After my last article titled, â€œ Anambra State political Issues: This Is My Standâ€ published in Nigeriavillagesquare http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/articles/chukwudi-nwokoye/anambra-state-political-issues-this-is-my-s.html on 4th day of May 2009, I have received numerous feedbacks from readers. Some disagreed with some of the things I wrote and some were supportive of my stand. Some friends even suggested that I â€œslow down brotherâ€.
A friend of mine from London who I consider a radical during his university days told me that I was very blunt and that he personally would not have hit that â€œhammer directly on the nailâ€ as I did. My answer to him was that to be nice in speaking the truth is hypocrisy as Malcolm X would say. I also told him that if our people would jettison this idea of reverence to people that do not merit it, our state would be better for it. During the course of my discussion with him, I also informed him that the problem why we are in the political problems we have is that most of the elites in the state are afraid of speaking out for fear of the political repercussions that might occasion by that. I do not always know how to pretend or hide my feelings when the issue of Anambra state comes up. I will always be straight-forward in my writing and will always err on the side of the truth.
Then I woke up to this monday morning to see a copious article written by Hon. Chinedu Nkwonta.Â I have also noticed that every time I write an article or if someone writes something about Anambra or relevant political issues in the www.nigeriavillagesquare.com, Mr. Nkwonta would comment on it and would not end it without mentioning my name. Whether the topic is about Ekiti political logjam or events at Abuja, my name would always crop up in his response. I think that it is either he is obsessed with me or he want to get back at me for my article about him in 2007, or he was mad for my stubbornness in not agreeing to do â€œpoliticsâ€ with him, or a combination of the above. This crystallized in his latest copious diatribe against meÂ titled â€œChukwudi Nwokoyeâ€™s Stand, My Standâ€ published on Sunday 3rd May, 2009 in thee Nigeria Village Square and in www.Pointblanknews.com of Monday, 4th May, 2009. In the latter website, he had Parts I, II and III. I think that Mr. Nkwonta has also taken too much for the owner not to notice. I ignored his ranting for so long but as we say â€œagbaghi uzo owele mgba, onaghi echiâ€-unless you wrestle with the people turning your backyard into a road, they will not stop using it, I decided to say enough to his attacks against me. I have contended with political operatives like him before, so I am not losing sleep over that. Recall that last spring, another character named Ikenna Ellis-Ezenekwe took his fight to me in his articleÂ titled: “Nwokoye’s Delusions Over Andy Uba’s Victory” and published in Nigeriavillagesquare of March 8, 2008; after I wrote an article critical of Andy Uba’s court manoeuvre. So as our people would say, I will not ask God to help me in this kind of fight with a pen. So I am not batting any eyelid over this since as Americans would say, “this is the nature of the beast”. If you are afraid of the heat, get out of the kitchen. I am not afraid of heats from political jobbers like them.
I have noticed that his name has been changed from Chinedu Nkwonta to Chinedu Opukiri-Nkwonta. I do not want to know why he changed his name or the political benefit of same. We are in a free country, afterall, didnâ€™t Casius Clay change his name to Mohammed Ali? A mad man in my town back in the mid-seventies changed from his real name, Uchenna, to â€œPotoki Posesâ€. Later he jettisioned it and said that henceforth we should refer to him as â€œSanta Samuelâ€. Anyone that called him â€œPotokiâ€ was in trouble. So I will call him â€œOpukiri-Nkwontaâ€. But I just wanted to make sure that I was talking about the same person. So his changing his name was beside the point.
First of all, it is not true that Mr. Nkwonta did not really read my mail to him, the one sent in April 2007, and the letter that was also published in Nigeriaworld. He actually did read my letter and even replied to same, copiously. The title of my mail to him was â€œOf Political Harlotsâ€. After I wrote him, he replied a few days later and for the â€œFreedom of Information Actâ€, I enclosed below, his reply to me so that readers can make their own judgment.
