Posted by News Express | 2 June 2013 | 4,210 times
The controversy surrounding Chief Victor Umeh’s alleged wish for the death of his (Anambra) State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, deepened yesterday afternoon as two witnesses stepped forward to confirm the News Express story even as Umeh swore that he never said he wished Obi had died in a plane crash.
News Express had yesterday morning reported sources present at a dinner in the Ukpo country home of Engr. Arthur Eze in Anambra State, South-East Nigeria, as saying that Umeh, factional Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), publicly said he regretted why the Arik Airlines plane carrying Governor Obi and more than 100 other passengers did not crash when it had problems on Tuesday.
Umeh, who has been locked in a bitter battle for the control of APGA, reportedly said that if the flight to Asaba, Delta State, which encountered inclement weather that made it to return to Lagos and finally managed to land after several hours, had crashed, Obi’s death would have taught a lesson in the transcience of power.
Responding to the story, Umeh told News Express: “How could I have said that? I am a Christian Knight and will never wish anybody death! It is a blackmail handiwork of Mr. Obi’s Media Assistant, Valentine Obienyem. Recall that a similar story was planted in the Internet two weeks ago that I was with Nigeria’s First Lady in her bedroom where I sought her to help me win my matter at the Court of Appeal prompting the First Lady to issue a denial of the story. Obienyem uses someone that goes by the name Oderaigbo, an Internet hacker based in China, to blackmail Obi’s perceived opponents for a fee. I consider the story childish. It shows how desperate Obi’s camp is and can stop at nothing.
“I wish to say that I never said anything like that and wish Obi to live forever if possible. Obi’s people should look for better ways of shoring up his plummeting public image.”
However, two prominent Anambra citizens who were present at the dinner in Arthur Eze’s house expressed regret at Umeh’s denial, insisting that he did indeed publicly say he wished the plane crashed and Governor Obi died.
One of them, Chief Ben Obi, told News Express: “Umeh cannot deny that he said he wished Obi had died in the plane crash. It is true that he said it.”
Chief Obi related how he arrived for the dinner when Umeh and others were already seated and eating. “I joined Umeh at the table where he was sitting, cracked a joke and took a piece of meat from his place and was eating. I was the first person to whom he said it. He told me that the near-plane crash was God’s way of warning Peter Obi. Arthur Eze was very angry and asked why he should wish another person dead. All of us condemned him. I can swear with anything in this world that he said so.”
Also speaking with News Express, Chief Cosmas Muoneke said he clearly heard Umeh wishing Governor Obi dead during the dinner. “May be he said it as a political statement but it is a very bad thing for anyone to say and we all condemned him,” Muoneke said.
•Photo shows Chief Umeh.
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