Home MIXED GRILL Opinion (21/10/16): Obiano does not deserve this campaign of calumny, by James...

Opinion (21/10/16): Obiano does not deserve this campaign of calumny, by James Eze


Recently, the social media suddenly caught flame with stories

screaming about how the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano

is a failure. In what looks like a massively funded smear campaign;

pay-per-tweet mercenaries and scores of social media trolls who are

mere puppets dancing to drums from Nnewi had risen like a soulless

mass of trumpeters to shout at the top of their voices that Willie

Obiano is a failure. Nawa o!
What is the meaning of the word failure? What makes a leader a

failure? Does it mean that once cyber trolls get paid they lose the

cognitive capacity to modify the hate message they are given? It is

such a shame that people who collect blood money to assassinate the

character of leaders cannot even apply a simple logic to their

campaign of hate. It is appalling that these fellows cannot reason

that when people who have not paid attention to the affairs of Anambra

State in their thousands of previous tweets and facebook and blog

posts suddenly begin to generate tons of hate materials against the

governor, the world would instantly know that they are doing a hatchet

job. They do not know that no serious minded Nigerian who suddenly

reads ten identical tweets condemning one individual will immediately

smell foul play in the emerging pattern. These guys need to return to

re-calibrate and relearn the fundamentals of reasoning and logic

because the game has gone a few notches higher, really.
If common sense had not taken flight, how could anyone give you money

and hand you a few tweets with identical headlines and ask you to go

to town with it and you head to cyberspace to push it out without even

thinking of the need to sound slightly different from others? And what

really do they mean when they say that Obiano is a failure? What are

the basic manifestations of failure and how does Obiano fit into that

frame of reference?
Pray, does a man who in less than one year in office cleaned up

Anambra State of crime and criminality fit into this frame? Hitherto,

Anambra was an anathema. A taboo! Forbidden! Somewhere people dreaded

to visit; a geography which inhabitants deserted for their own safety.

But Obiano had wiped the state clean without spilling blood; chased

kidnappers and armed robbers out of town, cleaned up Upper Iweka and

restored the confidence of Ndi Anambra in the home-state and the pride

of Ndigbo in this frontline Igbo state. How does that make Obiano a

failure? Somebody please tell me!
Does a man who started an Agricultural Revolution that has placed

Anambra on the agricultural map of Africa qualify as a failure? Only

yesterday, the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, the governor

of the Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele, governor of Kebbi State and

chairman of Agricultural Committee, Senator Atiku Abubakar Bagudu all

stormed Coscharis Farms in Anaku, Ayamelum Local Government Area to

witness first-hand the impressive partnership between the State

Government and Coscharis Farms that was midwifed by Obiano. As the

monstrous Combined Harvester deployed on the expansive rice farm of

Coscharis Farms revved to life, the visitors were full of praises for

governor Obiano’s powerful vision. The chairman of the Coscharis

Group, Dr. Cosmas Maduka spoke even more tellingly about the import of

Obiano’s vision, lauding him for making his 29 year-old dream come

Speaking with an emotion-laden voice Dr. Maduka said “His Excellency,

Governor Willie Obiano is the person we should give all the credit for

making this a reality because when we talk about providing leadership

it is all about the government providing the enabling environment for

businesses to thrive. When he first came into Anambra State, he took

care of criminals, kidnappers. Today we have people from the

Netherlands, India and Australia working in this farm for two years

without any incident. That was the first important thing he did. These

people would not have come. Creating the enabling environment; because

we don’t have the expertise to do what we wanted to do.” Pray, with a

testimonial like this from one of the leading investors in Nigeria,

why would anyone in his right mind adjudge Willie Obiano a failure?

Somebody please tell me!
Does a man who built six bridges simultaneously in two years while the

country’s economy was sliding into a recession deserve the tag of

failure? In the past two years Obiano has built the following bridges

– Arroma Bridge (Awka), Kwata Bridge (Awka), Amawbia Bridge (Amawbia)

Ebenebe Bridge (Awka North), Aguleri-Otu Bridge (longest in the South

East) and Iyiora Bridge (Anam). All these bridges are there for

everyone to see. In the history of Anambra State and I dare say, most

parts of Nigeria, this is a record. That is the reason some local

folks refer to Obiano as “oji bridge eme ogo,” which loosely

translates to “the one who has demystified the tough task of building

bridges so much that he now dispenses it as a mere token to deserving

folks.” How does this fit into the dark narratives that seek to paint

Obiano as a failure? Somebody please tell me!

Again does a man who increased the salaries of workers by 15% at a

time when other state governments were borrowing commercial loans to

pay salaries qualify as a failure? I don’t think so. Does a man who

granted amnesty to 25 prisoners and gave each the sum of N1m to help

them find their footing in the society at a time Nigeria is in a

recession qualify as a failure? I don’t think so either! Does a

governor who has signed away all his salaries as a donation to charity

qualify as a failure also? Perhaps only in the imagination of some

money-grubbing social media denizens who live on hand-outs from Nnewi.
Perhaps too, it would help these social media gremlins who live in

Lagos and other cities and so are completely unaware of the sterling

performance of the Obiano administration in Anambra to remember that

they cannot write the story of Anambra State with their smartphones in

a distant land. Mbanu! That story will be too tongue-tied to echo

through the hills and the caves of Ogbunike and Owerre Ezukala! And if

ever it forces its way to our ears, it will speak in a tone too muted

to force understanding. Eziokwu bu ndu nwannem!

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