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    Thursday, 24 August 2017

    Anambra 2017: PDP and the Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah Option




    By Ariyo-Dare Atoye

    A recent, striking post on Facebook got me thinking about our nation Nigeria, and how negative stereotyping, has been wrongly and badly deployed against a people. It is about what activist writer,
    Jude Ndukwe posted on his wall on Tuesday, August 22, 2017: “It has been empirically proven that the Igbo are the least corrupt people in Nigeria. The "Igbo too like money" thing is false.” Although he did not go further to justify the empiricism behind this salubrious prognosis, but I dare say that this assertion is firmly rooted in the logic, appraisal, and history of the Nigeria’s corruption profiling, to date.

    As a food for thought, I intend to interrogate this comment (post) in the context of who I think should be the choice of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra State, ahead of the Saturday governorship primary. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, on August 26, 2017, the PDP would be selecting its flag bearer for the governorship poll scheduled for November 18, 2017. The aspirants comprise frontline gladiators and other notable contenders who are slugging it out for the ticket of the party.

    Anambra 2017: PDP and the Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah Option

    But to give the incumbent Governor, Willie Obiano a run for his money, the PDP must settle for a good, charitable and popular choice. And beyond that, the PDP needs someone who can offer something different in terms of sacrificial leadership and good governance. Nigeria is in dire need of exceptional men and women who can build a society that will solve problems. The aspirants are businessman Ifeanyi Ubah; Stella Oduah, a serving Senator; John Emeka; Alex Obiogolu; Lynda Ikpeazu and Oseloka Obaze (with conditional clearance). This fine list attests to the ingenuity of Anambra people.

    Since the PDP must settle for just one candidate, I invite the party delegates, members and officials to study the man called Ifeanyi Ubah in the context of the post made by my good brother, Ndukwe. You would recall vividly that Ubah had bestridden the Nigerian political space in the last general election with his Transformation Ambassador of Nigeria (TAN) and, worked tirelessly for the re-election bid of former President Goodluck Jonathan. He spent billions in the process and committed a lot to the campaigns. But that is not the issue.

    The point of interest is: to the chagrin of detractors, and since the anti-corruption onslaught of the present administration started, it is unbelievable that Ubah, was not mentioned or listed amongst those who collected money or benefited from the infamous Dasukigate or from the system to fund TAN. This was unthinkable, because the pervasive allegation then, was that, the group was getting direct funding from the former President. Unfortunately, several denials made by Ubah to debunk that rumour fell on deaf ears. It is a vindication of sorts.

    Ubah has had a painful share of his own ordeal under the present government; but it was not connected to any political transaction involving government’s money. It was purely an over dramatised business disagreement that had further lent credence to his love for this nation. What he did to salvage a bad situation by releasing fuel in his custody to save a new administration from embarrassment later became his albatross.  But as a courageous leader, he had obviously elected to take everything in his strides and would not even speak ill of the government.

    The business mogul is, unarguably, one of the most investigated persons in Nigeria today. His ordeal is akin to the story of the Igbo race – a resilient and hardworking people, but labeled negatively and unjustifiably so. Any time the corruption story of Nigeria is compiled, empirical facts would always reveal the Igbos as the least corrupt in terms of those who have stolen Nigerian oil money amongst the three major tribes. Yet, and like Ubah, they have been treated unfairly and unjustly.

    It is true that the survival instinct of the Igbo man is unparalleled in Africa, but this cannot be equated to corruption. Jude Ndukwe is right after all. Nigeria had failed to substantially support the Easterners after the civil war experience. Many of them rose through pains and hard places to attain great heights. They are the most industrious Africans in trading. Ubah is a leader in this league. That is why a restructured Nigeria for viable economic practices will unleash Igbo trading prowess to global reckoning.

    All this, may still not be enough to swing the PDP primary in favour Ubah or for the good people of Anambra to vote him at the gubernatorial poll, but if we can sincerely interrogate his audacious intervention to save the forex when it was on a free fall, we would see in him, an extraordinary leadership trait. It was that kind of challenge that made developed nations what they are today. Leadership that cannot solve problem is worthless. Development is triggered by the audacity of leadership. Solving challenges is the sweet story of innovations and scientific breakthroughs.

    You cannot but love Ubah’s kind of courageous call if you appreciate purposeful leadership: “Look at the economy, look at the position of the naira today; some of us have ideas on how we can restore this. It won’t take me one month, if Buhari gives me part of that consultancy, and naira would come back to 200. I can bet my life with it, naira would come back to N200. If you call me for that consultancy, I would put naira back to 200,” he said when a dollar was hitting N400.

    Our nation must not continue in this sea of leadership ineptitude and uncertainty. We need men and women who could dare challenges and look at problems in the face and say: “we will surmount you.” This is not an idealistic thinking; it has worked.  It is the orientation that developed China, and some African nations are keying to it.  We need innovative men like Ifeanyi Ubah to revive this nation. And it is indeed a unique opportunity for the PDP to unleash new leadership thinking - the Ubah option - via the Anambra contest.

    The Igbo nation is blessed with the best of brains that any society can produce globally.  Ubah is an exceptional kind. He is “committed to human advancement,” and has chosen the finest campaign slogan of the moment in Anambra, “Come with me, let’s build a society that can solve her problems.”  The Ubah model is key for a party seeking rejuvenation.  Let the PDP give it to Ubah.



    Atoye contributes this piece from Abuja via aristotle001us@yahoo.com



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