Moving to another political party is a legal action under the Nigerian constitution and it is in no way a crime morally or otherwise.
Over the years, many politicians have moved from one political party to another.
In 2014, Chief Olufemi Olu-Kayode, a vehement critic of the then PDP administration under GEJ defected from the APC to the PDP in what came as a surprised to many. Friends in the PDP lauded his actions and today celebrate him openly on the social media.
The former deputy governor if Rivers state, Tele Renner Ikuru also left the APC to the PDP after months of joining his then principal, Chibuike Amaechi to APC. His move was celebrated among the PDP folks.
Many also moved from the PDP to the APC and vice versa.
Now the second point: supporting a candidate outside your party.
During GEJ, Peter Obi of then APGA and Olusegum Mimiko of then Labour party both supported GEJ who was in PDP. Their support was open and vehement even before they officially moved to the PDP afterwards.
In the last US elections, the Bush's family did not support Donald Trump, the republican candidate even though themselves were staunch republicans by birth and association. So did many other reputable republicans who rather pulled their weight on the democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton.
Back to the issue of Dr Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah.
Rumours has it that he recently joined the APC from the PDP, which is rather distorted going by facts on ground. Assuming it to be true that Ubah has joined the APC, then it will be factually distorting to conclude that he left the PDP for the APC. The daring truth is that Ubah has never actually been a member of the PDP. Ubah ran for governor of Anambra state as a Labour party candidate and has never officially left the Labour party till date. Ubah only supported GEJ via the establishment of TAN and spent his personal funds for GEJ's campaigns. No records whatsoever shows Ubah ever received funds from anyone or the PDP out of the N25b personal funds he spent promoting GEJ. This is also verifiable. The PDP only acknowledged his undeniable capacity shown during the GEJ campaign era.
So should it be verified that he has truly left for the APC, then he would have left from the Labour Party to the APC and not from the PDP to the APC. This is a fact that can be verified!
Why my support for Ubah irrespective of party affiliation will remain unfettered:
I met Ifeanyi Ubah about four years ago as an IT Consultant and Social Media expert. It was supposed to be business as usual. But what was meant to be a business relationship became personal friendship for some reasons.
Ubah is kind and companionate:
One event in 2015 stunned me immediately after GEJ lost the elections. I had a friend whom i had brought from Port Harcourt to work with us in TAN. He is a software developer in my team back in PH. Immediately after the elections, he confided in me that his wife who had just given birth and the baby had issues that needed them to undergo surgical operations abroad as soon as possible. He needed funds and did not have enough personal savings. He needed almost N5 million for medical trip to India or more to the US.
I was confused. I didn't know how to present this to Dr Ubah knowing that he just lost over N25b campaigning for GEJ who lost in the polls days back. It was not a good time to approach anyone in his state of mind for any help whatsoever.
I have worked with countless politicians from my school days especially in Imo state where i did my first degree. As SUG secretary-General and later national president of the Niger Delta Students' Movement (NDSM), I worked with three governorship aspirants in Imo, I was close to Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu and some other big names in Imo. I was so connected to most of them that when i held events as a student, the events witnessed sitting ministers and governors attend or send reps to the event.
It made most of my mates then think I already had a secure future.
The annoying fact is we were only useful to them when they needed us. Once they lost the elections your calls went unanswered and your text messages un-replied.
So when this instant of seeking help from a man who just lost so much money campaigning for GEJ came, I was confused. But i needed to take steps to help my friend and his new baby. So i approached Dr Ubah with the pictures of the baby. He was actually on his way to Lagos with his entourage waiting at his Maitaima mansion. I disrupted him and showed him the pictures of the dying baby.
He immediate leaped in surprise and asked my friend: ' Is this your baby?' and he nodded yes. He then turned to his accountant and ordered, "give him every assistance he needs. If he has no Visa to travel already, call our Visa guy and tell him to get them visas cos this is an emergency." These instructions were followed to the letter and gladly my friend and his family are alive and happy today even as i type. He probably would get to read this but for privacy sake I cannot disclose who he is here.
I was shocked to my bones. Such kindness among politicians are rare. Note this was not for political reasons or for show-fare. Infact, this is the first time i am making this public.
That day I told myself, this is man that deserves my loyalty.
Ubah does not descriminate:
See, I am not Igbo. 60 percent of people who work with him are not Igbos, even those who are Igbos are mostly from other Igbo states and not Anambra. It took me working for more than two years before he even knew where I was from and did not care. Ubah sizes you only by your intellectual capacity to deliver on set goals and not your tribe nor religion. Not even party affiliations. He is a fan of any young minds that are innovative.
Ubah Is Innovative:
Sometimes, i send him just a whatsapp message of a technological idea I have and he will respond: ' do your research, get your facts right and come for a presentation let's see how we can support it.'
This is the kind of leader we need in Nigeria and not those who think your ideas are worthless. Not those who think youths are only useful as electoral touts but those who believe in the power of your innovative minds.
