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*Who Is Afraid of Governor Peter Obi?
By Mike Udah
I refer to a news story deliberately planted in many newspapers. According to this story, His Excellency, Mr. Peter Obi, CON does not deserve a Zik Prize because, he has, to quote the very story “obvious hatred” for the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe.
The story goes ahead to say that Governor Obi has a vice-Presidential ambition come 2015, an ambition which, according to this newspaper “is now pushing him into doing all sorts of things, including the abomination of acquiring a Zik award”.
To buttress Governor Obi’s alleged hatred for the Zik of Africa, this report goes further to state that “in his six years as governor of Anambra State, Obi has never visited the famous Inosi Onira residence of the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe in Onitsha, which is now a shodow of itself”.
Nothing can be farther from the truth than the foregoing fallacies and assumptions. For starters, there is no such body as Igbo Integrity Vanguard, to which these allegations were attributed. A cursory search will reveal this easily.
It is the myopic view of one person who has a special phobia for Governor Obi that was deliberately published by hired reporters who were simply driven by their desire to line their pockets.
How can any sensible person claim that Governor Obi hates the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe? Does that person know how many Anambra State functions organized by the governor which were attended by the widow of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Prof. (Mrs) Uche Azikiwe? For the records, Prof. Azikiwe is a member of Anambra State ’s Elders’ Council constituted by Governor Peter Obi! The late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe was honoured post-humously at the 20th Anniversary of the Creation of Anambra State held on 26th August, 2011. Could a Zik hater do these?
Governor Peter Obi had spoken out about the Zik’s Mausoleum: he mentioned this when he led a delegation of elders and Chiefs to Abuja; he has on innumerable occasions inspected the failed portion of road in front of Zik’s Inosi Onira Retreat even though this is part of the Federal road stretching from Bridgehead, Onitsha which the Federal Government is gradually working on following the governor’s entreaties.
Anyone who has been following Governor Obi’s activities since 2006 when he became Governor of Anambra State, will gladly agree that he “is an Onitsha man” at heart in all senses of the word even as his parents hailed from Agulu in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Not only was he born and brought up in Onitsha, the Governor is a member of an Age Grade in Onitsha where those born within the same period as he belong. He has literally transformed Onitsha – rehabilitating several roads; striving to revitalize the Nkisi Water Works and tackling the erosion menace there; getting the Federal Government to become more serious with the repair of kilometer zero to kilometer five (from Bridge Head to Upper Iweka), etc.
In further expression of his love for Onitsha and her people, Governor Obi is planning to relocate to the city where he is building a five Star Hotel and convention Centre even as the gigantic Sab-Miller Brewery which he attracted there is working hard to start operations in July.
The truth of the matter is that some people are afraid of Mr. Peter Obi that at the mention of his name, they develop instant fever, and whenever he is honoured, they go bunkers! Has this young Governor announced to anyone that he wants to be Vice-President of Nigeria? Why pre-empt or second-guess him when he is smarting from the splendid burial honours accorded Eze Igbo Gburugburu, the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, a unique burial which could not have been possible without his efforts? What role did this Igbo Integrity Group play in the burial of Ojukwu? What other Igbo causes has it fought?
This ‘shoot-him-down project must stop’. It was dead on arrival, to use the phraseology of these hirelings. Peter Obi has already excelled in several ways and no amount of unfounded allegations, innuendos or invectives can bring him down. This man – Peter Obi – has rewritten Nigeria ’s political history as the first man to sack an incumbent governor illegally sworn-in by the enemies of progress. He did this in 2006. He is the first governor to regain his seat after an illegal impeachment was slammed on him in 2007; He is the first governor to prove a gubernatorial tenure must last for four years; first governor to be made an Adviser to the President of the country; first serving Governor to be made a member of the country’s Economic Team. Haba! Can’t these jealous fellows see that they are fighting a lost battle?
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Anambra State
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