Posted by News Express | 1 July 2017 | 4,214 times
Joe Martin Uzodike is a lawyer. A former Special Adviser to Chief Jim Nwobodo in the Second Republic, Commissioner for Information under Mr. Peter Obi, governorship candidate in the state, and the DG of Governor Willie Obiano’s Campaign Organization, he recently spoke to selected journalist on a wide range of issues. Excerpts.
Question: How would you describe politics in general?
Joe Martin Uzodike: Politics is simply a game, where the entire citizens decide which part they will play to make it worthwhile. While some prefer to be spectators, others opt to play in different wings or even keep the goal post. Those that decide to play are the active participants. The part they play is vital, because the joys of the entire team – players and spectators alike – depend on the performance of the players.
In effect, we all play politics, but those actively involved play vital roles, because by deciding who gets what they have the capacity to change the destinies of nations and States.
What part are you playing?
I have been an active player in the politics of Anambra State for some time now, as you can attest to from my background.
Even with your involvement in politics, you are also engaged in the legal profession. How do you manage that?
I am one of those who believe that the bane of our society is young men without experience trying to join politics in the mistaken belief that it is a permanent job. I am a legal practitioner, and having sponsored the education of my children, I consider myself in semi-retirement. I still maintain my legal office and attend to my several clients as well as investments-cum-interests in some other ventures.
Besides working for some administrations, I was the Public Relations Manager of Rangers International Football Club for many years. I have had a very busy schedule and now take my time in doing things, but always propelled by the desire for a better society.
As an active participant in Anambra politics, could you share with us its fine points?
Since its creation in 1991, Anambra State was unfortunate for many years because we did not have the benefit of a Governor that understood sustainable development. That was the main reason I contested to be Governor in 2003. But, frankly speaking, the fortunes of the State started to change for the better under Sen. Chris Ngige, especially in road-infrastructure. Sadly, the good fortunes were dampened by the immense damage the State experienced during his tenure.
When Peter Obi took over, it was like God had decided to wipe away the tears of the people of the State! For the first time, the State had as a true leader; one who understands the dynamism of management and applied himself becomingly to the challenge. He crafted Anambra Integrated Development Strategy (ANIDS) after the then Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and followed it religiously. He did not only face the construction of roads, but focused on other sectors simultaneously; and did well in each – infrastructure, health & social services, education, commerce & industry, environment, security, name it.
If he was that good, why did you contest against him?
At the time we all were contesting, I did not have the benefit of knowing him that well. If I did, I probably would have stepped down for him.
Why is that?
The man Peter Obi is a phenomenon. We all opposed him when he was contesting. Personally, I considered his campaign promises at that time as impossibilities. I took him for someone who, having lived abroad for many years was no longer in tune with the politics of the State.
However, I observed he was emphatic that Anambra State had enough resources to meet her development obligations. Among others, he talked about his strategic road construction programme; his vision on health care delivery; how he would use his goodwill to attract industries to the state.
To my greatest surprise, when he was sworn in as Governor, after protracted court cases, and was sworn in, he started implementing every single pledge in his manifesto. He reduced his convoy to 5 vehicles and moved without sirens. He started demonstrating clear understanding of what governance is and it was clear to everybody that he had come to serve and not to amass wealth for himself.
He started in a revolutionary manner, shutting down official guest houses kept for the Governor’s pleasure. He established a Ministry of Planning to give direction to the structural development of the State.
In assembling his team, aside from those appointed on recommendation or to satisfy political considerations, he had this special gift of identifying those that meant well for the State. He appreciated that my criticisms were genuine and prompted by the good of the State. When he invited me to serve in his administration, I accepted the offer because the trajectory of his mission was for the progress of the State and its people. I was appointed Commissioner for Information.
As his Commissioner, what are those things he did that you consider exceptional?
