The President received an Anambra delegation.
President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday berated state governors who attacked his office publicly. The president said such attacks were not beneficial to the governors, nor their states.
Speaking to a delegation of Anambra indigenes who paid him a courtesy visit at the Presidential Villa on Tuesday to inform him of the pending exit of the incumbent governor, Peter Obi, from office after his two term tenure, the president said a number of politicians were fund of abusing his office. He, however, did not mention any particular governor.
“A number of politicians feel that the best thing to do is to be abusing Mr. President, abusing the Federal Government and so on,” Mr. Jonathan said.
“If you are elected to develop your state, I think the best thing is to have good relationship with the centre; whether you have a pin or you don’t have but one day it will come. Wearing boxing gloves, jumping into the boxing ring to face Mr. President does not help the development of any state.”
Mr. Jonathan commended Governor Obi for demonstrating that “he is a person, very distinct and he was able to manage the State Assembly that was predominantly controlled by another political party and we never had crisis.”
“He has shown very clearly that he is a politician that believes in the people not for himself.
“We thank you for all these and on our own part, we promise that this relationship we have with Peter Obi, the same relationship we will also have with the incoming governor and deputy,” he added.
The Anambra state delegation thanked the President for his support to the outgoing governor, during his two term tenure.
The group urged the President to extend the same hand of support and friendship to the incoming governor, Willie Obiano, who emerged winner in the Anambra governorship poll.
Speaking on behalf of the delegation, which comprised of leaders of both from the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, A.B. Nwosu said, “We humbly ask that you embrace him (Mr. Obiano), partner with him and assist and guide him as you have done with Gov. Peter Obi. For that, Sir we the people of Anambra State shall be eternally grateful.”
Mr. Nwosu, a professor, said that stakeholders in the state had mixed feelings about Mr. Obi’s “imminent departure because we know that in spite of all the political odds which he encountered while in office, his leadership and service to our people and indeed to Nigeria has been visionary, courageous, meritor, credible, exemplary and purposeful”.
Amongst other things the governor has done, Mr. Nwosu said, there is “no doubt in our minds that history will judge him (Mr. Obi) very well”.
“We equally know that Gov Obi would not have been successful if you had not offered him broad and very open support both personally and as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. For these Sir we say thank you immensely.
“We commend you, Mr. President, for your transformational leadership and for creating the political space and enabling environment which helped our beloved governor — your brother, friend and most ardent supporter– to shepherd Anambra from a pariah status to stability, civility, security, economic growth and to reclaim its niche as the Light of the Nation,” he said.
Mr. Nwosu, on behalf of the delegation, thanked the president for ‘all’ he has done for the state including the promise to flag-off the second Niger Bridge “which our people have long yearned for. Your compact and article of faith with the people of Anambra is a solid one. As you have cared for, and shown us much love, we too, shall reciprocate in equal measures”.
He pledged that the delegation would “continue to support your Government and its far reaching policies in the overall interest of our country, the more so when these are challenging times”.
In his response, the President said instead of the delegation thanking him, he should thank them for the role they played during the 2011 election.
“Really you don’t need to thank me, we are the people to thank you because we know the role you played for us during the election, not just delivering Anambra State; I’m not even talking about votes given to us but the role you played for us.
“You galvanized people across the country, just like the Principal Secretary said, there is no state you will not see Anambra person playing key role in the industry or commerce of that state. We owe you appreciation,” Mr. Jonathan said.
The president said he would be in Anambra on March 10 for the ‘ground breaking ceremony’ of the Second Niger Bridge. He said the ceremony had been put off “until we are fully ready, until the finances have been worked out. I would not want to go for a ground breaking ceremony and another two years, four years, another President would go there again for another ground breaking ceremony.”
He noted that whatever challenges were being faced by the country “is transient, very temporary, we will soon get over it by God’s grace”.
The Anambra delegation included the state deputy governor, Emeka Sibeudu; governor elect, Willie Obiano; deputy governor elect, Nkem Okeke; Obi of Onitsha, Alfred Achebe; former Anambra governor, Chinwoke Mbadinuju; PDP spokesperson, Olisa Metuh; and foremost constitutional lawyer, Ben Nwabueze.