Sunday, 30 October 2016

‘Allegations of non-performance against Obiano, infantile, laughable’



Senior Special Assistant on Media, Strategic Communications and Legislative Matters to Governor Willie Obiano, Prince Oliver Okpala, offers reasons for the political tension in Anambra State and responded to criticisms and allegation that the governor has failed to deliver dividends of democracy.

Excerpts

It is understandable that whenever an election is coming everyone will get into the fray and in such circumstances there would be mudslinging, unwarranted attacks and lies just to curry favour and to smear the image of opponents. This is today what is playing out in Ananabra State by opponents and detractors of Anambra State Government under the leadership of Governor Willie Obiano. There is nothing to fight for rather the opposition has gone all out to discredit the government and Governor Obiano for cheap political gains.

“But it must be understood that seeking power by all means is not a virtue but a sign of depravity and moral bankruptcy. The legendary Martin Luther King Jnr. even warned his fellow comrades while they struggled for their legitimate right to self actualisation in The United States. He said: “In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force”

“This is the least that is expected of those who must fight to gain any manner of victory, be it political or otherwise amongst civilized people anywhere. But unfortunately, some would – be aspirants or candidates in the forthcoming Anambra State governorship race have already saturated the media with venom even when the campaigns have not begun. This is an ominous sign that things may get very messy if they don’t call themselves to order.

Some of these would – be aspirants have even gone into the fray of creating enemies for themselves instead working hard to promote their candidacy and their questionable image. They have set up media teams just for the sake of attacking Governor Obiano.

They use all sorts of strategies such as blackmail, name calling, lies and rumours for no just cause.

But Obiano is not perturbed, neither is he moved because he knows that it is the people that would deliver him when the time comes. He has remained in touch with the people, listening to them and ensuring that their wishes and aspirations are taken care of. And this is all that matters to the amiable, focused, principled and visionary governor.

“These political jobbers are only interested in their pocket and therefore throw caution and discretion to the wind in discharging their hatchet job. They should be called to order because Anambra State is bigger than any individual or group of persons. Sometimes one reads with concern, materials they circulate on the social media like a recently one purportedly written by the CEO of a conglomerate who hails from Anambra State.

They make boastful and extremely inflaming comments that anyone who understands the burden of leadership and has love for the people would never dare to make. The truth is that most of these ill hearted attackers should go for political self-development.

“They should know that politics must not entail spewing lies against political opponents neither should it degenerate into invoking fire and brimstone against fellow citizens who share contrary views with theirs. Anambra people are wise and discerning; there are many of them who know the truth and cannot therefore, be hoodwinked into following empty loud – mouthed political contractors. These angry politicians should not take their personal weaknesses and moral failure into the political arena of Anambra, a state that prides herself as the Light of the Nation.

“All the allegations leveled against Governor Obiano are at best infantile and laughable. So far what is glaring is that the nauseating posture and utter lack of decorum by these individuals do not positively portray anyone with the ambition to run the affairs of Anambra State.

They ought to know that making controversial, unfounded, malice-ridden public commentaries against real and imagined political opponents is not a mark of brilliance but of mischief and bad manners. As the Igbo’s say “he who brings home ant-infested faggots should expect the visit of lizards”

One of them has even floated media outfits and is now in the habit of unleashing his editors on the governor just to pull him down. And in their desperation, they lack political education, finesse and have no sense of limit. These traits are a threat to the political future of Anambra State and the people must all rise up to make sure that these political misfits do not pollute the political air of Anambra State. The truth is that Governor Obiano does not deserve this atrocious campaign of calumny.

“Some of these emergency social media activists live in Lagos, Abuja, Port-Harcourt and other cities and so are completely unaware of the sterling performance of Governor Obiano in Anambra State. They should come home, because nobody drove them from their homes, and they ought to remember that they cannot write the story of Anambra State with their China made smart phones in distant lands as they try to destroy Anambra which could also be a producer of such phones if not for their perfidious and sabotaging attitude.