Most of the things he did were exceptional. Do we talk about the return of school to the Church which he backed up with grant of over 6 Billion Naira to them to put those schools in order? He started an unusual partnership between the Church and the State and today key hospitals owned by the churches are in wonderful states, example is the St. Charles Borromeo, Onitsha; Iyienu Hospital, Ogidi; Our Lady of Lourdes, Ihiala; Holy Rosary, Onitsha; St. Joseph, Adazi-Nnukwu; Diocesan Hospital, Amichi, among others. He bought vehicles from a Local manufacturer, INNOSON and distributed to all the schools in the State, to towns for vigilante services, and to traditional rulers. He bought over 30,000 computers, Generators, provided INTERNET connectivity, sick bays and money for improvement of sports to all the schools in the State.
In the area of industrialisation, besides INNOSON, which he helped to attract, he attracted SABMiller, Shoprite, Distell, among others.
Industrialisation was so dear to him that it was under him that the State had the first Industrial Policy, which included constructing roads to where industries are located. Thus, he built access roads to Curtix Cable in Nnewi, Onitsha Habour Industrial layout, Innoson plant, Orange Drugs facilities, Krisoral Group, Juhel pharmaceuticals, name them. He started and completed two major Business Parks in Onitsha and did a lot of things nobody has been able to do in the State.
Before he left in 2014, other global giants – Distell and Niemeth Pharmaceutical were already building their facility in Anambra. If he were around they would have completed them by now, but both stopped work since he left, for reasons nobody has told us.
Through Anambra Integrated Development Strategy (ANIDS), he worked simultaneously in all sectors and achieved maximum results in all. It was under him that Coscharis Couched farm and Novotech farm came to Anambra State. Masdevan farm, Urum started in his tenure and he offered them great assistance.
Before him, no health facility was accredited in the State, after he left, he was able to get 11 of them accredited, including two hospitals, Odumegwu-Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital and Onitsha General Hospital. Not just building structures, he equipped some hospitals and bough close to 100 ambulances shared to health institutions, he controlled erosion in Ebenebe, Nnewi, Ekwulobia, Umuchu, Obosi, Awka, among others. He not only started Independent power project for the State, he also purchased over 500 transformers shared to different communities. He rebuilt the College of Agriculture, Mgbakwu from a college with just one dilapidated structure to one with 15 structures. Without adding one block the present Government said it had changed it to a Polytechnic to be awarding HND, which off course the school has been awarding before them.
He reached out to Federal Government agencies and international partner groups and was able to get international organisations like United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Bank (WB), European Union (EU), United Nations International Children Emergency Funds (UNICEF), Department for International Development (DFID) to start working in the State. He attracted the Federal Secretariat under construction, the Federal Court of Appeal, Naval Outpost at Odekpe and many others to the State. He successfully negotiated the handover of the Federal Government-owned Omor Rice mill to Anambra State.
During Obi’s tenue, Corporate bodies donating heavily towards the programmes of the Government, example was the issue of security, where MTN, Diamond, Skye, Fidelity and almost all the banks donated vehicles to the State. In fact, since he left nothing of such has been attracted to the State. All we hear is MoUs being signed every day. Out of over 60 MoUs already signed, not one is fully operational. Most of their operations ended in government given them land.
It was under Obi that Permanent secretaries, Directors, Judges and many categories of senior worker got official vehicles.
He also built Judges’ Quarters/judicial offices/new courts complex in Awka, Onitsha, Ekwulobia, Nnewi, Ogidi, among others.
Besides visible work, he left other legacies. His public and personal life were examples that were universally acknowledged. Example is the issue of Security Votes, which he insisted would not be more than 4% of the State’s revenue, yet under him, excepting Lagos, Anambra State gave the highest support to the police in terms of patrol vehicles and logistics support. These are not mere propaganda, each time he donated to the police, one could see the things being donated and not now they will buy 5 vehicles for the police and call it 50. He was the only Anambra State Governor that has bought Armored Personnel Carriers and bullet proof Patrol vehicles for the police. He also bought patrol vehicles for the Navy, SSS, Army, Civil Defence, Prisons, customs, Immigration, NDLEA, Road safety, and all the towns in the State. I remember the former IG of Police, Abubakar Mohammed said that in Peter Obi’s last five years, Anambra State did not witness any bank robbery. It was also from his security votes that the sum of 1 Million Naira each was given to over 500 people that graduated with a first class in the State during his time. It was from that amount that he bought patrol vehicles for all communities and paid vigilantes of different towns. It was from that, that he paid social security to selected elderly men of the state.
