Andy Uba is getting people to decamp to APC by promising them large sums of money since he is unable to pay them upfront. He has promised some N500m and some others N300m. There are two issues here; one is that he does not have a track record of paying his debts; they should ask Heritage Bank if they will see any kobo from the money he has promised them. (They should also ask former and current staff of the Indepedent National Electoral Commission (INEC) who grumble over promises unkept by Andy Uba in previous elections.)
This raises a further issue raised earlier about Mr. Uba’s plan to raid Anambra’s treasury to settle his huge debts should he win the election. He is not a good choice for Anambra because the state needs a visionary leader who has a good track record of leadership, and a clear plan to advance Anambra along the pathway of growth and prosperity.
Emeka Anene is a political analyst who writes from Awka, the capital of Anambra State