By Chioma Gabriel, Dennis Agbo & Chimaobi Nwaiwu
Former governor of the old Anambra State, Senator Jim Nwobodo, has reacted to Mbazuluike Amechi comment on his politics saying the elder statesman should respect his age and keep quiet.
The First Republic Aviation Minister, Amechi, had said; “I do not think I personally take Nwobodo seriously in Nigerian politics because most of the trouble we have in Nigeria between the North and the Igbo have a touch of Jim Nwobodo,”
But reacting, Senator Jim Nwobodo, said he would rather advise Amechi as an elder statesman to refrain from inciting Ndigbo against their governors but to keep quiet and hold his peace.
“A man at 90 years should not talk the way he talks. He is talking as if he is 30 or 40 but I respect age.”
Nwobodo said: “Mbazuluike Amechi said he doesn’t take me serious and I was his elected governor for four years. He came to see me as his governor on several occasions for one favour or the other and when he looks around his town, he will see my legacies in Ukpor.
“Yet, he doesn’t take me serious? Something must have gone astray. I don’t believe he is the same person saying this.
“He had neither contested nor won an election before in his life, not even councillorship. He has not governed before in his life and doesn’t even know what governance is.
“So, he should please keep quiet and hold his peace. He is talking about inconsistency; it is he who is inconsistent. On one hand, he wants an alliance with the north and on other hand, he wants the governors to fight the north and the Inspector General of Police in order not to be seen as weak.
“Is that how the presidency of Igbo extraction would be achieved? Yet, Mbazuluike wants to be taken seriously?
“He wants an alliance with the north to the exclusion of other parts of Nigeria; the south west, south-south and the middle belt.
“When I talked about a president from the south-east, I meant a Nigerian president from the south east and not a southeastern president in alliance with the north only.
“The president must be in alliance with the northeast, north-west, north-central, south-west, south-south and south-east.
“Mbazuluike said I was inconsistent because I brought Awolowo to re-unite with Zik in my house. Is Awolowo not one of the foremost Nigerian leaders?
“A highly respected leader, who governed the old western region, with legacies that contributed to what south-west is today? Now Mbazuluike Amechi is already dividing Nigeria by talking about Zik and Bello alone, forgetting that the leaders then were Zik, Bello and Awolowo. This view is his alone and does not represent the views of the Igbo.
“Mbazulike seemed to be ignorant of what happened in the second republic. I never contested for governorship nomination with Chief C. C. Onoh in NPN; it was Dr Alex Ekwueme and Dr Chuba Okadigbo who contested for the governorship of old Anambra State with Onoh in NPN, and Onoh won.
“Chief Onoh contested the larger Enugu Local Government election with my elder brother, John Nwobodo under non-party basis and my brother won.
“Mbazuluike has never governed before; he does not understand what governance means, so he is not qualified to speak on governance.
“He is ignorant of how parties were formed, so he does not understand what happened and I can forgive him. He was meddling with Club 19 that was supposed to metamorphose into NPP.
“He could not achieve it and could not fund the party until T O S Benson and Chief M.T Mbu invited me to take over the Club 19. I funded it with my personal resources and built it up into a political party and that was how NPP was formed.
“He is now calling for a meeting of both APC and PDP leaders from the south east in his home town at Ukpor where he would sit down in his bedroom and select an Igbo President for Nigerians.
“I don’t know how many Nigerian Presidents were selected in one man’s bedroom. This is what he is working on. And this is the man who wants to be taken seriously.
“APC and PDP do not belong to the Igbo alone and are not the only parties in Nigeria. He claims he is going to start making contacts to achieve Igbo presidency.
“Was that how Presidents Obasanjo, Ya’radua, Jonathan and Buhari became presidents? Yet he wants to be taken serious.
“I have respect for age but Mbazuluike should please speak like an elder. I would not talk about this issue anymore and would not want to join issues with him. I have made my points and they are verifiable.”
Nwobodo went further to say: “I challenge Mbazuluike Amechi to tell Nigerians one thing he has done for them, one thing he has done for Ndi-Anambra, one thing he has done for Ndigbo and I will name one hundred things I have done for the Igbo. In all his life, it has been I want to bring this side and the other side, yet none of them succeeded.
“How can one be failing all the time? There is nothing he did that succeeded. It was the three governors that he was insulting that brought Zik and Shagari.
“Where I led the negotiating team, Paul Unongo and others got what we got and that was what gave us our golden era. Mbazuluike was not in the show at all. He has never been in any show that succeeded.
“All those following Mbazuluike should be careful because he is now trying to derail our chance. You want President and you are talking about fighting?
“You don’t get presidency by fighting, by calling people names. He has never succeeded and that’s the man that wants to get President for Ndigbo.
“Let him name one thing he has done for Ndigbo and I will name many things I did for his village, Ukpor, in Anambra, in Enugu and in Ebonyi. He is just a rabble-rouser.