One of the flyovers in Awka: the Obiano administration has given the state capital a modern look
On Monday, the 17th of April 2017, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige featured on Odenigbo 99.5FM and took an unnecessary swipe at the Obiano administration.
While one is not surprised at his position during the programme, because as an opposition figure he must be seen to be living up to expectation, especially as an election is in sight, one must however point out the litany of lies and half-truths which he spewed during that show to set the record straight and to properly guide public discourse.
In his words, Dr. Ngige described Chief Willie Obiano as “Governor-do-nothing"; that the three magnificent flyovers in Awka are "bus culverts and monstrous obstructions" on a federal highway. That the state government has no right to put a barrier in the bridge.
That the flyovers would soon collapse and that an APC state government would "pull them down". Ngige should be ashamed as he is confirming the perception of many Nigerians that the APC government is a 'pull down government'. He should be told that this is the time to build up and not to pull down.
Ngige was only trying to be clever by half when he scored Obiano 50 percent only on security, saying that his administration between 2003 and 2006 had a "better and more efficacious security initiative". But is he denying that today Anambra State is one of the most secure states one can think of? Is it not known to everyone that throughout the month of December during the yuletide, there was no single shot fired by armed robbers, and no single case of kidnapping and other crimes in the state?
Ngige argued that Professor Soludo's high rating of Obiano's government is "politically motivated". This is to say the least, preposterous as Ngige has no matching pedigree where Professor Soludo, a globally acclaimed economist, stands.
Ngige was not ashamed to say that he was the one that first came up with the idea of an airport in the state at Igbariam. That Obi abandoned the idea and that the one Obiano wants to build at Umuleri is overpriced, and shouldn't have been a PPP arrangement.
This is at best laughable! Because if he is asked why he did not build the airport, he would readily hide under the fact that he was removed from office. Then the next question should be: why was he removed from office?
The answer to that question reveals the fact that indeed Ngige is a failure who should bury his head in shame for being an Electoral Thief. Who stole the people's mandate and was disgraced out of office.
Ndi Anambra have not forgotten that Ngige became Governor through fraud as confirmed by the Court of Appeal, Enugu, on March 15, 2006. He was indicted for vote rigging by the court; therefore Ngige is a negative role model for our youths.
It remains appalling that he was involved in voodoo by subscribing to an oath at the dreaded Ogwugwu Akpu Shrine in Okija. This led to his abduction in July, 2003 and the ensuing mayhem in November, 2004 during which public property worth billions were destroyed in a clash between his supporters and those of his estranged allies over the conduct of local government elections.
Acting true to type, he failed to rebuild the destroyed public property until he was sacked by the Appeal Court. So the people have not forgotten that for nearly two years, Ngige left the state in ruins for devious reasons.
Indeed, Ngige denigrated and desecrated the office of the governor as he was roundly humiliated - locked up in a hotel toilet and slapped severally by his former political allies - all because of the lure for power! He personally made these scandalous revelations while narrating his ordeal after his abduction in 2003. This shows his mercantilism and desperation for power at all costs.
By this, he made notorious headlines and an ignoble record as the first Governor to be so abducted for his treachery. He proved to be a man without honour as he failed to repay his sponsors.
In the very first place, if he was competent, why did he have to cringe and crawl to be thus sponsored to the detriment of the Anambra people? Many still recall that era with a sense of shame and regret. No way, Anambra people who are known to be hard working and of a proud heritage will not go back to that era of servitude and shame! Never again!
When asked if he would run for the forthcoming governorship, Ngige's fears came to the fore as he said he hadn't taken a final decision on the issue. But the truth which Ngige himself knows is that till date Dr. Ngige is seen as being synonymous with political crises and instability.
Therefore, Ndi Anambra will keep avoiding him and his cohorts like a plague. That was why he was roundly rejected in his bid to return to the senate.
Is it not strange that a man who relied on others to be brought to the limelight now attacks Governor Obiano who was a seasoned banker and retired as a Director of one of the nation's leading banks before entering politics upon the popular demand of the people.
In describing Governor Obiano as “Governor-do-nothing". Dr Ngige has again shown to the world that he is an unrepentant spoiler of good works. For it has been roundly acclaimed that Governor Obiano has taken governance to another level in Anambra with a plethora of viable and credible projects scattered across the state.
