Before the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) peddles more lies at their campaign Flag-off on Monday ndi Anambra are called to remember their inglorious years on the saddle when they held down the state and arrested its development. Having been emasculated at the federal level and decapitated as a vibrant political force by an amalgam of vendetta seeking desperadoes made up of few deserters from APGA, and those still leaking the wounds of long lost hold on power, the PDP are undeniably clutching at straws. Their arrow-heads have resorted to blackmail, threading a well-worn path of mud-slinging and lies repackaged as alternative facts in pursuit of power change in Anambra. But to discerning minds, all we’ve heard and seen smacks of desperation.
Unfortunately for the PDP, its feeble attempt at rebuilding in Anambra ahead of the November elections was torpedoed by hijack of the party machinery by a former Governor who is driven by desperation to unseat an incumbent Governor at all costs – a man he endorsed over three years ago as a member of APGA but jumped ship in search of a federal appointment which eventually eluded him, only to realize that the governor has performed beyond his wildest imagination and the admiration of many. It is only desperation that can make the former governor align with a group he despised with so much venom. It is that desperation that has permeated the campaign machinery of the PDP, driving them to reckless disregard of structured messaging in preference of the tag of purveyors of falsehood.
It is desperation and conflicting objectives fuelled by hate and vengeance sought by the master, rather than a candidate’s single-minded quest for genuine power that has created the confusion about the PDP amongst the Anambra electorates such that you hear them asking: Who is the real PDP candidate, Obaze or Peter? By sticking to the apron strings of his sponsor, the PDP candidate has been relegated to the background even before the campaign flag-off leading to abandonment of the party by old patrons and those who felt it has lost its ideals and direction.
Although the new-PDP honchoes are trying very hard to position the candidate as a global citizen, his claims of a Manifesto which is hinged on, “I will do what Peter did” eleven years ago has further exacerbated the confusion in the minds of the electorates. Incidentally, Obaze’s song that he will take Anambra back to the glorious ‘glorious eight years,’ rightly belongs to APGA. Even quick review of the era informed the policy review of the incumbent governor to ensure that gaps traceable to ANIDS, which apart from the fast dilapidating roads, was largely evident in donations in an era of economic boom, hence the clear lack of legacy projects. Indeed, it was described as the era a port-folio government which began and ended with one man. Thankfully Anambra is moving on to greater things.
Thus like a time-warped organization, PDP and its candidate are caught in a cusp struggling to raise their voices above the din of vociferous claims by a vain-glorious godfather. It is reported that there is a strict instruction to the candidate to queue behind the godfather, and that has left the flag-bearer without a clear strategy save the promise to upend what has been done by governor Willie Obiano in the last three and half years; if only he gets the chance to satisfy his sponsors. This is essentially why the PDP and their new choristers have developed selective amnesia, shouting for all to hear: “Willie is a failure,” He has done nothing;” peddling all kinds of fictitious documents to buttress claims of phantom money left in Anambra about four years ago etc.
Before they shout themselves hoax on Monday, it is important to remind them that ndi Anambra are not gullible. Many are amongst the over five thousand persons employed four years ago in the twilight days of the godfather’s tenure were not sacked. Along with many others, they receive their salaries as at and when do. Ndi Anambra are not oblivious of the peace and security enjoyed across the state under the Willie Obiano. Of the over 181 km of roads inherited by the Obiano administration, 140 has been completed with many more road constructions ongoing, not to mention the strategic bridges across Umueje leading to the oil fields of Aguleri.
Anambra is already reaping the fruits of the over $5b investment inflow represented in the presence of industries like Coched Farms Anaku, Lynden Farms Igbariam, Josad Integrated Industries, Excel Farms, Tiger Foods Onitsha to etc. with employments opportunities for many. Above all, the deliberate policy of making Agriculture the number one pillar in the Anambra Economic programme of the APGA government has led to the birth of the much sought-after Anambra Rice and an increase in the state rice production from mere 80,000 metric tonnes to 322,000 metric tonnes within the period under review, thereby meeting and on the verge of surpassing local consumption. It is therefore no surprise, that under Obiano, Anambra is the 4thlargest economy in Nigeria with a growing GDP at a period of a shrinking national average.
Therefore as the PDP hawks gather in Onitsha with their empty wares, expect them to shout and make claims. Expect them to flaunt figures and documents that were cooked and locked away in someone’s port-folio which were never part of a handover note. Expect them to call the incumbent governor names, expect character assassination of a man who has become sort an enigma to the opposition with his exemplary strength of character and focus on the job. Make no mistake; shout they would, because they don’t have any articulate programme better than what Obiano has offered in an open and transparent manner, and plans to surpass in the next four years.
All told, the salient question awaiting the PDP desperadoes is; why on earth would any sane person allow them to drag Anambra back to the days of the locust and port-folio governance?
Okoye writes from Nawfia