A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chieftain and Anambra indigene Chief Chris Uba, has described former governor Peter Obi as one the stingiest persons he has met. Uba passed the verdict when Governor Emeka Ugwuanyi of Enugu State hosted the meeting of the party.
Not impressed by the quality of champagne presented to them by the host, Chief Uba, in the presence of Obi said jokingly that the meeting deserved better champagne and wine and not the type Obi served them when he was governor.
Chris Uba recounted one of his several encounters with Obi at Government House, Awka when the latter was governor.
He said Obi served guests with champagne “Obele ego” and the quality of wine meant for students and when anybody complained, he would reply by saying that Government House was not a bar or restaurant.
Continuing Uba said: “The worst is that when one complained too much, he would start handling with his calculator, telling you how many schools and hospitals the money saved from buying costly drinks would help in re-building.”
After throaty laughter by the host and others around, the host said he noted his observations, while insisting that governments that did not cut costs would not achieve much.
Meanwhile, he assured him, tongue in cheek, that more drinks would come. Speaking on the encounter, Obi’s former Commissioner for Information, Chief Barr. Joe-Martins Uzodike disagreed with Uba, insisting that people always mistake parsimony and prudent management of funds for stinginess.
He said: “Obi is not stingy, but manages resources very well by curtailing all manner of waste, extravagance, and inappropriate use of state resources. He deserves an award and should be held out for emulation rather than being made a butt for lunch jollity.”
He continued: “If not for his parsimony which some people mistake for stinginess, would he have ended up as a governor who did more than others in terms of Infrastructure without borrowing a dime, but instead left over N75 billion for his successor?”