Rev. Innocent Peace-Udochukwu
The Anambra State gubernatorial election is just a matter of few weeks away and the gladiators are putting everything in place to make sure that they come out tops in an election adjudged by pundits to be one of the most hotly contested elections in the country, going by the legal fireworks, violence and media war currently ongoing as we approach the November 6th D-Day.
In order to help Anambrarians get it right in the state known for their political maturity when it comes to choosing their leaders especially as it concerns the governorship elections, this can be seen by the fact that no career politician has ever won Agu AWKA governmment house since 1999.
I would want to attempt to critically and honestly scrutinize the major candidates as much as I can and without bias so that Anambrarians can go to the poling boots on the 6th of November 2021 armed with cutting edge knowledge and understanding of all the major candidates.
In no particular order let’s take a look at all the six major Contenders amongst whom the governor of Anambra State will emerge baring any last minute upset.
Ifeanyi Uba (YPP)
Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah (born 3 September 1971), is a Nigerian businessman, entrepreneur and currently the Senator, representing Anambra South Senatorial District in the Nigerian senate and CEO of Capital Oil (CCO, for short), which he founded in 2001.
The Umuanuka, Otolo-Nnewi born business mogul whose net worth is said to be over $1.7Billion could not finish schooling and had to drop out to learn trade but has since gone on numerous business courses and gatherings which has helped in honing his pioneering interests.
He additionally examined the Owner/President Management Program at Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA.
‘Ebubechukwo –Uzo’ as he is fondly called by friends And admirers is very popular among the youths more because of his involvement in sports and philanthropic activities, his football club FC IFEANYI UBAH is currently one of the topmost contender in the Nigerian football premier league table and also his foundation, IFEANYI UBAH FOUNDATION has empowered many youths and the elderly people through Educational scholarships, Sports, Entrepreneurship and etc.
The Senator of the federal republic is also rumoured to be in the good books of the Indigenous People of BIAFRA IPOB known to be commanding the loyalty of many youths and the elderly in the state.
Another advantage the Agu AWKA governmment house major contender in the upcoming gubernatorial election is enjoying is the fact that he is from the Anambra South Senatorial district favoured by the majority of Anambrarians to produce the next governor of the state due to the unwritten law of zoning arrangement designed to make every zone in the state to have a deserved sense of belonging in the political leadership of the state, another advantage is that his party YPP seems to be enjoying relative peace and stability as they are not in court contesting the viability or otherwise of their concluded party primaries just as other major political parties are currently experiencing.
One major disadvantage to IFEANYI UBAH’S quest to rule Anambra State as governor is that the fact that Anambrarians seems not to be comfortable with career politicians as governors of the state and Senator UBAH is considered to be one of the serial Anambra governorship contestants.
Another of IFEANYI UBAH’S political baggage stems from his running battles with AMCON, the Nigerian economic watchdog over the alleged insolvent loans by Capital Oil and Gas, one of UBAH’S Company, the publicly known altercations over some business deals gone sour with another Nnewi conservative Billionaire, COSMAS MADUKA, owner of COSCHARIS GROUP and other similar instances of not keeping to business agreements which seems to be casting a serious shadow to the reputation of the amiable Nnewi born Billionaire and philanthropist.
But in all of these, EBUBECHUKWU-UZO NNEWI remains the man to beat in the upcoming Anambra gubernatorial election in November 6th.
Godwin Maduka (Accord Party)
Godwin Maduka (born 1959), is a Nigerian-American doctor, businessman and philanthropist.
He is the founder of Las Vegas Pain Institute and Medical Center.
In 2008, he played a major role in the renaming of his hometown, from Nkerehi to Umuchukwu.
Okosisi Orumba as he is fondly called by friends And admirers can be properly defined as Doctor, Businessman, and Philanthropist.
He is a Clinical faculty supervisor and adjunct Professor of pain management and Anesthesiology at Touro University in Nevada. He is also a Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at UNLV School of Medicine.
Godwin MADUKA also known as Lion in 1999 founded the Las Vegas Pain Institute and Medical centre, before expanding to six other places in Southern Nevada.
His net worth is currently not in the public domain but his hospital and real estate are said to be worth over $11million.
Dr. Godwin Maduka’s philanthropic activities is second to none as has single handedly transformed his hometown Umuchukwu from a backward rural village to a fledgling township.
