How I fell Apart With Obsanjo As Governor of Anambra State- Mbadinuju

 Former Anambra State Governor, Chinwoke Mbadinuju in an interview granted  explained the problems he faced as governor and why he had issues with former president, Olusegun  Obasanjo.

Mbadinuju said, ”The first ground for probable impeachment was one incident which took place during the presidential campaign. Former President Obasanjo was in Anambra for the presidential campaign in 1999 and donated N500, 000 to the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party. Perhaps, he wanted to assist in the electioneering campaign.”

”The then presidential aspirant Obasanjo, made his donation through his bosom friend, J.S P.C Nwokolo. As leader of the party in the state, I handed the Ghana Must Go bag containing the said amount to campaign leaders with the instruction to share the money equally between the state, local government and ward executives. I was shocked when Nwokolo later alleged that I only released part of the money to the party. My explanation detailing the ratio of sharing to him and considering the fact that my Odera Campaign Organisation spent over N800 million for the party and my campaign with a sizeable amount still left in the kitty. I knew better soon afterwards, because Nwokolo went behind and misrepresented facts before Obasanjo.”

”I don’t know how Obasanjo reacted to the information given to him but for the next six months, after our inauguration as governor; I was denied access to the Presidential Villa and could not for that number of months see Mr. President even for routine consultations on matters affecting Anambra state. This was the situation on ground which was added to the crisis in the House of Assembly. This probably explained the uncommon interest the Presidency had in the case of the Anambra State House of Assembly. In the heat of the commotion, the Presidency dispatched a presidential plane with the then Speaker, Salisu Buhari, to explore the possibility of facilitating my impeachment and the declaration of a state of emergency. With faith in God none of the plans they hatched against me succeeded because the Speaker from Abuja reported what he saw objectively.”

On other issues which affected his relationship with Obasanjo, the former Governor said, ”At the inception of my administration, I received a request from the wife of the President, Stella, concerning a family friend of hers, who retired from the state civil service. The request was that I should help pay the man his pension and entitlements. I was quite amenable to do so. Unfortunately, this was delayed because the payment was being awaited from Abuja. In the process of waiting, the man was involved in a fatal road accident and he died. The Nigerian first family was infuriated and this unfortunate coincidence further separated me from the Presidency.”

”Their reasoning was that if I had paid the man earlier he would not have died without his pension. I had no comment on that as I am not God to determine the time and season of life and death.”

”As if this was not trouble enough, after the renovation of the Government House, which was mysteriously gutted by fire on my assumption of office, I invited dignitaries from within and outside the state to commission it as part of the projects commemorating my first 100 days in office. I also invited Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu to cut the tape and commission the structure. This move was misunderstood by Abuja as some people thought I did not sufficiently carry along the party leaders. Some complained that bringing the Ikemba Nnewi into a PDP programme was trying to revive the Biafran connection. But my primary purpose was to draw him closer to the PDP. Sadly, my plan didn’t work out as the Ikemba Nnewi afterwards joined the All Progressives Grand Alliance.”


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