Brothers From Hell… How Politics Divided the UBA Brothers

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Like a thief in the night, the end may have stolen in on the Uba brothers’ vise-like grip on the politics of their native Anambra State nay their senatorial district. The oldest of the brothers, Ugochukwu, an academic, represented their senatorial district between 2003 and 2007. At the time, the second brother, Dr Andy Uba, until then a U.S-based medical doctor was serving as the very powerful Special Assistant on Special Duties and Domestic Affairs to President Olusegun Obasanjo. In 2007, Andy contested for the governorship of Anambra State and won but was ousted after 17days due to a court ruling that Peter Obi, who was earlier sworn in as governor after the ouster of Governor Chris Ngige, was the substantive governor. Andy returned in 2010 on the claims of being a governor-in-waiting but was overruled by the court again.

Andy would later win the same senatorial seat in 2011 and was re-elected in 2015. Their youngest brother, Chris, otherwise known as Ochiaga (War General) is a popular grassroots mobiliser who came into national consciousness for masterminding the abduction and removal of a sitting governor, Dr Chris Ngige, in 2004. Since then, Chris has grown in fame (or infamy as the case may be) as the godfather of the PDP in the state. The only thing missing was that unlike his two brothers who bore the cognomen, ‘Senator’, Chris hadn’t earned it and he resolved to get it. Thus, he launched a senatorial bid in the PDP. During a recent campaign, Chris was quoted as saying, “I have sent a lot of people to the Senate, and I even sent my elder brother, Nnamdi (Andy), but I don’t understand what he is doing there. That is why I want to go there by myself.

If you send me there for just one term, in the next election, you people will buy me gifts and beg me to go again.” In the build-up to the 2015 general election, the Uba family unanimously agreed that Andy should vacate the Senate seat for his younger brother while he contested for the governorship election held a year earlier. Andy reportedly agreed, but after losing out at the primaries, he breached the family agreement and insisted on vying for the Senate seat. Despite entreaties by senior members of the family to get him to respect the earlier agreement, Andy stood his ground, which led to a serious crisis within the family. Consequently, Ugochukwu and Chris pitched tent with former Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC), Engr. Ernest Ndukwe of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), who came second in the result declared by INEC. Alas, Andy won.

In the recent election, Andy was keen on returning to the hallowed chamber, having in mind that as a ranking senator from the Southeast on the platform of the ruling APC, he stood a chance of becoming the Senate President or even Deputy Senate President. Conversely, lurking in the corner was oil and gas businessman, Dr Ifeanyi Ubah, who had crisscrossed different parties in search of political power and recently defected from the APGA to the obscure Youth Progressive Party, YPP, to contest for the Anambra South Senatorial District election. In the last five years, Ifeanyi had amassed a lot of goodwill and following due to his philanthropic activities. Last Saturday, Ifeanyi won the election thus ending what the people of the area had come to accept as the “Uba brothers’ senatorial dynasty.” Now, the truth may have dawned on the entire Uba clan like a pall of eternal damnation that the enemy within is hardly the proverbial outsider eager to cause filial disaffection in pursuit of personal gains; the enemy within is none other than selfish ambition.