Â Re: Of Political harlots
Tuesday, April 24, 2007 8:18 AM
“Chinedu Nkwonta” <email@example.com>
To: “Ify-chudi Nwokoye” <firstname.lastname@example.org
I am wearing a smile on my face as I am replying this mail. The reason for this is because your position was predicted by myself. I expected such.
I am glad you appreciate that I am a strong believer on the achievments of Ngige as the governor of our dear State.
You and I know that Ngige did not contest the election. My question then is do we leave the State in the hands of some idiots that will take us back into perpetual suffering.
MyÂ association with politics has shown me that the best way to make a difference is to be an insider. If you are a part of the system, your opinion can be considered without one thinking you are an enemy of the government. I have had some moments with Andy and just like the great Ngige came in and did well for the State,my genuine believe is that Andy will do even more.
We can not spend all our lives which is the life of the State fighting the powers. We can try but I do not believe that we asÂ Nigerians both home and abroad can fight the system for now. Ibelieve in change and I know that no one really wants a bad name.
My knowledge and yours can be harnessed for the positive interest of the State.
You and I know what is happening but do we leave our country in the hands of the cabals that want nothing better than their pockets?
The only way we can make a difference is to offer support and hopefully be a part of the system where our ideas and contributions can positively be taken on board.
I am sure you know that your present position has been mine for a long time but does it make senseÂ for your voice and mine to be the wilderness voice.
I believe that the best way to set our people free is to empower them whereÂ trainings are provided and job opportunities created. If we are a part of the system, we can make the difference. I know I can make the difference between good and bad decisions in Andy’s government and I believe that the final result is what counts. I will call it again political arithmetic.
I do not want to comment much on Peter Obi, I believe I have said enough about him and I am still on my position. You may see it from your own view/s but that is why we are two different people. There are people that believe that Abacha wasÂ the best thing that happened to NigeriaÂ and they know why they see him like that.
Peter was my friend but friendship does not affect my position in terms of his style of governance. He is basically not a politician.
For now, Andy is the governor elect and I can tell you that he means well for Anambra State. It will be nice if you and I can support him so that we can have the opportunity to partake in the decision making in our State.
We are arranging for him to visit the UK very soon so that we all can listen and also talk to him.
Let us remember thatÂ Ngige’s coming in was worse but he delivered, I am hoping for same with Andy. Bros, in politics, hard decisions are made and let the support for Andy be seen as one of the hard decisions I have made as a politician. I am ok but I think I do have something to contribute towards the development of my State and I would be delighted to do that under Andy, Ngige or any one that is the governor till I see that the agenda is a bad one. The only person I can never work with remains Peter Obi and I am very happy with that decision.
We need people like you, Anambra State needs you, we can help package policies that will change the people’s attitude towards governance, only then can we be in a better position to articulate a pyradine shift on the mentality of the masses. This is my position bros.
Nice hearing from you and may God bless us all.
For him to say that he did not read my mail was disingenuous. As a matter of fact, last year, on the 9th day of December, 2008, to be precise, he wrote me again seeking to talk to me about the political development in the state and I enclose his mail below:Â
Chinedu Nkwonta (email@example.com)
Tue 12/09/ 08 12:14 PM
Big man how you dey?
Hope your family is well.
I thank you for the open letter to me sometime and respect your position.
As you know, we are gearing for another battle already and I basically would want to know your take.
I am in the UK at the moment and may be here for Xmas, I would like us to talk if you do not mind. Let me know if thatâ€™s ok and I would forward you my number or I could call you if you send yours. Let us discuss.
Nwokoye soundsÂ Nibo-ish, is it?
I wrote him back and furnished him with my cellphone number and the best and the best days of the week that is most convenient to call me.
