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When Lying against Obiano Backfired, Eye Witness Account

By Francis Igbokwe, reporting from Awka
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A poorly hatched plan to smear the governor of Anambra State, Chief

Willie Obiano went awry midweek when the general public was informed

that the photographs of a private jet captured on the tarmac of the

Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu which were earlier published

as images of the aircraft the governor had chartered for a trip to

Abuja were actually pictures of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s

private jet. I was at the Akanu Ibiam Airport in Enugu that morning

and witnessed it all.
While I waited for my Arik Airline flight to Abuja that morning, I saw

Valentine Obienyem, the media aide of former governor Peter Obi

snapping away with his camera at the parked aircraft while his boss

performed airport formalities with the visiting former Vice President.

Some eagle-eyed airport security operatives detected and accosted

Obienyem. A mild drama ensued between him and the operatives,

attracting attention but it was quickly resolved. However, moments

later, images of the aircraft flooded the social media from APGA

Alaigbo with a story that Obiano had chartered the jet for his trip to

Abuja. The story which ran under the heading “Obiano still chartering

flights” alleged that Governor Obiano had just flown out of Enugu with

13 aides in the private jet which those of us at the airport at the

time could still see parked on the tarmac while governor Obiano waited

for the same Arik flight to Abuja in the VIP Lounge. The story further

claimed that Obiano had spent $15,000 to charter the private jet that

would take him to a scheduled meeting in Abuja with some northerners

then concluded with the usual attacks on the governor’s person and

achievements. I was horrified to read that. It suddenly dawned on me

that most of the stories I had read on Facebook and elsewhere by APGA

Alaigbo may have been written by Valentine Obienyem. The dubious story

about the private jet was fabricated to create the impression that

Obiano was wasting money on chartered flights in the midst of

recession. But Obienyem and his sponsors had failed to think this one

through and created a terrible mess out of it.
As a journalist from Anambra State, I was horrified to see first-hand

and for the first time, the web of lies that Val Obienyem and his

internet boys have been weaving around my governor which I now deeply

regret that I had believed all along to be true. I am one of the many

Anambrarians who erroneously follow APGA Alaigbo on Facebook thinking

that his stories which are always critical of governor Obiano were

factual and true. But I felt gutted and disgusted that morning when I

noticed how Obienyem had cleverly framed governor Obiano up with a

totally false story that was made believable by the fact that the

governor was at the airport that morning and that there was a private

jet on the tarmac. I felt pity for the governor who has been

repeatedly cast in bad light by “clever” people like Obienyem and his

colleagues in an attempt to turn the people against him. I felt even

greater pity for him as I watched him boarding the same aircraft with

me from my window seat that morning while the private jet that he was

accused of hiring was still parked on the tarmac.
Indeed, after watching that sordid airport drama by Obienyem, I

decided that I would not forgive myself if I failed to write what I

saw and share with my fellow Anambrarians and other Nigerians before

it is too late. I personally think that Obienyem and his boys are

trying too hard and have gone too far in their efforts to frustrate

Obiano’s second term bid. I also think that creating such a

controversy over former Vice President Atiku’s aircraft is tasteless

and cruel. I learned that the Vice President had landed in Enugu on

his way to the 5th Nnamdi Azikiwe Annual Lecture holding in Awka that

morning. The former Vice President deserved more respect from his

hosts than Obienyem and his boys had accorded him with the noise over

his aeroplane. I am therefore not surprised to read somewhere that

Atiku had raised a very strong objection about that maltreatment to

former governor Peter Obi who is strongly believed to be sponsoring

the appalling activities of Obienyem and Stanley Chira who is the man

behind the mask known as APGA Alaigbo. If you ask me, I would advise

that our people should avoid a scenario like this because it does not

dignify us as a state that prides itself as the Light of the Nation.

As a concerned citizen of Anambra State, I also think that the time

has come to tell our former governor, Peter Obi to leave his successor

alone. It is no longer hidden that Obi is the one sponsoring the

endless campaign of calumny against Obiano for almost two years now.

Like so many Anambrarians, I had doubted this for a very long time

thinking that attacks on Obiano were fair criticism until I saw

Obienyem’s disingenuous airport drama last Wednesday morning. It

became clear to me that Obi is desperate to force Obiano out of the

Governor’s Lodge in Amawbia for reasons that many believe have to do

with his personal ego. It is said that Obi wants to show that he alone

decides who should rule Anambra State after him and how long each

ruler will rule.
I am personally horrified that a Papal Knight like Peter Obi who likes

travelling to Rome very often and taking pictures with Catholic nuns,

finds it impossible to forgive our governor even after he had tendered

a public apology to him before the dead body of their former principal

and fellow old boys in Onitsha in August this year. I consider it

ironic that Obi’s public rating rose recently after a famous public

speech on governance but he is busy trying to destabilize the

government of his home state which he helped establish.

I have followed politics in my home state for some time and I know

that people don’t always play by the rule. However, I am riled by the

fact that Obi who was distracted for a long time when he was governor

and even suffered impeachment has now become the most consistent

detractor of his successor, deploying his media aides to go after the

governor and create obstacles that will prevent him from his plan to

develop Anambra State from where Obi had left it almost three years

ago. My dear Anambrarians, I don’t know what to make of this. That is

why I decided to write what I saw at the airport that morning. I think

that governor Obiano is a victim of Peter Obi’s megalomania!

Francis Igbokwe can be reached at [email protected]

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Francis Igbokwe, reporting from Awka and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."