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August 7, 2020
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Anambra 2013 Mistake, Official Lies and November 18 – by Okelo Madukaife

Obiano's failure and the Choice of Nwoye - by Stanley Ike Onwuchekwe

Peter Obi is not the angel some erroneously portray him as, but his few legacies in Anambra State must be allowed to thrive unassailed,unacknowledged and ‘unstolen’ by any, least of which should be the beneficiaries of his electoral magic of 2013, in which President Goodluck Jonathan was a super catalyst.

But not everyone shares this view. His Excellency, Chief Willie Maduaburochukwu Obiano , who did not make a mistake when he introduced one  Ebelechukwu Obiano as the ‘Governor of Anambra State’ in a recently  held send –off ceremonies for his party from government,personally approved the circulation of an event brochure containing
roads flagged off in 2010, and completed and commissioned  in 2012 as his achievement. He was sworn in on March 17, 2014. Prominent in this bunch is the Igbariam-Nando Road. No value was added recently, no repair work was done, and certainly no resurfacing or white-lining was undertaken as has been cosmetically done elsewhere. Apparently chosen
as The Sucker Punch, because it is buried deep and cannot be detected.That should have been left for ‘foreign’ media, not for eagle-eyed Ndi Anambra, plying the concerned road. Now i this is not telling lies,what is it?

A sad error though. It is in print and it is only one in many.Umuoji Uke Road was Awraded at the dusk o Peter Obi
administration and the work dovetailed into that o Obiano. The road was abandoned shortly after.Today it adorns the pending re-election posters.

Such events make one wonder if those who occupy public office,awaiting replacement or not, ever pay attention to the meaning of the terms they cherish so much. ‘His Excellency’ simply means that the bearer should be seen doing any wrong in the eyes of the public.

Therefore those addressed as ‘His Excellency’ around a cacophony of lies, must be very uncomfortable, if conscience is still on the cards.Worry not about ‘Her Excellency’ now. The last, one known to Anambra State and the world is Her Excellency Mrs. Dame Virgy Etiaba, first female governor in Nigeria.

But, let us quickly return to those lies. Gov. Obiano told the world in Abuja, at the real beginning of his re-election campaign over a year ago, that his state had earned $5m from the export of ugu and onugbu. Once that ‘explosive device’ was let out, in whatever mood or state of the mind, the next three months were spent by his beleaguered
army about 1000 aides trying to defend the indefensible in a state not so backward in intelligence, though backward in governance. Obiano could not answer the simple questions related to dates of export, if the vegetables were exported fresh or dried, and whether dispatched by sea, air, or on horseback. He could not say what Nigerian bodies
authrorised, or were in the know of these exports, or which European and America knew of the other end.

The location, nature and extent of the farms has never formed part of Obiano’s many photo-trick documentaries and of course no one would take the risk of inviting journalists to see the farms. James Eze ,his Enugu-State born Senior Special Assistant Senior Special Assistant on media who proudly argues on zoning as basis or re-electing a sitting governor , rather than his performance, jumped into a Mungo
Park-kind canoe, took a photograph  announcing  his departure to Onono,a sleepy  border town with Kogi  State where the farms are,according to his outlandish spin. Apparently, he is yet to return,because Ndi Anambra have not seen pictures announcing his arrival in Onono, one year after. Hoping that all will forget, he is now spending more time imposing Enugu State political models on Anambra State
without basis. But that is a matter or another day.

On its part, Anambra State House of Assembly searched everywhere in and out of their budget for indications that $5m passed through their records, in or out. Don’t ask me what that arm o government did.Shockingly, Obiano has launched his campaign, claiming Obi’s legacy, yet omitting his wonderful export breakthrough. It is either,he now agrees the export was a lie, or it has been suppressed for embezzlement. Whichever is right is wrong for Anambra. But which one is correct anyway? That $5m question must be answered, if Obiano
really wants to contest the November 18 governorship elections.

Again, Obiano announced to all and sundry that a certain ‘Anambra Rice’ that cannot be found anywhere in Anambra State had arisen and was the talk of the town. Distant media believed him. Anambra people,ot willing to be fooled, asked to be shown the manger in which Jesus was born, but Obiano looked another way. He claimed that the state was producing as at October 2015, 190,000 metric tons of rice, and 18
months into his tenure, which according to him ‘has increased from 80 thousand tons eighteen months ago’. Three and half years after, the latest figure still stands at 200,000 metric tons. If the figure rose by 137.5 % and diminished to 5% in the two last two years, something is seriously wrong, going by Obiano’s own figures, never mind the authenticity. Yet Ndi Anambra understand that in their state it is easier to perform ,like Ngige and to a limited extent Obi, than to claim performance on the basis of falsehood, and survive it for long.
That is why, but for Peter Obi who returned to power in 2010 the unconventional way, not governor of Anambra State has done a second term.