Mr. Nkwonta finally called me about a week later and we discussed Anambra political issues at length. We talked for almost an hour from the time I was fixing my car in the dealership to the time I was driving home, were discussing nothing else but Anambra politics. In fact, it was because of poor reception as, I was driving; that ended our conversation. During our discussion, he was his usual self, ranting about how bad Obi had become and how many other politicians and activists whom for their privacy sake, I would not want to drag into, had found out too late that he was Obi was not a â€œfactoryâ€ like we would say in our area. He also told me about how he was arrested and detained on the order of Gov Obi for â€œtrouble-makingâ€.
In fact, during the course of our long discussion, I asked Mr Nkwonta a direct question. The question was: â€œbetween Gov. Ngige and Gov Obi, who is better in terms of providing the needs of Anambra peopleâ€? He conceded (between me and him) that in terms of providing the necessary infrastructure for the masses, that there is no comparism as Gov Obi is better! However, he said that in terms of taking care of the â€œboysâ€, Ngige is better. He concluded his answer by saying that Ngige is a politician but Obi is not, as Obi is a businessman and not a politician. He told me quite sincerely that if it was during Ngigeâ€™s government that he was being this critical, the he (Nkwonta) would have been history! He said it to buttress the fact that Obi is a gentleman and that now he is at liberty to say anything because he knows that the worse Obi would do would be to lock him at Awka CPS for a night and that would be all. For Ngige, Mr Nkwonta stated that it would be a different ball-game. The most damning thing he said was that the main difference between the two men was that Ngige would built a kilometer of road and make noise about it and even go to the site and physically engage with the workers and create some drama for the news of the day, while Obi might built 10 kilometers and you would not hear about it. Ngige to him is an â€œagberoâ€-a thug, even though he is a medical doctor since the masses like the fighter in him. It was not surprising when Ngige went to the Unizik bypass few months ago and did as Mr. Nkwonta said!
He also stated that the difference betweenÂ him (Nkwonta) and me is that he is a politician and see things with â€œpolitical eyesâ€, but that I am more of an outsider and do not see everything from the vantage â€˜inside politicsâ€™, and that both of us have Anambra interests at heart only that the method of achieving same is what mainly separates us. He thought that I was not on the ground, and he even repeated it in his new article, which other content I would reply to point by point. I speak direct and to the point. As I discussed for almost one hour with Mr Nkwonta when he called me last year, I am not a politician. Anyone that has followed my writings during the dark days of no pay, no school of Mbadinujuâ€™s government, PDP fraud on the state, the partyâ€™s injustices over its own candidates, the impeachments hearings/legislative lawlessness, the other fraud by one man named Andy Uba, the Supreme Courtâ€™s Interpretation of Gov Obiâ€™s tenure, etc, I have maintained the same manner of writing. I am always fair, firm and consistent.
From my observation in my â€œOpen Letter To Hon Chinedu Nkwontaâ€ http://nigeriaworld.com/articles/2007/apr/281.html published in Nigeriaworld.com on Saturday April 28, 2007; Mr. Nkwonta remained the same. I did not prod him to change his ways but I only pointed out his chameleonic disposition of flocking from one politician to another. I do not like hypocrites, and I am always forthright about it. If a friend of mine is hypocritical, I say it to his face.
Â â€œI would have consciously avoided bringing the subject of his anger to the front line on this my stand; it is because I am more interested in dealing with the issues raised than the shadows. Another reason is that I am certain that Ngige is quit capable of dealing with his issues which is why Nwokoye is getting irritatedâ€
I am never an angry writer or an angry man. Since I have been writing, no one had ever called me angry except yesterday by Mr. Nkwonta. This is strange to me. But if Mr. Nkwonta and his fellow politicians think that I am angry; then it might be because, I hate all manner of injustice or anything that would continue to retard the developmental growth of my state. To that I would say; I am angry, I am guilty as charged. I will take it personal when such things happen. I owe no apologies to Mr. Nkwonta and his fellow politicians for my stand on Anambra issues. I will never apologize to them for speaking the truth no matter how it comes out. I am not in the business of fighting for the good of my state to make political friends or to look for crumbs from the table of any politician. I am happy with my calling and by the Grace of God, I am comfortable and a contented person. I cannot be a â€œpay to playâ€ or â€œpepper-soupâ€ writer (apologies to Alozie Ogugbuaja). In igbo we would say, â€œanaghi amu aka ekpe na nkaâ€-you do not learn how to be left-handed at an old age. I have never pretended to be who I am not and I do not change my color like a chameleon just to suit the environment.
