The Devil on the Cross: The Case of Andy Uba
By Dr Cyprian Anigbogu, Secretary, Anambra Development Initiatives Forum
There is no gubernatorial candidate in Nigeria’s history who has been as much of a moral and criminal burden on his party as Andy Emmanuel Uba, the purported candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State. His conduct has for years been of great interest to the governments in both the United States and the United Kingdom. For instance, he flew into John F. Kennedy Airport in New York with a presidential jet in 2003 with a whopping one hundred and seventy thousand dollars ($170,000) in raw cash. The United States authorities promptly seized the funds which they said were proceeds of a crime. Before the seizure, Uba had tried to hide the money by giving it to one of his girlfriends, Loretta Mobiton, who was with him on the flight.
On December 24, 2008, Uba attempted to enter the United Kingdom on a private jet. He was refused because the British authorities considered his presence inimical to the public moral health of their people. Uba was carrying a whopping one hundred and thirty five euros in raw cash. The British authorities believed the funds were proceeds from a crime. Uba cannot enter the United States or United Kingdom because his presence is considered toxic.
As early as December 17, 1985, the Los Angeles Sheriff Department (LASD) had arrested Emmanuel Nnamdi Uba for “a deadly violent act”, a grievous act committed by using a gun to threaten someone. He was subsequently charged to court on January 27, 1986, at 8.30 am. By this time, Andy had dropped out of Concordia University in Canada and relocated to California.
Still, the Andy Uba Gubernatorial Campaign Organization has in the last few days been pontificating on the moral health of the South East political zone, sponsoring third rate news items on the social media against in particular the people and government of Anambra State. As expected, the mainstream media have avoided the sponsored puerile attacks like a leprous patient. The celebrated Kenyan writer and activist, Ngugi wa Thiongo, would equate the moral posturing of Andy Uba and his hacks as the November 6 election in Anambra approaches to the devil on the cross.
Andy Uba’s hair-raising activities are unfortunately not confined to the international scene. The home front bristles with many examples. When James Ibori, the convicted former Delta State governor, was revealed to attempt to bribe the leadership of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with an unbelievable fifteen million dollars ($15m) in 2012, it quickly emerged that the slush funds were in the custody of Emmanuel Nnamdi Uba. Chibuike Achigbu, the chief executive of Chimons Ltd, a Lagos-based gas company firm, decided to take a fall for his associate, friend and boss, by claiming that the money was his, and not Andy’s. No one believed him.
Andy Uba submitted a false and forged secondary school certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), even though it is an extremely poor result. According to Uba, he got credit in only one paper, namely, Chemistry.
The school certificate result is forged because of a number of factors. He says he obtained the Senior Secondary School Certificate in 1974 at Union Secondary School at Awkunanaw, Enugu, whereas there was no SSSC system in Nigeria until in 1989. He also claims to have obtained the result from the Enugu State School system, but Enugu State was not created till August 27, 1991. He claims to have sat for Further Mathematics in the exam, but what was offered in 1974 was no Further Maths but Additional Mathematics.
A school dropout with a forged secondary school certificate wants to be the governor of Anambra State, the state with the highest number of educated and successful Nigerians, but also is pontificating on moral and ethical issues. What can he possibly tell youngsters about ethics when he is the symbol of amoral behavior?
Andy Uba sponsored the three-day mayhem which consumed Anambra State in November, 2003. The Governor’s Lodge, Anambra Broadcasting Service, Legislative Building and the House of Assembly Complex were burnt during this madness which Uba designed and executed by Andy Uba in conjunction with the police when Andy was working for President Olusegun Obasanjo. He provided the arsonists presidential and police cover, ensuring none was arrested or prosecuted. The sole purpose for all this lunacy was to get the President to impose a state of emergency so that he would be appointed the sole administrator of Anambra State. Seventeen years later, Andy is lobbying the Federal Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to cause the President Muhammadu Buhari, to declare a state of emergency in Anambra State, hoping he would be appointed the sole administrator.
Africa’s greatest novelist, Professor Chinua Achebe, wrote about Andy Uba when the latter was President Obasanjo’s immensely powerful Senior Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs:
“For some time now, I have watched events in Nigeria with alarm and dismay. I have watched particularly watched the chaos in my home state of Anambra where a small clique of renegades, openly boasting its connections in high places, seems determined to turn my homeland into a bankrupt and lawless fiefdom”.
By pretending to be preaching morals to the Anambra people, Andy Uba has become the latest Devil on the Cross.
Dr Anigbogu, a lawyer in Onitsha, submitted this statement on behalf of the Anambra Development Initiatives Forum.