Obiano Inherited N185b Debt From Obi, Says Umeh
• He’s Not Clarifying Issues, Obi’s Aide Replies
AHEAD of the November 18, Anambra governorship election, former National Chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and Director-general Willie Obiano Campaign Organisation, Chief Victor Umeh, said in Awka yesterday that Governor Willie Obiano inherited a whooping N185 billion from his predecessor, Peter Obi. Umeh alleged that Obi collected N50 billion as security vote for the eight years of his reign. He pointed out that all the claims by the Obi’s camp that he left N75 billion for Obiano were mere political talks, stressing that, in actual fact, whatever Obi left was in bonds, some of which would mature in about 2030 and bey ond.
On allegations that Obi demanded from Obiano the sum of N7 billion being monies he spent in making Obiano governor, Umeh said he was not aware of any such money or an agreement to that effect.
He absolved Obi of the allegation against Obiano over the money , saying that allegation is consistently coming from Obi’s aides. Umeh also tackled the All Progressives Congress (APC) national chairman, John Odigie Oyegun, for making unguarded statement about APC capturing Anambra state in the Nov. 18, 2017 poll.
He described Oyegun’s comment as undemocratic, reckless, inflammatory, intimidating to the citizens of the state.
Umeh said: “We’ll make our campaign issuebased, because APGA has a good market to sell. The success of Anambra is embedded in APGA. Our party has a character that is not found any other place; the character in allowing an elected governor to work without interference.”
In a swift reaction, Obi’s media aide, Mr Valentine Obienyem, in a statement made available to Theguardian yesterday said that Umeh has failed to clarify issues, but was only interested in dragging Obi into it.
Obienyem said: “Recently, a House member said it publicly that Obiano collects 1.2 billion Naira per month as security vote and his wife collects N240m as well. Since then, Anambra people have been seeking explana- tion. As with their master so are his followers. Rather than Chief Victor Umeh clarifying the matter, he is more interested in bringing Obi into the matter to confuse the people.
“We have said it always that Obi took the average of N250 million as security vote and he has been consistent in saying that he can account for the usage. It was out of his security votes that he bought over 600 vehicles for the police, paid N1 million each to First Class graduates, among others.
“It is wrong for Gov. Willie Obiano to give money to greedy Anambrarians to lie against Obi. Let him come out boldly and challenge Obi on that and Obi will give account of what he collected and how he used it, unlike him who cannot account for over 75 billion Naira handed over to him.
“As for the debt of N185billion, I hope it is not a deliberate creation to retire the N75 billion bequeathed him. As at the time Obi left office, he did not owe a single contractor. We challenge Umeh and Obiano to publish the names of contractors Obi owed. How can people, out of pure desire to bring down a man of stellar qualities, include unexecuted contracts as debts? As we speak, he is yet to execute any of those contracts.”