Godwin Maduka, who is so passionate about his people and their development has poured in hundreds of millions of US dollars into his community’s development, to the point that his community of Umuchukwu in Orumba south senatorial district of Anambra State has witnessed a huge transformation from a totally inconsequential community to a giant, well-developed town which boasts of a world standard medical research centre that has so far gone up to 70 per cent completion on the main structure while only furnishing and installation of equipment is left in the final completion.
That medical centre in Umuchukwu will attract national and international medical experts to study the efficacy of African traditional medicine and come up with different drugs and medical solutions to various medical issues.
This level of philanthropy is totally unknown not only in this part of the world but even worldwide. For a man or woman to take up the provision of infrastructure – roads, bridges, primary and secondary schools, churches of different denominations, a world standard police station, magistrate’s court, high court with fitting housing for the judges, policemen, houses for the poor, water and electricity and perhaps most important, a health institution for his own people is probably the height of giving.
This has not included the number of people he has sent abroad to study. Notable also is the fact that many of those that have benefited from his largesse are not necessarily his relations.
If you discount what he has done for his relations such as building palatial homes for his brothers, one of whom provided the seed money of N5000 to enable him go to America for further studies, you can begin to imagine the level of his philanthropy. That seed money has culminated in a Harvard University School of Medicine degree plus doctor of philosophy degree in Pharmacy from other American institutions.
A search on Google, Wikipedia or, even the Encyclopaedia Britannica, if you want to do an advanced search will tell you that philanthropy “derives from the ancient Greek phrase ‘phylantropia,’ meaning ‘to love people’ and having shown so much love for his people it can only be expected that his people should passionately love him in return because love is reciprocal.
Another serious political advantage working for Dr MADUKA is the fact that he is also from the ‘favoured zone’ Anambra South Senatorial district.
Okosisi Orumba is like a breath of fresh air into the Anambra State political equation because he is not a career politician but a pure technocrat and a self made Billionaire with little or no dent to his image which are qualities that the highly enlightened Anambra voting population are almost always attracted to without doubt.
Godwin Maduka’s political disadvantage stems from the fact that he lacks seasoned media and political managers who could have easily sold him to his former party PDP before the primaries judging by his gargantuan and intimidating achievements both in his personal life and Community from a very humble beginning.
Maduka’s political inexperience as a political green horn coupled with the fact that he is running on the platform of a relatively unknown political party, the Accord Party is a serious political baggage which can only be overcome by massive actions like serious and comprehensive media campaign and awareness creation from his political managers.
But in all of these, ‘Okosisi Orumba , The Great Lion of Africa’ is still looking very good to become the next ‘Agu Awka’ occupant through dint of hard work and God’s grace.
Dr. Obiora Okonkwo (ZLP)
Born on December 5, 1965 in Gombe, North East Nigeria, Dr. Okonkwo is a Russian-trained Political Scientist and accomplished entrepreneur from Ogidi, Anambra State.
Dr. Obiora Okonkwo is the chairman of United Nigeria Airlines, he also chairs the boards of a number of companies, including ‘’The Dome Entertainment and Hospitality Limited’’, ‘’Solicom Engineers Limited’’, amongst others.
He is ordinarily associated with The Dome, Nigeria’s iconic entertainment hub housing some of the finest outlets for leisure and business meetings including a bowling alley and a hotel, ranked by guests among the finest in the Federal Capital Territory. However, he is first and foremost, an intellectual who started off as a trader at Onitsha, then, veered off into an academic pursuit that took him to Russia where he earned all his university degrees, before returning to Nigeria in fulfilment of a promise he made to himself not to settle outside Nigeria.
‘Dikeora Idemili’ as he is fondly called by those who knows him best though started off as a trader (schooling and trading) at the Main Market in Onitsha. He traded from the Fancy Line before travelling for university education in Russia. Today, he stands out as one of Igboland’s very successful businessmen and philanthropist.
Chief Okonkwo’s net worth is estimated to be around $1Billion USD.
Dikeora Idemili’s strongest point stems from the fact that he is politically savvy having been in the system long enough not be seen or called a political green horn.
Dr. OKONKWO also still have age on his side, despite the fact that he has been in the political arena for some time now, yet the toga of a career politician do not fit him at all rather he remains a highly revered and accomplished technocrat whose business and political career is so far without any known dent or scandals.
High chief Obiora Okonkwo’s Educational qualifications and political experience also stands him out as one of the darlings of Anambra sophisticated electorates.
