Two members of the Anambra State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have accused Senator Andy Uba of working through Senator Lawali Shuaibu, the Deputy National Chairman of the APC (North), to annul the party’s primaries that produced Tony Nwoye as the party’s flag bearer in the November 18, 2017 governorship election in Anambra State.
Mr. Nwoye, an ex-student union leader, who is currently a member of the House of Representatives, had defeated Senator in the primaries which took place in late August. Mr. Nwoye scored 2154 votes against Mr. Uba, who placed a distant second with 931 votes.
While most of the other APC aspirants have embraced Mr. Nwoye and pledged to work with him, Mr. Uba and his supporters have continued to warn the party against ratifying the former student leader’s primary victory, claiming that a Nwoye-led ticket would be easily routed in the governorship election.
An insider within the Tony Nwoye campaign told SaharaReporters today that Senator Uba was using Mr. Shuaibu to compromise influential members of the APC’s National Working Committee to cancel the primaries.
“The only kind of political game that Andy Uba knows is rigging every election and using his money to buy any office he desires,” said the insider. He added, “Senator Uba lost in one of the freest and fairest primary elections in the history of the APC, but he is still looking for a way to steal victory," he said.
A member of the APC in Anambra State, who said he backed a Port Harcourt-based businessman, Bart Nwibe, told SaharaReporters that the news had filtered to members that Mr. Uba had compromised Hassan Lawal, a former Minister of Works and Housing who chairs the party’s appeal panel, in order to overturn the primaries.
“Dr. Lawal was present throughout the primary election and he witnessed the absolute fairness of the contest. If he comes back now to order another primary, then he will be destroying the spirit of the party members who are energized to go into the election and unseat the incumbent governor,” said the source.
“I can assure you that the APC will be finished in Anambra if the NWC [National Working Committee] allows the appeal panel to rubbish our primary last month that everybody knew that it was conducted freely and fairly,” he added.
In February of 2017, Senator Uba had defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC in order to contest the governorship election in Anambra on the platform of the ruling party. Mr. Uba came to political prominence when he served as an influential domestic aide to former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
During the eight years he worked with President Obasanjo, Mr. Uba accumulated stupendous and questionable wealth. In 2006, he paid a fine of $26,000 to settle a case in the US where authorities accused him of smuggling $170,000 into the US aboard a Nigerian presidential that brought then President Obasanjo to New York City to attend a UN General Assembly.
In 2007, Nigeria’s Supreme Court removed Mr. Uba from the governorship of Anambra State, ruling that then Governor Peter Obi had not served out his tenure.
A source to Senator Uba’s younger and estranged brother, Chris Uba, said the former presidential aide was desperate to become the governor because he had lost a significant part of his “wealth” to several fronts to whom he entrusted the funds he accumulated during the Obasanjo presidency. The brothers use to be close but have long been on a war path owing to political differences.