Posted by News Express | 22 October 2014 | 4,130 times
Immediate past Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, has dismissed the allegation by Nigerian Ambassador to Spain, Her Excellency, Mrs. Bianca Ojukwu, that he (Obi) betrayed her late husband, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, by leaving the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Obi was reacting to an interview granted Daily Sun by Bianca and published on Monday, October 20, 2014, in which she expressed shock and disappointment over the former governor’s joining of PDP. Bianca had said: “It is undeniable that Peter Obi made immense contributions to APGA. I remain proud of his achievements as Governor of Anambra State. His exit diminishes us, and many of his supporters and grassroots crusaders are disappointed and demoralised.”
Bianca nevertheless described Obi’s exit from APGA as a betrayal of her late husband and renowned Igbo leader, Dim Ojukwu, who she said had such great trust in Obi and his assurances that he would always stand by APGA.
In his reaction, Obi, who had so far ignored all comments made about his political decision, pointed out that Bianca Ojukwu is not a frivolous person and that her comments must be taken seriously moreso when she was the wife of his leader. He, howver, insisted that loyalty to a cause does not change with a change of platform, stressing that there has not been any change of principles on his part.
Obi said during the media interaction that he would not comment on the issue of his change of party again to enable him channel his time and energy alongside other well-meaning Igbos to work for the re-election campaign of President Goodluck Jonathan and the place of Ndigbo in Nigerian politics. He said: “Of all those who have spoken, and who continue to speak, on the issue of my leaving APGA, only Bianca spoke with sincerity. She does not fall into the class of those who are now displaying dated video clippings and presenting matters out of context for political reasons, without appreciating the sacrifice put into building the House they are now destroying.”
Continuing, Obi said: “I want to have it on record that Bianca was right when she reported my exchange with the Ikemba when he called me and asked whether I would leave APGA, after the events of Abia State at that time, when the Governor left APGA for reasons I believe to be genuine. On my own part, I got so many overtures for me to leave APGA when I was the Governor, I did not give in. I wish to reiterate that I am still loyal to our great leader, in terms of what serves the interests of our people and the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Everyone knows today that APGA is not what it used to be. My assurance to our great leader did not imply that I would be loyal to a platform that some people have resolved to turn into an empty shell without an inner core of shared values. I remain faithful to those values and principles our great leader asked me to stand by and defend.”
Obi insists that time would reveal whether the APGA of today is still propagating the late leader’s core principles. He said that he had seen enough of violation of what APGA stood for, and therefore cannot continue to stay in a place which had departed from the original course and where clearly he was not wanted.
Recounting the father-son relationship between him and Ojukwu, Obi said that he kept his promise to the leader and finished as an APGA Governor and helped to enthrone another APGA Governor. He also said he stayed with Ojukwu throughout his trying period and intervened in all possible ways to ensure that he was given a burial befitting for a leader and a hero.
Further, Obi said: “According to Mrs. Ojukwu, our political father, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, Ndi Anambra and Nigerians believed I was humble, hardworking, honest, good mannered, among others, and that I delivered on good governance. These were not primarily because of the political party I belonged to, but because of my belief that we must build a better society for our children.”
Obi said that Ojukwu advised him to continue supporting Jonathan for reasons which he Ojukwu made clear to him.
On his several discussions with Bianca, Obi said it was true that they discussed about APGA repeatedly, but that the last time he discussed with her in detail was after he, Obi, held a closed-door meeting with the leadership of the party and four venerated persons from Anambra State, after which he told Bianca that based on what transpired at the meeting, which those people understood, he had had enough and needed to move on.
“Like my leader and political father, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, who was bitterly criticised for ignoring the Zik-led Nigerian Peoples Party (NPP) to join the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) where he felt the interests of Ndigbo and the nation would be better served, I have moved out of a political party which in my own opinion had derailed. I have moved on to a place my contributions towards proper representation of our people would have the level of impact that would make Ikemba rejoice in his grave,” Obi said
The former Governor said that Bianca, whom he holds in high esteem, would later be in a position to judge the propriety or otherwise of recent developments in the party and his actions. He concluded that time will judge all “our actions accordingly.”
•Photo shows Peter Obi.
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