Chief Dr. Obiora Okonkwo’s greatest political disadvantage in the forthcoming Anambra guber election is the fact that he seems to be swimming against the tide because he is from Anambra Central Senatorial district which is not ‘favoured’ to produce the next governor of the state according to the unwritten law of zoning arrangement which will also go a long way in determining who occupies Agu Awka Government House in 2022.
Another very serious drawback to the gubernatorial ambition of the Russian trained business mogul and Ph.D holder is the fact that he lost out the just concluded PDP party primaries and is currently running on a relatively unknown Political party, Zenith Labour Party.
But ‘Dikeora’ may still spring surprises by winning the 2021 Anambra guber election considering his never say die spirit and resoluteness when he sets his mind in achieving anything.
Valentine Ozigbo (PDP)
Valentine Ozigbo is a Nigerian entrepreneur, banker, philanthropist, and politician, and one of the Richest Igbo Men in Nigeria. He was the president and Chief Executive Officer of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria PLC (or Transcorp).
Transcorp is a conglomerate (multi-industry company), with strategic investments and core interests in the hospitality, agribusiness, and energy sectors.
Born 20th July 1970 and having always been a bright student, Valentine Ozigbo bagged various awards and prizes during the course of his education. He attended Christ the Redeemer College, Amesi, Anambra State for his early Education. He often represented his school in different competitions. After completing his secondary school Education, He gained admission to study Accounting at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and graduated in 1994 as the best student in both Accounting and Business Administration. He graduated with a First-Class degree (honours), the best in his department and the entire faculty during that academic session.
Seeking to gain more academic and professional expertise, Valentine Ozigbo went on to obtain his MBA in Banking and Finance from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 2000. In 2003, he won a Chevening Scholarship to study Finance at UK’s Lancaster University, graduating in 2004 with a Distinction.
He has also obtained professional qualifications from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (1998), the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (2000), and Institute of Credit Administration (2015).
The PDP candidate for the upcoming Anambra gubernatorial election is looking very good to win the election going by the previous judgements of Anambra electorates which always seemed to favour young, upwardly mobile, intelligent, technocrat’ and self made Billionaire like Chief Valentine Ozigbo.
Val as he is popularly called, is also undeniably a man with a heart of gold, preferring to place others before and above himself. He has a burning desire and dream to create a sustainable ecosystem of value that empowers an elite army of young people with the knowledge and skills that will allow them thrive and prosper in the new global economy.
He uses his foundation, Chineto Ozigbo Foundation, to drive his charitable programmes on youth empowerment, capacity building, and mentorship. The foundation is very active at the grassroots especially in his home state of Anambra and has a history of implementing youth development and leadership training initiatives up to and including entrepreneurship competitions in diverse communities across the state.
As far as professionals go, he is a thoroughbred, groomed in the stables of the Nigerian banking industry and refined in the revered halls of the some of the best business schools on the planet; Val brings competence and capacity to the party and none can begrudge his meteoric rise to the top or indeed his potential for greatness.
He has over twenty years of professional experience spanning through banking and hospitality industries. As the immediate past President and Chief Executive Officer of Transnational Corporation (Transcorp), Plc., a position he attained through diligence, exceptional hard work and a steadfast commitment to excellence, he introduced far-reaching innovations and oversaw other businesses within the conglomerate that includes a robust energy portfolio of several oil & gas and power assets such as the Ughelli Power Plant and the recently acquired Afam Power Plant.
Before he delved into the hospitality business as the CEO of Transcorp Hotels Plc, where he superintended the transformation and reemergence of the hotel as a premier brand in the Nigerian hospitality segment, Ozigbo has had about 17 years of professional banking experience working in some of the biggest banks in Nigeria.
He was Head of Commercial Banking at Diamond Bank Plc for five years between 1995 and 2000, before proceeding to United Bank for Africa where he worked for a year from 2000 to 2001 as a Business Manager. Between 2001 and 2003, Mr Ozigbo was the Acting Regional Director of FSB International Bank. He later left this role and returned to United Bank for Africa in 2004, where he worked for four years as Head of International Banking. In 2008, he left United Bank for Africa for Keystone Bank for what would be the last leg of his nearly two-decades-long career in the banking industry. He served as the General Manager of the bank’s Global Transaction operation.
