By Amaechi Nwokenife
IT was the black American Musician Tony Wilson, who sang of the politician as a â€˜man of many words.â€™ Wilsonâ€™s satire is a poignant commentary on the politicianâ€™s tendency to bamboozle his audience with hot, empty rhetoric. Political leaders who have scant regard for moral values, will most probably be given to flippancy.
I had barely finished reading the story â€˜Ngigeâ€™s Claims False, Says Okunnaâ€™ in Daily Independent of Thursday, December 3,2009, when I encounteredÂ more of Dr. Chris Ngigeâ€™s strangeÂ tales in Daily SunÂ of the same day.
Professor Stella Okunna, Anambra State Commissioner forÂ Economic Planning had in the aforementioned report, debunked Ngigeâ€™s claims of having attracted international donor agencies to the state during his illegal governorship. As a serving civil servant at the time who witnessed how the insecurity of that era shut down development in the state, I was relieved by Okunnaâ€™s exposure of Ngigeâ€™s fairly tale.
But, there again, inÂ his interview with The Sun, Ngige made at the minimum, three false claims. He contends that governor Peter Obi has done â€˜few roadsâ€™ compared with him. He further canvasses the fiction that the â€˜federal authorities connived with the present day governor, Mr. Peter Obi, they worked together at the tribunal and they worked with INEC. They worked with them even up to the Court of Appeal to theÂ extent that INEC even made a detour, singing a new tune at the Court of Appeal for a cancellation of the entire results.â€™ It is also Ngigeâ€™s assertion that â€˜the national Chairman (of APGA), Chief Victor Umeh is fromÂ Aguluzigbo, a village inside Agulu (Peter Obiâ€™s home town). I can be quoted, because that is the truth.â€™
The Action Congress governorship candidateâ€™s attitude is difficult to understand because these are issues in the public domain and it does not take any stretch of memory to access them.
There are records to show that while Ngige built 193 kilometres of roads, ninety per cent of them in his local government, governor Obi has built 370 kilometres ofÂ roads spread in the 21 local government areas of the state. This is physically verifiable and indeed, countless independent organisations have seen this for themselves and commended Obi for this unequalled feat. One can guess why Ngige is somersaulting over plain facts. It is a bitter pill for him to swallow that even in his one item achievement in office, ObiÂ has doubly overtaken him.
Interestingly,Â Ngigeâ€™s attempts to distort the historic struggleÂ to enthrone democracy in Anambra State, following the falsification of the 2003 governorship election result, is evenÂ self contradicting. PeterÂ Obi did not seek an order for fresh election at the election petitions tribunal but a declaration that he won the election.
Admittedly, â€˜INEC made a detour, singing a new tune at the Court of Appeal for a cancellation of the entire results,â€™ what tune did INEC sing at the tribunal? SinceÂ Â Â Â INEC had consistently denied that it produced the set of results showing Obi as winner of the election, common sense will dictate that INEC could not have done anything else at the tribunal but upholding the result in favour of Ngige. Pray, how does INECâ€™s prayer at the Court of Appeal for a fresh election strike accord with Obiâ€™s insistence all through the trial that he won the election?
Further to his political delusion that APGA is Agulu Peopleâ€™s Grand Alliance, Ngige declares that Aguluzigbo, Victor Umehâ€™s home town is a village in Agulu.
For the benefit ofÂ people who are not from Anambra State, Aguluzigbo is an autonomous community with its own traditional ruler and townÂ union government. It bears witnessing once more the self-righteousness with which Ngige canvassed this deliberate falsehood: â€˜I can be quoted because that is the truth.â€™
We need not go further with other instances of outright falsehood. It is aÂ habit and political tendency. There is clearly established a predilection for revisionism when matters do not favour Ngige. Recall that till date Ngige has never accepted that he truly lost the April 19,2003 governorship election. Recall that he inundated the election petitions tribunal with 425 witnesses of his magical victory in the election.
Recall tooÂ theÂ initial denials and later, the contradictory modifications of his role in the Okija shrine and agreement saga with his godfathers.
What does such dispute of obvious facts tell us about the mind of the actor? The man who embraces propaganda is invariably a desperate man. He or she is someone who wants to gain an undue advantage. The underlying condition of a propagandist is that heÂ has a bad case whichÂ really heÂ is not ready to admit but would rather strive to mislead the unwary.
Aware that he canÂ neverÂ to sell his argument on objective indices, the propagandist adopts noise as a majorÂ instrument of his campaign. The theory of noise as a weapon of propaganda is founded onÂ the presumption that there is a certain degree of communication gap among the population of a society at any point in time.
Mr.Â Â Nwokenife, a retired civil servant, writesÂ from Anambra State.