Call Us Names Provided You Govern Anambra Well & Have Your Name Written In Gold Letters ...Intersociety Replies Govt. of Gov Obiano
Onitsha, Eastern Nigeria: Wednesday, 26th June 2019-Gov William M. Obiano of Anambra State is again called upon to dutifully face the task of governing Anambra State, govern it solidly well and have his name written in gold letters at last. The Governor and his Administration must also stop chasing shadows or dwelling on frivolities and face the realities and challenges of public governance in the State. The Obiano Government must be reminded further that in governance of the State, time is of extreme essence. That is to say that the clock of governance under him is only quarter to the final hour!
The above is the official position of Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law, Intersociety, contained in its statement issued today in Onitsha, Eastern Nigeria. The statement was signed by Chinwe Umeche, Esquire, Head of Democracy & Good Governance, Chidinma Evangaline Udegbunam, Esquire, Head of Publicity and Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chair of the Board.
Intersociety’s statement is sequel to the Anambra Government’s reaction to our earlier statement of 23rdJune 2019, titled: Obiano: Five Years Gone & Two Duty-Years Left To Make Or Mar. The Gov had in his reaction, through his Chief Press Secretary, James Eze, published in today’s edition of a national daily; delved into name calling and other irrelevancies; leaving out the core issues highlighted in the statement strictly bordering on physical and service governance of the State. This is more so when the Gov and his Administration has earned notoriety in “offering good governance in the air”.
The State Government’s name calling includes describing Intersociety as “not a credible organization or human rights group”, ”a discredited group of people sponsored by the former governor of Anambra State (Peter Obi) to carry out mischief and use media power to terrorize the incumbent governor (Obiano)”, “Intersociety work for hire”, “Intersociety don’t have serious influence across the Southeast, it is just working somewhere in Onitsha”, “Intersociety report is spurious and from agents of political detractors working to tarnish the image of Governor Obiano ”.
The Obiano Government’s reaction added: “If Intersociety were a serious organization, I would like to know what their position has been on the consistent threat that the south east has faced in the hands of Myetti Allah and others like the Fulani herdsmen, the marginalization of the south east. Why has inter society not spoken on those?”“Who does not know that, during the rainy season, roads across Nigeria, not only Anambra state, go bad? Why are they isolating Anambra as a major case in point…”
Our Reply: As petty, infantile, childish, despicable and condemnable as the reaction of the Government of Anambra State is, we still make bold to say that we have no problem with name calling provided Gov Obiano governs the State constructively well and have his name written in gold letters at last. In other words, it is better we are called names and get the People of Anambra State and their State liberated and elevated to the status of competitive, comparative and transformative governance than to be quieted and celebrated by failed public administrators; after which we stand condemned unforgivably by the general population and posterity.
It must be stated that the aim of this statement is not to join issues with the present Government of Anambra State but to clarify where necessary and put the record straight as well. On the issues raised in our statement of 23rd June 2019, the State Government only acknowledged the existence of the statement and issues raised but did not take concrete or informed stand on the issues we raised or made a firm promise to tackle them urgently. In other words, the Government, as expected, chose to beat about the bush, leaving relevancies contained thereto; yet the same Intersociety that raised the core governance issues being governmentally reacted to by the Obiano Government, “is a discredited or unserious rights group”. It is also note worthy that the Government did not dispute the statistics provided in our statement.
On the “rainy season” excuse or argument raised by the State Government as per deplorable state of the State Road network, it is expressly viewed as an admission of colossal failure in governance duties. We had in our referenced statement, reeled out names of eight street roads in Onitsha South paved, guttered and asphalted by Hon Lynda Ikpeazu. All the eight street roads are still intact and rainy season friendly because of their well connected and easily flood flowing gutters or flood channelization. It is also damnable for the State Government to hide under the cover of “rainy season” as a reason to leave the State roads in tatters and drainages all most totally blocked; when the intense part of the current rainy season is barely two months old.
We had also pointed out that “95% of the waterways, gutters and drainages across the State particularly Onitsha and environs are presently blocked or filled up by sands and debris”. That is to say that the “rainy season” excuse cited by the State Government is dead on arrival and cannot fly. The said drainage blockages have been there before the coming of at least past three rainy seasons. It is also not true that once rainy season sets in, Government goes to sleep in matters of road maintenance or rehabilitation or reconstruction. The State Government’s defense of “State Road Maintenance Agency maintaining all most all the roads in the State’s three Senatorial Districts”, is not only the figment of its own imagination but also exist in the air or inside the CPS’s built or hired hotel room.