Another political advantage of Mr Ozigbo is that he is contesting on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP which happens to be one of the most popular parties and the party to beat in the state and just like Dr. MADUKA he is like a breath of fresh air in the stuffy political atmosphere of the state, he is also with no known dent or scandals on his image.
Val Ozigbo’s only known disadvantage is the fact that he is just like Dr. MADUKA testing with his feet for the first time the murky waters of Nigerian politics and that may really be a huge drawback to the high achieving technocrats’ ambition of becoming the governor of one of Nigeria’s foremost States.
But with his intimidating achievements in both the academic and private sector which he will bring to bear as the governor of Anambra State he still stands a very good chance of winning the 2021 Anambra governorship election.
Andy Uba (APC)
Andy Uba, a native of Uga in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State was born on December 14, 1958 in Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria.
After his primary education, Andy Uba attended Boys High School Awkunanaw, Enugu for his secondary education. After secondary
education, Andy Uba traveled oversea for his tertiary education. He particularly schooled at Concordia University Montreal, Canada, where he obtained his first degree in Geology in the year 1984. After his first degree, he worked for some time with Golden State Mutual Insurance of California between the years 1985 and 1992 before he engaged in further studies at California State University and later Buxton University where he obtained his PhD in Bio-sciences in the year 1996.
While at the United States working, Andy Uba participated in the electioneering process that brought Olusegun Obasanjo to power in the year 1999. When the election was finally won by the Peoples Democratic Party, Andy Uba was appointed Special Assistant on Special Duties and Domestic Affairs to President Olusegun Obasanjo.
In the year 2007 Andy Uba contested for and actually was declared winner of a gubernatorial election in Anambra State of Nigeria. However, a challenge of the election in court by Peter Obi had the entire process truncated, as the court held that there was no vacancy in the Anamabra State Government House to warrant the election in the first place.
Andy Uba’s net worth is currently estimated to be around $2Billion
One political advantage Nnamdi Uba seems to be enjoying is the fact that he has been in the corridors of power and by extension the political system for a long time and with that comes his ability to manipulate the system to his advantage.
Coupled with the fact that he has lots of money which he is ready to always use to buy his way and get whatever he wants politically, typical example is the just concluded APC primaries in Anambra State which he won but which many of the party’s critical and major stakeholders like former Governor and current minister of Labour and employment Dr Chris Ngige and George Muoghalu have been crying foul and insisting that there was no primaries at all in the first place talk less of a winner emerging.
Judging by hindsight and the ugly experiences of Anambrarians in the hands of the Uba political dynasty, Nnamdi Uba may have decided to go Hope Uzodimma the “Supreme court governor” of Imo State way by accepting to do the demands of the caliphate which includes but not limited to giving out Anambra lands to the fulanis in exchange for power.
So if the people of Anambra are not careful and ready to defend their lands by defending their votes, the caliphate may end up imposing Andy Uba on them as the next governor of Anambra State.
One other political advantage to Uba’s candidacy is the fact that he is also from the zone ‘favoured’ to produce the next governor of Anambra State which is Anambra South Senatorial district.
If there’s anyone with the biggest and heaviest political baggages among the six major candidates jostling to occupy AGU AWKA governmment house come 2022 it is Emmanuel Nnamdi Uba the All Progressive Congress (APC) Candidate for the upcoming Anambra gubernatorial election 2021.
Andy Uba is also the least popular among the rest of the Candidates even in his Uga hometown.
This is more because Anambra electorates have not forgotten the burning of the same governmment house of which, he Andy Uba is now jostling to occupy plus several other governmment properties destroyed by Uba’s younger brother Chris Uba led thugs during Ngige’s stint as governor of the state and whom it was believed and known to have tactically supported and shielded by Andy Uba as the special assistant on domestic affairs in Aso Rock during Obasanjo’s governmment.
Another serious political disadvantage trailing Andy Uba’s candidacy of which the people of the state are not ready to forget in a hurry is his less than a month stint as the governor of Anambra State where it was a well known fact that many landmark properties belonging to the state government were sold in hurry within the very short period of time.
Judging by all these, the only reason Andy Uba may be declared winner of the upcoming gubernatorial election in November 6th is the fact that he may have signed away the future and the commonwealth of Anambra State to the caliphate but this can only happen if the highly enlightened and matured Anambra electorates fail to put their feet down and defend their territorial integrity by vehemently defend their votes come November 6th 2021.
Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo (APGA)
Charles Chukwuma Soludo, CFR (born 28 July 1960) is a Nigerian economics professor and a former governor and chairman of the board of directors of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Chukwuma was named governor on 29 May 2004.
He is also a member of the British Department for International Development’s Advisory Group
Soludo has been a visiting scholar at the International Monetary Fund, the University of Cambridge, the Brookings Institution, the University of Warwick, and the University of Oxford as well as a visiting professor at Swarthmore College (USA). He has also worked as a consultant for a number of international organisations, including The World Bank, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and the United Nations Development Programme.
Soludo is a core professional in the business of macroeconomics. He obtained his three degrees and then professorship at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka, Enugu State.
Soludo graduated with a First Class Honours degree in 1984, an MSc Economics in 1987, and a PhD in 1989, winning prizes for the best student at all three levels.
Chukwuma has been trained and involved in research, teaching, and auditing in such disciplines as multi-country macro-econometric modelling, techniques of computable general equilibrium modelling, survey methodology, and panel data econometrics, among others. He studied and taught these courses at many universities, including Oxford, Cambridge, and Warwick. Soludo has co-authored, co-edited, and authored a number of books on this subject matter.
In 1998, Soludo was appointed to the position of professor of economics at the University of Nigeria; the next year he became a visiting professor at Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, USA.
Soludo joined the federal government in 2003.
Prior to his May 2004 appointment to the bank chairmanship, he held the positions of Chief Economic Adviser to former President Obasanjo and Chief Executive of the National Planning Commission of Nigeria.
Soludo’s net worth is currently estimated to be around N2.5Billion
Prof. Soludo’s strongest point is the fact that he is contesting on the platform of Anambra’s most popular political party APGA that has been in power in the state for the past 15years winning almost every elections conducted in the state and it is a well known fact that the incumbent governor of the state Chief Obiano is standing solidly behind his candidacy.
Another powerful political advantage of Prof. Soludo is his intimidating academic profile which made him the most educated among the other six major candidates in the upcoming Anambra gubernatorial election.
Also the Isuofia born economic professor is having political upper hand with his mouth watering and too good to be true vision of turning Anambra State to another Dubai if he eventually becomes the state governor and through his ebullient and proactive media managers he has been able to market the vision successfully to his supporters and to some extent the sophisticated Anambra electorates.
Soludo’s stint as the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria coupled with other economic advisory positions he has occupied in the past makes him to be one of the darlings of Anambra State’s very pragmatic electorates.
That he is also from the ‘favoured zone’, Anambra South Senatorial district is another great political advantage to the former CBN Governor coupled with the fact that he is a well known and accomplished technocrat.
One of the major political baggages of Prof. Soludo is the fact that just like BUHARI after his stint as the Nigerian military head of state didn’t have any known personal project to his name, same is with Soludo who has been roundly accused of not attracting any meaningful development to his hometown Isuofia coupled with his inability to complete the hospital he wanted to build in memory of his mother despite the fact that many of his friends and associates donated over a Billion Naira for the project.
And in Anambra State where the competition is high among the elites and the ‘big boys’ on who will attract or finance more community projects to his/her Community, it is a taboo and a very heavy political baggage to the highly revered technocrat.
Another political disadvantage is the fact that he is more or less a serial gubernatorial contender which has somehow made him seem like wearing the toga of a career politician which is one of the things that Anambra State electorates detest.
Many of his opponents have been asking a very pertinent question which is, “if the highly revered economic professor could not complete the hospital he intended to build in memory of his mother how can Anambrarians trust him to turn the state to Dubai as he has been making them to believe”?
Those in favor of this line of thought also cited one of Jesus’ teaching in Luke 16:10 where Jesus said and I quote,… “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.” End of quote.
The fact that he is more or less a ‘serial gubernatorial contender’ which has somehow made him seem like wearing the toga of a career politician which is one of the things that Anambra State electorates detest.
Another political baggage threatening the gubernatorial ambition of the highly rated Soludo is the accusations from many quarters that he is haughty and arrogant which is a serious turn off to many of his political mentors and would be supporters.
But in all of these the ebullient and very intelligent economic professor still remain one of those to beat among the six major candidates in the upcoming Anambra State.
Rev. Innocent Peace-Udochukwu who is the founding president, Congress For Igbo Agenda, is also a media consultant, broadcaster, blogger and public affairs analyst. He writes from Abuja