His Excellency Governor Obiano,yet again  claimed in a broadcast to Anambra State last year, intended to announce what he called Stimulus Package (Originality questioned) that his administration had attracted investments from abroad in industries to the tune of $4bn (four billion US Dollars). I knew it was a lie only by the static industrial profile of the state in the intervening period. Yet patience has led every Onye Anambra to now witness the concrete proof from the National Bureau of Statistics, which has categorized Anambra, as one of the 25
states that have not attracted any foreign investment in the last three years. Conscience will not allow me to ask Obiano to tell another lie. But is he waiting for my suggestion?

On April 11, 2017, seven months to election, Obiano told journalists six long kilometres away from the site of Anambra Airport at Umuleri,which shamefully remains today, the way Ngige let things in 2006 and announced that he will spend $2bn, four hundred times the amount he said he realized in ugu & onugbu to build an airport. Perhaps, he could simply have exported more o the vegetables since Anambra is
there, the lands are there and the people are still there. Asaba
Airport cost N27bn and those who should know consider it high. Do not ask what he did with the three years before. Just ask three questions: Is an MOU enough to build an airport? What has happened six months after? If any vain movements start today around the airport, what is
the gimmick? But what is true is that dead companies, like the one he engaged to work or Anambra State does not execute projects. So, till date, the airport is not true.

Recently, Obiano went alone, like an orphan in government, to see President Muhamamdu Buhari with a request or the latter to abandon his party APC like Goodluck Jonathan did through Peter Obi four years ago by supporting Obiano in the 2013 governorship election. Obiano wanted Buhari to abandon Tony Nwoye, his youthful, vigourous and ready replacement that to  support the continuation of lies and malfeasance.
In exchange he would support Buhari in an undeclared second term in presidency. Buhari who refused to support any of the 12 aspirants from APC for the organized and transparent primaries in which Tony Nwoye emerged promised Obiano that the Federal Government will back a free and fair election. It was an extra –fair deal for those who came to power by rigging. But it did not meet Obiano’s weird expectation. The
incumbent governor of Anambra State made a move akin a blind man who stumbled on a ripe apple with his foot, hoping to stumble on another after eating it. But that is not the story. He came out of Aso Rock Villa, telling the public that he went to discuss the development of Anambra State. Did you say another lie? It’s heavy for me to admit.

I will illustrate the debacle in Anambra State with a simple personal experience. A friend sent a parcel to me from Owerri. I went to the old ABC Transport office in Awka to take delivery. I was directed to a new office, which happened to be close to God Is Good Transport (GIG).Because I travel regularly with GIG, I subconsciously entered GIG office and introduced my mission. The courteous lady officer facing me, after hearing my way bill number told me I was in the wrong place. I got startled, but listened to her explain that theirs has 11
digits. I called the sender and cut the call half-way. The signage in the room reminded me that I was not at ABC Transport.  raised my head,gave the lady my admission wrapped in a smile of embarrassment, andheaded to the right destination. Obiano was compelled into the wrong
destination, and it is not too late to head out.

I must admit that that my journey above did not begin in an American Swimming pool, was not sponsored by a school mate, church mate,business partner or cultmate and certainly did not prompt me to tell any lie to any officer in the two offices. I simply accepted that a mistake had been made and had to be corrected, even with a smiling face.

In the 2013 political mistake, with all the similarities, Anambra
allowed an aspiring godfather to impose a ‘jolly good fellow’ who became a bad governor, armed with a spouse, earning security votes from public funds and being introduced as the governor ,as she tells Anambra State to do nothing ,but consume liquor (laba mmanya ) from 12,midnight to 5am. Those in the arrowhead of the error have admitted and
are struggling for a good eraser for the 2B pencil lines. Anambra people and voters on the receiving end determined to reorient. Victims of the mistake led by Chris Ngige and Tony Nwoye are on the marching song for correction, one as a campaign chairman and the other as candidate.

The only point of direction that Anambra needs now is to correct correctly, in a way not to return to the correction table soon after.So whether correction is by eraser, correction fluid, making bigger joyful noise, distracting the correctors, or by understanding and choosing the future of Anambra State, it should be such that at the end of the day democracy and the principle of separation of powers will be returned .The legislature and the judiciary should regain their freedom. The sore missing tier in Anambra democracy-Local Governments- will be regained and reinvented, returning their stolen
funds and making them work, stabilizing primary health care, putting Anambra State back on the educational map, restoring agriculture extension, empowering the youth and growing Anambra State through real infrastructure development without lies.

Only one candidate is forthright in steps to take on all these and he is the chief victim to Anambra 2013 lies, which gave rise to other lies. He is named Dr. Tony Nwoye of All Progressives Congress (APC).e emerged without zoning from the incumbent’s home local government,silencing those who had taken a stance to distract issue-based campaigns with primordial sentiments and allowing a focus on developmental issues in the state with the biggest potentials, most
colourful history, but arguably the most colourless governance.

Madukaife, an architect and project manager writes from Awka

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