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Anambra: My heart bleeds

ANAMBRA never ceases to amaze me. As a sociologist, I have always taken a keen interest in events around me and as an indigene of Anambra State, Ogidi to be precise, I always pay extra attention to developments in my State.

After the 2003 governorship election in Anambra, Ngige shunned hawks that devoured our resources to give us magnificent self-advertising dividends of democracy and not ones that only existed on billboards and pages of newspapers.

In March 2006, however, Ngige vacated the governorship seat for our most desired Mr. Peter Obi, thanks to Okey Ndibe, Chuks Iloegbunam and Pini Jason, amongst many others.

From that day on, neither Obi nor Anambrarians have had any day’s rest. Apart from running his personal businesses, the Governor remained very busy chasing shadows, while one Valentine Obienyem was recruited to attack ‘dissidents’ that dared hold our government to account.

Obienyem is, however, not to be blamed for his excesses because he is working within his job description, otherwise the Governor would have booted him out a long time ago. For a youngster of very little knowledge, experience and exposure, Obienyem is so highly sought after by this Governor.

In his reply to Okey Ndibe’s piece “Obienyem, A Merchant of Lies”, Valentine discussed his foray with his mentor into the philosophy of the dead rather than satisfying the living in Anambra that the article he claimed Ndibe wrote, was actually written by Ndibe and not authored in Government House Awka.

Okey Ndibe had previously written articles in support of the Governor. During Virgy Etiaba days in Awka, Ndibe erroneously chided her as being Obasanjo’s stooge in Anambra. Ndibe, however, knows better today. At least, he now knows that Etiaba was an unfortunate victim of merchants of lies in Awka. I still remember Obienyem lavishly eulogizing Ndibe for that particular write-up.

Obienyem who had severally and severely maligned Soludo previously, now describes Professor Charles Soludo in reply to an article he, Obienyem, authored but attributed to Ndibe, as a prominent Anambrarian. Have we forgotten Obienyem’s invectives and baseless accusations levelled against Soludo for daring to pick up PDP governorship nomination?

I further recall how Obienyem thoroughly abused Uche Ekwunife, calling her unprintable names for the simple reason that she saw herself as a governorship candidate against Mr. Obi. As for Senator Ngige who has now conquered Peter Obi, Obienyem does not feast on him anymore but rather uses him to demonise others as he did against Ndibe.

I guess Etiaba deserves some apology from Ndibe now that Okey has finally realised that Obienyem on whose information he wrote against her is a merchant of lies. Dame Etiaba herself is most probably not waiting for any apology from Ndibe and other writers, as the graceful lady has since happily moved on with her very peaceful, simple and decent life.

The biggest shame for my State is that Obienyem and his boss have so much trivialized the issue of governance that an ordinary visit of Governor Obi’s Asian business friends for dinner was elevated to an investment forum and subsequently hyped as a major achievement for Anambra.

Who would have thought that in a very short career of less than five years, Obienyem will be standing shoulder to shoulder or do I say bumper-to-bumper with Ndibe, pouring unprovoked venom on a decent and seasoned writer. The Governor is obviously very indebted to Obienyem for dealing with “dissidents” that fail to buy their State-sponsored lies, hook, line and sinker.

Obienyem’s objective ought to have been to win as many converts as possible over to the government but he is not being judged by that parameter but by how many alleged offences he cooks up against the Governor’s perceived enemies.

From their shameless record, the first weapon always trumped up against any perceived “dissident” by them is that “these people are biased because the saintly Governor has refused to give out money”.

Many have been settled that way, but Obienyem tells us this time that Ndibe is working for Ngige because he hopes for an appointment if Ngige wins. Obienyem is, therefore, being more creative with his lies, to say the least.

The fact remains that if Anambra governorship is won on pages of newspapers, this incumbent Governor who achieved a first class image in the Lagos Press would have had more votes than was allocated to him in the last governorship election.

He scored fewer votes than Dora Akunyili got in her embarrassingly unsuccessful Senatorial bid against the irrepressible Senator Chris Ngige.

Mr. CHRIS OKONKWO, a commentator on national issues, wrote from Awka, Anambra State.


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