Nnamdi “Andy” Uba, the one-time Special Assistant for “Special Duties” to President Olusegun Obasanjo and now the PDP senator representing Anambra South, is plotting to defect to the APC to position himself to become senate president.
As the president-elect Buhahari is a northerner and his vice Yemi Osinbajo is from the southwest, it was widely expected that the senate president would come from the southeast. But the APC didn’t win any senate seats in that region.
So several PDP senators from the southeast are plotting to switch sides, if it means they could become senate president. Last week we reported that Hope Uzodinma was making such moves.
Uba was alleged to have stolen trillions of aira when performing “special duties” for Obasanjo, such duties included plotting with his brother Chris, to kidnap then governor of Anambra State Chris Ngige. Chris, the younger Uba, aka “Eselu”, had funded Ngige’s (s)election and expected to be paid a huge percentage of the state’s budget each month. When Ngige reneged on the deal, he was promptly kidnapped by police officers and thugs loyal to Chris Uba, with the active collaboration of his brother Andy and Obasanjo.
Andy became close to Obasanjo before he became president in 1999 through Andy’s wife who was a close friend of Stella Obasanjo, the former president’s deceased wife.
If Uba joins the APC, this would be his third party since 1999. He was first with the PDP and then joined the Labour Party in 2009 when he couldn’t win the nomination as PDP flagbearer in the race for Anambra governor. He then returned to the PDP and won the Anambra South senate seat in 2011. Now it is off to the APC in a desperate bid to become senate president.
But the Uba crime family’s ex “hostage” Ngige may throw a spanner in the works. In 2011 Ngige won the Anambra Central senate seat for the defunct ACN (which merged with other parties to become the APC). He lost that seat in last month’s (s)election. He is one of the most influential APC members from the southeast and would have been a shoo-in for the senate presidency if he had won in his constituency.
But now he seems determined to use his influence to frustrate Andy Uba’s ambitions. Ngige has said that Uba must “fulfil certain conditions” before being accepted into the APC.
One of the conditions that Ngige fulfilled before Chris Uba let him have the governorship in 2003 was swearing an oath of loyalty at a juju shrine in Okija, Anambra State.
It is not clear whether Ngige has similar conditions in mind this time.