Sunday, 22 January 2017

Remembering Chike Obidigbo’s Tragic Interview

By James Eze (

Of all the aspirants planning to run against Governor Willie Obiano in the gubernatorial race of Anambra State, Dr. Chike Obidigbo cuts the most pathetic figure. Any pundit, worth his salt would easily look at Dr. Obidigbo and shake his head ruefully in sympathy. He would wonder why some men always fail to fully appreciate their own limits.
It is this tragic failing that came to the fore when in a recent interview with Daily Sun, Obidigbo choose to humour himself at the expense of good judgement. Obidigbo sounded laughable when in the interview published on December 30, 2016, he mused “You see Anambra people; we are different in a way because everybody participates in politics there including the youth. The only danger is that most times, these youths are sponsored to counter genuine reasoning.” I chuckled when I came across this line in the interview. Obidigbo, a well-known sponsor of facebook trolls is believed to be the financial muscle behind APGA Interactive Forum, a facebook group that was set up to scandalize his political opponents. Obidgbo sounded so naïve that he even indicted himself without knowing it.
Still, the interview would just have been okay if Obidgbo hadn’t begun to take himself too seriously in the later part. Perhaps lulled by the sound of his own voice, Obidigbo declared that “When my brother the current governor (Willie Obiano) came on board, he had no manifesto. He has never made any promise to anybody. He never campaigned anywhere. So, there is no way you can assess him because he never said I will do this for you when I become the governor.” I read this paragraph twice just so I would be sure of what Dr. Obidigbo wanted to say. In the end, I drew the conclusion that the manufacturer couldn’t be possibly blamed for his political naiveté.
I mean; who in Anambra State could in all sincerity accuse Governor Obiano of not having a manifesto or a blueprint? Obidigbo might not know it of course, but denying knowledge of Obiano’s plan for Anambra State makes one look like an ignorant politician who is so self-absorbed that he couldn’t be bothered about what his opponents are doing or a pitiable mischief maker who knows the truth but choses to live in denial whenever it seems inconvenient to admit it. Whatever is the case in this instance, Obidgbo hasn’t made a good case for himself. Even the deaf heard the loud Promise of Continuity that steered Governor Obiano to power in 2013. And from the campaign period to his first full year in office, Obiano never ceased to talk about his Four Pillars of Development – his Economic Blueprint for the state. One has to be hard of hearing not to have heard about Obiano’s Four Pillars of Development or plain naïve not to have shown enough curiosity that would make one know about it. And to claim that Obiano never campaigned anywhere is to take the intelligence of Ndi Anambra for granted in the strictest sense. For how indeed can anyone win an election in Anambra of all places without running himself ragged on the campaign stomp?
Indeed, Chike Obidigbo’s comments in the interview under reference are inconsistent and largely preposterous. He failed to pick his issues intelligently, dabbling in areas where he could be so easily snookered you had to wonder if Obidigbo has ever learned anything in all his years in politics. Take his decision to raise issues with federal roads in Anambra State for example. Here, Obidigbo easily gave himself away as one the flotsams of Igbo politics who would sell their heritage for a mess of porridge. While any astute leader would have spoken against the criminal neglect of federal roads in the South East, Obidigbo displayed a pathetic wish to blame the victim. He blamed Nidgbo for their pitiable lot in Nigerian politics, saying; “We know that this marginalization is not the fault of the central administration. Sometimes it is our own fault because we are not making a lot of noise. We should speak out, instead of staying in our small enclave and say we are not loved, we are marginalised. Marginalised by who?” It is appalling that even before he has any chances of being noticed by Abuja, Chike Obidigbo has already turned against his own people. These comments are extremely insensate and regrettable.
Indeed, Chike Obidigbo should never have granted that ill-fated December 30, 2016 interview. His handlers should have advised him against it or given him adequate preparation. Sadly, they failed in their duty and now we have on our hands, a man who wants to either lie his way to reckoning or position himself as a leading comedian.
How else would anyone look at Obidigbo’s ridiculous declaration that Governor Obiano “did nothing in the area of security?” Hello! Is this man from Jupiter or what? But just as you wonder whether he was simply straining to be humourous, Obidigbo drives a long nail into his own perception coffin when, like an emergency philosopher, he cheekily explains to the reporter that “During the time of the former governor for example and even the time of Mbadinuju, there were a lot of criminal activities in the South East. There were a lot of kidnapping, armed robbery and all kinds of evil and with time, society begins to outlive those things.” In Obidgbo’s philosophical school, society outlives crime. Fantastic! May be the world should not bother about terrorism then. Neither should the law exist. Or the justice system for that matter. Why? The human society is bound to shrug all shades of criminality off and we shall all live in a peaceful universe afterwards. How infantile! And this is coming from someone who wants to govern Anambra State.

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