Under him the tertiary institution in the state changed. He gave 100 Million Naira each and vehicles to them as part of the support from the State Government because they train the bulk of Anambra students. He also changed the face of state-owned higher institution. Using Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu as an example, he started building the permanent site of the university at Igbariam and attracted organisations, including the Central Bank to erect massive structures in them. His last act was the release of 5 Billion Naira to the school for continued infrastructure upgrade/building. This remains the only capital vote they have received since then.
I can go on and on the enumerate all he did that made him the darling of Anambra people.
Sir, how do we juxtapose what you are saying with what Chief Victor Umeh said about him?
I am not here to discuss Chief Victor Umeh. When a man has chosen not to commend the good in others but to denigrate them because of envy and jealousy, that is his burden to carry.
There are allegations by Chief Victor Umeh that….
(Cuts in) Please let us not discuss Chief Victor Umeh; I have followed him over the years and have long concluded that his obsession about Obi is not normal. Nothing we say about him even in the form of advice will bring him back to normalcy, so we better avoid him.
Sir, I do not think it is wise to do so, considering that your principal, Mr. Peter Obi, was the leitmotif in his three-part interview. Take, for example, he said Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu once threatened to slap Obi when he was still the Governor
Chief Victor Umeh was the man who benefitted the most from Obi, whatever things he said about Obi are unfortunate and the conclusive proof of himself as an ingrate. I know Chief Victor Umeh very well, both when he worked for Innosons’s brother, Chief Gabe Chukwuma. At that time, I was their lawyer and witnessed how Mr. Chukwuma humiliated him for reasons I will not disclose here. Out of pity, Chief Joseph Okonkwo (Ofiadulu) employed him as his Personal Assistant in his company – Havard Engineering and Construction Company Ltd. To let you imagine what Mr. Peter Obi did for him, let me reveal here that it was Obi who procured the first International Passport for him and took him to overseas. When he met Obi, he was living in a two-room apartment in New Heaven, Enugu, today he owns houses all over the world. In Zoo area of Enugu alone he owns many houses, including the place he lives now. I tell you all these things to show you why it is of no use discussing Chief Victor Umeh. See what he says about a man he should be perpetually grateful to for lifting him out of poverty.
As for his claim that Ojukwu threatened to slap Obi, the news is bad, very bad for Ojukwu. Ojukwu once went to war because the situation at that time made war inevitable, but apart from this, Ojukwu was a complete gentleman who respected authority. The Ojukwu we know would not have threatened to slap Obi. But, my brother, even if it was true, what did he want to achieve by saying it here? What is the purpose of that offensive? Have you not discovered that each time Obi comes to limelight Umeh and his group will go haywire, talking nonsense and buying people to talk nonsense about him? His interview came after Obi’s successful Second Platform appearance. So, envy can push people to act irrationally!
OK, he said the attempted slap was because Obi did not conduct local government election and he cites that as the reason he fell out with Obi, when everybody knows that the election was delayed because Obi, known for faithfulness to the rule of law, was waiting for so many court cases against the exercise to be done with. As the Deputy Chairman of the PDP in the state at that time, I was instrumental to one of the cases.
We are even taking it too far. Today Anambra Central senatorial election is delayed because of court cases. Would you, on the basis of that, start blaming INEC? Let it also be on record that in the case of Anambra Central, the delay was caused by Victor Umeh. After they connived to remove Sen. Uche Ekwunife, he wants to contest alone. When court decided everybody should contest, he went back to court to frustrate that. Tomorrow he will turn back and attempt to re-write history.
