Anambra Governorship Debate: Of Glib Talkers And Demagogues
Let me start by saying that I did not watch the last debate by candidates in the governorship election slated for November 16, 2013. While listening to dawn chorus that fateful morning I lost appreciable time which I would have deployed to useful engagements. Attending to other pressing matters did consume a chunk of my time to the extent that I could squeeze out time for the debate.
It was all my mistakes! Nonetheless, the debate held. I have since been inundated with reports of the performances of the candidates. There is no gainsaying that in a contest such as that there would be winners and losers. There have been also discordant notes on it.
Reports vary according to interests. But majority seem to be of the view that candidates of the APC and Labour performed well. They were said to have outperformed the APGA candidate Chief Willie Obiano. The damning verdict was not surprising as the other candidates appear to be united in opposition against him.
The camaraderie shown to other debaters by the candidate of the Labour Party Ubah while affronting Obiano was evident. However, that was to be expected when people are threatened by a common "enemy". The APGA candidate is seen as a potential winner, all things being equal.
The report was that while the other two reeled out answers to questions while Obiano was more deliberate.
Two things stand out about the debate. One - the exuberant behavior of the Labour candidate soon after the debate. Two -the need to revisit the verdict of those who sat in judgment on the matter of performance. In a sane clime the behavior of the Labour candidate was enough to sway public opinion against him. But I am surprised that some even hail him.
Such exuberances are at variance with orderly behavior. If he were to be subjected to further probe we will find out that such uncouth behavior he would carry into governance. If mnemonics were not allowed at the debate I am sure that the organizers would say that much.
If Obiano did not perform as alleged by the "connoisseur" and cheerleaders of the opposing parties what informed the actions of the Labour Party candidate. Simple reasoning suggests that contrary to the verdict of opposition Obiano rattled his colleagues hence the outlandish behavior of Ifeanyi Ubah the Labour Party candidate. It is already a mistake to have a man who is incapable of decorous behavior among candidates on the ballot, aspiring to lead a state that produced and still producing some of the best in Nigeria.
But what I found more disturbing is inability of the viewing public to discern between glib talking and performance. Willie Obiano might not have crammed his manifesto like the other of his colleagues but that does not detract from his worth or performance rating going by his record. A hood does not make a monk - that is the reality.
It is an undisputable fact that anybody who recites thing at the drop of a hat may after all be without substance. The same thing with those who, before you can say Jackie Robinson, have prayed the Paternoster. It is wisdom to be wary of such characters. Recitation of manifesto at debate does not give a candidate an edge. We should look beyond the façade to tell who will put Anambra State right.