History

The 17-day ‘governor’ constantly entangled with debt collectors

According to the late (and revered) Martin Luther King Jr.: “We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” However, Andy Uba will certainly not want to remember his history-epoch-making feat in the Nigerian political circle.

Although he is a sibling of one of the most influential politicians ever produced by the state nicknamed “Light of the Nation”, he has not been able to realistically fulfil his favoured political ambition.

So, who is Andy Uba, the unpropitious political history maker who has been embroiled with issues of debts?

Andy Uba biography

Andy Uba portrait

Andy Emmanuel Nnamdi Uba was born on December 14, 1958, in Enugu to the family of Mr and Mrs Phillip Uba. Although born in Enugu, Uba hails from Uga, which is in the Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State. 

Uba attended the Boys High School in Awkunanaw, Enugu State. He was admitted to Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, to study Geological Studies. However, there is controversy regarding his tertiary education as the university refuted that he graduated from the institution. While the university acknowledged that an individual named Emmanuel Uba was granted admission to its institution, the individual did not finish the programme admitted.

He received a doctorate in biosciences in 1996 after completing additional academic coursework at Buxton University in the United Kingdom. He also did a post-graduate programme at California State University.

Career

Uba worked for the majority of his professional life in the United States. He worked at Golden State Mutual Insurance, California, between 1985 and 1992. He started a network of medical clinics around the United States with his staff. 

Politics

Uba returned to Nigeria just before the restoration of democracy in 1999. He was appointed by President Olusegun Obasanjo as his Special Assistant on Special Duties and Domestic Affairs. He served as an important staff member in the Presidency as he acted as the President’s gatekeeper for those wishing to speak with him.

As the Obasanjo administration got set to bow out in 2007, Uba contested for the office of Governor of Anambra State under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He won the election and was sworn into office. However, the incumbent governor, Peter Obi, challenged the conduct of the election. The Supreme Court, the country’s highest ruling court, declared on 14 June 2007 that Uba was unfairly elected as the tenure of Obi had not elapsed. The court ordered him to vacate office immediately.

Uba, therefore, became the shortest governor in Nigeria’s history as he was in office for only 17 days, from 29 May 2007 to 14 June 2007.

Ahead of the 2010 Anambra Governorship election, Uba defected to Labour Party in 2009, following an invitation extended to him by the party. He confirmed his switch to the LP on 31 December 2009, saying: “Labour is my natural political home.” He, however, lost the 2010 governorship election as he finished in a distant third position.

Election as Senator

Andy Uba talking in the senate house

For the April 2011 elections, Uba was nominated as the PDP’s candidate for the Anambra South Senatorial district after rejoining the party. This time, he smiled as he won the election ahead of the candidates of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the incumbent senator, who was the candidate of the Accord Party.

Despite challenges by Senator Ikechukwu Obiorah, the incumbent lawmaker defeated at the poll, over the election result on the grounds of the former presidential aide’s educational certificates, Uba was pronounced as the lawfully declared winner of the election. He served as the senatorial district’s representative for two terms, as he was re-elected for a second term in 2015 and bowed out of the Senate in 2019.

Third attempt to become Anambra Governor

Uba attempted to be governor of Anambra State for the third time in 2021. After a chaotic primary process, Uba was elected and certified as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC). 

For the umpteenth time, however, Uba could not dislodge the candidate of the ruling party in the state as he lost to Professor Charles Soludo, the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Controversies

Uba was sued by Oranto Petroleum in 2016 for refusing to repay a N50 million friendly interest-free loan that was given to him. The former senator for the Anambra South Senatorial Zone responded to the report by claiming that Prince Arthur Eze had donated the N50 million to his 2015 election campaign rather than lending it to him.

However, an online news website, Nairametrics, reported in 2022 that a court in Abuja had ordered the confiscation of Uba’s vehicles over the debt owed to Oranto Petroleum Limited. Reports surfaced online of members of the court’s execution unit and police officers, who stormed the Anambra-born politician’s home in Asokoro, Abuja, and seized the senator’s Jeeps. 

His Abuja home was besieged by several Heritage Bank employees, who staged a protest in 2021 over alleged debts they claimed he owed the bank.

Andy Uba brothers

Uba has two brothers namely: Chris Ubah and Senator Ugochukwu Uba. Chris Uba is popularly known as the acclaimed godfather of  Anambra politics.

Andy Uba net worth

The is no official estimation of Uba’s net worth. He is, however, known to be substantially wealthy, thanks to the chain of successful businesses he has established in Nigeria. An informal estimation of his net worth is put at over N20 billion.

Family 

Andy Uba and his wife

Uba is married to Pastor Faith Vedelago. The couple has two children.

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