Mr. Nkwonta stated in his article that:
â€œThe truth is that I am a much better friend to Governor Obi than a man like Mr. Chukwudi Nwokoye, I will tell the Governor the truth but Nwokoye would rather do what they do not do in the United States or the United Kingdom, it is called sycophancy.â€
I did not know that Mr. Nkwonta was a friend of Gov Peter Obi. He confirmed to me in my discussion with me they know each other years ago. He maintained that Obi is â€œselfish, arrogant and would not listen to anybody but himselfâ€ It happens among friends and you normally hear this when the going gets rough. As some would say, â€œthere is a thin line between love and hateâ€. Your best friend maybe your enemy and your enemy may be your best friend.
I doÂ understandÂ that in politics as Lord Palmerson has said, “there are no permanent allies, just permanent interests. The permanent interest of a politician is to gain or acquire more power. Allies are ancilliary. Most politicians toss friendships aside like dirty laundry”Â However, what Mr. Nkwonta did not disclose was what actually happened to their friendship. Their relationship must have turned sour! Poor Mr. Nkwonta. But with friends like him, who actually needs an enemy?
He called me a sycophant but he did not know that I have never seen or met Governor Obi in my life. Yes, that is the truth. I have never had any dealings with him in my life, let alone be his friend. I have no politician as friend especially those as the corridors of Anambra politics. My only friend though, is leadership that is accountable to the people; leadership that put peopleâ€™s interest above every primordial or selfish interests like some politicians do. I am also a life friend to justice and rule of law. Above all, my main concern in Anambra issue is peace and development of my state. Period. It surprises me when strangers write me and ask me for the Governorâ€™s phone number or e-mail address! Their take is that if I am writing about Anambra state and speak well of the governor, then I must be one of his advisers or close associates. But my ownÂ take is that if a governor is providing the leadership that motivates the people and also provides for good roads, water, health, education, security and other social amenities to the populace, “it is only a sadist that would not support that government” as Chief Ojukwu has said. This is what I have been fighting for in my writings and if a candidate became governor to provide those basic facilities, why should I criticize just for the sake of it, or for the fun of it? If I see a good thing, I will acknowledge it, and if I see a bad thing, it would receive an opposite treatment. I criticized Gov. Obi when he stopped former Governor Mbadinujuâ€™s gratuity on the ground that the latter did not pay same to the pensioners while in office. I also criticized the government when the Health Commissioner threatened to ban condoms in the state. i also criticized the government for the trashy city of Onitsha and suggested that they emulate Enugu state’s Refuse Dump Strategy
Mr. Nkwonta went further to say:
Â â€œI can not believe that Mr. Chukwudi Nwokoye said that the crime in the State today is being sponsored by political opponents of Governor Peter Obi. What Mr. Nwokoye has said is that every day, the political enemies of Obi would draw a time table on whom to rob and kidnap. These kidnappers and armed robbers then go to town to execute the time table. It is seriously the highest height of recklessness and absolute disregard to the feelings of the real victims of these crimes mainly encouraged by lack of jobs.â€
However, in the next paragraph below, he defended my same assertion about the security situation in the state when he stated:
Â â€œLet us take this argument differently and may be that would open the valves in Mr. Nwokoyeâ€™s brains as to understand the implication of his un-thought-out desperate out pour in support of nothing, crime is not selective and for anyone that is sponsoring such, there is no guarantee that members of the personâ€™s family would not be victims unless the leader of the gang is a criminal therefore not a politician. Be mindful that I am not defending the politicians as they can be a hand full, political crimes normally do have the tale signs, like the shooting in PDP office in Awka, burning of government properties, kidnapping or outright murder of political opponents, Mr. Nwokoye has raised some concerns here, concerns on his state of mind, it is not funny, it is a real concern”.
