The vice presidential candidate of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general election, and former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi has revealed that the federal government initially demanded that Anambra and Delta State governments to pay 10% each of the total cost of constructing the Second Niger Bridge.
Obi made the disclosure yesterday in Ihiala, Ihiala LGA of Anambra state while speaking at the burial of the mother of a former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Chuma Nzeribe. The former governor said he and his Delta State counterpart (whose name he did not mention) had met and agreed to contribute to the project, but Nzeribe took the matter to the National Assembly and successfully got the federal government to shelve the decision.
“We enlisted his (Nzeribe’s) assistance towards the Second Niger Bridge. Chuma’s altruistic intervention led to the cancellation of the initial plan to make Delta and Anambra states contribute 10 per cent each of the total cost of the project. In our determination to have that bridge constructed, we initially agreed – myself and my Delta State counterpart, to contribute 10 per cent each, but when the commitment was secured, we used Hon. Chuma Nzeribe to trash that harsh clause,” Obi said.
Obi, while reacting to banal aspersions cast on Nzeribe by detractors who vilify the astute former lawmaker as a “dangerous personality” said, “Before I became Governor, I heard many tales about Hon. Chuma Nzeribe and some concerned friends even warned me to keep a distance from the “Dangerous man. I have learnt to judge people by their present circumstance, and the more I dealt with him made me believe that he was essentially a good man who had the misfortune of operating in an environment that promoted negative understanding of his essential being.”
Obi narrated how as the governor of Anambra, he had been helped by Nzeribe over a N2billion refund he was pursuing with the federal government, and how he took the campaign to the National Assembly and got the federal government to pay up, yet he refused to accept any form of compensation from the state government.
“As the governor, I was pursuing N2billion due to Anambra State. I had to seek all manners of intervention until I was advised to meet Hon. Chuma Nzeribe, who was at that time in the House of Representatives. Once he was contacted Hon. Nzeribe, took up the fight unattached and handed me the Cheque.
“After I received the Cheque, we decided, as was advised, to officially do PR for him. Surprisingly, when others would have requested PR as the basis of helping, he rejected our token and only requested we use the money to commence the construction of Ebonesi road, and that was how that road was constructed,” Obi revealed.