By IfeanyiChukwu Afuba
Unknown to the executors of the script, Anambra’s best Governor since creation of the State in 1991, Willie Obiano was already back from a trip to the United States and attending to official matters in Awka. Twenty – four hours later, the hatchet writers hit the social media with the brew that Obiano had been barred by the US authorities from leaving the country. Perceptive citizens blushed at the silly tale, lamenting the poverty of mind that descends to such sour schemes.
But you can bet that this would not be the last of the calumny against the Obiano leadership. The blunder on immigration investigation is not an isolated case.
The campaign of disinformation started in the first year of the Governor’s first tenure as soon as it became clear that he would not open the State’s treasury to any power speculators. He had to be blackmailed to submission or taught a bitter lesson on the ego turf of political seniority.
Ever since, there has been no let up in the disinformation campaign against the Obiano administration. Unsettled by Obiano’s focus on development; alarmed that the administration’s landmark projects would stamp legacy imprint on its period in office, a plot to discredit the government was set in motion.
While majority of Ndi Anambra expressed appreciation to the APGA – Obiano government over the traffic and aesthetic value of the three Awka flyovers, the disgruntled detractors screamed in 2015 that the flyovers had started collapsing. Their concern was not about the quality of the infrastructure. Their nightmare was that Obiano will be remembered by the splendid facilities.
Confounded by the transformations under Obiano that made Anambra a food exporting State; the fourth-largest economy in the country; the State of educational milestones; and pioneer oxygen plant producer in the southeast, the detractors chewed between silent acknowledgement of Obiano’s accomplishments and cheap relevance of their opposition. And they chose, cheap, noisy presence on the political scene.
The First Family came under the butt of their fabrications. The tales were trivial and outlandish; the presentation hollow and obscene. In ironic betrayal of malice, analysts observed that even if the Governor or his wife were so minded as portrayed, they could not possibly have committed the long list of crimes in so short a time! It took a reminder from a veteran of Anambra politics that the sponsor of the plot was himself a leading wine merchant enjoying the proceeds from sale of champagne before the foot soldiers relaxed their fixation with champagne – drinking gossips.
Obsessed with inventing scandals for the Obiano administration, the detractors turned their energy to manufacturing figures of the State’s debt profile. Bolstered by the knowledge that social media lacks gatekeeping on facts verification, the dissemblers churned out false figures of indebtedness as their fancy caught them. The calculation was that some minds would have been misled and enough harm done before the administration’s rebuttals. The underlining target remained to incite the people against the government.
With the recent release of the November 6, 2021 governorship election time table, we can be sure that the vicious propaganda against the APGA – Obiano government will increase in regularity and intensity.
The coming election is a battle for ego and power for the ranks of the opposition. Rarely will you get to hear a presentation on alternative development approaches for Anambra State by the opposition aspirants and their political parties. That’s a rather tasking discourse. And the one you would most probably not hear at all is on multiplying the State’s revenue base without extra taxation. Let the army of aspirants tell us how they hope to fund development projects without relying on Abuja!
Not a few players in Anambra’s politics consider themselves godfathers. Most of them cannot accept the reality of APGA’s dominance. Desperation is already a factor in the politics of the election. And there can be no downplaying the negative impact of desperation for power.
Who would have thought that the January 6 mob invasion of Capitol Hill was possible? The violent drama revealed the extremes politicians can go for power. Back home, we recall the organised mayhem and burning of public buildings in 2004 all in pursuit of political power.
With Governor Willie Obiano looking set to finish on a high note of achievements Ndi Anambra should expect more fabrications from the opposition and dismiss them for what they are.
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