Opinion

Rejection of results and Andy Uba’s popularity

Andy Uba/APC was pummelled in the recently concluded Anambra Gubernatorial Election. Across the state, voters rejected the APC agenda which has seen extraordinary inflation, high cost of living and worsening insecurity. Everyone’s disappointed. We didn’t think it will be this bad, and it has gotten so bad and very fast too.

 

We are worse off and this is saying it as it is. At the last tally of the Anambra election results, Prof. Charles Soludo won 19 of the 21 local governments while Ifeanyi Ubah of YPP and Ozigbo of PDP won one local government respectively.

 

Soludo polled a total of 112,285 votes as against Andy Uba’s 43,285. No election is perfect, but when you concede victory to your opponent, it means you have accepted the election with all its imperfections.

 

To now turn around to contest the validity of the same election shows poor judgement. Ozigbo, who came second with 53,807 votes, initially conceded victory but is now shifting. That’s being unstable. Andy Uba, who placed a distant third, has refused to concede victory.

 

Uba’s rejection of the election was first made public by his spokesperson, Ambassador Jerry Ugokwe who advanced some insane reasons for the rejection. Typical of his disinformation strategy, Uba distanced himself from his spokesperson. Though he denied rejecting the people’s will, he didn’t concede victory either.

 

In a later statement, he said he will be challenging the election in court. Across the state and beyond, people have condemned his rejection of the election, describing his reasons as a flash of fantasy far removed from reality and lacking in maturity and sportsmanship. I think he should tread with caution so as not to end his political career as a confused, bitter and frustrated politician.

 

Prior to the election, an opinion poll conducted by Kevin, Charlyn and Kimberly Associates rated Uba’s popularity at 30%. A different opinion poll by HICC projected him as a likely winner.

 

But a recent poll conducted after the election by Kevin, Charlyn and Kimberly Associates saw his popularity rating drop sharply to 18% and further nosedived to just 5.7% following his unpopular rejection of the election.

 

The November 6 election has been commended by observers as free, fair and credible. In Anambra, despite pre-election tension and predictions of doom, elections always end on a peaceful note.

 

Within the past 16 years, the state has maintained a zero record of litigating the outcome of governorship elections and there are reasons for this; no individual’s ambition no matter how inordinate is bigger than the aspiration of the state, no citizen of the state is powerful enough to wrestle the entire state to the ground and no one want to be seen as a distraction to the progress of the state.

 

In Anambra we see ourselves as brothers, we quarrel like brothers and settle our differences like brothers. Any keen observer will notice that through-out the voting period leading to the declaration of results, the people displayed unprecedented patriotism, courage, patience, decorum and sacrifice. They played their parts in deepening the culture of peaceful election.

 

For the reasons of the above, I had expected all the candidates in the election to congratulate the winner. I commend those who have followed this tradition. I expect Dr. Andy Uba in particular to follow suit; I expect him to be a gentleman, pick the phone and call his brother Professor Charles Chukuwma Soludo, congratulate him and wish him luck. We the people do not want the incoming government to be distracted.

 

We need peace and unity. Having personally perused through Soludo’s manifesto and the NEEDS document which he midwifed, I am convinced that his government will be powered by big ideas and big citizens. He needs people who are passionate, who will help translate his visions into reality. Soludo’s landslide victory has put the rest of the Igbo nation on notice. It has put both APC and PDP on notice. It is not just our people that are looking up to him with hope, the rest of the Igbo nation are looking up to him.

 

They believe that Anambra has made the right choice and that the choice we have made is just the beginning of what to come. In-case Uba is still confused on reasons for his abysmal failure, we are not confused. I will offer him some free post-mortem advice: Imposition and impunity contributed immensely to his misfortune.

The primary election which brought him in as APC candidate had ‘K-leg’. The real owners of the party never forgave him for the wholesale stealing of the primary election.

 

They ensured he lost where APC would have easily won. The sins of his younger brother, who led the kidnap and abduction of a sitting governor including burning down government facilities, remain his undoing. Many believe he provided cover for his brother who up to date was never prosecuted nor sanctioned for his grave misconduct.

 

Both he and his brother are yet to apologize to the state and atone for their sins. And as long as that unfortunate episode remain unresolved, it will be difficult for any of the Uba family to govern Anambra State. Pairing Uba against Soludo in a political contest was a mismatch. He stood no chance. The ‘Arise TV’ debate finished him off.

 

Only an insane population will chose him as governor in an election that paraded the likes of Soludo and Ozigbo. His coming third was a commendable performance. Uba ran a disruptive campaign strategy which added excitement to the election. He successfully poached chieftains from other parties with the hope that the big names will help him commandeer votes. What he didn’t realize was that he was being scammed.

 

It’s  no surprise that all the big wigs ranging from the deputy governor to the least person who defected couldn’t win their polling units. I believe he was scammed. On the campaign trail, Uba focused more on the failings of out-going Governor Obiano who by the way was not on the ballot.

 

Focusing on Obiano and putting him on the ballot was a mistake made not just by APC but also by the other parties in the contest. Leadership is not about the past but more about the future. Unlike Soludo’s campaign, the other parties failed to advance their own agenda; they failed to engage the people on real life situations and everyday problems.

 

The average Anambra person was not as interested in the failings of Obiano as they were interested in his would-be successor. To win the votes, you must first win the argument and the minds of the people. Uba particularly made mainstreaming the state into centre politics his campaign mantra. What he never understood was that the people were disillusioned with the centre.

 

They see Abuja as oppressive, inept and overbearing. Pitching for mainstream politics was a bad idea for people who ordinarily want a weaker central government or outright breakout from the federation.

 

People are reasonably apprehensive of Uba’s next move in the belief that he may be rehearsing the script played out in Imo where his alter-ego in a legal twist that is currently hurting our justice system became a winner from the forth position. Imo State has not known peace since that charade.

 

While the sentiment is ‘what Hope can do, Andy can do’, many insist that Anambra is not Imo, an indication that Anambra will not tolerate a Supreme Court governor. As of the time of writing, Uba has resolved to litigate the election, thereby going against Anambra’s political culture and known precedents.

 

It is within his right to approach the court though I don’t know the premise upon which he will predicate his case. I nevertheless think his best option if I am to advise him is to concede victory to Soludo and wish him well as the incoming governor of the state.

 

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