I have followed the campaigning trend in the forthcoming Anambra state gubernatorial election and it is becoming increasingly obvious that a group of disgruntled elements are hell bent on throwing all known decency to the wind whilst masking their sickening approach in altruistic robes.
On a daily basis, the likes of Valentine Obienyem, the erstwhile media aide to the immediate former governor goes on unrestrained rampage churning out doses of half-truths and outright lies in a bid to denigrate the Willie Obiano led government and one wonders how they effortlessly equate spewing all manner of insults to marshaling out their candidate’s manifesto.
To men like these, the only way to win an election is to daily stand on rooftops and insult the living daylight out of their opponents.
But what really are the sins of Willie Obiano to warrant this level of unrestrained opprobrium?
Times were when this same individual and his principal mounted various soapboxes singing the praises of the same man they now desperately detest.
I recall being at one of the various forums where Mr. Peter Obi told Anambrarians that he had searched far and wide and there was no better person to hand over the mantle of leadership than the Willie Obiano.
Coincidentally, the man they now desperately prop as the alternative to Willie Obiano was in that meeting, which begs the question, why on earth wasn’t Oseloka Obaze found worthy to take over from Peter Obi?
It is important to note that the same Oseloka Obaze had spent enough time in the Peter Obi led government for the governor to understudy him.
What did Peter Obi see in Oseloka Obaze that made him unsuitable for his support and what is he now seeing that he didn’t see then that now makes him his golden boy?
To be sure, the only reason one is forced to confront Peter Obi is that he has made himself an issue in this election.
You see him daily addressing people and it is not so much what he says but the unbridled anger that spews from his lips.
You get a sense of a desperately enraged man engaged in a political battle for survival and you wonder how a man whom God has so blessed is willing to sacrifice all on the altar of unabridged pride and vaulting ambition.
This is a man who for the eight years he held sway, never deemed it proper to organize a local government election, directly collecting and disbursing as he pleased every penny accruing to these organs of governance but on the eve of his departure decided it was time to do just that, never mind there was already an incoming government.
Did Willie Obiano complain? No!
Of course, Peter Obi did that to gain more supporters in his twilight moment but Willie never complained.
The Same man for the eight years he held sway, found it hard to recruit Anambrarians into the civil service but on the eve of departure, he opened up the gates and recruited well over five thousand people.
A man who for eight years was content paying a lower wage bill decided to foist a gargantuan wage bill on an incoming government.
The question is, if his intentions were altruistic, why on earth did he have to wait to do the needful?
I have always told anyone who cares to listen that the move was to endear himself to Anambrarians and not because he really loved them for if he did, he had eight solid years to do that.
Did Willie Obiano complain? No!
You spend eternity jumping from one platform to the another making claims of billions you left in Anambra coffers but fail to mention that on the eve of your departure, you awarded contracts to cronies known to do shoddy jobs in such a manner that would ensure the new government spends the next eight years and more paying out huge sums of monies to these contractors.
Did Willie Obiano complain even when we know that Peter Obi would be the last person on earth to stomach this kind of imprisonment? No!
Willie Obiano in his usual easygoing manner, took it all in strides and rolled up his sleeves for the challenge ahead but it would seem that the eight years spent on that saddle had sadly gifted Peter Obi with a mindset of a Lord of the Manor who feels Willie Obiano should forever be grateful to him and bow to his every whim.
Even God Almighty Himself allows His creatures some freewill and imbues in them the latitude to carve a niche for themselves but what people didn’t realize was that Willie Obiano was dealing with a highly cunning and crafty overlord whose only motivation for supporting him was a self-understood idea that he would rule the state by proxy.
To be sure, had Willie Obiano lived up to these selfish terms, we wouldn’t today have a situation where our self-styled overlord is busy jumping from pillar to post like the proverbial devil looking for whom to devour.
We wouldn’t today have a situation where his goons like Valentine Obienyem are everywhere on social media weaving well-crafted tales by moonlight designed to con the gullible.
One thing you can’t take away from Peter Obi is his almost seamless ability to ingratiate himself with the media in such a way that he almost succeeds in painting a picture of a highly frugal and austere manager.
Daily you see him mounting various platforms with the sole aim of curating this out-of-this-world personality but you only need to have a keen mind to notice his Freudian slips.
We all saw how he held the audience spellbound in that famous appearance on the Platform hosted by Pastor Poju Oyemade and we saw how everything he said was designed to churn out an image of a Nigerian leader that was above board.
But we heard clearly when he got carried away by the applause and forgot himself by regaling us with tales of how he used only one wrist watch the entire time he was at the government house.
Ordinarily, this shouldn’t be an issue but the trained mind knows a Freudian slip when it sees one and its no wonder that days later, the internet was awash with pictures of the same self-styled “saintly” Peter Obi wearing different wristwatches!
In a nutshell, that seemingly innocuous faux pass was a window to the unimaginable depths this supremely cunning man is willing to go to sustain the carefully orchestrated frugal image of himself in the minds of his target audience.
Same goes for him carrying his own bags at airports.
This is a man who knows the image he wants to create and knows how to put on a show when needed.
And you do not blame his audience who have been consistently led to believe a lie.
Someone once wondered why Peter Obi is being made an issue in this election and to that I say, PETER AND HIS COHORTS HAVE MADE PETER AN ISSUE.
For him, it is a battle for political relevance and not the enthronement of good governance he claims.
It is purely about Peter Obi and his quest to have a stranglehold on Anambra state affairs and never about the good of Anambrarians.