I am therefore at loss at to his real position about the issue of security in Anambra state. Are some of the so-called security situations like kidnaps, daylight robbery a few months to the party primaries and less than eight months to the election politically motivated or are they not? That is what you get from politicians; they talk from two sides of their mouths! i do not know that he noticed the shootings at PDP Headquarters at Awka.
Then he came back to what I condemned in my article. I detest what they call the politics of â€œslash and burnâ€. Why canâ€™t we disagree with each other without name-calling or denigrating him? I did not attack Ngige, what I attacked was his modus opprendi. Why canâ€™t we play politics without bitterness? If someone does well, acknowledge him. Our problem has been that we believe that we cannot win unless we speak ill of our opponents. We believe that a devil cannot be a devil unless you paint him black. As the bible would say: â€œcome let us reason togetherâ€ When Barack Obama was making that argument against politics with bitterness and rancor, many people in the Democratic Party thought that negative politics would always win. But in November last year, America recorded its highest landslide victory by a candidate in a presidential election, against the same candidate that called Obama names everyday in the campaign.
I am surprised that Mr. Nkwonta noticed that Gov Obi has recorded some achievements. He would not admit it but we would not take his words because in Anambra, we can find out for ourselves. We are not politicians like him and his friends. He conceded that politiciansâ€™ needs are quite different from that of the people, and success of a politician, to him, depends on how he was able to scratch his fellowsâ€™ backs. But the good thing is that no one has ever accused Obi of embezzling our money! Many governors in Nigeria are accused of that vice, many got very rich after becoming governor. Some even become very rich while they were still in office. But I am happy that the governor in my state does not fall within that category either. During “Okwadike’s” administration, he did not do anything but left the treasury untouched. Now Obi is doing something with our money and still left the treasury intact. Until he starts embezzling our money, I think that detractors would not let him think of it. That is good for all of us.
Even Emeka Etiaba to his credit, even if grudgingly, acknowledged that Gov Obi performed well but that he (Etiaba) would take it to the “next level”. That is how politics should be played. Some other politicians recognized that obi has done something; but that they would perform better if given a chance. Like I said in my previous article, I refuse to believe that Obi is the best that Anambra can produce, but right now, I have not seen a better candidate yet. But in politics, eight months is a long time.
He also stated that:
â€œGovernor Peter Obi destroyed the structure of local governments by refusing to conduct elections.â€ On the same paragraph, he also said that: â€œNgige could not conduct same elections and had genuine reasons; he had no political party as he was sacked by PDP. Peter has not conducted the election because he knows he will not win, simple. Two by-elections have been conducted in the State of recent and PDP took all the seats, is that a testimony of this popularity and verifiable mile stones man called Governor Obi?â€
Thatâ€™sÂ politicians for you. But I would give him credit, since he conceded that Ngige himself did not conduct a local government election. However, he defended Ngigeâ€™s non-conduct of election on the ground that Ngige had no party as he was expelled by PDP. But since Ngige was very popular governor, PDP or no PDP, Ngige would have easily joined another party and would have won, wouldnâ€™t he, judging from his cult-like popularity? His argument does not make sense at all, and it is in fact, laughable and childish. A non-politician like me can easily figure that one out.
However, Gov Ngigeâ€™s own account on his reason for not conducting the local government election is different from what Mr. Nkwonta tried to make us believe. Gov Ngigeâ€™s own reason was that he was planning to conduct an election before the Court of Appeal sacked his government. He was still at the planning stage for three years of his government. He planned the election for 3 years before he lost the case against Obi in March 2006.
