Provocative! Indescent!! Abusive!!!
These are the most appropriate words we can find to describe the language unfortunately employed by the Anambra State commissioner for Works, Arc Callistus Ilozumba to pollute a civilised debate on the Anambra State soapbox, dutifully flagged off by none but the founder of New Anambra State-liberated from the psychology of civil war defeat and the cave-holes of exploitative demigods, into a state on the threshold of real development
First Arc Ilozumba exaggerated the figures put out by Senator Dr Chris Ngige at the Events Centre of Marble Arch Hotels Awka, venue of his multi-party endorsement to enter the Anambra State governorship race ahead of his own decision to do so.
Ngige had on that occasion analysed that Anambra State has in the past sevens years and fractions earned a total of N1.2 Trillion from the federation Account and about N800 billion from local government allocations making a total of N2 trillion
He said so in the context that some say the present ‘government is trying’, but fail to compare the achievement claims with the resources at their disposal. Ngige worked within N80 billion bracket from the federation Account and acknowledged that with internally Generated Revenue ((IGR) and local Government Funds , totalling roughly billion for 33 months that he presided over Anambra State as governor and did all that he did in that period within that money ,including paying the debts wd in the preceding administration.
He therefore challenged the Incumbent government to point out their achievement that can justify the income profile N2 trillion as he (Ngige ) had not seen any ting in terms of infrastructure that can justify the earnings.
In the context of liberal and competitive democracy, this is a legitimate demand that does not call for gutter language form high temples of government or needless vituperations on the person of a statesman and distinguished senator, because he could not be rigged out.
We condemn the language in its entirety and insist that the questions have not been answered as they must. We also know that the new Anambra State that Ngige has contributed in making will not forget, because they have been beaten before.
Elsewhere in the world including other parts of Nigeria this is a decent challenge to which incumbents who have given a good account of themselves will simply smile and seize the high ground to rise and shine.
But with the kind of missiles being hauled by Mike Udah, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Valentine Obienyem, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor, Joe-Martins Uzodike, Commissioner for information, who has today been humble by the Anambra State House of Assembly which ordered him to place his tongue-in-cheek rebuttal in their chambers for statements credited to him in three national newspapers.
Now we have, Arc Calistus Ilozumba, who ought to be more decent in the application of language, coming from the professional cadre, flying into uncontrollable rage, describing a past governor of Anambra State and a serving senators as ‘lunatic’ in the physical presence of Governor Peter Gregory Obi without impeaching his facts.
One cannot but reach the safe conclusion that the harmless challenge of modern politics is hurting the Anambra State government badly. But governance is about emotional intelligence. Ours cannot be an exception.
Yet ,Ngige who has his facts right is not sympathetic to ,and ought not to be , for a government that could have given Anambra State an airport, emplaced a teaching hospital that will not be accused of maintaining only one ambulence and sending their autopsy cases to other hospitals; transformed education beyond doling out N10 m cheques to voluntary organisations and maintained mud floors and walls for standard markets while donating hundreds of million of Naira and hundreds of vehicles to operatives outside their governance sphere or the profligacy of tending to those outside the circle of the governed.
Senator Ngige, ever sure of his facts is not about to be shaken by the vituperations from the high altar of a government that cannot secure its people in a state where statesmen are murdered like fowls while it makes spurious claims on the pages of newspapers, outside reality.
Our party ACN and our mega party APC recommend a re-orientation programme for Arc Ilozumba and those who speak like him on the rudiments and language of engaging the public on issues which concern them, such as the N2 trillion earnings of their state. for seven years ,which is verifiable.
We know it for a fact that Ilozumba deliberately exaggerated the figures to N3 trillion to make his counter argument plausible and to impress his boss, Gov Peter Obi who disappointingly did not call the commissioner to order on language, suggesting that he was doing his bidding. We cannot begrudge Gov Obi another round of vehicle donations, with all its leakages, but we are quick to note that what Anambra State needs development, not endless is sharing that does not guarantee the future.
With such programmes if they can be so called, it is easy to appreciate the conduits of waste so far encountered by Anambra State in the past seven years including the record construction of three 40 km roads of Onitsha –Odekpe –Osamala –Ogwu Ikpele;Amansea-Ebenebe –Awba Ofemmili and Afo Nkpor-Awka Roads for seven year- a project management disaster.
We therefore caution these high officials of Anambra State government to keep the debate clean for what it is worth, not because indecent language can make Anambra State stop demanding proof of judicious management of this money that was enough to give them so many things they currently lack
For: ACTION CONGRESS OF NIGERIA, ANAMBRA STATE
State Publicity Secretary