By Dennis Agbo
FORMER Governor of old Anambra state, Senator Jim Nwobodo has asked Elder statesmen, Mbazuilike Amaechi to respect his age and keep quiet on his (Amaechi) consistent attack on him (Nwobodo).
Nwobodo and Amaechi have recently engaged themselves on war of words following Amaechi’s comment that the South East Governors were weak in their duties. But Nwobodo in defense of the governors stated that the governors were agile to their constitutional mandates, a statement that prompted Amaechi’s further attack on Nwobodo.
Responding to Amaechi’s personal attacks on him, Nwobodo, on Monday, said he would rather advise Amaechi as an elder statesman than respond to him and asked him to refrain from inciting Ndigbo against their governors. He however asked Amaechi to keep quiet and hold his peace.
Nwobodo said: “Mbazulike Amaechi 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 favor 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 don’t even know what governance is, so he should please keep quiet and hold his peace. He is talking about inconsistency; it is him 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 south eastern president, in alliance with the north only. The president must be in alliance with the north east, 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 Mbazulike Amaechi, 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 seem 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 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.
“Mbazulike 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 build 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 Obasonjo, 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.”
Probably, angered by Amaechi’s attacks, Nwobodo went further to say: “I challenge Mbazulike Amaechi should tell Nigerians one thing he has done for them, one thing he has done to Ndi-Anambra, one thing he has done to 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 Onogo and others and 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 thing I did for his village, Ukpor, in Anambra, in Enugu and in Ebonyi. He is just a rabble-rouser. A man at 90 years should not talk the way he talks. He talking as if he is 30 or 40 but I respect age.”