Former national chairman of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Senator Victor Umeh, has explained how he stepped in to prevent what would have been a full blown physical combat between former Nigerian Ambassador to Spain, Mrs. Bianca Ojukwu and the immediate past first lady of Anambra State, Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano during the inauguration of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo as the new governor of the state.
The two women had engaged in a brawl at the inauguration of Soludo on Thursday, during which Bianca slapped Obiano’s wife after the latter appeared to nudge her on the shoulder.
Fielding questions from newsmen during the 80th birthday celebration of foremost Nigerian philosopher and President General of Alaigbo Development Foundation, Prof. Uzodimma Nwala in Enugu at the weekend, Umeh said he knew that such a situation would arise and quickly stepped in to prevent it from escalating.
“I was on ground. I stepped in quickly to arrest the situation. Thank God that normalcy returned immediately through my intervention,” he said.
He described the altercation between the two women as a clear mismanagement of emotion and temperament; a development he said was uncalled for.
He said: “The altercation was clearly provoked by one party, because everybody saw the video footage. Somebody left her seat and moved towards someone who was sitting calmly and following the proceedings, and began to pour invectives on her.
“She proceeded to push her, trying to remove her headscarf. What could you have done in such a situation? The provocation was much.
“But then, we knew that such a situation might arise because there had been a lot of bottled up anger on this issue. So, that is by the way.
“The incident did not disturb the inauguration. The event took place and at most, we regard the incident as a side show.”
On the arrest of former governor, Chief Willie Obiano, by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Umeh expressed confidence that Obiano would defend himself successfully.