By Obinna Osigwe
When Peter Obi, the former Governor of Anambra State was fighting to reclaim his stolen mandate at the court in 2004, someone told me a story. He said Mr Obi went to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) before he settled for All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
According to him when Peter Obi went to PDP, one Prince Arthur Eze and Chief Chris Uba gave him concessions, terms and conditions he must abide when they deliver the governorship seat for him. In the story, Mr Obi refused all their demands, saying he will not give them the state resources. The person concluded by saying obodo adighi mma bu uru ndi nze meaning when the society is not working, it for the benefit of the elites.
The above story captures who the man Prince Arthur Eze is, a political godfather, a fixer and financier of politicians and political parties. However, his style of godfatherism is extractive, you must share part of the public resources for his private consumption. Therefore, his recent outburst about Igbo unity was not because he cared about Igbo unity or Igbo presidency, he is interested in an Igbo Presidency that will benefit him personally.
Hear him, “Only God can make an Igbo man President. We shall pray to God to find an Igbo man who has character to help people. I WOULD PREFER SOMEONE who has a conscience; somebody WHO WILL REMEMBER ME. I don’t care where you come from.”
What do you think will happen to an Igbo presidential candidate when Prince Arthur Eze realizes his brother will not remember him when he becomes president? He will burn down that presidential ambition to the ground when he feels he will not be recognized.
Well for the benefit of those who don’t know the billionaire businessman apart from his philanthropic acts of huge donations in Naira and Dollars, building churches, giving to the less privileged, giving cars to students leaders and politicians, wiping tears from the eyes of the widows and orphans, giving communities, financing political campaigns and other noble projects.
Prince Arthur Eze is a classic study of Any Government in Power (AGiP) political jobbers. These are a group of politicians that suck the balls of anyone in power. Whether the ruler is a sinner or saint, it does not matter to them as far as their selfish interests and unhealthy ambitions are fast-tracked. They become multi-billionaires through rent-seeking, cornering oil blocks, acquiring dubious licences, money laundering and whitewashing of tyrants in power.
During the ill-conceived era of transitioning Gen Sani Abacha from a military dictator to a civilian president, the triumvirate of Arthur Eze, Arisekola Alao, and Dan Kabo provided the logistics for all the efforts to make Gen Abacha President-for-life.
In one of their rallies in Abuja, Prince Arthur Eze said, “Youth gathered here today will not leave this parade ground until a positive response is received from the Head of State, General Sani Abacha. He is the guardian of lives and security in Nigeria. Our blood is on his head. He is the chief security officer. He has laid a solid foundation for the growth of democracy in Nigeria, so he should continue with his good work.”
On one occasion, after leading traditional rulers from the nine states in South-East and South-South to prevail Gen Abacha not to leave office, told newsmen after meeting the former dictator, “Anybody trying to stop Abacha is tempting God and will never succeed.”
Poor Abacha! He fell to the selfish desires of AGiP members like Arthur Eze goading him. They made him feel as if he was invincible. He died and his praise singers had moved on.
Today he has started singing the praises of Buhari, he recently said that “Ndigbo owed the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), eternal gratitude for what he called the MASSIVE provision of ECONOMIC and INFRASTRUCTURAL FACILITIES in the South-East geopolitical zone.”
Please what are the massive economic and infrastructural facilities going on in South-East? All these statements are not because he loves Bu
hari or Ndigbo. No, not at all. It is the AGiP spirit that is at work.
All through the 16 years of PDP at Federal level, he was there declaring undying fealty of the former presidents, now Buhari is the best thing to ever happen to Ndigbo. Akuko ifo!
Truth be told, Prince Arthur Eze is a veteran in Nigerian Politics, in 1998, he funded the defunct Congress for National Consensus (CNC) in Anambra State, he was among the godfathers that bankrolled these former Governors of Anambra State, Dr Chinwoke Mbadinuju (1999-2003), Dr Chris Ngige (2003-2006). When the Medical Doctor from Alor refused their financial demands, they unleashed terror on him.
I remember watching him in 2013 during the campaign rally of Tony Nwoye in Onitsha, the then PDP gubernatorial candidate. In the presence of former President Goodluck Jonathan; Godswill Akpabio, the former Governor of Akwa-Ibom State and other PDP stalwarts, he said, “That short man called Ngige, we gave him power and he went and joined Awolowo’s people; the people that killed the Igbos.
“Peter Obi, we gave him power, he did not conduct an election for eight years. He was busy building mansions and marble houses everywhere,”
Next time you hear Prince Arthur Eze and his likes talking, it is never about your interest.