BY ENYIM ENYIM
ONITSHA—The face-off between Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State and a governorship aspirant for the 2014 governorship election in the state, Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah, deepened yesterday as Obi’s recent distribution of vehicles to traditional rulers came under attack by Ubah. Governor Obi gave vehicles to each of the traditional rulers in the state to assist them.
But Ubah in a statement by his Director on Media and Publicity, Mr. Afam Ilouno, described the gesture as a ‘Greek Gift’ with a political undertone.
“Governor Peter Obi has suddenly woken up to recognize and respect the traditional institution by giving them vehicles after more than seven years of his administration. Ubah said: “These vehicles are the statutory rights of these royal fathers and they should have been given two vehicles each before now”.
According to Iloumo, Obi’s gesture is propelled by the recent visit of the traditional rulers to one of their illustrious sons, Ubah, in Lagos, where on departure they were given transport money back to the east.
The visit of the traditional rulers to Ubah, it would be recalled, caught the wrath of the governor who, on their arrival, ordered them to return the transport money to Ubah, threatening that any of them that failed to comply with the directive would be de-robed.
But the traditional rulers unanimously disobeyed the governor’s directive and rather chose to wait for the worst to happen which, however, was translated to the new vehicles that was recently given to each of them by Obi’s government.
Political observers opined that Obi’s action was predicated on his fears that Ubah was becoming too popular and may scuttle his plot to instal a governor that would succeed him come 2014.
Afam said: “The motive of Governor Obi giving the vehicles to traditional rulers almost at the end of his administration is well known to Anambra people.
“It is aimed at currying the favour of traditional rulers and people of Anambra so that he will have a leeway to instal a governor for Anambra State in 2014.
“Governor Obi should know that his antics and political gimmick would not work this time because the people of Anambra have vowed to resist any form of imposition of a governor on them.”