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Presidency Lied, I Never Disagreed With Obasanjo Over 2nd Niger Bridge – Obi Of Onitsha

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The Obi of Onitsha, Nnaemeka Achebe has denied any form of altercation with former President Olusegun Obasanjo over the construction of the second Niger Bridge.

The foremost traditional ruler said the submission by the presidency that he and Obasanjo had a disagreement over issues about the bridge construction is factually not correct.

The monarch’s position was made known in a statement on Tuesday by the chief of staff to the Onitsha traditional council, Chinyelugo Anionwu.

The statement comes as a direct reaction to a claim by the presidency in a statement on Monday by the senior special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on media and publicity, Garba Shehu said Obasanjo deceived the south-east during the flag-off for the construction of the Second Niger Bridge, adding that the Obi of Onitsha had some altercation with the former president.

Shehu claimed in the statement that “Obasanjo laid the sod for the bridge in his first term as elected President and work never started.

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Presidency Lied, I Had No Disagreement With Obasanjo Over 2nd Niger Bridge - Obi Of Onitsha

“When he 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.”

However, the Obi in his reaction said the claim by the presidency is not correct.

The traditional ruler clarified that he wasn’t involved in any sod-turning ceremony for the second Niger bridge during Obasanjo’s first tenure and while he doesn’t want to join issues with the two leaders of the country, it is important to set the records straight.

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The statement from the palace reads: “His Majesty, Nnaemeka Achebe, CFR, mni, Obi of Onitsha, by his position as traditional and natural ruler, should normally not engage publicly in high level discourse on affairs of State between two of our highly respected national leaders, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR and former President Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR.

“However, 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 Encounter

The statement added that the only time the monarch and Obasanjo had a discussion about the bridge was during a low-keyed flag-off event for the construction and the traditional ruler prayed that the incoming administration would complete the project with alacrity because it was already the twilight of the Obasanjo administration.

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He said: “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.”

We Are Grateful

The monarch on behalf of his people used the opportunity of the statement to appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari for completing the second Niger bridge.

He said: “Onitsha people will continue to express their utmost gratitude to President Buhari and his Government for successfully constructing the magnificent bridge.”

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