Currently, there are one hundred and eighty-one projects going on in each of the one hundred and eighty-one communities in the state under the Do-It-Yourself scheme involving twenty million naira investment to each community. And by June this year, another twenty million naira worth of projects will be awarded in each community under the second phase of the scheme.
No doubt, in the next one or two months, the Governor will be busy commissioning these one hundred and eighty-one projects across the state. This is one major reason why the people are bent on re- electing Governor Obiano to the chagrin of the likes of Dr Ngige. But the good thing is that they cannot change the reality.
Gov Obiano has been busy flagging off and commissioning projects all over Anambra
Those who visit Anambra State easily see that things are working and the people are happy, workers are being paid as and when due, roads are being constructed and re-habilitated, security is being beefed up, health facilities are been provided, and bridges are being constructed.
Last December, the Anambra State Government paid the workers' salaries on the 20th of the month, all leave allowances and pensions were paid on the 20th of the same month. So there was no liability brought forward into 2017 and every civil servant in Anambra State received a bag of rice produced in the state.
It is this local production of rice that Ngige is now trying to rubbish.
Is the controversial Ex-Governor Ngige blind to the fact that as at the time Governor Willie Obiano came into office, the production capacity of rice in the state was seventy eight thousand metric tons, but that today Anambra produces two hundred and thirty thousand metric tons of rice? The records are there for all to see! Is he also oblivious of the truth that in the next two to three years, Anambra will become a net exporter of rice?
Ngige further argued that Governor Obiano's claims on foreign investments and vegetable exports are "bogus and over exaggerated". Good enough, his expression of bogus and over exaggerated betrays the fact that he acknowledges some progress made in that regard, but instead of giving the administration kudos he must try to attack it for puerile political reasons.
Is he not aware that Agriculture has received a major boost in Anambra State? Why is it difficult for Ngige to believe that Anambra now exports Ugu, Spinach and Bitter-Leaf to Europe which are now fetching Anambra solid foreign exchange?
Anambra State capital, Awka, now wears a new look as three brand new flyovers have been constructed in the city and there are street lights everywhere, beautiful roads in the state capital, to the extent that what used to be a local government headquarter has now become a real state capital, courtesy of the wisdom, ingenuity and integrity of Governor Obiano.
Recently, the administration completed two long bridges at two different locations in the state. Despite the economic crunch, the government is still fulfilling its obligations to the people.
It is also important to note that the Anambra State Government has awarded contract for one hundred and eleven roads that will be ready in the next few months, before serious rains set in. These are apart from the ongoing existing road projects across the state.
Almost all the nooks and crannies have been lighted up, all the major cities in Anambra are lighted up at night, that wherever you go, it's like day break at night in Anambra State. This is courtesy of the wisdom and understanding of the Governor.
In the area of health, the state government has awarded contract for three hundred and twenty-six health centres; one in each ward, in the state. These are being done seamlessly as if there is no recession in the country.
The Governor had promised the people that they would glide through economic recession without any serious impact on their lives, and this is coming to pass. So what is the justification for the “Governor-do-nothing" sloganeering of Ngige?
Hearing Ngige speak at that programme, the uninformed would be deceived that he loves Anambra or Igbo people in general. But is this not the same Ngige who in September 2010, openly supported then Lagos Governor, Babatunde Fashola's, deportation of hapless Igbo men and women from Lagos and dumping them at Upper Iweka in Onitsha? In this regard, his membership of APC gives him out as a saboteur of Igbo interests.
Governor Obiano, out of compassion and his characteristic magnanimity, restored Ngige's status as a former Governor; a privilege denied him by Ex-Governor Peter Obi.
Today, Obiano magnanimously pays Ngige's entitlements as a former Governor. But Sadly, Ngige is notorious for biting the fingers that fed him, just as he did to his allies and collaborators in the 2003 electoral fraud.
We make these submissions with every sense of responsibility and at the appropriate time we shall release the audio and video clips of Ngige's public acknowledgment of Chris Uba in his role in making him Governor through the massively rigged 2003 governorship election in Anambra State.
The video clips of the shrine where he took the oath of allegiance to his co-conspirators and that of deportation of Igbo people from Lagos to Upper Iweka are also available.
We shall not hesitate to serialize them as a sordid reminder to the unsuspecting people of Anambra if he continues to denigrate an excellent gentleman and performing Governor, Willie Obiano.
Indeed it is time to call a spade a spade and not a farming tool.