Saturday, 5 April 2014

News Release: Understanding Antics Of Some Failed Politicians Against Obi’s Award-Winning Achievement

Ex Governor Peter Obi


Introduction:
The Anambra Human Rights & Good Governance Coalition is a coalition of human rights and good governance organizations based in Anambra State of Nigeria, formed in 2006 for the advancement of human rights and good governance in the State. While credible coalition groups in the past like the Coalition for Democracy & Good Governance (CODEGG) played great roles in ousting failed governance and political militancy in the State from 2003 to 2006, the Anambra Coalition for Human Rights & Good Governance (ACOHURIGG) contributed immensely towards transformative and strategic development of the State from 2006 till date. The recorded feat was achieved using “commendation, condemnation and a way forward” strategy created and implanted in our advocacy activities since 2006 in relating with the Obi’s popularly instituted government.

Issues Warranting This Public Statement: Mr. Peter Obi governed Anambra State democratically from 17th March, 2006 to 17th March, 2014. Few days to his handover, on 8th of March, 2014, to be precise, he publicly gave the account of his stewardship and presented a “blue book” containing many tangible and intangible projects he executed in office. The highlight of his stewardship presentation was his thunderous announcement of a surplus cash and investments balances of “N75 billion” for the State, which we understand, is now N86.665 billion. This is clearly unheard of in recent times in Nigeria, or any part thereof. As a result, some never-do-well citizens including failed politicians became unsettled and hired faceless groups and individuals to place adverts in newspapers claiming that Mr. Peter Obi’s public stewardship account was a fiction.

Meanwhile, Mr. Obi’s public declaration has continued to be celebrated far and near and has restored Anambra’s lost glory by making it the most financially healthy State in Nigeria. Mr. Peter Obi’s detailed account of public stewardship is the first of its kind in recent Nigeria.

The highlight and striking thing about our re-investigation of Obi’s stewardship, is that no serving and retired civil servant salaries, pensions and gratuities both at the State and Local Government levels were outstanding as at 17th of March, 2014.

As for contractors’ pay warrants or certificates, we found that under Mr. Obi’s policy of ‘earn as you execute or complete’, all certificates bearing ‘completed projects’ were fully paid. Under the policy, contractors are not paid for jobs not completed. This explains why they now work in phases and get paid in phases.

It is also a public knowledge that under his celebrated administration, he completed roads left by Ngige and went extra mile to do hundreds of kilometers of roads evenly spread across the State. He re-invented the policy of mass vehicular distribution and shared over 1, 700 vehicles of different types and modes to various organizations including public, security agencies, missionary and private schools and hospitals. He distributed over N20 billion he saved over the years to hospitals and schools. He gave out 22,000 computers and laptops and over 1000 distribution transformers. The former governor also paid and liquidated arrears of pension and gratuity amounting to over N35 billion, accumulated since 1995. His achievements are too many to mention, yet at the end, he left N86.665 billion worth of investments and cash. In other words, as at 17th of March 2014, Mr. Peter Obi’s celebrated administration left total investments and cash balances of N86.665 billion and not N75 billion as previously stated.

Antics of Some Failed Politicians: While it is important to ignore the antics of some failed politicians rattled by such irrevocable facts under reference, it is also important to curtail their nuisance values by throwing more light into the sorry state of finances in most of the States in Nigeria. This we will do shortly after this noble publication.

Our Message to Nigerians & Anambra People: We wish to inform here that a financially sound government is that with commendable strides in socio-economic development, which does not owe any gratuity, pension, salary and contractors’ arrears for executed projects. Such a government does not also mortgage the future of its people by involving in serial borrowings. We commend the former administration of Obi because of its record breaking in this respect. Dividing public debts by Gross Domestic Products to justify serial indebtedness is the worst and disastrous economic calculations to be undertaken by any democratic government. If this is to happen in China, it would have been amounted to death by hanging.

We call on the concerned banks/ issuing Houses, that is to say the Fidelity, Diamond and Access Banks to publicly speak on Mr. Peter Obi’s public declaration to the effect that he bought foreign currency public bonds for Anambra State worth  $156 million or N26.5 billion domiciled with them. 

We commend those prominent and eminent Nigerians including President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, who had at one time or the other appreciated and commended Mr. Peter Obi for a wonderful job well done for Anambra State and Nigeria by extension. One of such presidential commendations that still gladden our heart is that of ‘governing the State outside indebtedness’. It is in times like this that we appreciate what the now late Dim Chukwuemeka  Odumegwu Ojukwu saw that made him call on Anambrarians to vote for Mr. Peter Obi in 2010 as his last wish.

We call on the concerned banks/ issuing Houses, that is to say the Fidelity, Diamond and Access Banks to publicly speak on Mr. Peter Obi’s public declaration to the effect that he bought foreign currency public bonds for Anambra State worth  $156 million or N26.5 billion domiciled with them.  

In this challenging era of our time in the country, the likes of Mr. Peter Obi are direly needed at the federal level to continue his noble service to our beloved country. We call on Governor Willie Obiano to resist any plot or attempt by enemies of the State and some political mercantilists to cause friction or disaffection between him and the former governor and at all times sustain a cordial relationship with him for the State will fare much better in their hands of togetherness than in the contrary. The new governor’s social commitment to the Anambra people, which includes his inaugural speech promise to build some capital intensive projects like airport, must remain irrevocable and any attempt to derail or thwart it be resisted at all times. Celebrated former Governor, Peter Gregory Obi deserves commendation and encouragement for his immense achievements, not ‘blue law’ attacks and vituperations by politicians of the underworld.

Signed:

1. International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
 (Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman)

2. Civil Liberties Organization, Anambra State Branch
 (Aloysius Attah, Chairman)

3. Human Rights Club, Anambra State Branch
(Samuel Njoku, State Chairman)

4. Center for Human Rights & Peace Advocacy
(Peter Echezona Onyegiri, Executive Director)

5. Society Watch, a Membership Project of Intersociety
(Justus Uche Ijeoma, National Director.

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