Anambra Guber: Obi Of Onitsha Snubs Peter Obi, Willie Obiano, Others On Campaign Visit
The Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe appeared to have snubbed the campaign train of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA when they paid him a courtesy call in his Ime-Obi palace on Wednesday, before moving down to their campaign rally at the All Saints’ Anglican Church Catedral Field, Onitsha, Anambra State.
The APGA campaign team, comprising the National Chairman of APGA, Chief Victor Umeh; Governor Peter Obi and his wife, Margaret; the Deputy Governor of the state, Mr. Emeka Sibeudu and his wife; the the APGA Governorship bearer, Mr. Willie Obiano and his wife had gone to Achebe’s palace for a scheduled courtesy call but they discovered to their chagrin that Obi Achebe was not around to receive them in person.
However, the Ajie of Onitsha, Engr. O. C. Adibua, a member of Achebe’s cabinet who received the team briefly at the palace on behalf of the Igwe, told them that Achebe was not readily available to receive them.
A source from the palace told newsmen that Achebe was occupied in another engagement which could be more important to him than the APGA team, more so, when the team might have missed the time scheduled for the visit.
Another anonymous source hinted that the royal father was not happy with the manner with which Governor Obi single-handedly brought out Obiano as APGA’s flag bearer, after tasking the traditional rulers in Anambra North Senatorial District to produce a consensus candidate from the district for APGA.
The sour relationship between Achebe and Governor Obi over the handpicking of Obiano came to lime light last month when the royal father threw in the towel as the Chairman of Anambra State Council of Traditional Rulers, explaining that he had other more important assignments to attend to.
It was gathered that Igwe Achebe like other traditional rulers in Anambra North Senatorial District were slighted that after undergoing a rigorous search to pick Chief Chike Obidigbo as the consensus candidate of Anambra North, Gov. Obi made a last minute somersault on his earlier promise and personally handpicked Obiano, his fellow director in the Fidelity Bank and foisted him on the party barely two weeks to close of entries of governorship candidates by the parties.
Gov. Obi was said to have promised the people of Anambra North that he would be succeeded by a candidate from the zone. The zone through a group known as “Olu Na Adagbe”, chaired by Chief Shedrack Anakwue and an 18-man committee set up by Gov. Obi with Prof. Sylvester Anika and Felix Ekulide respectively as chairman and secretary, respectively, worked together to select and screen 14 aspirants across party lines and Chief Obidigbo was also chosen as the consensus candidate.
After the Committee’s recommendation, another committee of Igwes from Anambra North, including Igwe Achebe and Presidents-General of Town Unions in Anambra North, equally confirmed Chief Obidigbo as their preferred consensus candidate, but during the APGA primaries, the Governor was said to have splashed money on the delegates and requested them to vote massively for Obiano, a strategy which worked out as planned.
A source close to the monarch revealed that the Onitsha monarchs and other royal fathers are disturbed that after such a rigorous search for a credible candidate from Anambra North zone, Gov. Obi betrayed them and rubbished the entire process by foisting his business partner on the party.
Commenting on the development, a cultural organization, Ndigbo Voice, led by Dede Uzor A. Uzor, noted that if it was true that Governor Obi foisted Obiano on the people, after under going rigorous search and setting committees led by Achebe, then the governor was not fair to the royal institution.
Uzor however advised Achebe not to be too disappointed by the action or else people will at a stage begin to interpret his action as being partisan politics, instead of being neutral as a father to all and sundry.
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