The on-again-off-again sibling rivalry between the Uba brothers of Anambra State was again brought to focus at the Tuesday State congress of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP where Andy and Chris Uba led parallel factions. The protracted crisis in the Anambra State branch of the PDP, which began just after the beginning of the Fourth Republic in 1999 was thought to have ended with the expiration of the tenure of Chief Ejike Oguebego on 26th April, 2016.
However, indications from the Tuesday’s state congress of the party showed that the trouble in the party is far from over. An 11 member congress committee led by Mr. Ladi Edun was appointed to conduct the exercise at the ward, local government and state levels and members of the committee arrived Anambra State early enough to prepare. But like the previous exercises, various interest groups penetrated the committee such that four of the members disappeared and went to Chief Chris Uba who was sponsoring Oguebego to continue as the state chairman.
However, the chairman, Edun, as well as the secretary, Isa Shaaba and five other members continued the exercise as directed by the national leadership of the party. So, while the Edun committee was conducting the exercise in the 326 wards, the 21 local governments and at the state level during which Chief Kenneth Emeakayi was elected, a member of the committee, Alhaji Shetima Gwando stayed with Chris Uba and produced another set of delegates and, expectedly named Oguebego as its state chairman. National leadership When the going was good Meanwhile, Edun said as far as the committee was concerned, there was no other committee from PDP national leadership in the state.
He also showed reporters the committee’s letter of appointment signed for the National Organizing Secretary of PDP. But Gwando retorted that when they arrived Anambra State on May 1, preparatory to meeting the State Administrative secretary of the party for guidance as enunciated in the guideline for the wards, local government and state congress given to them, the chairman absconded and remained incommunicado.
He said: “We communicated that development to the national chairman and national secretary who knew we are conducting the congresses. We are four with the secretary of the appeal panel. I don’t even know the chairman and the secretary and if I see them now, I won’t know them. We are only here to conduct and supervise the congresses based on the rules and guidelines given to us.”
In fact, the two arrow heads in the present crisis are the two Uba brothers, Senator Andy Uba and his younger one, Chris, who are working at cross purposes politically. Recall that during last year’s National Assembly elections, while the PDP national leadership submitted the name of Andy Uba, along with others to INEC as the party’s candidates in Anambra State, his brother, Chris also submitted his own name along with others also to INEC.
Eventually when INEC declared Andy and others as the authentic candidates and declared them winners after the election, Chris went to court. And when the Supreme Court declared his crony, Oguebego, as the authentic chairman of the party in the Anambra State, Chris wanted his brother to vacate the Senate for him and others in his line-up. The matter is yet to be resolved. So, while Andy who is nursing another governorship ambition for the 2017 Anambra governorship election is working hard to build a structure that would assist him realize the ambition, his brother chose to create a parallel structure, ostensibly to thwart the ambition of his brother.
The result is that PDP and its teeming supporters in the state are the ones suffering as the party cannot get its acts together to be able to prosecute any election effectively. Ongoing battle: Aligned with Andy in the ongoing battle are Senator Stella Oduah and four of the nine members of the House of Representatives elected on the platform of the party, as well as the two members of the state House of Assembly. Majority of the former state officials of the party are also in that camp. Also, in the camp of Chris Uba are former Senator Annie Okonkwo, former minister of state, John Emeka, among others.
However, some like former party chairman, Dr. Tony Nwoye, who is representing the Anambra East/West Federal Constituency and his colleagues representing Orumba, Onitsha North/South, and Idemili Federal Constituency are said not to be on the same page. Political observers Rep. Chidoka who was with Andy is also said to be displeased over the result. Political observers believe that should the situation remain as it is in the party at present, what has been happening to it since 2003, when it lost the governorship to All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, will repeat in 2017. As it stands, the hope of resolving the matter depends on the efforts of the Congresses Appeals Committee set up by the national leadership of PDP to look into petitions arising from the congresses of the party. The chairman, Senator Mohammed Hassan representing Yobe South in the Senate, received six petitions from aggrieved party members after the ward congress.
Rules and regulations Addressing some stakeholders of the party in Awka, Hassan said: “Our task is essentially to ensure that the rules and regulations as encapsulated in our party’s constitution and guidelines are adhered to, both in spirit and letter, in the conduct of the congresses. Accordingly, we shall be impartial arbiters and fair assessors to all in the discharge of our responsibilities. During the voting that produced Emeakayi on Tuesday, there was a mild drama as two people, Ngozi Agudosi and Emeka Nzekwe, who submitted forms for the office of chairman, were disqualified on the basis of a court ruling that disqualified them. The court decision was based on the fact that the office was not zoned to their senatorial zones. The controversies nonetheless, Emeakayi was quick to promise to carry everyone along, saying that no one would be left out in the scheme of things.

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