Great societies and nations are built by citizens who are patriotic, not grumblers and spoilers. Anyway, the good thing about all these is the governor is calm, collected and focused on his job, which is to make Anambra people continue to smile. The governor has refused to be distracted by the political charlatans and jobbers who see nothing good in a governor that has brought much finesse and humanity to governance just because they are bent on pulling him down.

For instance, in recent times, the social media especially has been awash with stories portraying the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, as a failure. But this smells of a well funded smear campaign launched with mercenaries and several social media attack dogs.

But if we must not be deceived we have to revisit the meaning of failure. Now, if a man who, in less than one year in office cleaned up Anambra State of crime and criminality is a failure then one must prefer to be a failure.

In the not too distant past, Anambra was a no- go- area, a forbidden land of a sort and a place which people dreaded to visit. But Governor Obiano wiped the state clean, chased out kidnappers and armed robbers from the town, cleaned up Upper Iweka and restored the confidence of Anambra people in their home state. Having tackled the issue of crime, today there are people from the Netherlands, India, Australia and other parts of the world working in the state without any incident.

If a man who started an agricultural revolution programme that has placed Anambra on the agricultural map of Africa is a failure, then let me be one! Recently, the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, the Governor of the Central Bank, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the Kebbi State Governor and Chairman of Agricultural Committee, Senator Atiku Abubakar Bagudu all were at Coscharis Farms in Anaku, Ayamelum Local Government Area of Anambra State to witness the impressive and uncommon collaboration between the state government and Coscharis Farms that was facilitated by the Obiano administration. As the gigantic Combined Harvester deployed on the expansive rice farms came alive, the guests were full of appreciation for the governor’s visionary leadership. The Chairman of the Coscharis Group, Dr. Cosmas Maduka, could not hide his admiration and gratitude as his almost 30 year-old dream had come to pass. Indeed the rice farm project is a clear sign of the commitment of the government to providing the enabling environment for businesses to thrive. If his is a failure then let me fail like this!

“If a man who built six bridges simultaneously in two years while the country’s economy was sliding into a recession is a failure then that must be a good failure, for it is true that in the past two years governor Obiano has built bridges including Arroma Bridge (Awka), Kwata Bridge (Awka), Amawbia Bridge (Amawbia), Ebenebe Bridge (Awka North), Aguleri-Otu Bridge, which is the longest in the South-East, and Iyiora Bridge in Anam. These bridges are there for all to see.

This is an unusual feat accomplished in the history of Anambra State. With this record, Governor Obiano has demystified the once unapproachable and unthinkable task of building bridges in this clime, especially by state governments. If this fit into the narrative of being a failure, then I pray to be one but in the mould of Governor Obiano!

“This so called ‘failure’ of a man increased the salaries of workers by 15% at a time when other state governments were borrowing to pay salaries.

Only recently, he abolished several levies and taxes as a way of cushioning the effects of the recession which the country is going through. In that uncommon feat, he abolished some critical levies and taxes in the state, a move that left many Nigerians dumbfounded and in awe of the exemplary and courageous leadership style of the governor. The overwhelming feeling was that the governor came out to show the way in an unlikely manner, because in times such as this, governments look for more ways of taking from the people, but the Obiano administration instead, chose to sacrifice for the common man. If this is failure, then it is a positive failure which considers the people before any other thing.

“It is a well known fact that the Obiano administration has also set an impressive record in Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) with a remarkable increase from the N500m monthly that it inherited to N1.3bn per month. This was achieved through a timely deployment of cutting edge technology and a surgical weeding out of over 800 ghost workers from the state’s civil service.

Therefore this so called failure must mean something else. It must mean a governor that failed to satisfy the cravings of a few cabal, a governor that has failed to be intimidated to do the wrong things and mortgage the future of Anambra people and a governor that has stood up to ask questions where necessary for the benefit of the people.

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