I read in the same interview, where the same man that said he quarreled with Obi over failure to conduct local government election justifying the present non-conduct of the same election in Anambra State. So you can see that the issue of attempted slap because of election was the transmutation of simmering envy to incredible tales.
If Ojukwu attempted to slap Obi, it means the hatred that led to such emotion was entrenched. If Umeh said that Ojukwu was aware that Obi achieved nothing in his first term, and went on to publicly request Anambra people to vote for him as his last wish, it means Ojukwu supported incompetence, which was never to his taste.
It might sound incredible, but the truth is that all the concocted stories of Obi’s wife filing a divorce, Obis’ children and town’s people disowning him, Obi donating land for religious project were all fabricated by his minions on social media. What for? It is tragic that a man does not know who is far ahead of him in social, economic and political ladder.
Sir, Chief Umeh said that Ojukwu was moved to say that because there was nothing on ground in Obi’s first tenure to guarantee a second term for him.
It is wrong, very wrong to say that. Obi took over government without any money in the treasury unlike his successor that inherited over 100 billion (including set aside funds) to start with. If you recall, at the time he was impeached, he had already saved billions for the state.
From day one, Obi started working and I can recount some of his achievement in his first tenure to prove that Chief Umeh was prompted by envy and not objective reality.
Immediately Obi took over, he completed the roads started by Dr. Chris Ngige, some of which are: Nanka-Oko bypass; Otuocha-Aguleri-Awkuzu-Ideani road (Ngige stopped before Aguleri junction); Owerri Ezukala-Umuchu-Amesi-Uga-Igboukwu (Ngige stopped at Umuchu) road; Iseeke-Awka-Etiti road – a total of about 13 roads inherited from Ngige.
Thereafter, Obi started new roads. In his first tenure, he had already completed 475 kilometres of road, which at that time had already made Anambra the state with the highest network of roads. Some of these roads are: dualisation of Zik’s Avenue, Awka; Awka Inner Ring roads; all the roads within Onitsha GRA; Awka road; Nkwelle-Ezunaka road; Aguluzigbo-Igboukwu road; Adazi-Obeledu-Oraeri-Igboukwu road; Agulu lake by pass; Awka-Nibo-Nise-Enugukwu bypass; Omor-Junction-Igbakwu-Ifite-Ogwari road, and many others. These roads cut across all the zones.
It was actually in his first tenure that Obi completed Odor, Ogbunabo, Otupu (Umeze Anam/Mmiata, Otaro(Aguluezechukwu), Aghomili bridges.
It was in his first year that he rebuilt all the structures burnt down during the mayhem of 2004. If you recall, President Goodluck Jonathan paid a state visit to Anambra State in 2010 and commissioned many projects during which Chief Umeh, who said Obi did nothing in his first year, was struggling with others to pose for a photograph with President Jonathan. It was during that visit that the President commissioned over 50 new vehicles for the police, making it a total of over 200 vehicles donated to the state police command at that time; over 100 new buses for secondary schools in the state; flagged off the distribution of 50 laptops to each secondary school in the state; commissioned the first library in the state since 1966; ASUBEB building complex; the first and second phases of Chief Jerome Udoji Secretariat complex, Awka; Ultra-modern state Emergency Management Complex, roads. It was during that visit that he commissioned first indigenous motor assembly plant in Nigeria owned by Chief Innocent Chukwuma (Innoson) in Nnewi as well as Juhel Pharmaceutical Company in Awka.
Talking about Obi’s achievements in his first tenure, at that time, in the health sector, the state was on the verge of having her first teaching hospital replete with all standard facilities and departments – it was 80% completed. The Obi administration had at that time facilitated the accreditation of Onitsha General Hospital after massive upgrade and was working massively in Ekwulobia General Hospital with the construction of the Accident and Emergency unit, Out-patient department, lab/x-ray department and maternity complex. Already the female and male wards had been constructed. The Umueri General Hospital was not left out since the male and female wards had been completed. Amanuke General Hospital’s out-patient block had also been renovated.
