Obi, Obiano’s aides at war •N50bn contract award cited

Posted by News Express | 24 November 2014 | 4,734 times

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A senior aide to Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, has engaged in a big debate with an aide of Obiano’s immediate predecessor, Mr. Peter Obi, over the stewardship of the two men.

In the process, some interesting facts have been coming to light, including the revelation that Obiano, who assumed office last March 17, has already awarded contracts worth over a princely N50 billion. Obiano’s aides have lately been busy trying to convince the public that Peter Obi did not leave behind the amount he claimed in his handover notes.  

Obi’s Media Assistant Valentine Obienyem came under fire from one of Obiano’s aides, Uzochukwu Ezenwanne, when he wrote about the issue on his Facebook wall yesterday. We present below the exchanges between both men:

Valentine Obienyem: Please Think About This

1. Most Governors that recently handed over are quarreling with their predecessors on the actual amount of debt they left for them.

2. Governors that will hand over next year are trying so hard to borrow Billions of Naira from financial institutions, which will be bequeathed to their successors as part of the debt their states owe.

3. In the midst of this, the former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, without borrowing or raising of bonds in his 8 years as the Governor, even after he paid arrears of pension and gratuities of over 35 Billion Naira (and other related expenditure to defray the debt of the past) left over N75 Billion Naira (investment and cash), before he handed over.

What do we say to him?

Uzochukwu Ezenwanne (SSA) @ Mr Val, I still stand that Obi is the best we have had but am still wondering if he saved the so talked about 75billion. Nobody is comparing Anambra with Akwa Ibom but I only said Akpabio built a stadium worthy of talking about and I also mention Fashola building a wonderful bridge in Lagos. What I was asking is the brain behind saving 75billion naira for the incoming government when there are still a lot to do. Again U talked about clearing gratuities and pension and I want to say it is a big lie. I’m sorry to say this. But I’m aware that the retirees between 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 are yet to get their graguities and somebody is telling me he handed 75billion. It’s shameful to even say it. U want us to clap for him for doing that? Obi did call the retirees and in their front presented a cheque to the appropriate authorities that will clear the gratuity but I suspected fraud when some people started getting alert at the venue of the ceremony. Obi stayed on for about 2 months after that show of shame b4 handing over to Obiano but the cheque is still yet to clear for the remaining majority. I want Mr Val to prove me wrong on this issue.

Valentine Obienyem’s Assignment for Uzochukwu: Please find out and tell us if Obi really spent over N35 Billion Naira in 8 years paying arrears of pension and gratuities owed retirees in Anambra State. Go further and tell us any past Governor that has achieved the same. Go on further and pass verdict on that: Is it commendable or condemnable? What is this reference to America for? Odogwu was right, if the USA in spite of her wealth and almost assured subsistence is saving, why should we not save? All I am saying is that it is the poorer countries that are not sure of tomorrow that should save? If you think N75billion (cash and investment) is a lie, let those in the position to say so shout it now so that all necessary clarifications and possibly where the money is will be made public. Why die in silence? I do not blame you because you are not in a position to have the facts. You made reference to the University; do you want to know the revolution Obi carried out there? You mentioned stadium, bridges and all that as if Obi did not carry out all that. Come out very well if you have your facts; there is no need of circumlocution and speaking in tongues!

Uzochukwu Ezenwanne (SSA): Mr Valentine Obienyem kindly clear me on this! Is it not true that 2 months b4 Obi handed over, that he called the retirees and issued a cheque and some people got alert in the hall of the venue? Now what happened to the many that didn’t get the alert for their own @ the venue or why is the cheque yet to clear? I stand to be corrected! U announced how much U left for Obiano but U didn’t announce how much U are owing to contractors and the rest including gratuities and pensions! It would have been better for U to say U left 75billion and and 60billion debt! People talking about the countries that are saving! U didn’t tell us if they are owing pension and gratuities but U are quick to write that they saved money! U cannot be saving when U are holding people’s money! Chukwu Emeka Ezeife Okwadike did it and we all criticized him. Old men and women are crying for their money and U are handing 75billion to the next governor! That is complete rubbish and wickedness of the highest order. And anybody supporting such wicked act may it be so for U on ur retirement.

I haven’t seen the clearance I begged for! And I’m beginning to get angry that people are warning me in private to keep quiet and I don’t know why I must not say what I’m very sure of!

Valentine Obienyem: Uzochukwu, your reasoning is always flawed. You may not know, but I will gladly send Obi’s handover note to you if you request. In his 8 years in Awka, Obi never issued a dud cheque. In the handover note, it was clearly stated that 5billion was for certificates generated and payment of other debts. It was not part of the money left. Do you not know that the first act of the current Governor was to stop all issued cheques? Even those given to Churches for the continued rehabilitation of their schools. So, SSA, what are you saying? As at the time Obi left, he did not owe a single contractor; if you insist tell us who the contractor is. As for awarded projects that have not been executed, how can you count it as debt? It is left for you people to execute it or not. During Obi’s time, he completed all projects flagged off by Ngige and Mrs Etiaba, even those that were flagged off without mobilisation. Obi paid mobilisation for all the projects he awarded. So SSA, what are you really saying? Remember I asked you to confirm if Obi spent over 35billion in paying outstanding arrears of pension and gratuities in 8 years and tell us which govt. has equalled that record in Nigeria. Please look for other excuses for incompetence elsewhere.

Uzochukwu Ezenwanne (SSA): Mr Val, thanks so much for at least responding. My concern is that this cheque was issued 2 months b4 Obi left and is yet to clear. U can’t tell me the incumbent governor stopped a cheque issued 2 months b4 he came in. Why did that cheque fail to clear when he was still the governor? And again, pls can U break down that 5billion U said was meant for other debts? And I know about 10 contractors yet to get their money from Obi’s administration. U cannot award contracts when U are leaving office and tell me U are not supposed to mobilise them or even pay for it. Why did U award such contract? Was it meant to mount pressure for the incoming government! Again, I don’t know about any cheque issued to any church that was stopped. Maybe U can tell us the church and the school the money is meant for! I’ve always acknowledged that Obi is the best we have had but I’m still not clear on why he claimed to have handed 75billion when gratuities are still unpaid. He spent 35billion on payment of gratuities that he inherited from other governments but failed to pay for those that retired under his tenure! That is rubbing Peter to pay Paul!

Valentine Obienyem: Uzochukwu, SSA, certain acts expose us to the wickedness of men, which are in full supply these days. In the long run they will end up doing violence to themselves and not to Obi. This is going to be my last comment because obviously you have no point to make. Obi planned all the contacts he awarded based on money available. I know that more fresh contracts of over 50 Billion Naira have been awarded after that. You people were the ones telling Obi to award more contracts during electioneering, because everybody knew it was vital to winning election and strategically it was part of campaign. Obi resisted and awarded contracts based on money available and what he knew the state will sustain. Now you have turned round to start crying. I rest my case on this matter. Those following us will at least discern the truth from the argument thus far. As for gratutities and pensions, everybody is aware Obi cleared everything. The records are there.

•Photo shows Obi and Obiano.

Source: News Express

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