On Intersociety’s “silent position on the consistent threat faced by the south east in the hands of Myetti Allah and others like the Fulani herdsmen and the marginalization of the south east”, contained in the Obiano Government’s reaction, it must be stated clearly that as at the time Intersociety’s advocacy campaigns against terror activities of the Fulani Herdsmen and others started across Nigeria; the Obiano Administration was not born or formed.
And as it relates to the terror group’s raging threats and embryonic violence against Southeast including Anambra State, it is the Obiano Administration that likely has a case to answer. The State Gov and his Administration must tell the People of the State in particular and Southeast in general all that he truly knows about the subject matter (jihadist Fulani Herdsmen threats and violence). People of the State are itching to hear whether the raging threats and embryonic violence against them have anything or not to do with the Gov’s second term and politics of puppetry.
On Intersociety being “discredited or not credible organization or group”, this is nothing short of a recurring decimal of despicable defensive tradition of the Nigerian top public office holders especially the failed public administrators. Once a group refuses to compromise its position or sticks to certain social parameters of advocacy or public governance scrutiny, it receives knocks of name calling from such failed public administrator (s) or government; unless the group turns itself into a mouthpiece of the failed public administrator or his or her Administration, in return for crumbs of plundered or squandered or misapplied public funds.
Intersociety also sees the resort to name callingas a height of being acutely intolerant of constructive criticisms or offering of informed alternative viewpoints. We saw it happened to Amnesty Int’l in Nigeria; to the extent that some clowns were hired or paid by Government to carry mock coffin for mock funeral of the internationally revered and respected rights group while others were hired to go into the streets or selected foreign missions for rented protests. It is so sad that all the ingredients of democracy including constructive criticisms are in a verge of total destruction in Nigeria or any part thereof such as Anambra State.
On “Intersociety being sponsored by former Governor Peter Obi or being agents of political detractors working to tarnish the image of Gov Obiano or carry out mischief and use media power to terrorize the incumbent governor”, it is so sad that the Obiano Government could descend so low to criminalize or stigmatize a good or harmless personal relationship between an enviable former public administrator and a leading civil rights and pro democracy activist; to the extent that this has also become a recurring decimal or a trademark of the Administration particularly once issues pertaining to physical and service public governance of the State are raised or highlighted for the attention and action of the State Government.
It must be briefly recalled that Mr. Peter Obi, as he then was and still is, had in 2003 sought the assistance of the Board Chair of this Organization who was then Anambra State Chairman of CLO, alongside other comrades, churches and labor leaders in the State for purpose of joining social forces to liberate the State from the shackles of political godfathers and their goons. Before then our Board Chair never knew Peter Obi from Adam. The joint forces paid off leading to formation of sound democratic government and leadership in Anambra in March 2006 with innumerable democracy goodies for the State and its People; which in turn brought Gov Obiano as Anambra Governor in March 2014.
Peaceful personal relationships in the world over are not a crime or outlawed or stigmatized and in the case of Peter Obi and Intersociety Boss, it is enviable, democratically emulative and a privilege. This is more so when 1000 Peter Obis or William Obianos put together can never dictate the activities or influence the decisions of Intersociety; except if suggestive and strictly in line with our aims and objectives or in matters pertaining to promotion and advancement of public decency and morals, democracy, rule of law, human rights, public security and safety and public governance accountability.
On the other hand, Gov Obiano as a one of the beneficiaries of Intersociety’s rights and pro democracy activism in Nigeria was also fiercely defended by Intersociety in late 2013 and early 2014 when he was erroneously accused by his detractors, backed by a section of Southwest media, rights activists and lawyers of “double voter’s registration in Lagos and Anambra”. The Government of Obiano is hereby invited publicly to tell them how much millions of naira it paid Intersociety and its founder to stand by Obiano or defend him against the erroneous allegation; in the midst of the Southwest media riotous attacks.
It is worthy of note, too, that since 1999 to 2003 through 2006 and 2014, till now; the Intersociety Boss had strictly restricted himself to his legitimate income as no illicitly acquired property or properties can be found anywhere in his name in Nigeria or any part of it. This is even when he had the capacities and opportunities to crookedly acquiring same during several opportunities at his disposal and even till date.
Consequently, the Obiano Administration is challenged to carry out intelligence findings to credibly and factually confirm or debunk this anywhere in Nigeria including Anambra State. The State Government is also invited to inquire from media, both print and online or electronic how much they are paid by Intersociety to publish its research stories and publications. Equity is always reserved for those capable of approaching it with clean hands.
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