Obiano Does Not Need To Be Distracted—Peter Obi’s Media Aide

By Mazi Odera

National Chairman of APGA, Chief Victor Umeh described the former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi as an empty bag.Obi's aide, Mr. Valentine Obienyem was in town with his Boss and he meet the Press on some pressing matters ,when it is obvious that his Boss will not be available to address the press.

Welcome back to Anambra State
Thanks. I have always been to the State with my boss, we come in quietly and leave noiselessly.

Life ouside Government ? Well I think it has been busier. I was lucky to serve a man who is adjudged to have done excellently as the Governor of Anambra State. We all are proud of him. Because he served so well to the point that institutions that worked with him are all trying to celebrate him, we are now busier travelling from one part of the State to another and from one part of the world to another.

In the last three months for example, we have been to the USA and the UK three times to attend the 69thUnited Nations General Assembly at which he spoke at one of the side events on the Post MDGs agenda, because he was the best Governor on mainstreaming the MDG in Nigeria. We also attended the World Bank Spring meeting. He also spoke in one of the sessions because they recognize his wizardry in financial management, one can go on and on.

Locally, institutions beg him to come and speak to them basically by way of sharing experience on what made him to succeed as the Governor of Anambra State. What is interesting is that most of this institutions offer to pay for his trip, accommodation and honorarium. He has often agreed for his transport and accommodation to be taken care of but not honorarium, on the reason that sharing experiences is a way of contributing to the progress of the country without demanding anything in return.

Of course he has other activities that occupy his time. He often solicit for assistances from institutions with which he assists Churches to set up faith-based revolving microcredit schemes and for the rehabilitation of schools, especially those at the remote parts of the State.

His changing of platform ? As far as I am concerned, that is a non-issue. When has exercising ones right to association become a subject of inquisition?

Did you say betrayal ? We shall soon know who betrayed who. I have watched with amusement the wry humour some people have made out of it. Some are showing video, others visit Ojukwu grave to dance, other speak in tongues and I ask: are all these because one man decided to exercise his right of association? In fact, I celebrated the reactions, because to me, insofar as no defection had attracted such reaction in Nigeria or perhaps since the history of evolution of parties, perhaps excepting Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu joining of NPN, it shows how important Obi is in Nigeria. To have elicited such reactins means that the man is an institution, a colossus.

I sympathise with APGA people for crying and rolling on the ground on the loss of a man regarded as the face of APGA in Nigeria. The deduction is that since this man has left, APGA is as good as dead, but it is not like that. Being his own person, he left alone and that means APGA can still reinvent itself. Moreover, they should understand that he left APGA because he was not wanted and because the party had since lost track of its advancement because of the greed of one man.

The Chairman of APGA, Sir Victor Umeh said that Obi should not be called the face of APGA because APGA made him and not the other way round..

If Chief Victor Umeh wants, let him declare that the sun rises from the West and People will merely laugh at him because he cannot change existential truth by mere mortal pronouncement. Why worry yourself about what Victor says when the other 99% believes that Obi was the face of APGA in the world?

As for Obi making APGA or APGA making him, Obi has not thought along that line. It is Nigerians, based on what Obi did for APGA as a political party that submitted that he made APGA, so Victor's point is laughable as it is baseless.

Sir Victor even claims that he also contributed in making Obi. He exhibits the faults of garrulous people everywhere. When you encounter people that talk a lot, you will see that they do so without circumspection.

Before Obi went into politics, he was the Chairman of many quoted companies, including two banks. Obi succeeded in APGA not because of wolves like him, who are perpetually after their selfish gains, but because of his inherent character which his pedigree before he became Governor would attest to. Obi is good, Obi has character , he is humble and worthy of trust, he did not learn those virtues because he was an APGA member and will certainly not depart from them because he joined the PDP.

Each time Victor talks, his purpose is not to pass information, not to instruct, not to correct inexactitudes, but to diminish Obi. How can he say that APGA made Obi? Between him and Obi, who would we say that APGA made? The other day, I was in London with Obi and he was trying to park into one of his buildings in London from another one, he acquired both before he became the Governor. As we were going through documents, he showed me one document that contained the amount he used to secure Victor's first international passport for him and the one covering his first overseas trip. I know that his first car, a Mercedes V boot was bought for him by Obi's younger brother. I knew the two room apartment where he lived before he built mansions all over the place and is now living like a king. Gentlemen, you can judge who benefitted from what.

