For business tycoon, philanthropist and politician, Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah, the governorship candidate of the Labour Party, in Anambra State – the road to the seat of government is getting clearer and almost within reach.  At a recent congress of the Labour Party, he was unanimously elected as the Party’s governorship candidate.  The unanimity of his emergence as the Labour Party’s gubernatorial candidate in the November 16, 2013 polls is seen as an indication that Ubah is a priceless asset to the teeming population of tax-payers and prospective voters in Anambra State.

As the Labour Party’s candidate, Ubah’s well-cultivated strategy of reaching out and appealing to the teeming voters in Anambra State seem to have paid off.  His belief in grassroots political strategy now makes him to sit high in the hearts of Anambrarians. It was, therefore, no wonder, that at the rally held at the Holy Trinity playground in Onitsha – one of the commercial centres of Nigeria – an army of supporters chorused thunderously: “We want Ifeanyi Ubah, We want Ifeanyi Ubah”, in a clear case of their readiness to invest their political trust and confidence in the well-known philanthropist.  Ifeanyi Ubah soaked all that yearning with some humility.

The mammoth crowd that thronged the Holy Trinity Centenary Field where Ifeanyi Ubah’s campaign kicked-off seems clearly a persuasive indictment of the other parties in the governorship race. It is an indictment of their candidates in that such parties like the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and All Progressive Congress (APC) are already deeply, and embarrassingly, factionalized to the extent that there are plans by each of the factions to field their own candidates for the November polls. No serious-minded voter in Anambra State would take the PDP, APGA and APC seriously, in that none of them appears well organized or closely-knitted as the Labour Party.

Much to the advantage of Ubah’s Labour Party, these parties – the PDP, APGA and APC – are slugging it out in court, where each of the factions wants the court to deliver a favourable judgment that it should present the party’s candidate for the November polls. These confusing developments are manifesting in the PDP, APGA and the APC at a time Ifeanyi Ubah, as the Labour Party’s candidate, is busy selling his candidacy to voters in various parts of Anambra State in the course of well-attended road shows and rallies.

In the face of anti-party activities, factionlisation and dishonourable undemocratic conduct by the PDP, APGA and APC, it is the Labour Party and Ifeanyi Ubah that voters in Anambra State appear to be rooting for.  The responsibilities of leadership, as far as such voters in Anambra State are concerned, is lacking in the PDP, APGA and the APC.

The onerous task of delivering the edible fruits of democracy and sustainable human development – perhaps for the first time in the history of Anambra State – appears to rest squarely on the shoulders of Ifeanyi Ubah.  Of course, from his outings in rallies, road shows and philanthropic gestures since declaring his intention to run for the office of governor, Ifeanyi Ubah seems bent not to disappoint the people.

As far as voters in Anambra State are concerned, Ifeanyi Ubah’s strategy of carrying all the people in the state along irrespective of party affiliation or camp – appears predicated on one major issue: good governance measured strictly by transparency. Most of Ubah’s prospective challengers in the governorship race have dissipated so much valuable energy and resources in vain and also going to court such that they are surely not going to have the time for the onerous tasks of democracy and good governance.

Given this development, a majority of voters in Anambra State see the Labour Party and Ifeanyi Ubah as a blessing. They seem to have made up their minds to stand by, and vote, for the Labour Party and Ubah, rather than waste their time with any of the gravely factionalized parties and their candidates.  Yes, because the voters in Anambra State do not seem to care, any longer, whether the PDP or APGA or APC exist in the state, the Labour Party and Ubah stand clearly out.  The voters tend to believe that the Labour Party and Ifeanyi Ubah are working diligently to win the November polls for the good of all Anambrarians.

As expected, the Labour Party and Ifeanyi Ubah have become the subject of informed political discourse on how best to organize and run a political party primary election. The ease with which Ubah emerged as the unanimous governorship candidate of the Labour Party has informed this thinking and contention.  In fact, some political analysis in the state say Ifeanyi Ubah has become a soaring political figure – a political juggernaut, who may, in the years to come assume the appealing qualities of a father figure, who may lead the Labour Party in future elections well beyond 2013.

As one writes, there is a perceived feeling that some chieftains of the PDP, APGA and APC, are already paying nocturnal visits to Ifeanyi Ubah to declare their support for him – in recognition, for the most part, that the Labour Party is the best organized in the state, and their burning desire to identify with a party that has all the potentials to win the November 16 polls. For such chieftains, the appeal of the Labour Party and Ifeanyi Ubah informs an objective lesson, and a realistic decision of choice, in a democratic milieu, especially on the eve of a crucial election.

The politicians from the deeply factionalised parties – PDP, APGA and APC– tend to agree now that even in a fiercely contested governorship race, Ifeanyi Ubah’s challengers for the gold medal or the mandate of Anambrarians would be nowhere near him. They now see Ubah as the “Usain Bolt” of the Anambra State governorship race.

Ubah is the man who has made, in his manifesto, a conscious effort to flesh out a long-term programme to alleviate unemployment, beef up security, raise the profile of Anambra State in terms of infrastructure, especially in the health and educational sectors. It is not for nothing that he is now regarded as the peoples’ choice in the Anambra State governorship election coming up on November 16, 2013.

Written By Mr. Emmanuel Ibeleme

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