Massive reconstructions had been completed at the general hospitals in Umuchu, Osomala,Ukpor, Okija, Ogidi, Agulu-Uzoigbo, Enugwu Ukwu, Enugwu Agidi, Agulu, Oraifite and Umunze. Other achievements in this sector include recruitment of consultants in different medical fields, procurement of vehicles for mobile clinics in the rural areas, and introduction of Anambra State Health Emergency Rapid Response.
In education, the Peter Obi administration had revolutionised this long-neglected sector with the return of schools to their original owners in spite all odds. People like Umeh, rather than give him the glory, will say it was APGA’s policy. I hope what is going on in Anambra today will be called APGA policy at the appropriate time. Microsoft academies had been established in 105 schools with laptops as well as provision of internet services. More than 100 schools had benefited from laboratory rehabilitation and equipment programme of the government. Other interventions in the education sector by the Obi administration included provision of generators: provision of water boreholes; renovation and equipping of three technical colleges; rehabilitation and equipment of libraries in secondary schools; provision of VIP toilets in each of the 21 local government areas; commencement of prototype model classroom block at St. Monica’s Ogbunike; construction of new classroom buildings in almost all the primary and junior secondary schools in the state, among others.
For the first time the institution of government came alive in Anambra State. Workers whose salaries had been increased four times now work in comfortable offices located in one place courtesy of the ultra-modern secretariat complex built by the Obi administration, the first since the creation of the state. The Obi administration had equally made big impact in the areas of sports, commerce, industry, and agriculture.
Because of his achievements in all sectors, the Government of Mr. Peter Obi started project inspection tour of the state in 2009, whereby many segments of the society like traditional rulers, students, traders, stakeholders, Anambra people living in the USA came to see the projects Obi executed. It was on the strength of these achievements which made people like Dim Chukwuemeka-Odumegwu Ojukwu happy that Obi was elected for the second tenure. It was during his first tenure that Morocco Nwamaduka waxed a record, after joining one group on inspection, and called anybody that will govern Anambra in future to do so like Mr. Peter Obi. Intoxicated by Obi’s success, the great Ojukwu made the “last wish” request. The truth was that if Obi was not doing good, Ojukwu would have not called for his re-election as his last wish from Anambra people.
Sir, How do you manage to say all this by heart?
As one manning the Information Ministry, I was privileged to know all this off the tips of my tongue precisely because they were real, verifiable achievements.
As somebody who is close to Obi and Umeh, would you not use your position to reconcile both of them for the good of the state, considering how Umeh helped Obi to come back from impeachment, after helping him to regain his mandate in court?
Have you heard Obi said anything about Umeh? It is only Umeh that is having sleepless nights about Obi because of the depth of envy.
In order to justify what he does, he is claiming what I think only exists in his imagination. He even listed bearing witness in the Tribunal during governorship petition as part of what he did for Obi. I was reliably informed that, as he always demanded, he was paid handsomely for all the court appearances as a witness.
On the claim by Umeh that he made a lot of sacrifices for Obi to return from impeachment, I can tell you that the contrary was the case: he did all he could for Obi not to come back. Soon after the impeachment, so many groups, I know about five, visited him to find out what next; he told them that Obi was not worth fighting for and that he was gone for good. One group led by Arc Callistus Ilozumba went to see him only for him to start lamenting that in Obi’s six months that he gained nothing and that within one month of taking control, that HE Virgy Etiaba immediately bought a Prado jeep and Toyota Camry for him and his wife and that he would never support Obi.
Curiously, when the same group went to see Dim Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, having presented their case, Ojukwu stood up and started dancing majestically. He later explained that the dancing was out of happiness that nobody has told him that Obi was impeached because of any crime or for stealing, but because he guarded the treasury ferociously from wolves. Out of the happiness, Ojukwu said he had at last discovered one politician worthy in character to take over from their generation. Ask Ilozumba and he will confirm this.
