Soludo Sent Thugs After Me - Akunyili, U Were Warned - Source

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San Francisco, July 19, (THEWILL) – Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Communications, Professor Dora Akunyili has alleged that former central bank governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo sent hired thugs to disrupt the funeral ceremony of her late sister, Mrs. Gloria Uzoamaka Ezenwanne and embarrass her guests in Isuofia, Anambra State over the weekend.

Professor Akunyili said in a statement that Professor Soludo, who contested and lost the Anambra State gubernatorial election has blamed her for his failure in that race.

THEWILL gathered that guests were in shock when thugs stormed the venue and started dismantling tents hoisted by Professor Akunyili while the church was still in service.

Akunyili wrote in an emailed statement to THEWILL, "I came down to my village to join my family, relations and well wishers to pay my last respect to my late sister Gloria but unknown to me, my family and invited guests, a large number of thugs loyal to Prof. Charles Soludo were carefully organized to disrupt my participation in my sister’s burial ceremony".

" I have never seen the number of thugs I saw on Friday in any event. The thugs were also instructed to embarrass my invited guests. As you may be aware, Prof. Charles Soludo is marrying my late elder sister’s daughter Nonye".

"So we are in-laws, but since he lost the last gubernatorial election in Anambra State, Prof. Soludo has singled me out as the source of his failure to win the election, and he convinced my sister to believe that I was the cause of his failure. All efforts by people to make him understand that I alone cannot make him Governor have failed".

"So he brought that anger, grudge and frustration to the burial of his mother in-law who is also my elder sister. All arrangements made by me and my other siblings to receive guests at Isuofia, where my late sister was residing (which is also Soludo’s village) were vandalized by Soludo’s hired thugs. They followed this up with text messages of blackmail to my guests, friends and well wishers".

"When the environment in Isuofia became too insecure, tense and hostile, I quietly relocated to my father’s compound at Nanka which is few kilometres away just to avoid trouble. But Soludo’s thugs also trailed us to my own village Nanka to commence trouble but the security agents quietly dismissed them".

"I want to remark that my late sister Gloria was a very peaceful, Godly and well brought up woman. While she was alive, I enjoyed her love and friendship as a sister no matter what Soludo and his hired thugs think. Because of this, even in death, I will do nothing to dishonour her because what Soludo and his thugs has done is to dishonour her but God has taken control".

" I therefore wish to thank all my invited guest for their understanding and the church for their prayers".

But a source familair with the matter told THEWILL that Professor Akunyili did not tell it all in her statement. "Dora and her sister were not on speaking terms for many years before she passed. Their estranged relationship started while Soludo was still in the CBN as Governor," the source said.

The source added that the sister's immediate warned Akunyili to stay away from her funeral in Nanka but instead, Prof. Akunyili tried to hold her own gig in their family compound.

Soludo, however shot back at Akunyili describing the allegations as "laughable."

In a statement by his media assistant, Bonaventure Melah, he said, "In the first place, it was Prof Soludo and his wife that were taking care of Madam Ezenwanne while she was sick. They were also the ones that took her to London for proper medical attention for the period that she endured illness until she passed on.

"All arrangements for her burial/funeral were made by Prof. Soludo and his wife in conjunction with the members of Ichie Emmanuel Ezenwanne’s (her husband’s) immediate family without any input from Dora Akunyili.

"Is it not laughable then, to suggest that a person who took care of the late woman while she was alive as well as planned and executed the burial/funeral arrangements would turn round to disorganise it?

"Prof. Akunyili made efforts in her usual desperate way, to disrupt the programme but failed.

"One of the most remarkable attributes that stood Prof. Soludo out during the electioneering campaigns was his vehement opposition, rejection and condemnation of all forms of thuggery and acts of violence."