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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Before You Judge Obiano

At the penultimate time of the previous administration, there were tremendous developmental upheavals across the state. Everybody was happy and clapping. 

There were high media hypes and giggles everywhere. Anambra adigo mma was the common jingles then.

There was equally a much-publicised report of stewardship at Prof Dora Akunyili Women Development centre in Awka where the previous administration elucidate all their score cards. Anambra was showcased as the bedrock of Nigerian economy. The 75 billion naira cash and investment savings done by was showcased and applauded. Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala who was then Coordinating Minister and the Finance Minister was available at the occasion. People eulogised the immediate past governor for doing very well in Anambra state. The state immediately became a reference point in Nigeria. It was the beginning of the best life for Ndi Anambra.

It was said that the administration left excess of 75 billion naira with no liability at all. It was equally said that the administration was not indebted to any organization, group of individuals or person. We were told that all the projects have been paid for. We were told that no civil servant was owed any salary or allowance. We were equally told many good things about how they managed the state to stardom. With all fairness, Anambra was moving forward and the credits must be given to the previous administration.

Sooner than Chief Willie Obaino mounted the rostrum of leadership in Anambra state, the tune changed. They forgot that Obiano is very different man and has his peculiar approach to issues.The governor wants to understand and verify what he was handed over. Surprisingly, funds started disappearing from the already declared accounts. Stale transactions started flying into those accounts. The governor had to lien all the accounts and called for proper audits. It was noticed that accounts still have many unpresented cheques running into billions. It was equally found out that cheques running into billions were given out few hours to handover.

Further more, taking a closer look at the investments made on behalf of the state, it was found out that some of those bonds were misdirected. What is the rationale behind buying bonds from Ghana? What is the rationale behind buying bonds from Ekiti and Osun states? What is the rationale behind buying bonds from Gabon and Equatorial Guinea? Even some of those investments and portfolio are not clearly done. Does it mean that CBN Treasury bills, Bankers acceptance and Commercial Papers are no longer good for investments? How are we sure that those funds are going to come back.

More so, they said they left the funds for Obiano but the maturity date for most of those investments are in 2022, 2023 and 2024. Only one in 2016, one in 2017 and one in 2018. How do we reconcile this facts with what they are saying? The gullible people of Anambra did not understand these indices. They only know that the previous administration left 75 billion naira cash. When Obiano tried to be thorough about Anambra economy, some political contractors went viral and accused Obiano of embezzling the savings left by the previous administration. They refused to appreciate the real situation of things and continue to peddle lies and defaming rumours. They refused to see the transformation being done by Chief Obiano. They resorted to all.manner of blackmails against him because he wants to do the right thing. They seriously employ all sorts of negative gimmicks to distract him or to make him jittery in order not to ask pertinent questions on some clumsy issues he met on ground. It is time for Ndi Anambra to know the truth which only heals a wounded conscience.

In a nutshel, we need to understand the claims that was borrowed by the last administration. Shortly after ascending the mantle of 2006, a loan of 150 million naira loan for agricultural scheme was secured by the administration which was distributed to the allies of the government. In 2010, after the second term.election, another 1 billion naira loan was secured for the same purpose from CBN but was also distributed to the friends and allies of the government. These loans are still outstanding and the CBN have sent demand notices to Anambra state for the repayments. They threatened to deduct the money from.the allocation of the state because of the ISPO (Irrevocable Standing Payment Order) signed by the immediate past administration. This information can be confirmed via the Ministry of Agriculture and Anambra Small Business Agency (ASBA).

Furthermore, what of those projects flagged off at the penultimate era of the previous administration that were handed over to this administration? Were their bills paid off by the previous administration? Were they categorised as assets or liabilities? ***thinking about such book keeping and accounting system***
The media hawks and quasi journalists started shouting that Chief Obiano had abandoned all the projects flagged off by the previous administration without asking themselves how it happened? Is Chief Obiano supposed to abandon a project which the previous administration paid for? Yet, they still maintain that no liability was left by the previous administration.

Moverover, the previous administration employed no civil servant during their 8 years reign. They promoted no single civil servant throughout their administration. But at the penultimate period of their administration, they employed 5,000 workers, promoted almost all the existing workers thereby increasing the wage bill which they did not do for 8 years. There was no local government election for 8 years but suddenly conducted an election which increased the overheads and the cost of governance for this administration. They stay by the side and still shout that the governor had squandered the savings left by the previous administration.

My question about all these hullabaloo is "WHY ARE THESE GUYS NOT BEING FAIR TO CHIEF  OBIANO?"

By Hon Ibeneme Chika (Odaa Opuo)

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