Friday, 14 April 2017
News Release: CLO Drags Serving And Former Governors In The South East To Court Over Accountability
(Being excerpts from the 23 pages report on the State of the Nation and South East with special focus on Anambra presented by Comrade Aloysius Attah, Chairman, South East Zone of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) after their Zonal Management Committee meeting in Onitsha recently with leaders of the CLO from the 5 South East States in attendance. 08035090548, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Under the Democracy and Governance Project of the CLO, the South East Zone of the CLO has decided to be more assertive in monitoring activities and political actions in the zone in order to ensure good governance. Without shying away from the traditional activities of advocacy in issues of human rights protection, we decided to get actively engaged in governance advocacy because it is the output, action and inactions of those in governance that determine the fate of the people development wise. We cannot fold our hands and watch mediocrity take over excellence or do we keep silent while those in power amass public wealth and drop crumbs for the boys thereby widening the inequality gap, spreading poverty and underdevelopment in the process.
The docility among the critical mass in the South East is the reason why those in power do everything they like and get away with it. The system has bred unnecessary hero-worshipping, too many youths and people who can only be used as rented crowd at any political gathering and the dangerous situation of winner-takes-all. Buying of votes on Election Day has come to stay in Igbo land and those who seek such elective posts do everything to amass enough financial muscle that will be used to prosecute such election to win and the people suffer in the long run.
We have resolved to say that “Enough is Enough”. Starting from Anambra State whose guber election is slated for this year, we are poised to critically engage government through all the ingredients of civil society participation which includes advocacy, litigations, protests, rallies, etc.
Under the Freedom of Information Act, we are requesting for a full disclosure of the financial accruals and expenditures of the Governments of the five South East States under the tenures of both serving and former Governors. We shall go to court to achieve this if they fail to comply. In Anambra, the Chinwoke Mbadinujus, Chris Ngige (Though court declared him illegal governor), Peter Obis and the incumbent, Willie Obiano should get ready. Enugu, the Chimarokes, Chime and Ugwuanyi should remain prepared, the same thing goes for Ebonyi, Egwu, Elechi and Umahi, Imo, Udenwa, Ohakim and Okorocha, and Abia, Kalu, Orji and Ikpeazu. .
The public need to know the actual security votes collected by each of the serving and former governors of the zone and how it was being expended. The retirement allowance of each governor , serving or former, how much are their actual entitlements as Governors and how much has been spent in the illegal office of the First lady even when they will quickly deny that government doesn’t fund any of the Governor’s wives and their pet projects. What is the financial standing of such states presently, their debt profiles etc. In Anambra, the courts when we get there, will settle the matter on who was actually lying and saying the truth about savings and investments received or handed over to Obiano by Obi.
Anambra And Good Governance, How Far?
The Wikipedia defines Good Governance as “an indeterminate term used in the international development literature to describe how public institutions conduct public affairs and manage public resources.
In another definition of good governance by the Social Research Center of the American University in Cairo (AUC) (quoted by Comrade Chris McCool Nwosu in a paper he delivered recently in Awka), Good governance is “among other things , participatory, transparent and accountable, it is also effective and equitable and promotes rule of law fairly. Good governance ensures that the voices of the poorest and the most vulnerable are heard in decision making over the allocation of development resources and that political , social and economic priorities are based on broad consensus among the three stakeholders , the state, private sector and civil society . All three stakeholders are critical for sustaining human development: The state creates a conducive political and legal environment; the private sector generates jobs and income; and civil society facilitates political and social interaction. With the advent of globalization and the integration of economies, the state’s task is also to find a balance between taking advantage of emerging market opportunities and providing a secure and stable social and economic environment domestically”
From the foregoing, good governance is a subset of governance and effective democratic forms of governance relies on public participation, accountability and transparency.
Good governance whether in political or economic decision making has six components which include, (a) Leaders/Decision makers, (b) Constituencies, (c) An Agenda (d) Institutions (e) Information, and (d) Accountability Processes. Each of the six conceptual frameworks is an enabler. For example, Information holds that “Good “decisions can only be made if both decision makers and their constituencies have access and are able to make appropriate use of “good” information. On the other hand, “Accountability Processes” ensures that “Institutionalised monitoring and accountability mechanisms enable constituencies to hold their leaders and Government to account.
Anambra State has had its own share of “turpsy- turvy” governance, political wilderness and redemption from 1999. The Mbadinuju era which can be described as the years of the locust, the rapacious stranglehold of the godfathers, the near total collapse of every public infrastructure under four years and losing one full academic year to schools strike not forgetting the horrendous and chilling litanies of butchery and bloodshed perpetrated by the infamous Onitsha Traders Association (OTA) and the Bakassi Boys.
