A TATTERED TALE AT CHRISTMAS
It was some days to Christmas, the twin greatest event in human history alongside Easter. The soothing balm of the season could be felt in the incipient arrival of the harmattan. In recognition of the transformation Christ's incarnation brings to humanity, the faithful and non faithful alike looked forward to the blessings inherent in Christmas. It was a time especially to cultivate the virtues of peace, friendliness and love. But not so for the sadists in our midst who get a kick from peddling falsehood. Some of us must have seen the trash entitled 'How Obiano Got Really Drunk to be Escorted out of Party' which appeared on the net recently. No doubt, every man of good breeding would have experienced a sense of revulsion reading the piece. The manifested allergy of this group to the run of good governance Anambra State has been blessed with since March 17, 2014 is regrettable enough. Their insistence on making a living from running down great personalities is pitiable.
The vexatious feature is acknowledged to have emanated from Akuko si Anambra. It is irresponsible of this medium to purport t o report an event that it neither witnessed nor had credible information on. Indeed, the sinister motive behind this story is evident in the very first sentence. Sheer malice would not even allow the author(s) the decency of introducing the subject in decorous terms such that from the first offensive sentence, you already know that the report will end on the same toxic note. 'After his unsuccessful bid to stop the investiture of Mr Peter Obi as (the) Papal (K)night, Obiano came to the function with many hired APGA people to boo Obi but it turned out that the crowd did the opposite of hailing Obi.' Now, can any reasonable person believe this ludicrous presentation? Even my six year old son will tell you that this fable is as wild as it is weird.
Not even in the crippling world of Abacha's tyranny could anybody have come up with a rickety tale of a military governor attempting to stop a Church function. But in this 14 year old democracy, someone is telling us that gentleman Governor Willie Obiano has been dictating to the Catholic Church what it should do and what it should not. As we all know, the Church in Nigeria virtually enjoys unwritten immunity and this cannot be less for the Catholic Church whose head is accorded the status and privileges of a head of state. Given that civil authority cannot reverse religious practices of the Church; does it make sense to say that a political leader tried to stop the investiture of a knight? But having started on a hatchet mission, the author(s) are able to make the vain declaration that the Governor hired an APGA crowd that accompanied him to the function. Intelligent people would shudder at the self – insulting claim. But just to dismiss the wicked lie at the level of the fabricators, then consider this: A rented crowd of APGA members would be identifiable faces. And these known APGA members who had been paid and who would probably come to ask the Governor favours sooner than later are the same ones said to have embarrassed him!
Yes, Chief Willie Obiano held a Christmas party at his Aguleri country home on Sunday, December 21, 2014. This was only consistent with his famed generosity and convivial spirit. Not long before that, he had without anybody's prompting, distributed a 100 kg of rice to each career public sector worker in Anambra State. At a time some state governments and federal establishments had started defaulting on the payment of staff emoluments,, Obiano ensured that Anambra State workers went home for the Christmas celebration with their 2014 leave allowance and December salary. The Guardian of Tuesday, December 30, 2014 carried the front page headline: 'Workers Groan Over Unpaid December Salaries' while The Punch of same date ran: FG Owes 70,000 workers three months salaries'. Having fulfilled his obligation to Anambra workers at a time some governments were in serious default, what was wrong in the Governor holding a party?
The tale about what supposedly transpired in the course of the party obviously borders on instability of mind of the author(s). When an individual loses the sense of propriety; the sense of decency and responsibility, he is already contending with a crisis. It is instability of the mind not to realize that there are limits to everything. Such a fellow is in need of rehabilitation just like a society that has no taboos. Even someone with a good case has a duty of presenting it with decorum. Akuko si Anambra was both vile and vacuous.
The author(s) of the story could not have known what happened at the party beyond their lurid imaginations and rumours of the motor – park. It was not an all comers gathering. Admission to the event was based on invitation. Going even by the account of the medium that strictness over the function was to the point of disallowing guests entry with their phones, it becomes clear that there was no way strangers and trouble makers could have made it into the venue. Shut off from the scene, the stragglers had no other source of information than their petty thoughts.
It is not too late for the agents of confusion to retrace their steps. It is our hope that they take advantage of the blessings of Christmas and have a philosophical and spiritual rebirth. Meanwhile, Governor Obiano continues to record appreciable gains in provision of infrastructure, security, urban renewal, road construction and maintenance, agro allied industries, to mention only a few. Those who appreciate good governance are lending him their support.