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Does Ngige think we’re gullible?

By Amaechi Nwokenife

IT was the black American Musician Tony Wilson, who sang of the politician as a ‘man of many words.’ Wilson’s satire is a poignant commentary on the politician’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 ‘Ngige’s Claims False, Says Okunna’ in Daily Independent of Thursday, December 3,2009, when I encountered  more of Dr. Chris Ngige’s strange  tales in Daily Sun  of the same day.

Professor Stella Okunna, Anambra State Commissioner for  Economic Planning had in the aforementioned report, debunked Ngige’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 Okunna’s exposure of Ngige’s fairly tale.

But, there again, in  his interview with The Sun, Ngige made at the minimum, three false claims. He contends that governor Peter Obi has done ‘few roads’ compared with him. He further canvasses the fiction that the ‘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 the  extent that INEC even made a detour, singing a new tune at the Court of Appeal for a cancellation of the entire results.’ It is also Ngige’s assertion that ‘the national Chairman (of APGA), Chief Victor Umeh is from  Aguluzigbo, a village inside Agulu (Peter Obi’s home town). I can be quoted, because that is the truth.’

The Action Congress governorship candidate’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 of  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, Obi  has doubly overtaken him.

Interestingly,  Ngige’s attempts to distort the historic struggle  to enthrone democracy in Anambra State, following the falsification of the 2003 governorship election result, is even  self contradicting. Peter  Obi did not seek an order for fresh election at the election petitions tribunal but a declaration that he won the election.
Admittedly, ‘INEC made a detour, singing a new tune at the Court of Appeal for a cancellation of the entire results,’ what tune did INEC sing at the tribunal? Since     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 INEC’s prayer at the Court of Appeal for a fresh election strike accord with Obi’s insistence all through the trial that he won the election?

Further to his political delusion that APGA is Agulu People’s Grand Alliance, Ngige declares that Aguluzigbo, Victor Umeh’s home town is a village in Agulu.

For the benefit of  people who are not from Anambra State, Aguluzigbo is an autonomous community with its own traditional ruler and town  union government. It bears witnessing once more the self-righteousness with which Ngige canvassed this deliberate falsehood: ‘I can be quoted because that is the truth.’

We need not go further with other instances of outright falsehood. It is a  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 too  the  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 he  has a bad case which  really he  is not ready to admit but would rather strive to mislead the unwary.

Aware that he can  never  to sell his argument on objective indices, the propagandist adopts noise as a major  instrument of his campaign. The theory of noise as a weapon of propaganda is founded on  the presumption that there is a certain degree of communication gap among the population of a society at any point in time.

Mr.   Nwokenife, a retired civil servant, writes  from Anambra State.


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