The truth is that no governor wants to conduct an election when the federal government is not on their side. Ngige fell out of favor with his god-father, Chris Uba, whom Ngige praised to high heavens during his inauguration, as a â€˜heroâ€™, and asked Anambrarians to emulate Chris Uba. Recall that Chris Uba himself boasted that he single-handedly installed both Gov. Ngige and 29 out of the 30 House of Assembly Members in the state. His rigging machine was well-oiled and Ngige knew that it would amount to a political suicide to conduct a local government election when Chrisâ€™ rigging machine was still up and running. Ngige is a smart guy and would not swallow that bait. That was why Gov Ngige did not conduct the election. How could he run the risk of having all the local government Chairmen answering to Chris Uba? If Uba could put virtually all the House Members in the seats, how come he couldn’t put all the Local Government Chairmen in power?
Peter Obi on the other hand does not want to conduct the local government election for the same reason. The PDP rigging machine is still well oiled. Peter Obi cannot continue to fight in the courts all alone. The last bye-election that Mr. Nkwonta talked about was rigged as usual, and everyone knows it. If other politicians cannot step up and fight, what do you expect a governor that has only one member of his party in the House of Assembly to do? Maybe the governor would use Anambra money to install politicians in his party to power. If many politicians do not have the stomach to fight against injustice, then who do you blame? If they rather ‘settle’ even before the fight begins, who do you blame. Recall that PDP claimed to have won the election in 2003 in a landslide. But the Election Tribunal and the Court of Appeal thought otherwise. If the court was of the opinion that the governorship election was massively rigged and returned Obi as the duly elected governor, then why would we believe that the House of Assembly Elections conducted simultaneously was not massively rigged by PDP when Chris Uba himself said it openly during Gov Ngigeâ€™s inauguration?
â€œYou can stay in Maryland and point fingers at Ngige, please do not do that while in Anambra State, you may find out then that there is really nothing in Peter Obiâ€™s accredited hospitalsâ€
I also have noticed that he mix up non-performance on one hand, and on the other hand, he would say that the performance is below standard. I am not surprised because he lived in London for a long time and is evaluating the accredited General Hospitals with his â€œ London eyesâ€. He forgot how the hospitals looked like during subsequent administrations. It a shame that under previous administrations, Anambra did not have a single hospital accredited by the Medical and Dental Board of Nigeria. It is more shameful when one of the former governors was a former Medical Director himself. But now we have hospitals meeting the Boardâ€™s standards and critics rather want us to go back to what the hospitals were before accreditations. The critics forgot that those hospitals were there during 3 past civilian administrations including military administrations. Mr Nkwonta wanted us to believe that the Board accredited a hospital without any medical equipments and with no structures on the ground.
He also stated that:
Â â€œBut arguing just for the sake of it, Mr. Chukwudi Nwokoye accused Ngige of mouthing Governor Peter Obi non stop, what is Chukwudi really expecting? Does Mr. Chukwudi Nwokoye expect Ngige to shoot Peter, no, thatâ€™s barbaric or to extol his achievements….One other great lie that has gone on unchallenged for a long time is this wayo statistics on the length of roads constructed in the State. Chukwudi Nwokoye wrote thus â€œWhile Ngige constructed 198 kilometres of roads while Obi has constructed more than 300 kilometres of roadsâ€, an addition of these two is 498 kilometres of roads, I put it unto Mr. Chukwudi Nwokoye that Anambra State does not have that volume of roads. One other great lie that has gone on unchallenged for a long time is this wayo statistics on the length of roads constructed in the State.â€
I do not know from what side of the space Mr Nkwonta is orbiting when he said that Anambra state does not have that volume of roads. The last time I checked, Anambra state has 177 towns. Let us say that each town in the state has only 1 kilometer of roads. It then follows that we have 177 kilometers of roads. However, I have not seen any town that has less than 1 kilometer of roads. My hometown, Nri, is a very small town. However, Agulu-Nri-Enugwu-Ukwu road has a span of more than 5 kilometers. Nise-Nri-Adazi-Nnukwu road is between 7-10 kilometers. You put all this together and you do the math. So let us say for the sake of argument that every town in the state has an average of 5 kilometers of roads, then when you multiply it with 177, you will get 885 kilometers. I also know that from Nawfia (Nkwontaâ€™s hometown) to Amawbia road is more than 2 kilometers! All the roads at Nawfia are more than five kilometers even though Nkwonta might want to play ostrich.
