-From SUNNY A. DAVID:
The Presidential ambition of the candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi may have hit the rock as a prominent Igbo leader in Anambra, Prince Arthur Eze, reportedly disassociated himself from the ex-governor’s ambition.
Our correspondent reports that Prince Eze was said to have dropped a bombshell on Saturday, December 24, on the occasion of the 2022 Ofala festival of HRH Igwe (Dr.) Robert Eze, the traditional ruler of Ukpo in Dunukofia local government area of Anambra State.
According to our correspondent, Prince Eze was quoted as making an anti-Obi comment in the presence of Governor Charles Soludo, traditional rulers, women groups and people from different walks of life.
Prince Eze, who is a billionaire oil mogul was reported to have said that he was not part of Peter Obi’s presidential aspiration.
He said: “I warned Peter Obi to withdraw from this race but he would not listen. I told him plainly that I am not part of his plans. I told him to drop his ambition, and wait for next time.
“When he told me about his ambition, I asked him the States he thinks he can win in the West and in the North – he told me; but I was not convinced. I told him he cannot win; so that he would not waste his time and money.”
Pointing at Governor Soludo, Arthur Eze, whose nephew, Prince Emeka Eze, is the flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Aniocha, Njikoka and Dunukofia Federal constituency, continued:
“This is the person we are tipping to take over as Nigerian President of Igbo extraction in the time to come. We have a Presidential candidate that we are supporting now. After his tenure, he will hand over to Soludo as President.”
However, a women’s group, Umuada Igbonine Home and Abroad, whose members were present at the occasion, expressed shock at Prince Eze’s comment, describing it as one made under an influence.
Igbo women frown at Arthur Eze over comment on Mr. Obi The Group, which spoke to newsmen through one of its Leaders, Dr. (Mrs) Ndidiamaka Ojukwu, said that she was surprised that Prince Eze would make a such remark concerning Obi.
She said: “Prince Arthur Eze that I used to know does not speak carelessly. Though, one is not surprised because, his senor brother son is in the race, under another party platform.
“If he would support another party, his nephew will be affected negatively. I believe, and believe strongly that Anambra, Igbo and well-meaning Nigerians, irrespective of the State of origin or religion, will support Peter Obi to the fullest.”
Also, a traditional ruler from one of the communities in Anambra Central Senatorial Zone, who would prefer not to be named, described Eze’s anti-Obi comment as a very bad omen for the image of the business mogul, and the image of the Igbo people.
He said: “You see, this is why people say that Igbo people are not united or that Igbo people hate themselves. When prominent Nigerians from various tribes and religions are supporting Mr. Peter Obi and Labour Party, why should this man talk this way in public about Obi?
“Anyway, he is entitled to his personal opinion. His opinion does not reflect the sensibilities of Dunukofia people it is not the opinion of Anambra or Igbo people.”
CAPTION: Prince Eze with Governor Charles Soludo and others at the 2022 Ofala.