The coming on board of Dr Chris Ngige after a brazen electoral roguery never seen in Igbo land since the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates which gave birth to Nigeria in 1914. The struggle by Ngige to be his own man against the life choking agreement he had with his godfathers and to acquire output legitimacy in the minds of the people through aggressive road construction all ended after three years when Mr. Peter Obi through the courts sent Ngige packing and reclaimed his stolen mandate.
Obi never had it easy too with the several court cases, tenure interpretation suit , illegal impeachment and so on, but through tenacity of purpose and enthroning a new order in governance. He broke the jinx and made history as the first governor of the state to be reelected into office after his first tenure.
Staying eight years in the saddle, despite the shortcomings of his administration too, Obi instituted a new order and civility in governance such that by the time he was due to leave in March 17, 2014, the bulk of Anambra people would have voted him for a third tenure if it was possible to amend the constitution to allow that.
It was also very clear to all and sundry that the election of Chief Obiano who was a political neophyte and late entrant to the race was purely the extension of the goodwill which Obi has garnered in the eyes of Ndi Anambra. In other words, Obiano’s election was Obi’s third tenure based on the fact that Obiano also promised Continuity from the ANIDS and Obi’s style of governance.
Obi also recorded another great feat because unlike his predecessors who were not on ground to hand over to their successor, he personally handed over to Obiano and presented a hand over note detailing a leftover of N75 billion in cash and investments.
Obi had in his handover note also said that Anambra State as the time he was leaving the stage was strong financially, economically and indeed psychologically. He added that there was sanity, political civility and overall decorum which were far from the situation when he took over in 2003 and said that Anambra under his administration has shown that with clear vision, proper planning and frugal management of her resources, a lot can be achieved.
The newly elected Governor then, Chief Willie Obiano offered strong hope when he promised that CONTINUITY will be the guiding strategy of his administration. In addition to his four pillars of development and the enablers, Obiano promised that Obi’s Anambra Integrated Development Strategy (ANIDS) where all sectors will be developed simultaneously will be the driving force in his administration while the 4Ccof Continue, Complete, Commission all ongoing projects and Commence new projects will remain his watchword.
The true state of Anambra State under Obiano
Discontinuation of Obi’s legacies in Anambra is the cause of the present underperformance under Obiano
While it is a settled maxim that no two governments or administrations can be exactly the same, it is also a known fact that government is supposed to be a continuum. The outright discarding of the main virtues and policy thrust of the Obi administration by the present administration is not only a disservice to the Anambra people but a promise betrayed and the consequences of the deviation is that accelerated development in the state has suffered a serious setback.
What is happening presently in Anambra under Obiano is governance by outright sloganeering and propaganda. Lies and half truths are dished out to the public on daily basis, unfortunately, those who are supposed to ask some critical questions have chosen to remain docile or keep mute while the circus show continue unabated.
On March 17 2017, the Anambra State Government rolled out the drums to celebrate Gov. Obiano’s three years in office. Our erudite Professor, Chukwuma Soludo in an anniversary lecture told ndi Anambra that there is no vacancy in Awka government house and even said that Obiano should continue in office since there was no need to waste money conducting election slated for November this year. He also alluded to the disputed fact that Anambra under Obiano has attracted investments worth over $5.5 billion dollars to the state.
Governor Obiano in his anniversary Broadcast while doing a self appraisal bandied figures and dished out tissues of lies as part of the phantom accomplishments of his administration in the last three years
The Governor in his anniversary broadcast said that the administration had attracted 40 investors through ANSIPPA with an investment inflow of $5.5bn US dollars. He said the state in Agric sector alone attracted investment of $ 1.2 billion US dollars and also provided 725 direct jobs and 5200 indirect jobs.
Governor Obiano also said that rice production through the Anambra Rice has risen from 80,000 metric tonnes when he took over to 320,000 tonnes presently. In continuation of the lying spree he said the government had attracted $494m USD in the industrial sector while the state is working on 857 kilometers of roads in 110 sites in Anambra. He also repeated the lie that the state has made $5M USD in exporting Ugu vegetable and also increased his fabled tale of exporting 1million tubers of yam to Europe to 5 million tubers. He also disclosed that the government has rehabilitated 150 moribund boreholes across the state including the Onitsha, Oraukwu, Ihiala, Nsugbe and Uruagu Nnewi water schemes. -----ayayaya, ookwa mmadu ka ana agwa ihe ndia?
