What transpired between Obasanjo and I – Obi of Onitsha
The Obi of Onitsha Nnaemeka Achebe has debunked the claim by Nigerian presidency that he once confronted former president Olusegun Obasanjo over the Second Niger Bridge.
Garba Shehu, the senior special assistant on media and publicity to the president, had made the claim in his reaction to a damning letter by Obasanjo on the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
She had said, “When he (Obasanjo) sought re-election for his second term in office, he returned to the site to turn the sod for the bridge the second time. When the Obi of Onitsha, forthright and scholarly, reminded him that he had done this in the past, Obasanjo told the foremost Southeast traditional ruler that he was a liar, in the full presence of the Chiefs and Oracles in his palace.”
In his clarification, Achebe, through Chinyelugo Anionwu, his chief of staff, denied the account.
He said, “The Palace deems it absolutely necessary to ensure that public statements relating to our monarch are factually correct.
“Accordingly, the Palace would like to state categorically that His Majesty was never involved in any sod turning ceremony for the second River Niger Bridge during the first tenure of President Obasanjo as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and, therefore, could not have engaged in any altercation with the then President as stated in the above press release.
“The only involvement of His Majesty with President Obasanjo regarding the Second River Niger Bridge was at the very tail end of his second term as President during a low-keyed flag-off of the project when His Majesty prayed that the succeeding administration would construct the bridge expeditiously.
“Onitsha people will continue to express their utmost gratitude to President Buhari and his Government for successfully constructing the magnificent bridge.”