The claim of his efforts for Obi to return from impeachment is imaginary. A person who vowed that Obi would never come back would not have done anything for him to come back. He is fond of twisting events to favour him. He fought against Obi coming back and only started coming near after the first judgment on the impeachment was delivered. The day the Court of Appeal returned Obi, he actually asked Obi to stay back at Enugu and that Ojukwu and himself would come down from Awka to meet them, it was when Obi got through to Ojukwu, realising Umeh’s double nature, that Ojukwu asked him to come to Awka immediately. But when he speaks, he will twist it that he was the one that asked Obi to start coming to Awka.
Ojukwu’s many encounters with Obi made him understand Obi very well. Let me give you one example. During Obi’s time, Ojukwu other APGA leaders and stakeholders met once in a quarter. Instead of taking the opportunity to discuss the progress of governance in Anambra State, Chief Victor Umeh turned it into Complaint Commission. He would, during the meeting, only be interested on how Peter Obi was supposed to buy houses for Ojukwu and himself in London and Abuja, while Obi would be struggling to tell them his progress on health, education, road construction, among others. At one of such meetings, Chief Victor Umeh kicked against the decision by Obi to be given money for the schools directly to the schools, saying it deprived APGA members of contracts. After one of such meetings, Ojukwu recalled Obi to Enugu, thanked him for his efforts in developing Anambra State and told him not to listen to those who are associating their greed to have houses bought for them in heaven to his own need. He said he needed nothing, but just the development of the state. Ojukwu had asked: “Houses in London and Abuja? Do I live in Abuja? What am I going to do with it? House for me in Abuja? For what? What I am going to do with them?” It was in that meeting that Ojukwu warned Obi to beware of the baby tiger (Chief Victor Umeh) he was feeding milk to know when it starts growing teeth.
Of course, the culmination of seeing and interacting with Obi made Ojukwu to have absolute trust in him, which gave birth to “my last wish” clincher that envious people are trying to re-interpret.
Sir, another important issue Chief Victor Umeh raised was the idea of tenure interpretation, which he said was first discovered in the constitution by him.
It is good he said something of that nature to enable readers see him for what he is. Was he a member of the legal team or what? Soon after Obi secured judgment in the tribunal, he complained to Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) that he would not have enough time to implement his programmes for the state. It was at that point that Onyechi Ikpeazu told him that he would get his full terms. Celebrating the victory in the church, Onyechi Ikpeazu even declared that fact publicly. Thereafter, the legal team discussed it and agreed. Surprisingly, Chief Femi Falana (SAN) made pronouncement on the same subject, prompting a public debate on it. As with him, once he got the information from the legal team, he went public and is now trying to claim that he was the one who advised the legal team about that constitutional provision before they went for it.
Sir, contrary to the news that Obi was asked to leave APGA, Sir Chief Umeh also said that Obi left APGA on his own. How true is it?
I have said it for the umpteenth time that Obi did not leave APGA, but was rather driven out.
If not because of Obi’s steadfastness there would not have anything like APGA today. Chief Victor Umeh simply saw the party as an object of merchandise. He used unsuspecting Ojukwu and Obi to remove Chief Chekwas Okorie. A complete party man, if Chekwas stayed in APGA, the party would have become a major force today. Look at where it is.
All along, Umeh used the party to achieve his selfish ends. Do you know that during the time of Obi, Chief Umeh contributed more than anybody in the appointment of commissioners? Three commissioners were his relations. He was fond of nosing around and once Tenders board considered any contract, he would go to the contractors and claim he facilitated it and would force them to give him some percentage. Most of the roads that had problem of quality and had to re-done like Esther Obiakor with spur to Ministry of Lands, Aguluzigbo road, Agu-Awka-Nibo, Nise-Enugukwu ring road were caused by him for the same reason. What is perplexing is that other stakeholders in Government wanted the best contractors for projects in their towns, but Umeh goes for the lowest in quality deliverance, so that he would make more money – even to his own people, he did not show love.
