BY CLIFFORD NDUJIHE, Dep. Political Editor
FOR the sake of equity and moral justice, Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Inter-Party Affairs, Senator Ben Ndi Obi, has backed the quest of Anambra North Senatorial District to produce the next governor of Anambra State in 2014.
However, he urged that such a candidate should be someone, who could double the achievements of Governor Peter Obi because “Anambra must move forward.”
In a chat with Vanguard, Obi, who paid glowing tributes to departed elder statesmen, Chief Hope Harriman and Dr Olusola Saraki, challenged leaders of Anambra of North to lead the crusade and present their First Eleven as other zones would not fold their arms and wait for the zone.
On the intrigues heralding the coming governorship election in Anambra, he said: “The election is in 2014 but the party primaries will be next year. So politics in Anambra will come to the front burner from early next year. One thing I can say without any fear of contradiction now is that we have to move the state forward.
Governor Peter Obi is doing his best. We need somebody who will come and double the efforts of what Peter Obi has done. How he has managed that I can’t tell. He has been chairman of the South-East Governors’ Forum for over five years. It does not seem to me that the South-East governors’ forum wants to change him. So he must be doing well and satisfying them.
“We hope and look forward to a replacement that will also allow peace and tranquility to reign in Anambra. He has been very urbane in the way he has governed the state without any confrontation with any political leader, which in the past was not so.
The Anambra people must come together this time, screen whoever will be his replacement to the extent we can only but move forward and not pull the hand of the clock backward.
Anambra North quest
Asked his view on the quest of Anambra North, which has never produced the governor, to produce Obi’s successor, Senator Obi, who hails from Anambra Central said: “There is a good case for Anambra North no doubt but they themselves have to be the ones to champion the cause and call of moving in that direction. The other two zones are not going to cry more than the bereaved. They must try and bring out their First Eleven and the other zones will look at it.
“There is no rule that says it must be Anambra North. It is on the basis of moral justification that we are talking about that. There are arguments for and against and all the arguments put on the table are equally valid. It is just for the moral justification that we say, ‘okay we agree with you but let us see who and who you are parading.’ In this business, people are not folding their hands and time is of the essence.”
Harriman’s death is a big loss
The demise of Chief Hope Harriman is a very big loss not only to the people of Warri or the Niger Delta region but in fact the whole country. Chief Harriman represents one of the finest cultured Nigerian people; metropolitan character; a very interesting bridge builder; a completely detribalized Nigerian, a jolly good fellow. He did not know the barrier between the young and the old.
He mingled with the old as much as he mingled with the young. He was always ready to advise and guide the young ones. I recall my last visit to Lagos, he came to see me. When I woke and heard of his demise, I was really shocked because I have closely related with him for many years. My late mother was an Itsekiri princess and we were related so to speak.
I have known him for quite a while; he never changed for one day. So the country has lost a patriot, a man whose presence is always felt whenever he is around. You cannot find Chief Harriman in any gathering and not know he is there. He had style, he had character he had presence. We have lost a great soul. May the good Lord accept his soul in his bosom.
How he met Harriman
Like I said my late mother was an Itsekiri princess and my father was what we use to call PPO, provincial police officer, in those days in the Nigeria Police Force. He was in-charge of Warri to Sapele and all of that area.