We saw how he bamboozled his will on the PDP and churned out a hitherto rejected stooge just to further his aims.
We’ve seen how he has virtually alienated every PDP stalwart to ensure his selfish agenda is on course.
From Ifeanyi Ubah, Stella Oduah, Alex Obiogbolu, John Emeka to Ken Emeakayi, he has literally leveraged on his closeness to the PDP national hierarchy to stifle all opposition.
In his mind, he is God Almighty who rules over the affairs of men and can achieve whatever he wants no matter who is grumbling.
But I have news for Anambrarians, NO MAN, NO MATTER HOW HIGHLY PLACED CAN EQUATE HIMSELF TO GOD ALMIGHTY!
Peter Obi, it was who introduced the zoning formula which saw the current governor holding the slot of Anambra North and today wants to thwart that arrangement by propping up a stooge who will naturally want to go for two terms.
We all know that the zoning arrangement was put in place to remove all forms of confusing clamourings so I’m going to ask us some hard questions.
1. If you are from Anambra South, would you rather take the risk of supporting an Oseloka Obaze who may likely decide to go for two terms or support a Willie Obiano who has only a four-year tenure remaining before power rotates to you?
Remember that this thing called Power is tricky and can never be left in the hands of a man who may make idle promises as opposed to a man who is statute barred from recontesting after his next four-year tenure.
2. Are you willing to take this risk on the altar of Peter Obi’s in altruistic ambition?
3. Do you honestly believe that with the way Peter bamboozled his will against the wishes of the PDP in Anambra state, that a Stella Oduah will ever support his stooge?
4. Are you not aware that in supporting Oseloka Obaze, Stella is literally building her political coffin as far as the constituency she shares with Oseloka Obaze is concerned?
5. Do you honestly think that Ifeanyi Ubah would fold his hands and watch the madness that is Peter Obi’s machinations attract political dividends in his own sphere of influence?
6. Can a house divided against itself stand the test of political scrutiny by an electorate that sees nothing absolutely wrong with the incumbent?
7. Not that it matters but have you ever heard Oseloka Obaze swearing he would only run for one term?
Let’s even assume he has, can you really take this risk when you’re assured that the constitution bars Willie Obiano from recontesting after four more years as opposed to an Oseloka Obaze who can wake up tomorrow and repudiate his words?
The Willie Obiano led government has been characterized by a certain level of peace and security hitherto not seen in the annals of our great state and we’ve witnessed an influx of investments like never before.
When they go to town weaving such huge tales of despair, you only need to interview Anambrarians who have never had their paycheck delayed or slashed even in this day of recession.
Of course, our desperate overlord will be quick to tell you that Peter Obi set the stage and left monies to cover such but have we not seen states where in the midst of plenty, the governor still chooses to turn a blind eye to the plight of civil servants?
Is the money Peter Obi’s money or Anambra state’s?
It is a great testament to Willie Obiano’s humanness and eye for service that he’s sworn never to go the way of infamy by paying workers as at when due!
They stand on rooftops bemoaning the world-class flyover built by this government but fail to tell you that in the days of Peter Obi, that road was a no-go area and a drive from the point where that flyover stands to the UNIZIK junction was tortuous and better imagined than experienced.
To ameliorate this plight, Willie Obiano swung to action and today the flyover stands as a great testament to the ingenuity of the man to the eternal shame of his incensed predecessor.
A saying goes “all is fair in war” and we can understand why Peter and his gang of propagandists are everywhere trying to set back the hands of the clock as regards Anambra state but I enjoin the governor to stay steadfast in his drive to see that he leaves the state better than he found it.
Willie Obiano should remain unbowed and view such criticisms as a necessary fallout of the good work he’s doing.
I recall an article by the highly cerebral writer Okey Ndibe published in the Sun newspaper where he categorically labeled Valentine Obienyem a liar without morals.
A man who can weave such fantastic tales to con gullible minds should never be taken seriously but must be accorded the pity he deserves.
Forget the noise of these charlatans determined to do the selfish bid of their paymasters but come election day, Anambrarians have a choice between well-deserved continuity and the return of “Godfatherism”.
We have a choice between a most cunning man desperate to create a ” Yes-man” in Oseloka Obaze from the imaginary ashes of a Willie Obiano government that refused to do his bidding.
We have a choice to determine whether we can trust a mans feeble and desperate words over a constitutionally enshrined edict.
I have not bothered to address the APC candidate who is busy spewing all manner of gutter language that is naturally characteristic of his upbringing.
You do not join issues with a man who to all intents and purposes wants to drag you to the same gutter he operates from.
So Willie Obiano is right in allowing Tony Nwoye his right to dance naked in public.
He’s allowed to mount various soapboxes and label the governor whatever his base mind deems natural.
Willie Obiano will do Anambrarians a great disservice by stooping to his level to respond to that garbage only he can muster.
It is barely thirty-two days to the election and I urge Willie Obiano to remain steadfast in pushing his message.
The hawks and hyenas shall surely gather but one thing is certain:
NO MAN WHO EVER PLAYED GOD SUCCEEDED IN HIS WAYS FOR GOD IS THE ONLY SUPREME AND HE WILL NEVER SHARE HIS GLORY WITH ANYONE.
NOT ME AND CERTAINLY NOT A MAN WHO EQUATES HIS WILL TO THAT OF ANAMBRARIANS!
Nonso Chukwudebe is on Facebook