During the time of Obi, all the contracts reserved for party people were appropriated by Chief Victor Umeh. In 2010, APGA collected 1 Million from Local Govt aspirants and N100,000 from councilors aspirants. The total of the money collected were about 960 Million Naira, but Umeh agreed it was 650 Million Naira, today no trace of it could be seen, yet he handed over 40 Million Naira to Chief Victor Oye, his successor. I am saying this to show you the character of Mr. Victor Umeh.
Towards the end of Obi’s tenure, Chief Umeh announced that due to his great sacrifice for the party as nobody has done, that Obi would be made the Chairman of BOT and also the leader of the party. Nobody knew he was scheming for the last money he wanted to make from him. How else do we explain the demand of 500 Million Naira to organise a Convention and ratify the posts. If Umeh challenges this fact that he demanded 500 Million to organise a Convention, I will publish the papers to that effect. Obi, not given to reckless spending of money refused. I think they sold the same BOT Chairmanship and party leadership to Obiano who liked it. Now the problem was how to get Obi out of the way. Sensing danger, Obi resigned, but they wanted him out completely and rather than face the issues they went to three bishops to help resolve, they requested Obi should leave APGA for them to rebuild it. This happened on the 24th of August 2014. As soon as he left the party, following their demand, the money was released to them for their so-called Convention wherein Obiano was handed over everything about APGA by Chief Victor Umeh, thus elevated to a maximum leader – he is the Governor, APGA BOT Chairman and Leader all in one.
Now, when it appeared to them that APGA died by that singular act, they are turning around to lie.
Sir, having been an active force in the government of Anambra State, would you compare the Government of Peter Obi and that of Obiano?
This interview is not about Obiano. I have followed some people’s comments about him recently, including that of Victor Umeh, all intelligent people can decipher is that as election is approaching, people like Umeh are scheming how to be relevant and get some money from Obiano. All I can tell him is to beware of such people.
Some who are not getting are skillfully commending him or pretending to be on the verge of joining the opposition for them to be settled.
Obiano must note that as Obi got his second tenure, he can only get his on the strength of his work. Anybody telling him the truth should tell him that he has failed in terms of governance, in terms of projects executed. He must give the people of Anambra State his report card based on how he has grown the savings left for him, how he has completed inherited projects and the ones he commenced and completed as promised. He will tell Anambra people their debt profile and how the debts came about and what the money was used for. These are the things that should worry him and not the praises of people like Umeh, with eyes on the treasury.
There is no basis for comparing Obi and Obiano. Any day you are ready for that, I will be available, because we will do it sector by sector. Let me give few examples, what yardstick should we use to measure a man who inherited nothing and a man who inherited over 100 Billion Naira? How do we measure a man who met empty treasury and left billions with a man who as we speak has plunged the state into debt? How can we measure a man who, added to his bequeathal of over 100 Billion Naira also received billions from excess Paris Club refund? How can you measure a man who sponsored 179 people to the USA just to attend his daughter’s graduation and a man who would not engage in such recklessness for all the teas in China? How can we measure a man who stayed in Rockview hotel or Protea where the state paid discounted rate of less than N30,000 and a man who stayed in those hotels with him but soon after inauguration started staying in Transcorp Hotel, where the state pays over N700,000 per night for presidential suite? How can we measure a man who most of the time travelled economy as a Governor and a man who charters plane? How do we measure a man who did not get a piece of land and a man who owns choice land all over Anambra in three years? How can we measure a man whose security vote is not up to 20% of that of the man who today takes 1.2 Billion Naira as revealed by an Honourable member? How do we measure a man who used five-vehicle convoy and one that uses 30-vehicle convoy? How can we measure a man who attracted industries to the state and a man who could not even retain those attracted before? My brother, one cannot compare light and darkness.
Sir, finally, what can you say about Anambra State?
It will sound pathetic, but the truth is that the foundation laid by Obi is crumbling. Like Umeh said, all of us owe it as a duty to put our experiences in writing for posterity but not trying to dissimulate history as we have seen from his interviews.
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