The spark and spoof that had been characteristic of the politics of Anambra State was on a hiatus for the eight years Mr. Peter Obi was governor. In that time, the political trouble makers understandably went underground. With Obi’s departure, the kind of adventurous political satire that the state had been reputed may well be returning.   Last weekend’s Supreme Court judgment sacking the Prince Kenneth Emekayi led executive of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP is the undisputable fact that Anambra politics is again returning to the confusion that it had been well noted for. In its place, the apex court affirmed the supremacy of the rival Chief Ejike Oguebego led executive putatively led by Chief Chris Uba. 

The development in Anambra may well have shocked many outside the state, but not those who had in the past followed the strategic political permutations of Chief Chris Uba, otherwise hailed as Eselu. Eselu before now, reached the summit of his political adventure in 2003 when he singlehandedly appointed the governor, all three senators, 11 members of the House of Representatives and all but one member of the State House of Assembly from Anambra State. Well, that was before the rebellion of Chris Ngige, and the likes of Senators Joy Emodi and Ben Obi stood up to him and his backers in the Obasanjo presidency. Remarkably, Eselu’s return has opened up the breach in the Uba family that insiders had over time vainly tried to hide. It all started just before the governorship election in 2007 when the camp of Andy Uba, then one of the most powerful men in Nigeria, reportedly put Chris Uba out of circulation through an invitation to Force Headquarters, Abuja, allowing Andy to have an easy governorship victory. Since then, both brothers born of the same parents had almost consistently walked on different paths. Should Eselu succeed in his bold bid to replace his brother as senator representing Anambra South, the Uba family would also have set the record of being the first to produce three brothers in the Senate. 

The first senator is the eldest brother himself, being the quietest and the most learned of the brothers, that is Senator Ugochukwu Uba. PDP’s permutation on Atiku It is interesting the way operatives in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP continue to promote Atiku Abubakar as the party’s likely presidential candidate in 2019 despite his continuing protestations against the former ruling party. Atiku few years ago bid the PDP bye-bye when he saw the determination of agents of the Goodluck Jonathan administration to foist the infamous option of doctrine of first refusal on the party. Willy-nilly, Atiku joined five other governors in the party to sink the PDP that had vowed to rule Nigeria for sixty years. With the PDP now relegated to the opposition and demoralised by the spew of alleged corrupt deeds of its officials, the party in a desperate act of revival is believed to be flying the Atiku card as its hope for revival. 

Party insiders say that the best hope of reviving the party would be to present a formidable politician from the Northeast as its 2019 presidential candidate, given the likely bid by Muhammadu Buhari for a second term. Even without Buhari, PDP operatives are also thinking that the All Progressives Congress, APC would split along the tendencies of Buhari, Aminu Tambuwal, Nasir El-Rufai, and Rabiu Kwankwanso ahead of 2019. All of the above men are from the Northwest. So in the thinking of PDP operatives, the best option would be to get a safe bet from the Northeast in the person of Atiku. That thinking was, however, before the recent emergence of Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State as a safer choice.  

Even more, promoters of the Atiku tendency within the PDP national secretariat have also fallen out of favour in the party. Minister Dalung’s unburied hatchet Whatever may have happened to the peace initiatives of Nigeria’s beret wearing minister of sports, Mr. Solomon Dalung.   Mr. Dalung out of nowhere last month decided to wake up the buried hatchet concerning the leadership of the Nigerian Football Federation, NFF. The Minister was at that time accused of using his ministerial office to promote the interest of Mr. Chris Giwa, who is reported to be an acquaintance from his state, Plateau. Digging up a buried hatchet may well be beside the issue for Dalung as sources on the Plateau say that he may well need trouble-shooters to help settle the alleged spat between him and Governor Simon Lalong. Both men are from the same Plateau South senatorial zone. Dalung is understood to have been a long time associate of President Buhari while Governor Lalong was understood to have backed Atiku Abubakar in the APC presidential primaries. The inability of the supporters of both men to form unity is said to be raising concern on the plateau.

By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor
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