By Emenike Maduka
It may well be the case that Mr. Fejiro Oliver, not being from Anambra State truly does not know that Mr. Peter Obi, former Governor of Anambra State, created for himself the credibility crisis he suffers today. In a story published by an online medium,’ Secret Reporters’, Oliver, accuses Governor Willie Obiano of trying to destroy Peter Obi! And the evidence? A video by Odenigbo Productions, demonstrating the inconsistency in Obi’s periodic vows not to ever leave APGA for another political party is being flaunted as breaking news of the Governor’s involvement!
Members of APGA who feel let down by Obi may well have an interest in taking Obi to task for his trickery. I do not think those who produced the video are saying Peter Obi has no right to join another political party. It is the crafty politician’s fundamental right. It appears to me that they are saying; let us put the records straight. This man declared many times that APGA was not just a political party; that it was a mass movement; a vehicle for all progressives, minorities and others marginalized by the existing set – up for going to the centre to renegotiate the Nigerian federation. They are saying how can you make such important pronouncements, turn your back on your words the next day and still be posing as a leader to be relied upon?
I do not see how Chief Willie Obiano comes into this protest. In the first place the man is obviously busy with governance. You have only to witness the landmark projects he is building across the state to appreciate the point. Obiano’s developmental programmes are so enduring and of socio – economic benefit that he cannot afford to be distracted and all men of goodwill pray that he is never distracted with what Peter Obi chooses to do with himself. As an aside, Obi made building of industries one of his cardinal programmes during his campaigns but in all of eight years could only deliver on SabMilller breweries in which he is alleged to have some interest. On the other hand, Obiano in less than one year has attracted nearly $2 billion worth of investments in agriculture, power, gas, waste conversion, vehicle assembly plant etc in the State. In all of eight years, Mr. Obi could not build a single flyover or dual carriageway in the State but in less than one year Governor Obiano is making steady progress on his 3 flyover projects.
Why should Obiano be disturbed with Obi’s ambition for a ministerial appointment in a PDP – led government? What other contribution can Obi make to APGA that he did not have the opportunity to do in all of eight years? Obi was not and is still not interested in growing APGA, so why should Obiano miss him? Under Obiano’s leadership of APGA, the party has acquired a pan Nigerian outlook. For the first time, APGA is having governorship candidates in Oyo, Nassarawa, Zamfara and Lagos States.
The deficit Obi’s politics suffers today is simply his own making. Obi has given himself away as a politician who makes promises easily but with hardly any intention of keeping them. During elections and when he is in need, Obi will cleverly say what will sound sweet to the people’s ears and move on, obviously thinking he has outsmarted them.
A few of his serial deceptions. During the campaigns for the 2003 governorship election, Mr. Obi gave undertaking that once he became Governor, his children will relocate and have their education in Nigeria. That never happened. Later acts of broken promises led many to believe there was never any intention to enroll the children in schools in Nigeria.
Obi made solemn declarations to resign if salaries were not paid or delayed at the end of any month. But once he got into power, Obi cared less about his vow. Salaries were delayed for the greater part of his rule, sometimes stretching into the 8th of the next month.
Obi as Governor deceived the public that he was saving money for Anambra State by cutting down on the size of his entourage. Yet, authoritative sources told us that the allowances of staff ordinarily supposed to make these trips were often built into the expense sheet but would not be released to these aides dropped from the travels. This money will not be returned to the treasury and the public will leave with the lie that money was saved for the State.
Mr. Obi was widely reported to have called on security agencies to shoot on sight MASSOB activists soon after he came into office. But when public outcry greeted the story, Obi denied ever issuing such.
The same Obi routinely announced that he had only two pairs of shoes. On this I will only quote James Hadley Chase: ‘Believe this and you’ll believe anything.’ Why doesn’t Mr. Obi add that he owns only two companies; only two bank accounts; only two cars; and only two million naira worth of assets?