Obi's Aide Calls on Ngige to Resign
A strident call came from Government House, Awka, Monday on Dr Chris Ngige to resign from the Senate on the heels of his statement that he expended constituency project funds in building ventilated improved (VIP) toilets in two schools. Senator Ngige spoke in answer to a question at a debate for gubernatorial candidates in the Anambra November 16, 2013 election, held in Awka on Sunday.
But the Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity to Governor Peter Obi, Valentine Obienyem, said the electorate of the central senatorial zone which Ngige represents and the people of Anambra State in general rejected his account of stewardship for its 'glaring underperformance' and demanded Ngige's resignation.
Shedding more light on the constituency projects controversy, Obienyem lamented that the construction of lavatories in schools was unsatisfactory and disappointing. 'We know that funding for senatorial constituency projects runs into millions. We know that in the core ACN – APC states controlled by Ngige's political associates, funds for constituency development are used to execute strategic and landmark projects. Constituency projects are not meant to duplicate the same social services normally provided by state and local governments. So, it does not make sense in the first place to use such special intervention funds for common projects. It is like saying that PTF or SURE-P grants are being used to build toilets. That would be scandalous.'
The media adviser however contended that there were more critical questions surrounding the management of Anambra central constituency project funds. 'The Obi administration has built thousands of ventilation improved toilets in the 177 communities of Anambra State in partial fulfillment of the Millennium Development Goals. But none of these was constructed at more than a million naira. How then can any right – thinking person believe that hundreds of constituency funds were used in building toilets even if in twenty places?'
'Ndi Anambra are also concerned that Senate records show that in three years, Ngige has not sponsored a single bill to better the lot of Nigerians. There are reasons to worry about his commitment to public service. In 1999 Ngige aspired to go to the Senate but failed to get the PDP's nomination. In 2003, Ngige was first a senatorial and later a governorship candidate. In 2007, he was there to contest the ill fated governorship poll that sought to truncate Obi's four year mandate. The same Ngige contested the 2010 Anambra governorship election. He failed and soon after contested the senatorial election in 2011. Ndi Anambra has read this restlessness as desperation to be in office at all times rather than readiness to serve.'
Obienyem said it was based on these parameters that the people of the State were demanding Ngige's voluntary resignation from the Senate failing which the electorate would have no option but to consider his recall.