By Izunna Okafor, Awka
Reactions have emerged on the social media on the recent purported snubbing of the Senator-elect for Anambra Central Senatorial District, Sen. Victor Umeh by the Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo.
The purported snub was spotted in a video that trended online from the venue of the inauguration ceremony of the new President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, which held over the weekend in Enugu State.
According to the video, Soludo who truncated his foreign trip to attend the swearing-in ceremony, was seen exchanging pleasantries with some other guests at the well-attended occasion.
However, as Umeh stretched out his hand to greet the Governor, his hand was surprisingly snubbed and ignored by the Governor who focused on other guests exchanging pleasantries with him. This made Umeh to shamefully and quickly withdraw his hand, and pretend as though nothing happened; while the Governor himself continued to exchange pleasantries with other dignitaries.
To further conceal the disgrace, Sen. Umeh smartly redirected the handshake to his long cap to balance it, as though he just noticed it wasn’t balanced on his head.
It would be recalled that Umeh had similarly been caught on camera as he publicly mocked and snubbed Soludo during the primary election that eventually produced him as Governor in 2021.
Senator Umeh was also recently caught on the camera frowning at Gov. Soludo at a function at the St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Awka, when he (Soludo) was exchanging pleasantries with the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi, after having reportedly said things many people considered unpalatable about Obi’s presidential aspiration and his administration in Anambra State.
It would be recalled that Chief Umeh was a staunch member, and, in fact, a former National Chairman of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) under which he also won his first senatorial seat.
However, he dumped APGA to join Peter Obi in the Labour Party, for a reason best known to him. The decision and move expectedly made the two more politically associated/united to each other than Soludo who is in APGA and currently the National Leader of the Party.
Some political analysts also perceived Soludo to be a political enemy of Obi and Umeh, given their political differences, and judging from his comments on their aspirations during the electioneering campaign period, as well as the destruction of an expensive and cynosural campaign billboard belonging to Obi and Umeh in Awka, by the Soludo-led Anambra State Government.
Although the state government said the billboard was not paid for, and hence, illegal; while Umeh himself insisted that he passed through the normal processes and paid the necessary fees before erecting the billboard. This was the last known political misunderstanding between Umeh and Soludo prior to the Ohaneze event in Enugu State.
While some Nigerians interpret Soludo’s ignoring of Umeh’s handshake in Enugu to mean an expression that their ‘political rift’ has not ended; some others see it as his (Soludo’s) own way of revenging/paying back Umeh’s snub at him at a the 2021 APGA primary and at the recent thanksgiving mass in Awka, as he (Soludo) must have seen the viral videos.