The man saying that Obi benefitted from APGA said it on tape that Obi was the greatest thing that had happened to APGA. He said it himself that without Obi's faithfulness, APGA would not have reached where it was. I remember the day he presented the Most Trustworthy Party Man Award to Obi, he said that if not for his consistency in going to court and fighting his impeachment that APGA would not have succeeded. Juxtapose it with what he says today and your only conclusion will be that the man is only guided by the dictates of the time and not by truth.

In his last interview, I even read where he chronicled what he did for Obi to return after his impeachment. I was at the centre of it all and I can tell you that the only man that believed in Obi was Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu. If not because of Obi's tenacity or if he depended on people like Umeh, he would not have come back. I remember during his impeachment, some people went to meet Victor and he told them that their brother was gone for good. It was when the first judgment restoring him was delivered that Umeh started to lean towards him again. I remember the day the Court of Appeal delivered judgment, I came back from Singapore that morning with Obi and had to use 7 am Sosoliso flight from Lagos to Enugu to be in court. The moment the judgment was delivered, Victor Umeh asked us to wait at Enugu that he would come there with Dim Ojukwu who was paying condolence visit to the Akpamgbos in Enugu-Ukwu. On a second thought, Obi decided to call Ojukwu himself, who asked him the wordings of the judgment. Obi told him the judgment said he should take over immediately and Ojukwu said if it was so he should start coming to the Government House. That was how he himself left, contrary to Victors own position, from Enugwu-Ukwu for the Government House and that was how Obi eventually was reinstated. So in all his travails, the only one man that followed him not dictated by lucre, was Ojukwu. In fact that was why Obi was touched over the lamentations of Ojukwu's, wife, Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu and decided to explain to her what happened and assured her that change of platform is not change of principles. That is also the reason why Obi said that he would not reply to any other person on the reasons for his leaving APGA, because others are not sincere at all.

The problem of APGA as a party
I think the problem of APGA is 90% percent caused by Chief Victor Umeh. He is not a good party man. APGA started dying the day he was made the Chairman. We wish Chief Chekwas Okorie continued. As mrs Ojukwu said, the dismissal of Chekwas and the enthronement of Victor is like chasing away cat to bring in the Tiger. And do you know one thing, Dim Chukwumemka Odumegwu Ojukwu saw this coming, because he was actually advising against the empowerment of Victor by warning that the party should monitor the “little tiger being feed with milk closely to know when it grows teeth” Look at the party and its history and you will discover that his idea about leadership of political party is to expel anybody that dare question him in any way. Look at the National Chairman of the PDP, he has been able to win those that left the party and even more people for the party because he understands what party leadership is. The man is like a chief priest, appeasing different gods with what they need. On the contrary, Umeh sees himself as a god residing on the Olympian that should be appeased by many chief priests member. This is why he always celebrates people leaving APGA.

When Obi was forced to leave the party, what Umeh said was that 7,000 others entered the same day. What is amazing and wicked about Nigerians is that why all attention are directed at Obi, nobody remembers those 7000 that Victor boosted he received into the party.

Victor is the problem of the party because he has not allowed internal democracy to work. He is the Chairman, the Publicity Secretary and all and all of APGA. When the party went to the National Conference, he was the delegate. As Chairman, he is also the Senatorial candidate. I mean, how can a party that tolerates such a circuit show survive? I am sure that deep inside him, he does not believe in APGA and whatever it represents, he is a nihilist who only sees APGA as a means of livelihood and of amassing wealth.

Because he is not contented, APGA would continue to lay on the ground under him.

Are you aware that the same Victor is contesting to be a Senator?

That one is not my business. If the people of Anambra Central, having known his character, feel that he is fitted to represent them, so be it.

One word on your Oga's successor, Chief Willie Obiano

No word on him. He does not need to be distracted.