By Nwafor Okafor
Valentine Obienyem, a media aide to a former governor of Anambra State , Mr Peter Obi, has taken umbrage at the claims by the outgoing governor of the state, Chief Willie Obiano that he built the Awka Township Stadium.
Obiano had Wednesday commissioned the stadium as one of his legacy projects. Other of such projects are the Anambra Cargo and Passenger International Airport at Umueri and the International Conference Centre in Awka, the state capital.
But Obienyem in a statement made available to our correspondent in Awka on Thursday said the credit for the stadium should be given to Obi and not Obiano, stating that the outgoing governor only did 20 percent of the project.
Obienyem said,” If had the choice, I would not have opted to correct the factual details, but since the lies were told at this joyful season, I think nothing is wrong correcting it out of season as well.
“Indeed, Mr. Obi flagged off the construction of the stadium in 2013, as usual, after extensive work begun in 2012, had already been done.
He said Ob also set aside the money for the completion of the part of the stadium that was commissioned yesterday( Wednesday), adding “The money was at the then Enterprise Bank with the account name of Ministry of Youth and Sports and account number of 1400036145. The amount was over half a billion Naira.”.
Obienyem continued,” The other day when the NYSC Permanent Site was commissioned at Umuawulu/Mbaukwu, Gov. Willie Obiano failed to acknowledge the fact that it was the brain child of Mr. Peter Obi, who did about 80% of the project.
“On Tuesday, the out-going Gov. Willie Obiano commissioned 20% of the completed part of Awka stadium. 20% in the sense that he just did a portion of it but, in his usual way, he presented it as if he completed the entire stadium.
“Commendable as such projects are, but the curious aspect of the commissioning is the fact that, as usual, he (Obiano) did not mention the fact that he completed part of what Mr. Peter Obi started.
“It is not a question of trying to discredit anybody, but a question of telling the truth without dissimulation. Very soon he will commission the International Conference Centre, which is 100% his project and which nobody begrudges him even when expressing the genuine reservations on the actual need for that project. I had earlier advised the in-coming Governor, who will unquestionable enjoy the support of all men of goodwill, to consider turning it into a Shopping Mall. Projects must always be guided by need and not braggadocio.
“Those to disagree with this are expected to tell us the reason and whether it is right to acknowledge or claim other people’s work. We must learn to act within the bounds of rationality!
“On why Obi did not complete the project, kindly note that he completed many projects in Awka and the entire state. We are talking about those he started but could not complete. Certainly, Prof. Soludo will inherit such from his predecessor, ” Obienyem stated.