Â â€œMr. Chukwudi Nwokoye knows that Governor Obi is tight-fisted; he knows that Governor Obi speaks like Ada Obi and he knows the Governor abandoned his party men and women, what is the problem then Mr. Nwokedi, is that not the truth?
Well, what has his tone to do with his capability as a governor? Also if managing our resources well is equated to being tight-fisted, then who benefits from that? Is it not the masses? Who then did not benefit from that? Is it not politicians including Mr. Nkwonta. If politicians feel abandoned because we the masses are getting a better deal, then wouldn’t we be happy for once, that a candidate on our side is in charge.
He stated that:
â€œAwka indigenes had to humiliate themselves and went on protest to complain about the deplorable state of the capital city. Did these traditional titled men and women and others need to beg for the government to develop its capital? Is Awka no more the capital of Anambra State? If Awka people had to beg as a capital city, Nawfia has no chance in heaven or hell….The Zikâ€™s avenue that cuts through Awka to Amawbia was awarded by Ngige, Governor Obi obviously was not happy about that and did not want to continue with a contract awarded by another Governor, wicked mentality, visiting Awka people and residents with the goodwill (sins) of Ngige, can Mr. Chukwudi Nwokoye tell me if Obama would have done same? Ngige saw the political loop hole and moved in, what weapon has a politician except his mouth; Ngige opened it to the maximum, simpleâ€
I have always found it curious and in fact, funny whenever I hear this argument. It is funny because that is what it is, it is also curious because the people that put forth this argument forget that the new Anambra state was created in 1991. That being the case, Awka became capital in the same year. Since Awka became capital, Anambra had successive administrations excluding the military administrators. Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife (Okwadike Igbo-ukwu) was the first civilian governor, followed by Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju and later Dr Chris Ngige. Gov Ezeife did a poor job of the road and even blamed the Commissioner for Works at the time, Chief Dr. Chika Ibeneme, for making the place a mosquito-breeding place instead of a road befitting Awka as a capital of Anambra state. It was that time that I heard the term â€œAwka Carpenterâ€ from a taxi driver talking about Awka as a capital of the state.
After Gov Ezeifeâ€™s aborted term, and the military administration, Dr Mbadinuju had a full 4 year term of office, yet Awka road remained the same. Then Dr Ngige took over and stayed in office for 3 years, yet the road was still not tarred. Ngigeâ€™s people said that the contract was awarded during Ngigeâ€™s stewardship, yet an administration that prided itself with and made political capital from road construction did not construct state capital’s roads! What an irony. Let Mr. Nkwonta tell me the reason for Awka people’s grouse against Gov Ngige and why an eminent Awka son, Senator Ben Ndi Obi, was an ardent supporter of Gov Obi during the impeachment hearing eventhough he belonged to PDP at the time? Let Mr Nkwonta tell me why Awka people were in a festive mood when Ngige was sacked?
But finally, a man named Peter Obi became governor and tarred the road. It is on record that Awka capital was the only capital city in the whole of Nigeria without a dual-carriage way! Awka capital never even had a Master Plan since creation of the state. It was during this present government that Awka finally had a Master Plan.
