Apart from being just a game, Senator Andy Uba’s passion for snooker is a pleasurable indulgence, writes Anayo Okolie
Talk about real time political actors, Senator Emmanuel Nnamdi Uba, otherwise known as Andy Uba, is your everyday guy and not alien to the turf. As Special Assistant on Special Duties and Domestic Affairs to former president Olusegun Obasanjo, Uba wielded awesome power and influence synonymous to that of the president himself.
And by virtue of his influence at the federal level, Uba had as much hold on his state of Anambra where his younger brother, Chris held sway as the political godfather. Thus, in Anambra State politics, the Uba brothers command as much influence, as they could make things happen.
It was no wonder, therefore, that in 2007 when Uba contested the governorship election, he coasted home to victory with such ease that spoke to their influence. But his governorship dream was short-lived following a Supreme Court ruling that validated the tenure of Governor Peter Obi as still active. But it was not a total loss for the Uba brothers as he progressed in his political career the following election year.
He was elected Senator in April 2011 to represent his people of Anambra South senatorial district in the upper chamber of the National Assembly on the platform Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Although savouring a total victory was not as easy, he has since overcome his many challenges in the form of court cases which of course, ended in his favour.
Unfortunately, his governorship ambition has also been controversial. His last experience a couple of weeks ago ended on a similar note following the parallel congresses conducted by two different factions of PDP in the state which also led to his suspension by the PDP. It is natural, therefore, that against the backdrop of such challenges, Uba has devised a means to manage the accompanying stress.
Thus, in thinking less of his travails, Uba has a line-up of activities including reading and playing the snooker as his way of relaxing. However, when he is not doing either of both, the senator resorts to solitary moments to enable him reflect on the totality of his being and plan for the future.
"When I am not politicking, I play snooker. I also read but what I do often is having a silent moment which helps me reflect on the day’s activities and also plan for the future."
This is why many could relate with the fact that as an aide of Obasanjo between 1999 and 2007, Uba pulled many strings, in terms of policies and appointments, which impacted positively on many interests and groups across the Nigerian divide, particularly the South-east.
Another thing that seems to be going well for the senator is his generosity and philanthropic disposition, both in his personal and official capacities. He has through many empowerment schemes, elevated the plight of his people, a move that has further raised his chances in the political equation of the state.
Whilst it may not be clear yet what the future looks like for him in the light of the present challenge that confronts him, coupled with the crisis that is rocking the PDP both in his state and at the national level, Uba still maintains an uncommon calm that typifies tact and strategy.
Calculative and forward-looking, his choice of volition is believed to have given him away as a politician who does risk extrapolation and thorough analysis of his chances before venturing into any adventure.