Ubah bought over Gabros FC and renamed it FC Ifeanyi Ubah and in less than a year the club is already the club to beat in the Nigerian local league. With a resounding chain of fans never before seen in our local football, FC Ifeanyi Ubah is on the lips of every football lover when ever football is mentioned in Nigeria.
Winning the the FA Cup to represent Nigeria in the continental leagues, Ubah went a step further of others to strike a partnership deal with UK based WestHam United FC setting a record as their first West African partners (See West Ham website for proof). The partnership deal billed to project the Nigerian football to the international level, as usual, is focused at given young talents enrolled in the Ubah Football academy the opportunity to compete with their contemporaries in Europe.
Dr Ubah is not a-know-all leader. He understands that no man is an island by himself. He listens to everyone. You need to see his meetings. He does not segregate among hierarchies. He invites everyone, gives you a sense of belonging and then says, "Guys we need to think out solutions, innovative solutions."
Ubah is a follower of his followers:
By intellect or academic qualifications, I am no where close on the ladder of people that work for Ubah. He has lawyers, doctors, engineers name them but he cares for everyone no matter your supposed hierarchy.
Dr Ubah reads my post on Facebook. He follows everyone that has links to him. When you post that you are sick, he calls to know how you are fairing.
He is not the kind of leader that detaches himself from his people. He follows daily conversations and feels their heartbeat. He shares in their pains and joy.
What else can one ask of a leader?
Ifeanyi Ubah is not a sadist. He is aware that as human we all have shortfalls. Hence, when you err before him, there is always room for amends. He hardly throws out anyone who is ready to amend his ways and progress.
This attitude also translates to his political stands. He lost to Obiano yet supported his government vigorously and helped develop Anambra state without reservations.
We need men in power who will always know that the interest of the people comes first before their personal interests!
Ubah thinks of the poor first:
What many do not know about Ifeanyi Ubah is that he was not born rich. He was born into a poor family and worked his way up by sheer hardwork and dedication. He never forgets his roots.
He often says " If the only thing I will achieve is making my people comfortable, then I have lived a fulfilled life."
In 2015 after GEJ lost and Nigeria was hit by a sudden fuel scarcity that was obviously politically orchestrated by oil marketers who wanted to frustrate the government of Buhari, Ubah could not bear the sufferings of the Nigerian masses. He saved the situation by releasing millions of litres of petroleum products from his Apapa reserves at government approved prices. His action brought the scarcity to a halt in 24 hours after lingering for weeks. Ubah thought of Nigeria first before personal interest, Ubah placed the interest of the poor masses before that of a fee greedy and selfish rich marketers and saved Nigerians from untold hardship.
Look at all his projects, he gets his people involved. His games village in Nnewi could have been cited in Awka or Onitsha but he took it down to Nnewi so the poor of the poorest can benefit from it. He ensured that even though the project was designed and supervised by international professionals, the job was actually done by the skilled people of Anambra. He ensured they were trained on the new trends of technology needed for the construction and later absorbed and engaged through out the project.
His #FootballMadeInAnambra project is targeted mainly for poor families. Billed ton produce 50,000 young soccer talents, he makes admission into his football academy seamless for everyone. You do not need to know Mr. A or Mr. B to be a part of it.
How else can grass root empowerment be described?
I recall an instance when we started TAN. We had this girl on the TAN that shared every post we made. She was so active everyone noticed her. One day, Dr Ubah said we should call her up to work with us. We contacted her on Facebook and discovered she was in Lagos. She was invited to Abuja and provided an immediate accommodation. That was how she joined our team till date. This is a story many people working with him today can testify to.
Another instance was when we had to close the TAN project. We all gathered at our office in Lake chad, Maitaima for a closing get together. Then Dr Ubah shocked everyone. We were all appreciated for doing our jobs for the 16 month we spent on it.
The main shocker came when he handed over car gifts to some people who only joined us 3 months to the end of the campaigns.He lauded for their courage and tenacity.
Like I said earlier this kind of gesture is hardly seen among our politicians especially when they just lost an election.
Little wonder Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah's chain of loyal followers is unending.
The Anambra Ticket:
If I was from Anambra state, I would fast for Dr Ubah to declare for the governorship race.
Ubah's passion for his home state is unparralled. For him, the development of Anambra is not negotiable. It is something he is supporting even as a non-public office holder. His human capacity development projects are visible within the space of his state and his determination to do more is unwavering .
I think we need young energetic and innovative minds like Dr Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah in leadership in all level of our political strata.
I challenge anyone to come up with names of politicians who are in the likes of Ubah to do so and help him or her earn my respect. Sincerely, we all know they are few amongst us. The political scene is littered with self-seeking and self-centred leaders who careless about the people they lead.
As we weaver to bring that to be, Anambra behold your son in whom you are well pleased, Dr Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah!
....To be continued.