1. With the commissioning of the Christmas light trees in Onitsha and Awka by Governor Willie Obiano on Wednesday, December 11, Anambra State officially entered the 2019 Christmas Season. This development was immediately followed by a number of activities like increased road construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation and general maintenance throughout the state. Street lights have been increasing all over the state. Far-reaching measures have also been taken to enhance security and manage traffic, so that the 2019 Christmas Season will be most memorable. Millions of ndi Anambra, their in-laws and friends from across the globe are about to start coming to the state, delighted that their state is not just the safest in the whole country but the most peaceful, the most united and the most socially cohesive. We are proud of this record.
2. It is, however, a matter of concern that rather than join ndi Anambra to ensure that their state remains the most socially harmonious in Nigeria, a reputation which helps to attract tremendous investments to the state, a couple of members of one particular party have in the last few days been hopping from one media house to another in search of journalists who will do their bidding by writing salacious but false stories about Anambra State. They want journalists to report that Anambra has become so insecure that the indigenes have been leaving in droves for other states to celebrate this year’s Christmas. They also want the journalists to publish fantastic stories that the state spent a whole N1.3billion on Christmas decorations.
3. While thanking journalists who have refused to mortgage their conscience by writing such unprofessional and incendiary reports which will definitely inflict reputational damage on their organizations, the state government would like to state categorically that such reports are absolutely unconscionable as they are unintelligent. We are happy the journalists demanded from the politicians who have been fabricating these reports to produce the names, faces and addresses of those seeking to leave Anambra for other states for security reasons. Let the news fakers tell the states which ndi Anambra want to go for safety when their state is not just the safest in the whole federation but has been rendering tremendous security assistance to neighbouring states experiencing kidnappings for ransom. As regards expenditure on the Christmas decorations and public shows during the Christmas season, it is public knowledge that they are mostly by the private sector.
4. Christmas is a season of love, charity and solidarity, not a period for fabricated reports and hate speech. The government and people of Anambra State are proud of our rich Christian heritage, and we will never deviate from the noble tradition of Christmas. We enjoin the handful of our brothers and sisters in our midst to bear in mind that there will be no election in the state until 2021. It is illegal and indecent to start campaigning for the election now. Indeed, it is immoral to subject our people to another round of electioneering campaign, only nine months after they participated in a national general election which was preceded by a hectic and very expensive campaign.
5. The hate campaigners are once again implored to join the Anambra people to build a state which will be the pride of generations to come. We do not consider the purveyors of fake news to be in opposition because the idea of opposition in a presidential democracy is a misnomer. What is more, we are building an inclusive society where no one will be left out on the basis of his or her political choice. The task of making Anambra remain the Light of the Nation is for all of our people. We must, therefore, eschew extreme political bitterness and divisions. Let us make the 2019 Christmas celebration in Anambra State most memorable.
May God bless Anambra State, the Light of the Nation.
C. Don Adinuba
Commissioner for Information & Public Enlightenment.