Nothing is as unappealing and bone-jarring as being introduced to a situation that leaves a sour taste in one's mouth-the suddenness of a situation expected to be pleasant becoming the opposite sums my depiction of Mr. Peter Obi, the Governor of Anambra State. This man has become an unpleasant surprise.
I stand here to raise my voice in condemnation at the charlatan and uninspiring government that Mr. Obi is running in my home state-because I am a "stakeholder" in this enterprise called Anambra State. I voted for Mr. Obi during his first coming because I was pleasantly seduced by his campaign promises and style. He promised to bring about a different type of government that would change the face and mind of Anambra for good; he made so many captivating promises. His most captivating line was "are we the cause or are we cursed"? I was particularly impressed by the way he churned out his campaign strategies and manifesto and I thus voted accordingly. Years later, I wish to own up to the fact that I genuinely believe that Mr. Obi is far from being a "performing governor".
The hypocrisy, the propaganda and wicked lies that the government uses in its bid to deceive us enrages me; It is quite cheeky for Mr. Obi to use spin to gloss over his apparent lackluster performance in Anambra state. Billboards proclaiming the magic wand of Mr. Obi litters all over the state; I find it a practical joke in bad taste for the Government of Anambra State to gloat about taking education to the next level. This is pure nonsense. Education in my home state is literally crumbling at an alarming rate and all the government is keen on is hype. Now, it is true that the state government donated buses to some secondary schools in Anambra State; it is equally true that computer sets were given to schools too, but I dare say that this was purely an avenue to enrich a few folks by settling them with those contracts. Of what use is a computer set to a school that has no electricity to power it? Who thought up this stupid idea? Mr. Obi lives in my town, Amawbia but choose rather callously to kill secondary education in that town. For a governor that allowed Boys' High School Amawbia to decay and fizzle away into nothingness to come out and lie to Ndi Anambra about doing so much in revamping education is unacceptable.
Now, paid megalomaniacs like Val Obienyem will come up to accuse people like me that dare criticize Mr. Peter Obi as being "disgruntled elements"-I can live with that. I am really disgruntled and will not stop moaning and challenging the government of Mr. Obi to rise up to the occasion and give us Ndi Anambra real value for our money. I attended Boys' High School, Amawbia and remain a proud old boy of that once great college-the school which is within a stone throw of Mr. Obi's Governor's Lodge remains an eye sore. I have pictures to back this up as I am sure the state government might want to deny this. The buildings have no roof, all the classes were without windows, no toilet facility for the staff and students, no electricity [the computer donated to the school is kept elsewhere outside the school because there is no electricity to power it]; in short the school looked more like an abandoned zoo! This is the same story all over the state! The government lies about improving education whereas the reverse is the case! It is unbelievable the level of apathy and neglect in government owned schools in
Anambra state; the state that once boasted of producing so many educated minds now boasts of having more "international markets" than schools. Little wonder private investors are cashing in on this anathema by building private schools and ripping parents off.
Are we really cursed or are we the cause? Anambra citizens had so much faith in Mr. Obi when he came out to be elected governor the first time; he presented a fresh face and a total departure from the regulars, above all, he was of a party [APGA] that appeared to hold so much promise for the Igbo person. For a Governor that enjoyed so much goodwill to trample on the very plinth upon which he stood tall strikes me as the height of wickedness. I am talking about the decision of Governor Peter Obi and his handlers to ignore the cries of Judiciary workers in the state; I am troubled that hospitals remain closed in the state too. Judiciary workers have been on strike in Anambra State since February this year, and the Government seems not to be bothered that breadwinners and their dependants are having a rough time-this is the same Judiciary that Mr. Obi ran to when he felt short-changed. There is something worrying about the government of Mr. Obi; it appears to be averse to dialogue and reason. The governor carries with him a deluded sense of "I am the Messiah" and treats others with contempt-it is appalling how he goes about screaming that he runs his government without owning anybody. This may sound good but what good is money when it does not create value? He seems obsessed with money! I sincerely believe that it is immoral for Mr. Obi to run a government that sees civil servants going on strike for such a long period of time. From lecturers in Anambra State University, to medical doctors and Judiciary workers; this is so very wrong and sad.
