By Erasmus Ikhide
ANAMBRA State in the South East is the leading light among the five South Eastern States as it has produced the greatest personalities in the geo-political zone.
In business it has produced Sir Louis Philip Odumegwu-Ojukwu, Nigeria’s first millionaire and transport magnate.
He was so wealthy that Queen Elizabeth II used his Rolls Royce during her official visit to the then pre-independent Nigeria in 1956.
It also produced Chief Cosmas Maduka of Coscharis fame, Innocent Chukwuma of Innoson. Most mighty and not-so-mighty transporters hail from the state as well and many more business giants.
In politics, the state has produced the Great Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe a.k.a Zik of Africa, Mazi Mbonu Ojike of the ‘boycott the boycottables’ fame, Dr. Alex Ekwueme etc. Philip Emeagwali, an IT wizkid, Chike Obi, Prof. Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – two world renowned novelists, the famous mathematician who had a doctorate without a first degree, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, the Biafran Warlord and many more are some of the finest minds it has produced.
Tragically, since the return of democracy to the country in 1999, good governance has been far from her because of the sinister influence of political godfatherism and crass incompetence of the governors it has produced.
Political pundits will recall the infamous role of Sir Emeka Offor and Chief Chris Uba who played the ignoble role of avaricious godfathers.
Then was the incompetence of Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju who didn’t pay teachers for an entire year with civil servants as well as pensioners groaning in agony.
Anambra needs a new kind of leader who is not only competent but with the milk of human kindness flowing in his or her veins.
The state is abundantly blessed with entrepreneurs with the Onitsha main market constituting the biggest in West Africa.
So, the kind of governor that is needed at the helm is someone who has achieved a lot in the private sector as the experience is needed to exponentially boost economic activities in the state.
Looking through the profiles of the various gubernatorial contenders, Senator Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah is the best man for the job.
When he was barely in his teens, he delved into the murky waters of entrepreneurship by exporting tyres and motor spare parts to many countries in West Africa and faraway Europe most notably the UK and Belgium.
At the age of 30 when many of his mates were still thinking of what to do with their lives, he founded Capital Oil and Gas which in a short space of time became a major player in the downstream sector of the oil and gas sector.
He demonstrated his love for the media by floating The Authority Newspaper which assembled some of the brightest minds in journalism.
Not done, he connected with what binds all Nigerians the most – football by purchasing Gabros Football Club and renaming it Ifeanyi Ubah FC where he hired a world class coach and became the Roman Abramovich of Nigeria by giving the manager a gargantuan budget to buy players.
Aside that, he has the Ifeanyi Ubah Foundation which he uses as a large vehicle to cater to the needs of the less privileged not only in Anambra but in all parts of the country.
He is urbane and cosmopolitan; his gregarious nature has won him friends from all over the country.
Anambra, no doubt, might soar higher than Dubai if he is allowed to be in the helm of affairs. It’s obvious that his love for humanity made him go into politics as he wanted a bigger platform to serve his people better.
In 2014, he contested for the gubernatorial seat under the Labour Party but lost.
Not deterred, he ran for the Anambra South Senatorial District Seat under the Young Progressives Party (YPP) and won in 2019.
This shows how popular he is by winning a fiercely contested election with an unknown party.
He has shown that the electorate will ditch the popular parties for someone who is value-adding with a lot to offer the people.
He has stayed loyal to the YPP despite the fact that the remaining two senators in his state have defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) which has suddenly become the beautiful bride of many politicians who see it as the new Mecca.
It tells a lot of his character as a highly principled politician.
An avid traveler, he has attended some of the world’s best institutions of learning for management and business courses and is poised to replicate the grandeur in his native Anambra.
His grass to grace story is the archetype of the Nigerian Dream as he has proven to the beleaguered youths that you can make it in this country without having to cut corners or kowtow to a sinister godfather.
Like the one time wealthiest man in the world, John Davidson Rockefeller declared when some public interest journalists who were concerned with the Standard Oil Monopoly that he created and were concerned at his immense power, the unassuming billionaire said ‘God gave me my money.’
Ubah can confidently lay claim to that statement as he isn’t the product of the rent economy that produced many emergency billionaires.
Not only did he make his fortune from the sweat of his brow, he created numerous opportunities for hundreds of thousands of people through direct and indirect employment without making a song and dance of it.
Anambra needs a highly experienced job creator so that the enabling environment for job creation will be created and Ubah having paid millions of salaries monthly is unarguably the best man for the job.
Politics is too important to be left to only the politicians goes an age-long aphorism.
Since the career politicians have failed the state, it is time to try the private sector personalities and Ubah’s head best fits the cap.
Anambra needs to be restored back to its pride of place before the political buccaneers hijacked its soul.
The best way to do this is to ensure the emergence of Ifeanyi Ubah as the next Governor of the state.
His manifesto is highly private sector driven as he has placed a high emphasis on job creation. None of his opponents have created a single job.
If Nigeria were to be sane, he should be a front runner for the Presidency.
I imagine the Eldorado that Anambrarians will be ushered into if they can give him a chance to lead them. He is the wealthiest of all the aspirants with his campaign being solely bankrolled by him and so his loyalty will be wholly to the people and not any special interest groups.
Former War Time Prime Minister, Winston Churchill gave the evergreen ‘Finest Hour’ Speech on June 18, 1940 when it seemed that Britain would be overrun by the axis powers.
History repeats itself because man in his usual frailty learns the stories but never the salient lessons.
If Anambrarians can be wise enough to rally round Ubah, this will indeed be his finest hour which will automatically be diffused to them via good governance and wealth creation.
It is high time that Anambrarians reclaimed their lost dignity!
Erasmus Ikhide is a Media Strategist and Publicist and can be reached via: firstname.lastname@example.org, +2348035032123.