A group, Association for Greater Anambra State, through its leader, Comrade Obidike Izuchukwu, has called on the State House of Assembly to institute a probe against the Governor, Willie Obiano, for embarking on a 15-day trip outside the country without officially informing the state.
The group which noted that such action is a slap on the integrity of the electorate, said it was an abuse of office. During Obiano’s absence, his deputy Dr. Nkem Okeke, and the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Dr. Uchenna Okafor, were both also not available.
Izuckwu, in a reaction to the absence of the three top political office holders of the state at the same time, said the lawmakers should sanction the governor for wasting tax payers’ money in the process. However, various state officials have risen in defence of their principals.
Officials of the House, who spoke with Sunday Telegraph, explained that the Speaker travelled to visit his wife and new born baby after members had gone on recess. At the office of the Deputy Governor, a source, who confided in the paper, said: “What is wrong in the Deputy Governor traveling in view of the load of work he faces every day? And don’t you think that he needs to rest?”
Commissioner for Information, Chief C Don Adinuba, contended that at no time was Obiano not in charge, adding that people now work from home in this era. He said: “I must tell you that the governor is in charge and he can work from home and you know that we are in the era of working from home and also we have several communication devices that the governor can use to interface with any member of the cabinet.
“So there is no cause for alarm and I wish to make it clear that it is not everything that must be an issue. The opposition will always cash in on anything just to get relevance.” Sunday Telegraph, nevertheless, learnt that the Secretary to the State Government, Prof Solo Chukwulobelu, is directing affairs of government.
But in a twist, it was learnt that the alleged absence of Obiano may not be unconnected with pressures from gubernatorial aspirants across the three political parties in the state who ostensibly asked the gover- nor to name his price and hand over the ticket of his party to them.
A strong contender from the All Progressives Congress (APC) had approached the governor to be the anointed candidate. Also, from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), two aspirants have allegedly sent emissaries to some aides to the governor to water the grounds for them to enable them have an audience with Obiano.
Among those pencilled down to be approached on behalf of the potential contestants include the deputy governor and the Speaker of the House, who the aspirants believe have the ears of the governor. The aspirants have in the past two months been meeting with the leadership of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and allegedly promising huge sums of money for whoever would get the governor’s attention.
But according to feelers, Obiano may not have still escaped from the desperate aspirants as some of them are said to have taken their lobbying to the United States of America where he allegedly travelled to. While the lobbying lingers, the political rivalry between the Nnewi political bloc and the Old Aguata Union is getting messier, following clandestine meetings by the two groups to secure the gubernatorial seat which has been zoned to Anambra South Senatorial Zone.
It was learnt that the Nnewi community has raised over N5 billion for any of its sons that would be endorsed as their choice for governor at the moment and has resolved not to allow Aguata to take the seat. “We have been meeting and it is not a child’s play. So far, we already have about N5 billion and expecting more. We lost it in 1999 when our brother ABC Nwosu, who won the PDP primary election, lost it to Chinwoke Mbadinuju who later became the governor of the state,” a source at the meeting volunteered.
“This time, we are ready to go and we are going to have it and no matter whoever the Aguata Union is presenting, we are equal to the task.” When contacted, the Chairman APGA, Anambra South Senatorial District, Chief Titus Anigbogu, told Sunday Telegraph: “I am not aware of any rivalry between Nnewi and Aguata and come to think of it, we are all from Anambra South Zone and what is paramount is for the three political parties to choose the south.
“On the issue of lobbying, no aspirant has approached me and I wish to urge members of our party not to fall for the overtures of these desperate politicians who may have something hidden to execute and they would certainly use insiders. “It is expected that such moves will be happening now and that is politics for you but when an aspirant gets to this level, we need to watch it before it is too late.
“The governor himself is calm and calculated and cannot be pushed around by anybody. As a matter of fact, the gubernatorial seat of Anambra State is not for sale and nobody can buy both the ticket of APGA and the governorship seat of Anambra State.