Quite recently, Mallam Nasiri El Rufai published an essay in which he analysed the budget of the government of Anambra State under Governor Peter Obi. In the said article, El Rufai objectively studied the budget, made some observations; some complimentary and some, most brilliantly criticizing. Most importantly, El Rufai lamented that for some time now, Anambra State which is home to the most enterprising Igbo men and women have relapsed into an uninspiring rural state-he shared his reasons.
Surprisingly, well not so surprisingly, Mr Peter Obi and his otimkpus choose to rubbish the good intentions of El Rufai. The Governor personally exhibited the worst type of clannish worldview by proclaiming with so much distaste that El Rufia by judging his budget objectively has insulted Nd’Igbo. This is rather too sad coming from the Governor of Anambra State.
In a bit to be seen to be earning their pay, some of the mostly rubbish media aides to Governor Obi rushed to town with the wicked insinuation that since El Rufia demolished many ILLEGAL structures owned by Igbo entrepreneurs during his time as the Minister for FCT, he should not be seen to be speaking about anything Nd’Igbo. Both the Governor and his otimkpus therefore labelled Mallam Nasir El Rufai a hater of Igbos.
Well, nothing else could be more immoral, petty and an unethical attempt to rubbish a man for daring to hold a different opinion. I read this article over and over again and I am still searching for that place in it where El Rufai insulted me as an Igbo person. Many others, including the brilliant and sagacious Hon Chukwudi Ofodile (Awollo Dike Awka) has come out to deny that they felt insulted by El Rufai’s submission.
Citing many erudite scholars and business moguls of Anambra origin, El Rufai observed that the budget under discussion did not make adequate provision for the improvement of education in the state. He rightly reasoned that public schools in Anambra State will continue to decay if the government continues to allocate meagre funds to the education sector. I agree with this mind frame.
In previous essays, I have bemoaned the ugly state of public schools in my home state of Anambra and went a step further to plead with the government of Mr Obi to chuck irresponsible and misleading propaganda. Public schools, primary and secondary in Anambra State have all rotted away while private investors continue to make quality education unreachable to the mostly poor people of the state by charging exorbitant fees in private schools.
All over the state, public school buildings have all collapsed. A recent documentary aired by Silverbird TV, Awka buttressed this wicked situation most perfectly. Pupils study under very wicked conditions; roofless classrooms, windowless buildings, lack of toilet facilities, no electricity to power the computers donated by the state government, lack of teachers etc. The condition of all the schools in the Awka metropolis will make a stone to weep! Boys’ High School, Amawbia and Kenneth Dike Memorial Secondary/Primary School, Awka appear to be the worst hit.
While innocent and hapless children of Anambra State public schools continue to huddle together on bare floors in roofless “classrooms”, the government of Mr Peter Obi has the cheek to insult a man for daring to say the truth. Shylock private schools are the ones providing what could be likened to decent education in Anambra while the state government struts about with cheap lies, obscene propaganda and ugly billboards proclaiming that Governor Obi has “rebuilt all the schools in the state”.
Furthermore, Mr El Rufai moaned passionately that the security situation in Anambra State is responsible for the lack of home-bound investments by many wealthy individuals from the state-he pointed accusing fingers at the spate of kidnapping and armed robbery in the state. In his essay, El Rufai recommended that the state invest more in the area of provision of security so as to provide a safe haven for investors.
Well, the government of Anambra State under Peter Obi felt insulted by this candid observation. In reaction, El Rufai continues to be labelled an alarmist by this same government. His crime remains that he said it the way it is. Kidnappers and dare-devil/dare-police armed robbers have driven away many investors and would be industrialists from the state.
The government of Anambra State should be reminded that gone are the days when it was permissible for the government to lie about unverifiable “achievements”, those were days when information dissemination was still archaic and slow. To the glory of God and science, those days are gone for good. In this spirit, I wonder how the government of Anambra feels about blowing so much hot air about the state being transformed into Dubai under Mr Obi.
The three major towns (they are not cities) of Awka, Onitsha and Nnewi have suffered so much neglect under Obi as the skipper-for the six years he has been in office, not a single major development has taken place in any of these towns. Awka remains a rural state capital; the only notable development in this town remains the cluster of hotels, beer parlour/isi ewu joints (let no clown tell me about CBN, Mr Biggs, and Federal High Court). Can anyone tell me of any notable landmark in Awka, the capital of Anambra State, Onitsha, the commercial hub of our state and in Nnewi, our centre of home-grown technology?
It is really absurd the thought-process of some of our “leaders”. I feel a great sense of embarrassment, shock and wonderment at the logic of the Governor of Anambra State; for the love of God, this gentleman Governor is talking of “encouraging ndi Anambra to come and invest at home” while building the biggest shopping mall in Abuja, in furtherance of his private business empire. Would the heavens collapse if the shopping mall situated opposite the Federal Ministry of Transport, Business District Abuja was built in Awka?
Anyway, a man’s true character and worth should be judged by the way he responds to criticisms. A man who expects to be courted only by court-jesters, hungry charlatans and favour-seekers without any morality should be reminded that in a democracy, human beings have the right to question those in authority. This is why majority of ndi Anambra are whining loudly that Mr Peter has remained an unpleasant surprise to them.
For a man that enjoyed so much goodwill at the onset (many thanks to the Catholic Church) to suddenly be at the receiving end of scorn, apathy and ridicule speaks volumes. It is only Governor Peter Obi that continues to see his “achievements” while the rest of the State wait patiently for his tenure to end, while promising each other that “never again will we allow our State to be governed by a fellow who stuffs his pockets, lies to us and continues to bore us with so much saved money in the bank which translates to zero development”.
So, who is insulting Nd’Igbo- Mallam Nasir El Rufai who made beautiful contributions towards how our State could be made better, or Governor Peter Obi for trying to trivialise serious issues by resorting to stoking the nasty embers of ethnicity, bigotry and immoral politics? You judge.