By Peter Ekwueme
For an administration that has scored woefully in terms of projects implementation, it is not totally surprising that the Willie Obiano administration in Anambra State has resorted to propaganda to sustain its viability and make an undeserved desperate claim for a second term.
Since last year, the operatives of the government, including its chief anchor, that is the governor, have sought to cover the eyes of Ndi Anambra at home and abroad with extraordinary claims of achievements in agriculture, Foreign Direct Investment and generous cash transfer to the communities. But in all three cases, the government and the governor have been embarrassingly disproved.
The governor, at an assembly of prominent Anambarians in Abuja, in July 2016, had reported that the state was now exporting vegetables and that the first export of $5 million worth of ugu and ogbonu leaves was done in January of that year.
He had said: “In January this year, Anambra made headlines when it became the first state in Nigeria to export vegetables (Ugu and Onugbu) valued at $5million to Europe. At the same time, our locally produced brand of rice known as Anambra Rice recently emerged the Best Rice in Africa at an African Products Forum in Lagos. Anambra Rice was adjudged better and more wholesome than other competing brands from South Africa, Egypt, Ghana, Morocco, Namibia and Cameroon.”
Obiano has since then been challenged to tell the people where in the state he harvested $5 million worth of vegetables that he claimed to have exported. It is not as if exporting $5 million worth of vegetables is not good, but for a government that has done everything to suppress the agricultural potentials of the state to now turn around to claim to have boosted it is very ludicrous. It is an insult to the thousands of hardworking farmers across the state who have been waiting for assistance from the government to turn around their household vegetable farms to profitable ventures.
The same goes with the claim of attracting $4 billion of foreign investments to the state and the self-serving claim of N20 cash transfers to the communities.
The claim of transferring N20 million to the communities is obviously false. After receiving almost N100 billion as local government funds since he came to office, he has sought to throw N20 million at communities to give a sense of purpose. But we are not deceived.
Now, the governor’s team has now gone further to raise its propaganda schemes to new inglorious heights.
Given the increasing sense of abandonment of the governor and the felt threat of Dr. Tony Nwoye, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the Anambra election, as a credible alternative, the Obiano warriors are going to great lengths to sell propaganda to our people.
Tales of Nwoye being a cultist as a result of his election as national president of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, are being sold by the APGA campaigners and some other threatened rival political parties.
It is a sorry state of the regard with which APGA holds our youths for the campaigners to sell the theory that every students’ union leader is a cultist! On the contrary, Nwoye’s exploits in fighting cultism in the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus have been well recounted both by the authorities and fellow students.
The late Prof Ginigeme Mbanefoh, who was vice-chancellor at that time, paid special recognition to Nwoye’s efforts in curbing cultism. The vice-chancellor supported the anti-cultism campaign spearheaded by Nwoye which involved the recruitment of spies who were used to identify cultists in the school. Identified cultists were marked by the Nwoye group and seriously warned that, if anything happened, they would be held personally responsible.
It was in the light of his successes in that regard that Nwoye was invited to lead a similar campaign in the Benue State University, Markurdi by then Governor George Akume.
It is as such remarkable that the salutary role played by Nwoye is now being subjected to negative revision by political charlatans who have not done any good to our state.
Our youths, must not be taken in by these claims and should boldly rise up to challenge the merchants of such fables as the enemies of the youths.
The youths just like Nwoye who is 43 years old, have much more to lose if the state remains in wrong hands. Obiano at 60 on the other hand would go into a life of retirement leaving the multitude of deceived youths in a quandary.
That is why the youths must take their chance with Nwoye irrespective of assertions of youthfulness that the older rivals are now using to canvass against him.
Does it not look reactionary for the older candidates in the contest to say that the youth should be excused from the race? Barack Obama was 47 years when he was elected president of the United States, John F Kennedy was 43 when he was elected to the same office, and most recently, Emmanuel Macron was elected president of France at the age of 39.
Ndi Anambra have had enough of the sorry story of incompetence in governance and will not hold the lies and propaganda that have become the focus of the APGA campaign.
When we ask for projects, the Obiano administration turns to propaganda. As the governor solicits our votes let’s turn his desire to despair on November 18. He should not eat his cake and have it. Or in Obiano’s case, he should not drink his champagne and chew us!
*Ekwueme, a medical doctor, is the Secretary General of the Enugu State Branch of the Nigerian Medical Association.