News Update

Friends are forever

By Jude Atupulazi

When the History of Anambra is written, these two men who are also friends, will come up for copious mention. One is Peter the Rock Obi and the other is Victor the Victorious Umeh. Together, these men fought against the odds way back in 2003 to deliver the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, to the doorsteps of the people who embraced the party but were on the verge of losing their hold on it.

After Obi’s landslide victory was truncated by the then all-conquering machinery of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, their puppet, Chris Ngige, a medical doctor-turned politician, was then sworn in. Then, it was unheard of for anyone to remove a sitting governor and as time went on, many even forgot that Obi was still in court. And when at a time many of those who swore they would never leave Obi, left, one man stayed behind. That man was Victor Umeh. He attended all the sessions at the Anambra State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Awka where he was always conspicuous in his unique long, red cap.

He would always assure me anytime I became doubtful that they would win the case. Eventually they did. Together, they carried the burden of APGA and moulded it to what it is today. But it was not always going to be rosy. At a stage, both men drifted apart but later made up at a touching ceremony at Government House.

Yet again, they would be separated as Umeh stayed with APGA and Obi went on to pastures new in PDP. But as fate would have it, they were destined never to part for long.

In the run up to the last general elections,APGA thought they had dealt with Umeh by denying him their ticket but it became their albatross as Obi snapped up his old friend and offered him the ticket of Labour Party to run in his own senatorial zone. Umeh won and today, Umeh has become Obi’s backbone in the senate. Obi knows he can rely on Umeh, his old friend and brother, as they yet attempt to make another History, this time on the national stage.

Last Wednesday, both men celebrated their birthdays, Obi clocked 62 and Umeh clocked 61. And so it has turned out that both men share a lot in common and are apparently tied together by destiny.

As they clock their new ages in a month that is also my birthday (July 27), I give a big shout out to our two musketeers who are individually and collectively a handful for any foe. May they never see a better yesterday as their today and tomorrow will be much better. I join their legion of supporters to wish the two titans of Anambra politics a Happy Birthday.