By Igboeli Arinze Napoleon
I recently stumbled upon an article with the title, “Anambra: The Past, Present And Tony Nwoye” by one Ifenacho Atusiba, disagreeing with it from start to finish. Like some poisoned chalice, the article possessed more of barbs than truths, looking more like an attempt to be mischievous. For starters, Atusiba describes Nwoye as a delusional politician, he believes that Nwoye, like the fictional character of a Tony Montana in the movie ‘Scarface,’ is largely unfit to vie for the office of governor in Anambra State. He, however, contradicts himself, as he had earlier hinted that it remains Nwoye’s inalienable right to vote and be voted for. I thus find it worrisome that if Nwoye, according to the writer, has the right to such constitutional exercises, why then does he approbate in one breath and then reprobate in a succession faster than the speed of light – it smacks of one with muddled thoughts.
He drifts off, when he alleges that Nwoye has no kind words at all in the pursuit of his ambition. Wonderful! He paints the picture of a Nwoye as loud, uncouth, making wild and unsubstantiated allegations against his opponents who he falsely believes tower above him. Let me then ask, which words? What derogatory terms has Nwoye used? That he asked Obiano as governor to account for the frittering of over N465 billion, funds belonging to the commonwealth of the people of Anambra? Is that what Atusiba describes as uncouth? Nwoye questions the non-conduct of local government elections as well as the mismanagement of funds? Pray, how has he gone low? Is Atusiba encouraging looting? Is he giving his consent to the plundering of the state?
Surprisingly, Atusiba who accuses Nwoye of going low, goes further low by accusing Nwoye of taking a part in the crisis that engulfed the state in 2004. This news, however has become stale and is always raised whenever Nwoye aspires to office. Let me ask, did the panel headed by Justice Ikeazor, the Senate Committee set up to investigate the mayhem or the police investigation, indict Nwoye? Is he even mentioned in the reports where the masterminds and parties involved were indicted? Are Atusiba and the hopeless few who spew such canards not aware of the fact that the real masterminds behind the carnage are now supporting Obiano, his sponsor?
He attacks Nwoye’s credentials, stating that his achievements stand alone as a factional leader of NANS! This is not correct, as asides NANS and students activism, Tony has been a successful entrepreneur, having in his employ hundreds of persons. He forgets also that Tony Nwoye was a young member of the National Conference in 2004. Nwoye was also a member of the Federal Government Committee on Small Arms. Now, I am willing to bet that a 1, 000 Atusibas cannot boast of a profile as rich as that of Nwoye’s.
Even much laughable is the attack on Nwoye’s performance as a member of the House of Representatives. Atusiba must know that Nwoye wasn’t sworn in with his present peers. Yet, surprisingly he towers over a number of them, having to his credit a number of bills and motions. Atusiba is free to pretend that he is ignorant of Nwoye’s bill on the Establishment of the College of Education, Nsugbe as a Federal University of Education or the bill to authorise the provision of free Pre natal and post natal healthcare for all pregnant women in the country and the bill for an Act to amend the NDDC Act to include Anambra State as a member of the NDDC. Atusiba should also be educated that Nwoye drew the attention and also influenced the resumption of work on Otuocha-Anam-Nzam-Ibaji road as well as the Umunya to Enugu-Agidi axis of the Onitsha-Enugu Expressway. These bills, motions and interventions have scaled a number of readings as well as serve as an attestation to Nwoye’s star studded performance so far.
Atusiba then dances naked with the spurious allegation that Nwoye has been diverting constituency funds since his assumption of duties as a rep member. Atusiba ,in this case, is being economical with the truth, otherwise he wouldn’t have raised this topic.
In this case, Nwoye, on assumption of office, discovered that his predecessor, Peter Madubueze and illegal occupant of the seat, before he got justice at the courts, had allocated all constituency projects to his own ward of Umueze Anam, whereas, the Anambra East/West Federal Constituency comprises of 25 wards. Nwoye found this absurd and applied for a corrigendum as allowed within the laws of our republic, thus allowing him to review the projects as well as ensure that other wards benefited from the constituency funds. To this end, Nwoye ensured that such funds for projects concentrated only in Umueze Anam, went on to actualise a number of projects in 24 wards, excluding Nsugbe where he hails from. Projects such as solar street lights in Umu-Ikwu, Umuoba-Anam, Igbariam, Iyiora Abaegbu, Otuocha, motorised boreholes, renovated schools, hostel blocks, and health centres in Umueri, Aguleri, Enugwu-Otu and Eziaguluotu, Orom Etiti, as well as empowerment programmes and grants for over 1, 800 youths , engaged in farming, petty business owners and market women, each receiving an average of a hundred thousand Naira. Atusiba and his sponsors should point out where Nwoye has erred here.
In summation, Atusiba is nothing but a barefaced liar and a hireling who masquerades as a puritan, whereas he belongs to the class of Lilliputians seeking to grab some limelight, perhaps some notoriety with this grouchy piece.
Unfortunately, it is dead on arrival and earns the right to be confined to the garbage bin as Ndi Anambra are geared for the emergence of a Tony Nwoye as an idea whose time has come!
• Napoleon is a media consultant and wrote in from Awka.