The joke usually is on the government of Anambra state when it comes out to tell otherwise intelligent people that things are rosy in the state. Selling self-congratulatory stories to media houses, insulting the people with hundreds of bill boards praising the governor and employing empty barrels as otimkpus will not erase the fact that Anambra state is not getting the dividends of democracy Peter Obi promised. There is no functional government water scheme in the state [except the Okika water scheme that serves only the Governor's Lodge in Amawbia]-this is in the 21st century! Anambrarians now sink boreholes for themselves, even the government encourages this madness by sinking boreholes in some communities; boreholes that dry up after being commissioned [the one in my town dried up and remains so], this is really sad.
However, it will be uncharitable of me to ignore the numerous good works which the Peter Obi administration has recorded since it came on board-roads, a new hospital in Awka, a government secretariat and too much talk about saving money. It is with every sense of seriousness and a joyful scoff that I refuse to be impressed, it makes mockery of reason for a government to praise itself for attempting to do what it was elected in the first instance to do! Hypocrisy is really at the pinnacle of government affairs in Anambra-I make bold to say that this governor is busy feathering his own nest while refusing to pay civil servants their just wages-this is immoral. All across Anambra state, there is a tangible feeling of scorn and disdain for this government. People that once stood for and supported Mr. Obi have deserted him in droves [they are still doing so], and instead of this man to see this as a pointer to the fact that all is not well with his style of governance and performance, he turns around to circulate the perverted lies that the people despise him because he does not "share money". Sterling qualities do
not hide; hence it will be logically incorrect for Mr. Obi to argue that "the Anambra elites do not like me because I do not share money".
For some strange reasons, Anambra state remains one state that appears to be averse to any substantial infrastructural development. The three major towns [they are not cities] of Awka, Onitsha and Nnewi are still struggling with heaps of rubbish and human wastes, darkness envelopes these towns every night because the streets do not have street lights, the Anambra State Water Corporation remains dead after so many years, hence no water supply scheme, roads and streets are as filthy as they come. I challenge the government of Mr. Obi to tell Ndi Anambra what his government has done to improve the lots of those living in the three towns mentioned here-the governor's lodge is in my town but this government has refused to tar one road in that community. I am really worried that Mr. Obi is running my home state with a typical Igbo trader mentality-one that sees everything through the lens of how much he has stashed in the bank! There is one huge difference between being able to manage a private business successfully and running the affairs of the state brilliantly.
It would be wrong of me too expect so much from Mr. Obi's government which finally mirrors the larger Nigerian affair, except that he is the governor of my state and I will not hesitate to scream when I suspect fraud. I did challenge Mr. Obi in an earlier essay to tell us how much he takes home as ÔÇśSecurity vote" from the Federal government every month- I am still waiting to hear from the state government. However, with the provision of Freedom of Information Bill, I will insist that he comes up with this information. I will also insist that his government reveals to us ndi Anambra how much the state generates internally monthly. I will not be sold the lie that the state government is unable to do more noble works for the people because it receives so little from the Federal government in allocation. This is nonsense and must be repudiated by well-thinking people. We must insist on being carried along by government rather than being lied to; why is Mr. Obi carrying on as the only man with workable ideas while making mockery of advisers and their advice?
Anambra state, is "the light of the nation"? The metaphor at play in this slogan strikes me as an attempt at dry humour-not funny. The light diminished significantly when the government allowed kidnappers, armed robbers and similar misfits to establish a thriving empire in the state. There is no such thing as a visible job creating scheme by the government of Mr. Obi, sports which the state used to be well known for is practically dead-there is no sports stadium in Awka, the state capital! In the absence of jobs, education and sports facilities to keep the youth occupied, in the presence of a warped and morally dead value system epitomized in a frenzied lust for lucre, a resort to crime becomes alluring. If this is the light the government of Anambra is talking about, I will be forced to nod in agreement. We can lie to the people all we can, we can mount so many bill boards proclaiming the genius that is Mr. Obi's statesmanship, we can invite all the editors of major media houses in Lagos for a chat with a view to encouraging them to write reviews that celebrate the governor's ÔÇśachievements", what we cannot hide is the fact that people are scared of coming to Anambra state. The fear of kidnappers and armed robbers remain astute! This is situation we have in Anambra state.
Summarily, Mr. Peter Obi remains one governor that was elected by the people and so much was expected from him. This is because he came at a time when there was so much misery in the land; he
brought a different package that promised to run a government that will be for the good of the people, he promised to transform the state into a beautiful place with education, infrastructure, security etc being top-notch. Today, I beg to disagree; Mr. Obi is apparently running Anambra state the way a typical Onitsha trader runs his business-no input from anybody, I know it all. This is disgraceful and there come the unpleasantness of this surprise.