Setting The Records Straight:
Ugu export, Anambra Rice package and billion dollars investments under Obiano are all lies and scam
For us in the South East CLO, It is nauseating that government has chosen to insult the sensibilities of the Anambra people by bandying figures about without any tangible proof to back up its claims. The truth is that there is no $5.5bn investment domiciled anywhere in the state attracted by this government. The greatest investors operating in Anambra presently remains Sabmiller, Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company and Coscharis Farms. Two out of the three just mentioned started operation in the previous administration while the Obiano administration keeps telling us about these bogus billion dollars investments. Experts have already put it on record that the actual Foreign Direct Investment that flowed into Nigeria in 2014 and 2015 were $4.69Bn USD and $3.06b USD respectively while the projection for year 2016 was $3.12USD. It doesn’t take rocket science to know that the present Anambra State Government are just bandying figures in proclaiming such amount of investment while we all living here can testify about the economic condition. The CLO therefore challenge the Obiano administration to make the names of the investors that contributed to this investment level public, their address of domiciles, company profiles and their bit by bit contribution to the economy of the state and turn over so far. It is our position that doing this settles the debate once and for all.
The Government can as well do it right by publishing the detailed investors and their yields to the state in the Agricultural sector which had garnered the investment of $ 1.2 billion US dollars and also provided 725 direct jobs and 5200 indirect jobs. The names and contact addresses of the 725 and 5200 beneficiaries of the direct and indirect jobs will suffice here to authenticate the government claims.
The truth also is that Anambra Rice is a fraud because Government doesn’t own a single rice farm in Anambra. It amounts to taking the good people of Anambra State on a ride or as fools for the government to claim that the state now produces 320,000 metric tonnes of rice (the figure keep changing every day. From 12,500 to 240,000 now 320,000). First of all, we ask where is the rice, in the store, farms, inside Anambra markets or homes? This is ridiculous and incredulous too. How long shall the government continue with this fraud of printing bags with the inscription, Anambra Rice with some embossed with Obiano’s picture and rebag the stuffs at Stine Rice Mill, Amichi only to sell the dummy to the public that “Willie is Working”. We ‘ve seen cases where civil servants in the state were given this stuff of 10kg but packed in 25kg bags and the news were flying everywhere that Civil servants take home one bag of rice each for their Christmas celebration.
The ugu vegetable export is also another packaging neatly done to hoodwink the people that the government is performing wonders. If actually that some private business people were involved in export of vegetables, how the government arrived at the figure of $5m USD is also baffling. They recently added scent leaves to the list but thankfully during the reported media tour embarked by some journalist, that lie has been exposed. Despite the fact that it was a government guided media tour of projects, those cultivating vegetable interviewed in the course of the trip couldn’t wait a minute to bat their eye lids in saying it verbatim that they don’t receive any support from government.
On the aspect of road construction, the truth is that Anambra people are waiting and yearning earnestly for the return of roaring bulldozers and graders for aggressive road construction which disappeared since the exit of Obi’s administration.
The CLO had expected the Obiano administration to give the exact kilometer of roads constructed, completed and commissioned by his administration in the last 3 years instead of just lumping it in the broadcast that the government is working on 857 Km of roads in 110 sites. The same lie of constructing 111 roads in 90 days was also repeated by the Governor while addressing Catholic Priests of Awka Diocese during their New Year Reunion/Retreat on January 7, 2017.
But contrary to the impression given by the government and the figures mentioned, investigation by the CLO revealed that the Obiano administration has not completed a single road in Onitsha zone in the last three years. What has been going on actually is a style of marking roads done by the previous administration and re-commissioning them amidst pomp and fanfare and also appropriating such road projects as part of the achievements of his administration. But despite this few publicity stunts, there are so many abandoned road projects scattered across different parts of the state (details later). In the 2017 budget of Anambra State perused by the CLO, there is no specific mention of any listed 110 road projects talk more of finishing them under 3 months. In the 2017 fiscal year, the total budget estimate for road construction by the state government is N24b while there is an avalanche of contractors being owed huge sums of money by the government.
Our further investigation also revealed that the government actually gave the contractors little- little cash to move them to site and do some little works not exceeding one kilometer on many of the selected roads. The game plans as revealed by an insider to the CLO was to give the impression that massive road works are ongoing in almost every part of the state and use it as a campaign strategy. The yam export is also another fable/fluke taken too far. The bulk of yams consumed in Anambra comes from Benue State because the Anam and the Anambra West farmers who produce yams in bulk in the state doesn’t sustain the feeding population of ndi Anambra more than three months after harvest before the people reverts to the Benue supply for the round the year demands.
There is no single pipe borne water anywhere in Onitsha zone apart from private borehole which the residents drink at the risk of acidic water and other dangerous infections; to now say that government has rehabilitated the Onitsha water scheme still baffles the CLO. There are so much lies and propaganda in this government the people should know the truth because they are not dummies.
Posted by PublicInformationProjects at 16:17