Anambra’s Potty Politics- By Ejike Anyaduba



Barely 9 months after exorcizing the stalking ghost of an N75billion bequest (which nearly cast doubts on the achievements of the Willie Obiano government) the dybbuk is back to repossess the poor in spirit. This time, the ghost has select captives in the burgeoning army of cyber stalkers and few stragglers, billeting in the print media. The two have established beachheads, gingerly waiting to shoot craps with the reputation of the administration if it fails to erect protective columns about itself.

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Before this time — immediately after matters were resolved over the false bequeathal – the opposition, forced by truth to acquiesce to a truce, skulked to concoct more lies and rehash discarded ones. But the revelation had already done two things. One it afforded the public an opportunity to keep a sense of perspective about the financial status of the state and how it is being spent. Two it made them aware that the huge transformation going on in the state, earlier dismissed as an effort of a bequeathed fund, was indeed an ingenious application of corporate experience to governance.

But it seems the period of calm necessary for accelerated development has elapsed and a staccato of fire is once again emitting from the battlements. It is not clear what informed the renewed attacks and the days appear reluctant to offer any prescience. However, it can be speculated that the Anambra governorship election coming up in the last quarter of 2017 may be responsible. The governor’s rising popularity is causing not a few smarting sense of injury. It has suddenly become a bugbear to be destroyed by hack writers on the internet. The “writers”, sworn to no other engagement but drivels, have continued to churn out lies against the government. Sadly, the vitriol is shored up in the print media by one or two persons who felt neglected by the government.

Regardless, the administration has been sufficiently restrained. With gallant grace of bearing it has continued to advocate peace – even denying itself publicly just to maintain it. But so far as the efforts went – including the public apology at the burial of the ex- principal of Christ the King College (CKC), Onitsha, Rev. Father Nicholas Tagbo, not much is being achieved. A day after the burial the fire of hate was stoked with greater intensity as the internet was suffused with a lot of lies. All manner of allegations were leveled against the administration from projects abandonment, through anti-Biafran stance to alcoholism. In fact, the National Mirror of Friday August, 2016, quoted Joe Martins Uzodike, a chieftain of the PDP, as saying that Obiano government abandoned all the projects initiated by his predecessor in office. He went further to threaten that the only condition for peace was for the governor to honour certain agreements entered into before his election. Part of the agreement he said was for him to complete all projects started by his predecessor and to repay the money used to make him governor. “If Obiano goes back to the agreements that were held before the election and implement them Obi, who I know very well, will genuinely forgive him”. “As I speak to you now, Obi’s projects have all been abandoned everywhere in the state. The Agulu Lake Hotel project, roads, which Obiano had said he will continue and complete have all been abandoned”. “Obiano also knows that Obi did not use government money to make him governor, but simply wanted him to give him credibility which was the reason he left behind N75 billion for completion of projects already started by him”.

Apart from confirming unwittingly the fear of possible resurgence of the discarded politics of godfather/godson in the state, every other claim of the man was a fly in the face of truth. One, no project in the state is abandoned. The Agulu Lake Hotel which he mentioned has been completed, including parts of the road leading to it. Also completed were other projects initiated by the previous administration like the Onitsha shopping mall, roads, schools, and hospitals etc. This is outside the ones started and completed by the Obiano government like the three bridges in Awka, the one in Aguleri, leading to the oil field, roads, street lighting etc. Why the Agulu Lake Hotel is not on stream yet is the delay of prospective international brand managers like Protea, Best Western, InterContinental etc. They are taking their time to review the business aspect of managing the Hotel. Hopefully, before the close of the year the Hotel will take off in earnest. Two, Uzodike claimed that Obiano knows he was not delivered on the strength of Anambra state purse, but private funds. Assuming that was what happened, what was the rationale in that? Why belabor private purse when the same feat could be achieved through the instrumentality of much talked about princely legacy?

Of all the allegations against the government, being portrayed as fighting the Biafran agitators is the most criminal. How can an administration approbate and reprobate at the same time? Since the War no other government has deemed it wise, much less plucked up courage, to organize state burial for the unsung heroes of the war. How can the same government that controls neither the army nor the police suddenly unleash both on the peaceful agitators? What political mileage did it want to achieve by that? It is wrong to bruit this kind of rumour against a government that weathered so much pressure just to ensure that the spirit of the unsung heroes of the War was put to rest during Ozoemezina, (symbolic burial).

Other allegations of drunkenness and waste are as risible as the accusers are flippant. Can a lion assume the manners of a dove? Scarcely! It loudly announces its own ferocity. Except primroses are not the herald of spring that is when a drunk can successfully conceal from public view an act of debauchery. No time (whether as a banker or public figure) was Obiano recovered from a function sprawled out. Can an alcoholic assume patterns of behavior when inclined?  Truth is that Obiano government has become a serious threat to a lot of people hence the aspersions. It is not the practice for opposition to sing praises of a government it wants to replace, especially when such a government has commended itself so well of posterity by successfully tackling, in matter of months, security challenge that defied previous efforts; attracted unequalled investments to state; changed her infrastructural horizon and pays salaries, allowances, pensions, gratuities etc promptly.

Singing such praise would doubtless give hostage to their political fortune and cause their personal vanity to suffer decided shock.

Ejike Anyaduba




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