by Hon Nnabuife Dike
There is also the issue of competence. A school leaving certificate would suffice for anyone aspiring to be governor. However, we live in a time when people with multi-disciplinary Masters Degrees are presiding over parastatals and agencies, how come that a man who has no first degree to his name-forget the honorary Doctorate he parades, is the one to lead Anambra people?
Just when one thought the worst that could befall the people of Anambra state is in the past the very characters responsible for the state’s sordid past soon surpass themselves. They outdo themselves in the art of brigandage that tarnishes the image of a state peopled in majority by an otherwise hardworking, talented and industriouspeople.
I was recently taken on by a friend from one of the north central stateswho, relying on the facts available to him, dismissed Anambra state as an enclave of crooks and clowns. The natural thing is to be miffed at hearing a person from another part of the country dismisses one’s home state in such unsavoury words but my friend was insistent. He said that crooks lord it over the state and powerless citizens only grumble in their private recesses without being able to do anything fundamental about throwing out the brigands once and for all.
According to him, at the dawn of the on-going civil rule, at a time when other states were arousing themselves from the ashes of military rule, it turned out that the resources of Anambra were being diverted into the pockets of a godfather to the then governor, ‘Odera’Chinwoke Mbadinuju. It turned out that the federal allocations are dutifully remitted to the godfather while his urchins highjack the paltry internally generated revenue. The outcome is now history. From the death trap that roads became to the breakdown of security that saw to the emergence of Bakassi Boys who regularly dispense vigilante justice, Anambra soon became a by word for lawlessness and social disorder.
The emergence of Dr. Chris Ngige was hailed way back then. But that was before it was alleged that he was part of an oath swearing coven.Ngige’s refusal to toe the line of his ‘godfathers’ led from one sordid tale to the other: ranging from the kidnap of a sitting governor to the confession by Chris Uba and his brothr, Andy Uba, before former President Olusegun Obasanjo, that the election to produce the governor was rigged. The Ubas’ gripe was that they were allegedly not getting returns on their investment as expected. At this point myfriend emphasized that one of these characters is a man who, allegedly, could only thumb print in place of a signature, so how come that he was able to hold a state that has an abundance of intellectuals hostage?
Thankfully, the courts showed Ngige the way out and paved the way for Peter Obi to come in. But this did not in anyway assuage the feudal lords. He was impeached by a magical quorum of the state assembly and it again took the courts to reinstate him. In between his two tenures, Andy Uba took the joke called Anambra politics to a new low when he briefly paraded himself as the governor. His nine daystint was the final proof that all the political woes of Anambra people could be situated in the greed of one family, the Uba family.
There were so many other instances of anomaly cited by my friend to prove his point that my home state is a huge joke. As would be expected, I vehemently defended my people, especially since the person making these points is not on ground in Anambra state and does not know where the shoe pinches. He does not know about the collective resolve of the people that never again will brigands under whatever guise have a free run in the state.
I was however taken aback later in the day when I discovered from the list of aspirants that have bought nomination and expression of interest forms from the PDP that Andy Uba is still nursing the ambition to become Anambra state governor. A man with some measure of discerning mind would have known that the family name is a pariah because of previous misdeeds. My sense of outrage assumed a new proportion when, a few phone calls to key persons in the state later, I learnt that Uba’s former boss, Olusegun Obasanjo, is the one pushing his aspiration. The same Obasanjo, before whom, as president, the Ubas’ confessed to rigging an election for Ngige and he did absolutely nothing about it. Also, Andy Uba daring to aspire to be governor is in the realm of the ridiculous because his one-family cabal has been behind all the political rascality in the state and bringing Obasanjo in to pervert the process in Anambra PDP primary is just mind warping.
For the avoidance of doubts, I am not saying Andy Uba has no right to contest elections – he is a serving senator so he can certainly contest but he has lost the moral platform from which to launch such aspiration, particularly when it is now apparent that the Andy Uba governorship project is an Obasanjo governorship project. I cannot recall at what point the people of Anambra resolved to outsource the leadership of the state to a Yoruba man in Otta.
There is also the issue of competence. A school leaving certificate would suffice for anyone aspiring to be governor. However, we live in a time when people with multi-disciplinary Masters Degrees are presiding over parastatals and agencies, how come that a man who has no first degree to his name-forget the honorary Doctorate he parades, is the one to lead Anambra people? It would be more productive if Andy Uba rather spends the next four years acquiring a university degree instead of dreaming about being a governor for thesame span of time. With some luck he could pick up some finesse in the course of studying for a degree and would be in a position to enlighten the rest of his clan.
Turning to the issue of sleaze, it is unfortunate that the legal and legislative frameworks of Nigeria are not more robust than they presently are. If not, a man who openly admitted being worth trillions of naira – proceeds of “gifts” he received as Obasanjo’s errand man -has not been tried for corruption. Now he has the effrontery to try unleashing his slush funds in his desperate effort to become a governor. This is the point when stakeholders in Anambra should ask this profound question: if a man as an errand boy acquires trillions of naira just how much will he loot as the governor?