The state government under Obi made it a dual-carriage road, a feat that subsequent administrations were unable to perform due to fear of taking on the traders with stalls along the Zik Avenue Road. But Obi took the political risk, and took on the traders and the powerful Landlord Association that resisted every governor that wanted to destroy their stalls along the road to build a befitting road with street lights for Awka capital. Nawfia, just as Nri, is within the Capital Territory and I hope that Mr. Nkwonta would allow the contractors enough space to bring development to his town. I am also surprised that his associatesÂ only compared Awka with LagosÂ and Enugu eventhough both cities were ‘built’ from the colonial days. It is still good, I would be worried if they compared AwkaÂ or Anambra state with the states that were created the same time like Kebbi or Jigawa.
He implied that my list of candidates is missing one person. As he said:
Â â€œI do not know where Mr. Chukwudi Nwokoye got his 57 number of candidates vying for governor in Anambra State; where ever that came from, let him add one to it to make him feel better. Let him start thinking of that extra one for now, it shall be revealed to him in due courseâ€
If Mr. Nkwonta has an ambition of becoming governor himself, let him come out and tell us. If he is tired of his fellow politicians making promises to him and not fulfilling same and now wants to be a governor himself, hey, Anambra is big enough to accommodate a hundred of governorship aspirants. Let him welcome aboard. I do not want anything from him when he wins, the only thing I need is good governance.
He concluded by saying that:
Â â€œNo one is envious of Peter Obi in terms of achievements but in terms of the position he is occupying at the moment, the entire nation knows he failed and the masses are in a hurry for him to disappear back to London and allow us to mend the State, it is long over due but we thank God that it is all about to end, please God. Would Peter Obi win again, it is very possible. Peter Obi can win if PDP fails to field a great candidateâ€¦.The truth of the matter is that Governor Obi failed in all areas. I do think that the most honourable thing for His Excellency to do is to apologise to Anambra people and respectfully step aside from the next election; he may get some of his integrity backâ€
After chastising the governor as â€˜wickedâ€™, he still said that Gov Obi still have some integrity left! In 2003, they were saying that even if PDP had fielded a goat for a candidate, that goat would have won the election. Now I noticed a different tune. Now the mantra is that if PDP fails to fields a great candidate that Peter Obi would win again. Why a â€œgreat candidateâ€ now instead of a â€œgoatâ€? If the governor has performed woefully as Mr. Nkwonta tried unsuccessfully to make us believe, then it is logical that any â€˜goatâ€™ would be better of for us than Peter Obi. If Obi has â€œfailed in all areasâ€, then why does he think that the masses including his â€˜manufacturedâ€™ Okada rider that even received a free government helmet, would be ready to give him another shot? It seems that he is having a double mind now. Please do not renege on your promise at Idengeli market. We have already marked our calendar. I have booked my flight already.
Even PDP knew that Mbadinuju was a political liability and that was why they kicked him out of a 2nd term out of all PDP governors. The PDP riggers were smart enough to know that he was not saleable to Anambra people. So if Obi has fallen to the level that Mr Nkwonta tried to make us believe, why does he think that Obi would win again?
We are not all fool! Also Anambra people living abroad know what is going on. Mr. Nkwonta wrongfully thinks that unless you live in Anambra state, you would not know what is going on. He thought that since we reside abroad, that we are all goofy, aloof and disconnected from what is going on. If he was aloof or disconnected when he was living in London, then it is his own funeral. He can take his â€œhatchet jobâ€ to people that are gullible. He can take his hatchet job to Ukpaka Reporters and they would be glad to have him on board. Not all Anambrarians living abroad are disconnected from what is going on. Moreover, now, the world is a global village. Information is power. Moreover, I am quite nosy about what is happening in my state. I get my information, not from politicians but from local people. Also unlike what Mr. Nkwonta wants to believe, I visit Nigeria more often than he thinks, unless he wanted me to furnish him with my itineraries of when I will visit again. With all the kidnaps and robberies going on especially now with the political season here with us, before you give my name to the kidnappers, I want you to tell me that your offer of going naked to â€œNkwo Idengeliâ€ market at Nawfia is still valid.
*Chukwudi Nwokoye writes from Maryland, USA.