James Ojo, Abuja As the build-up to the 2019 general electiongathers momentum, the British Government has tasked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to work together for the country; to deliver free and fair elections. The charge was given by the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr…
Mr. Peter Obi indeed left a big shoe for any would -be -governor of Anambra State. Compared to his predecessors, he is the best the state has produced. At the end of his tenure in 2014, those that voted for continuity did so in appreciation of his towering legacy.
The secret of Obi’s success was prudent management of resources and a clear understanding of the application of the Millennium Development Goals, now Sustainable Development Goal which he domesticated into Anambra Integrated Development Strategy (ANIDS). The man instrumental to that success he said was Oseloka Obaze, while the lucky beneficiary by providence is Chief Willie Obiano.
All Obiano needed to do was to understand governance as a continuum by sticking to the Anambra Integrated Development Strategy, which was already running good and making all the desirable impact.
Obi in 2014 made two promises to the people in the bid to cajole them to vote for Obiano as his successor. First, he promised to retire from active politics and the second was the caveat that if Obiano failed to perform, he will personally lead the campaign against him.
True to his words, he is in a campaign of his life, leading the campaign against his former protégé, whom, he said, has not performed well. According to him ‘nothing in Obiano’s four years justifies his campaign for re-election and it’s important that the people see through him and vote wisely’.
I have heard the argument against PDP by people who felt the party burnt down state facilities in Onitsha and Awka. in the days of Gov Chris Ngige . It’s my opinion that political parties do not commit arson. It’s not parties that perpetuate corruption, hence, I do not argue against party A or B. Person(s) perpetuate crime, corruption and arson. There is no party that I know of that has arson or corruption in their manifesto. It is people that commit those crime and we can hold the individuals involve accountable.
When Anambra was held down by godfathers , Obi was in APGA. He it was that liberated the state using the judiciary, but, today he is in PDP. Ironically the characters that committed the arson and destruction of Anambra had left PDP and are now in APGA working for Obiano’s re-election. In fact they had a public show of endorsing him.
What are Obiano’s unpardonable sins to Obi? In a private conversation with Obi two weeks ago, he provided answers, some of which are already in public domain. He assured me that he has nothing against Chief Obiano as a person, but has everything against his leadership style, which, he said, has mortgaged the future of the state and reversed all the gains of the past years. Anyone who knew Obi knows of his love and passion for education. For him, education is the best investment we can make for the future. Under his watch, Anambra was the undisputed leader in Education. For four consecutive years , the state took first in WAEC ,JAMB, NECO and produced the overall best teachers in mathematics and sciences. This was possible because Obi invested in education, teachers and educational infrastructure. It is only education that can migrate majority of the people out from poverty , ignorance and disease, as well as change the value system and build a new generation of entrepreneurs, he argued. This is why he is vexed that all the achievements made in education is being reversed in less than three years due to poor funding and lack of care. The state now manages a distant 7th and 10th positions out of 36 states. He accused Obiano of having vired all the money in the MDG accounts, with which schools and hospitals get .monetary and development support to his security vote. Who does that? This, he said, is unpardonable.
Obi in our conversation vehemently denied demanding for N7 billion from Obiano, but at the same time, is thankful to God that Obiano didn’t say he gave him a nickel. He instead gave details with bank evidence of what his government left in the coffer and suggested that the question begging for answer is what happened to the billions he left in liquid cash and investments. He wondered why the people, the royal fathers, the church and the traders are not asking basic questions.
Obi told me he left N2,139,951,400 in First Bank (Acc no. 2018779464) for Oko erosion; N4,909,576,925.98 in Sure-P Diamond account (0026290200); 1,782,568,032 in UBEC 1 Diamond account(0023484282);N2,101,864,766 UBEC 2 Diamond Account (0031151473); over N4 billion in many MDG accounts one of which was the N3,048,355,196 in Fidelity Bank (5030047097); over 35 billion Naira cash (set aside funds added) in all the banks,” He also showed evidence of $156 million lodged in the following banks as follows: Fidelity Bank ($56 million); Diamond Bank ($50 million); and Access Bank ($50 million). If left as Anambra’s Future Growth Funds as conceived by Obi, the money with interest and accruals would have been about N200 billion. He lamented that Gov. Obiano has sold all of the investment. He said it was one of the disagreements about the sale that led Mr. Oseloka Obaze to resign as SSG. Oseloka is the major challenger running against Governor Willie Obiano.
Obi wanted Obiano to justify before the people why he takes N1.2 billion as security votes, which is biggest in Nigeria relative to income and also given that Anambra is not facing any major security challenge. He challenged Obiano to mention one single security architecture that was added to the security of the state, apart from what he Obi did along with individual community efforts. He said , he paid salaries to the community vigilante group managed by individual communities, provided them with training opportunities, gave each community brand new vehicles, fitted with communication gadgets for fast patrol and seamless communication. He challenged the governor who boasts security as a major achievement to mention one single thing he has contributed to the state’s security infrastructure apart from collecting N1.2bn every month as security votes.
He accused Obiano of lying to the people especially with the phantom $5 million ugu export as example. He reasoned that as a seasonal vegetable, at least ugu would be exported once every year, but now, going to two years, nothing is heard about it again. How can Anambra get the order to export 10 million tubers of yam when over 80 percent of yam consumed in Anambra state come from Benue and Taraba states? How can Anambra be producing over 200 metric tons of rice, when even Stines company source rice from Ebonyi State? he queried.
Obi accused Obiano of signing over 100 Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) that are not functional and dismissed the claim that Obiano attracted $7.5 billion investment to Anambra state as another hopeless lie. He accused Obiano of evacuating 50 percent of the power meant for the capital to his Aguleri town which now enjoys 24 hours power supply while the capital and its environs are in darkness.He asked the governor to stop laying claims to projects he never built and challenged him to name just five road he built.