Senator Andy Uba is the chairman of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Campaign Council in Anambra State. He has the huge task of making Buhari and APC acceptable in a predominantly APGA State? David-Chyddy Eleke looks at how the senator can pull this off
President Muhammadu Buhari was in Onitsha, Anambra State on January 24, 2019 to canvass votes for All Progressives Congress, APC, and himself as the presidential candidate of the party. During his speech, he begged the people of the state for votes, saying his government meant well for the people of the state.
The presidential campaign rally, which held at the Holy Trinity field in Onitsha, saw the president say that his government was working hard on economy, security and the fight against corruption. The president, who first moved to the newly completed Zik’s Mausoleum, where he commissioned the project, was also at the palace of the traditional ruler of Onitsha Kingdom, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe, where he met traditional rulers in the state.
Addressing a mammoth crowd, which gathered at the venue, Buhari said, “I am happy to have commissioned the Zik’s Mausoleum. I am just coming from there now. The road from Enugu to here (Onitsha), which was last done during the Abacha time, is being done again. We are also working on the Port Harcourt road to this place too, and I believe the minister of Transport (Rotimi Amechi) has also told you of the railway project, which will also pass from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri, through some of your states.”
In the area of security, Buhari assured that his government was doing his best, while also stating that no local government in the North East was being held by members of the Boko Haram sect. On militancy, he said, “In the Niger Delta, we have reached an agreement with the militants, and production is going on. It is unfortunate that production has come down from over two million barrels per day to about half a million.”
In Anambra, however, there exists a number of projects by the present government, including the second Niger Bridge, the Enugu-Onitsha expressway project that is ongoing, the Onitsha-Owerri road project and of course, the Nnamdi Azikiwe Mausoleum that has been completed and commissioned among others.
The President Buhari Campaign Council Chairman of Anambra State, Senator Andy Uba, who is also the Senator Representing Anambra South senatorial zone, in his maiden press conference to announce his appointment, promised to mobilise total victory for President Buhari in the state.
Uba spoke in Aguata, when he met with the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in his ward, Uga ward one, Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State, to intimate them of the task ahead, which is delivering President Buhari in the state.
He said his reason for beginning his campaign at the ward was to fulfill the saying that charity begins at home. He however assured that he would use his position to mobilise voters from the state to vote for himself as the senator representing Anambra South and most importantly for President Buhari, whom he adjudged as performing ‘very excellently’.
“There are a lot of things that the President is doing that the people do not know about, but what we are going to do is to take those good works to the rural people of Anambra and ensure that they assimilate this, and use it to see reasons why they should vote the president.
“There are projects like the Zik’s Mausoleum that have been abandoned for several years, but now constructed by the Buhari administration. There is the second Niger bridge, which is still ongoing and seriously too, and there is also the Enugu-Onitsha expressway. There are several more projects and our job is to tell the people of them and mobilise them to vote for President Buhari.”
The senator also added that Igbos had a lot to benefit from Buhari if they voted him, saying he (Buhari) was ready to support the South-east to produce the senate president in 2015, but could not find an APC ranking senator from the zone, leading to the position being clinched by another zone. He said if Igbos voted Buhari in the coming election, he was sure that the senate presidency would come from the south east, especially as the people were also ready to vote senators from the zone on the platform of APC.
“You need to have people, who are ranking senators from the zone, who can be made the Senate President. I am vying for a seat in the senate for the third time, and that among other things qualifies me to be a ranking senator, who would be qualified to be a senate president.
“There are some people, who are contesting for the senate against me, but cannot as little as read documents. To be a senate president, you have to be a ranking senator, and you have to have been in the senate for at least eight years and must have a number of bills you have sponsored. So, Igbos must vote wisely in their choice of senators,” Uba said.
While speaking to THISDAY exclusively in Ufuma, Orumba north local government area of Anambra State on his plans to deliver the president in Anambra, Uba stated that through hard work, the APC has gained acceptability in Anambra State, unlike in 2015 when the party was dreaded by citizens of the state.
He said, “In 2015, did you see this kind of crowd converge for APC? It did not happen. The people were aloof and not ready to listen to anyone, who would talk to them about APC or Buhari, but today the story is different.
“Just look around and see the number of people, who have converged here today, this is very significant. It did not just happen; it was through the efforts of some of us, who joined the party. The people know us, and when we approach them and tell them that APC is the best place to be, they don’t argue about it.”
Uba remained upbeat about Buhari winning the election, while also expressing optimism that he would win the south senatorial election and also become the Senate President, having been in the senate for eight years and attained the status of a ranking senator with cognate experience.
“President Buhari in 2015 was ready to make an Igbo man the senate president, but he could not find a good ranking Igbo senator from the area. We urge you to vote for president Buhari, and also for me as the senator. Senate Presidency is a bigger position than even the governor of the state. So, if we get the senate presidency, it will mean having something more than a governor in this area,” Uba urged the people.
The candidate of the party for Orumba North and South federal constituency, Uchenna Okonkwo-Okom, who also spoke at Oko Community, where Uba earlier visited, said the people of Oko Community were lucky to have Uba from their area, as his closeness to the presidency would help to attract projects to the area.
Okonkwo-Okom said Uba was the only senator that has represented the zone that had projects in every political Ward in the zone, which was made up of seven local government areas. He urged the people to vote for him.
Uba stated that the task of delivering President Buhari in Anambra State was not just a task for the members of APC in the state, just as he acknowledged that delivering Buhari in the state was the task of every well-meaning person, who appreciates the good work of the president.
He urged people of the state to rally round and work for the victory of Buhari, especially now that the party is very acceptable in the state, and also has the chances of producing a senate president in the event of their victory.