Less than four weeks to the Anambra State governorship election, there are fears that one of the leading candidates in the election, Mr. Ifeanyi Ubah, may be running out of cash to successful prosecute his ambition.
THISDAY checks revealed that Ubah, who was the first among the aspirants to hop into the fray with an elaborate declaration early last month, was completely broke and searching for avenues to raise funds to complete the race slated for November 16.
But a source close to the Labour Party (LP) candidate has dismissed the insinuation and described it as absolute baloney concocted by the opposition to diminish the growing profile of the governorship hopeful. The source said such mudslinging would have come from no other quarter than the camp of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
However, investigations revealed that Ubah's campaigns which started with great momentum had begun to lose its steam as he seemed to lack adequate fund to sustain the tempo while other candidates are intensifying their campaigns.
It was gathered that the cash crunch which has hit the oil magnate was because those he had thought would sustain his cash needs were gradually turning their back on him. The situation is said to be so bad with the Ubah campaign that funds for mobilisation and publicity are difficult to come by.
Not unaware of the situation which poses great threat to his ambition, Ubah was said to have made frantic but unsuccessful efforts to pump in more money to re-energise his campaigns.
One of the steps allegedly taken, it was learnt, was an attempt to raise about N1billion from the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), which had taken over his company, Capital Oil and Gas Limited. AMCON had two months ago taken over the management of Ubah's company following his inability to service loans running into several billions that he obtained from banks.
An AMCON source revealed that the request was turned down by the corporation and the development is believed to have further slowed down the oil magnate's campaign.
While Ubah has not yet relented on his ambition, observers have attributed his financial woes to naivity, exuberance, extravagance and needless spending that have so far characterised his campaigns, having started a bit too early.
"You cannot imagine that while they have not actually campaigned effectively to woo Anambrarians who live in the state and who are the real voters, he (Ubah) has continued to go to Lagos and even America for campaigns. While he does that, a lot of money that would have been useful for his campaigns here is wasted. Or wouldn't you say that is wastage?" queried an Anambra-based politician who pleaded anonymity.
Sources close to his campaign organisation claimed that most of his advertisements and other publicity needs were being executed on credit with another huge debt profile waiting to haunt him after the election.
But the source which defended him said Ubah who was still basking in his showing at the governorship debate in far away Florida, United States, had visibly changed the political gear along with his supporters, urging more people to join in the effort to build a better future for the state and her citizens when they speak for a positive change with their votes on the election day.
“There’s just one month to go until Anambrarians cast their ballots and choose their next governor. It’s an important choice – one that will have a major impact on the future of our dear state,” Ubah once said, adding that “As I have travelled across this great state speaking to voters and listening their priorities for this critical election, one thing has become clear: they are sick of the same old political tricks and want a fresh approach.
“I want to bring the skills and expertise I’ve developed while building a successful global business, and put them to work for the people of my state. I have a plan to transform the state into an African business hub, and with your help, I will put that plan into action,” he added.