Honestly it took me quite a while to come to this personal realization and decision to bare my mind by expressing heartfelt apologies to the governor of my state Anambra. I have not met him and I don’t pretend that I wish to. I just thought that haven been in the vanguard of the youthful opposition especially those who were recruited and persuaded to oppose him for perceived wrongs, I felt sufficiently convinced that the governor has shown sufficient good faith in less than three years to merit some appreciation.
I want you to note that I am not a career politician. I joined the frey of loud protesters especially on the Internet when we were told how he “abandoned the youths and appointed his kinsmen mainly as personal aides.” Hence I did not hesitate to execute the brief to castigate every effort he makes at development because many of us thought that was for the best. For instance, we shout daily that he has done nothing, citing N75bn left for the state, we condemned the Flyovers in Awka as mere block of cement, some even added that it is collapsing and when his aides react we shout it’s mere propaganda and hype.All these with the conviction that since the APC got the better of former President Jonathan that way, we can as well dethrone him in favour of our sponsors.
Like the say, you never know. When I visited Owerri, Imo State I was confronted by a buddy of mine who wondered why the average Anambra man does appreciate their governor. He wanted to know why we don’t want to allow the man space to settle down and govern even when it is clear that he has shown clear direction unlike their experince in Imo State. I quickly dismissed his argument with the assertion that Anambra is unique and deserves the best always. However, I must admit that I soon felt worried that some of his submissions about intolerance and the winner take all mentality being at the root of Anambra unrelenting opposition politics which may yet ruin the state.
I had since gone to join my colleagues in the daily Obiano blind bashing on the Internet when I met my NYSC mate in Lagos recently. Bayo is actually from Osun State and had been in the public service until recently. No sooner than we got done with pleasantries did Bayo confront me with the Obiano question and Anambra’s penchant for needless controversy and disregard for their leaders. Bayo’s advocacy for Obiano as a performer actually took me unawares.
Hear Bayo: “Ekene, you are my friend and I can tell you the truth. I had to leave the work am doing because of no salaries and your man is paying regularly. Are you expecting him to appoint personal aides from where, other than those who know him? I used to have my doubts following the claim about vegetable export untill I heard the man explain and show it at the Awomolo Lectures. His Agric programme is commendable. I here the bitter leaf specie come from Owa in Oraukwu. Don’t you people now have a branded rice? Your capital city is also changing I see and your state is almost crime-free with community deVelopment too. All in recession period. Haba! Are you guys’ serious?”
Since my Lagos trip, I have taken closer look at my state and can confirm that a lot is indeed happening in spite of the clamour of some to the contrary. I try to detach myself from the sing-along blame crew and can attest that the N20m Community project is one undeniable people-oriented programme. I have also noticed the return to roads construction and the pleasant news of the empowerment of youths with start-up capital of which my cousin is a beneficiary.
Thus for once, I grudgingly acknowledge the positive changes in my state and therefore apologize to my governor for the smear campaign. Although I am not a member of APGA, I must acknowledge that our state has had its best growth and development under the party. We were witnesses to the eight years of his predecessor Obi whom I must say deflated our weapon recently when he acknowledged that he didn’t leave only money as, N75bn. If anything that assertion made me wonder at the vehemence with which my colleagues and I attack Obiano programmes and use Obi against him. Is it really to judge him by another’s standards and at different times and economic fortunes? Now I know better and I apologize to Obiano even as I urge him not to drop the ball.
(Ekene writes from Nawfia:email@example.com)