By Vincent Ujumadu
AWKA – SPECULATIONS have continued to trail the recent resignation of Mr. Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu (Jnr) from the cabinet of Governor Peter Obi.
While some people in Anambra State say it has to do with the on-going crisis in the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), others insist that he resigned for personal reasons as contained in the letter he submitted to the government.
Until his resignation which was made public on Thursday, Ojukwu was the commissioner for special duties and transport. He was also saddled with the responsibility of overseeing the activities of the state Environmental Protection Agency (ANSEPA).
The appointment of Ojukwu jnr, who is not a politician, was a kind of compensation for his father, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, the presidential candidate of APGA in the 2007 election and national leader of the party. To date, there has not been any known misunderstanding between Ojukwu and Governor Obi.
In fact, when Ojukwu visited the Government House in Awka early this year during which he endorsed Obi for the ticket of APGA in the 2010 governorship election, he commended the governor for finding his son, Emeka worthy to serve Anambra State.
For the past one year, Ojukwu jnr was known to be complaining to close his friends of his desire to resign from the cabinet due to stress. Perhaps due to the way the issue was likely to be misinterpreted, he continued to tally along, grudgingly. That was even before the additional responsibility of handling the affairs of ANSEPA was given to him.
The nature of the work at ANSEPA entailed that he worked round the clock to ensure the cleanliness of the state, especially the urban cities of Nnewi, Awka and Onitsha.
Though the monthly environmental sanitation had been on in the state, it was Ojukwu jnr that started effecting its strict compliance and monitoring the exercise on monthly basis in Awka and Onitsha, But it was obvious that the rigours of that exercise were so much for him. It was gathered yesterday that he also once hinted to the governor of his intention to resign, but government appeared to be mindful of the likely interpretation of such an action. Eventually when he resigned, many people are seeing it from different angles, depending on who was discussing it.
Coming at a time the ruling APGA was experiencing so much problems, Obiâ€™s political opponents are already exploiting the situation. For instance, it is being interpreted in some quarters that because he is from the same town, Nnewi as the deputy governor, Dame Virgy Etiaba whose relationship with her boss, Governor Obi has been suspect since the governor returned from an impeachment; there were speculations that Ojukwu might have shifted his loyalty to the deputy governor.
Ojukwu could not be reached yesterday to clarify the situation as his telephones were not picked. However, some of his former staff insisted that his resignation had no political undertone. â€œHe had always wanted to resign as a result of stress, but some of his colleagues in the state executive council were the ones urging him to stay,â€ a staff of the ministry of transport said yesterday.
Governor Obi had, after advising his commissioners and special advisers to either sit up or resign last week, said that some of the commissioners appear to be experiencing some stress due to over work. Indeed, political watchers wondered why the governor should issue such a directive at this crucial period when campaigns for next yearâ€™s election had almost begun.
Unfortunately, the first person that heeded the governorâ€™s directive was Emeka Ojukwu whose father, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu is the arrowhead in APGA.