…Obi appointed Honorary Special Adviser to Jonathan
Elombah.com can authoritatively report that immediate past governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi has been appointed a Honorary Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan; the first of its type in Nigeria.
According to a reliable source who confided in Elombah.com, the deal was struck following the refusal of Senate President, David Mark to ratify Peter Obi name as a Minister.
At the swearing of Obi’s successor, Mr Willie Obiano at the Ekwueme Square, Awka, President Jonathan, through his official representative and Special Adviser on political matters, Mr Ben Obi had publicly declared that the outgoing governor will soon the Federal Executive Council because of his outstanding and meritorious services to Anambra State.
Mrs Ngozi Okonnjo-Iweala, Jonathan’s de facto Prime Minister also declared that President Jonathan would be made a Minister in Jonathan’s Cabinet. Okonjo-Iweala is the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the economy.
Elombah.com also gathered that Obi’s name was listed among the would be Ministers by Mr Jonathan when he went to commission the second Niger bridge. But when his name was sent to the Senate, our Presidential source revealed that David Mark put a call across to the President, asking him if he had consulted other People Democratic Party (PDP) chieftains before selecting an opposition party member as a Minster. Mr President we gathered said he had not.
The very reliable source later revealed that Mr Mark immediately contacted the PDP National Chairman, Adamu Mu’azu to warn Jonathan from going ahead with his plan. Senator Mark also informed the PDP Chairman, that three Senators from Anambra State, namely, Senators Andy Ubah, Chris Ngige, and Mrs Okadigbo, will not endorse Obi as Minister, making it very difficult for the Senate to ratify the nomination.
Mu’azu we gathered thereafter drafted a strong memo to the President, telling him point blank to remove Mr Obi’s name as a Minister. In a subsequent meeting with the President, Muazu told him of the consequences should Mr Obi be made a Minister when other loyal PDP members from Anambra State are waiting. Immediately, the President we learnt chickened out and withdrew Mr Obi name from the list.
Meanwhile in Anambra State, we reliably gathered that the State was set to burn politically should Obi be made a Minister, as Arthur Eze gathered some PDP youths to protest against the plan by Mr Jonathan. The sponsored youths by the billionaire had earlier demonstrated their refusal to have Obi as a Minister form Anambra State under a PDP led government. Our source revealed that a certain advertorial earlier published in a National daily by the PDP youths of Anambra State kicking against Obi as a Minister was sponsored by the business mogul.
Arthur Eze would later boast publicly that he stopped Obi from becoming Minister.
Another source however told Elombah.com that Peter Obi is happy with his new role as a honorary Special Adviser to the President, noting that it will give him more leverage to do whatever he pleases without being tied down or accountable to anyone except the president.
Obi has also confided in friends he will not contest for any political position or fight for any Ministerial post again, not even the much touted Secretary to the Federal Government (SGF) position. According to the source, Mr Obi stated that all he wants to achieve is to see President Goodluck Jonathan returned as the President come 2015, by delivering 100 percent vote from Anambra State, before he would make any step concerning his political or business career.
In the course of investigating this story, sources close to Peter Obi told elombah.com: “Obi was appointed honorary adviser to president Jonathanon Finance about four years ago, at the time the Governor of Adamawa was appointed an honorary adviser on Agriculture. The post has always been there.”
“About Senate president and the PDP Chairman working against him, there is no iota of truth in that”, the source insists.
Obi continues as a member of President Jonathan’s economic team. But the present position of Honorary Special Adviser post which is yet to be officially made public is a an omnibus position that has no specifically defined role and office and it is not certain whether Mr Obi’s position entails all the appurtenances including salary and allowances entitled to such a position.