THE relationship between Arthur Eze, self-acclaimed billionaire businessman, and 13 traditional rulers in Anambra State who were prevented from seeing President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja last week has worsened.
The royal fathers are now at dagger drawn with Eze because of the humiliation they suffered when he dragged them to Abuja to see the president in a bid to humiliate Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State. Eze has been vilifying Obiano over alleged nonpayment of 5 percent revenue earnings of the state to the traditional rulers among others.
Realnews gathered that Eze’s failed move to turn Buhari against Obiano was part of his attempt to gain the upper hand to take over the All Progressives Congress, APC, political structure of the State in readiness for the governorship election in 2021.
The 13 traditional rulers from Anambra State, who went to Abuja, to meet Buhari on Friday, August 7, but were barred from getting to the Presidential Villa based on security reports are fighting not just Eze, the controversial Anambra State-born businessman who sponsored the ill-fated trip, for what three of them who spoke to journalists on Monday anonymously called their “royal humiliation”.
They are also fighting among themselves on suspicion of betrayal.
“Before we left Anambra on Wednesday”, one of them told journalists from his Sheraton suite in Abuja, at the weekend, “Prince Arthur assured us that the Secretary to the Federal Government, Barrister Boss Mustapha, had made a solid arrangement for us to visit the president in person and read out our prepared speech, which he got someone to write for us, only for us to realize on getting to Abuja that we could not leave Sheraton Hotel”.
The royal fathers are also angry with Eze because he failed to meet the financial promise he made to them.
“We were promised N250,000 each”, said a monarch from the Anambra Senatorial Zone, “but Uzu Awka, Chief Austine Ndigwe, a former Arthur Eze’s employee, gave us only N100,000 when we were in the palace of the traditional ruler of Ukpo, Dr Robert Eze, Okofia VI.
“The traditional ruler of Alor in Idemili Local Government Area, Igwe Chinedu Mac-Anthony Okonkwo , assured us that we would receive more money on reaching Abuja and even added that the money would be so much that traditional rulers who didn’t travel with us would deeply regret missing out on the largesse”.
More worrisome to the monarchs is the growing lack of trust among them.
They are embarrassed that Obiano has videos of their meetings which he has passed on to some senior administration officials.
“Some of us must be black sheep”, one told journalists, expressing the fear that the videos could leak to the public soon which would lead to their “ultimate disgrace in the state”.
- Don Adinuba, Anambra State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, confirmed that up to a half of the traditional rulers called Obiano in the morning of last Saturday ostensibly to wish him a happy 65thbirthday but ended up providing details of their Abuja visit.
“The funny thing”, according to Adinuba, “is that each told the governor that he participated in the Abuja trip in order to monitor how his political opponents led by Arthur Eze were plotting against him and accordingly report everything to him”.
Since their return at the weekend from the ill-fated trip to Abuja, the traditional rulers and their supporters have been making open moves for a rapprochement with Governor Obiano.
Ndigwe yesterday issued a statement denying ever having a rift with the governor whom he described as a good man who has made Awka look truly like a capital.
Realnews reports that one of the monarchs has since October 25, 2019, been taken to the court of Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja by the President Buhari administration on charges of perjury, forgery and conspiracy.
– Aug. 11, 2020 @ 10:05 GMT |