By Henry Nnamdi
THE future is the storehouse of hopes and aspirations. Even the global community is in a race towards the future. On November 18, 2017, Anambra State will join this race and decide with its votes whether to continue in the theatre of broken promises or fast-forward to the future, where dreams and expectations meet with realities and fulfillment. The future of the state seems trapped in the debris of gross maladministration which is encouraged by the worst kind of psychopathic propaganda. We all appear to be driven by the obsolete engine of moribund ideas and the destructive mentality of “we don’t need the federation; we can do it alone”. This is gradually eroding the lives of the ordinary people of the state, whose taxes fund this situation which imperils their lives and the future of their children.
The future will give birth to better visions, better ideas, better thinking and excellent deliveries. It will overhaul and improve our present. It will engender the pursuit of what ought to be; the alliance of better and fresher ideas against the current norm of accelerating backwards without shame. The future will discover our best and offer salvation to our trapped lives. The future is the haven of realities and fulfillment and it is where Anambra State should be.
According to the American Jewish writer and Nobel Laureate, Elie Wiesel, who survived the Holocaust, “just as a man cannot live without dreams, he cannot live without hope. If dreams reflect the past, hope summons the future”. Anambra State cannot live without dreams or hope and the hope we seek in this year’s election will summon our future. The reward which will come from the future is the tonic we need to reject the status quo.
The present of the state is represented by the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) administration. There are five grievous lies that Ndi Anambra must reject in order to be able to join the global community in racing towards the future. This is not just about anyone’s political party or present office or about expected promises. It is a clarion call to embrace the future because of our generation and future generations. We must reject lies and myths that were so cleverly crafted to fool us while sustaining the wrong people in power. The first lie is that APGA is an Igbo party and will benefit Ndigbo. The truth is that neither Ndigbo nor Ndi Anambra needs an Igbo party. What we need is a national party that will give us a broader platform for negotiation. Another truth is that a one state party like APGA will remove us far away from the roundtable of national dialogue and lobby. If APGA is truly an Igbo party, why is its headquarter in Abuja and why does the party have national officers that are not Igbo?
The second lie is that Eze-Igbo Gburugburu, Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu had wished APGA to be an Igbo party. This falsehood is an apostasy on the blessed memory of this great Igbo leader. The truth is that Eze-Igbo Gburugburu was a great believer in a United Nigeria. As a Garrison Commander in Kano in 1966, he refused to offer support to Nzeogwu and his fellow coup plotters in what is mischievously referred to today as an Igbo coup. Biafra was not an attempt to divide Nigeria but a courageous effort to protect Ndigbo from annihilation.
Any attempt to use Biafra to reduce Ikemba’s national stature will be mischievous and fraudulent. When Ikemba aspired for the Senate and Presidency of Nigeria, it was because he believed in Nigeria. When he returned from exile and joined the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in 1982 and expressed the famous ambition of “re-integrating Ndigbo into the mainstream of Nigerian politics”, it was because he knew that Ndigbo will negotiate better with the rest of the country on the platform of a national party.
The third lie which is both pathetic and nauseating is that the All Progressive Congress (APC) is an Hausa party. This sponsored propaganda reveals how much tribal and ethnic considerations thrive in the state now. Chris Ngige, Andy Uba, Emeka Offor, Rochas Okorocha, Uche Ekwunife and many others are not Hausas but bonafide sons and daughters of Igboland. Bola Tinubu, Adams Oshiomhole, Rotimi Amaechi etc are all Nigerians but not Hausas.
The truth is that APC was the creation of brilliant minds, which fused their ideas and strengths to present a worthy alternative to what the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was offering. Anambra should join those brilliant minds to divide the spoils of power than isolating itself in the pursuit and promotion of utopia. The fourth lie is that spending over N15 Billion to construct three flyovers on one kilometre of Federal road without Federal Government’s consent or undertaking for re-imbursement, impacts positively on Ndi Anambra. The truth is that this is a horrendous waste of public funds for which someone should be jailed. Another truth is that there are many critical roads in Awka, Onitsha and Nnewi that are broken and washed out and begging for attention. Students of the Anambra State University are compelled to live in the midst of kidnappers, armed robbers, prostitutes and sundry deviants because government preferred to construct flyovers than provide accommodation for the students. Even idiots, as they believe us to be, know that N15b would have done so much in the state and for the state.
The fifth lie which was designed merely to deceive us is that incumbency factor will win the election on November 18. The truth is that incumbency will not help anyone this year. It did not stop Peter Obi in 2003 and did not stop Rochas Okorocha in Imo state. It will also not stop the wind of change that is already blowing. It does appear that this election came too soon for some people but the truth is that, time has come to reject the lies and myths which have made the future unattainable.
These are some of the reasons for the increasing belief in the state that the future of Ndi Anambra lies with a national party like APC and a compassionate and broad-visioned leader like Sen. Andy Uba. APC is the only party in the state with cohesive national spread and Uba has long been noted as the only politician in the state with formidable clout, national and acceptable visibility and upscale acquaintances that the state can leverage on to attract not only development but the much desired concessions. Considering the short period before the November 18 election, what the APC needs to win is someone who already enjoys enormous goodwill across the state; someone, who has existing political structures and very well known to the real voters in the state; someone, whose private life before now, has remarkably been engaged in the upliftment and empowerment of the ordinary people of the state.
The cap fits Sen. Uba as the aspirant with the largest political followership in the state. According to Eleanor Roosevelt, “Many people will walk in and out of your life but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart”. Many politicians have walked in and out of the lives of Ndi Anambra but none has left golden footprints in their hearts as this man and this is why there is general belief that come November 18, Ndi Anambra will welcome the future with the APC and Uba.
Nnamdi writes from Awka