Monday, September 29, 2014

The Poverty of Sycophancy

By Biko Agozino
Say that Chime did not say! (Shikwanu la Chime ashivo!)

While reporting that the Vice President of Nigeria, Namadi Sambo, brought the generous campaign promise from President Jonathan that Turkish Airlines will now fly to Enugu from Ankara, Governor Chime of Enugu was quoted as making the following unfortunate sycophantic assertion that he should repudiate as a mis-speak or misquotation:

"Chime urged the president not to waste energy and resources campaigning in Enugu State, rather the president should channel the resources to other states where there is need for campaign.

“You can go to neighboring states but not Enugu, Enugu is hundred percent for Jonathan and PDP, we started this journey in 2011, we have been doing it and we will be ready to deliver PDP in the forthcoming 2015 Presidential election” he stated.

Anambra State Governor, Chief Willy Obiano, who also spoke at the occasion, assured President Jonathan that the All Progressive Grand Alliance and Anambra State would deliver him hundred percent in 2015.

Obiano noted that APGA adopted Jonathan even before the ruling People’s Democratic Party and further called for collective support from the people of the South East Zone to ensure absolute realization of Jonathan’s reelection bid."

What was Governor Chime thinking when he said that devoting campaign resources to win Enugu was a waste of energy? With the state as the second to last in Federal allocations, we should be making huge demands on any candidate for president. The Promise of Turkish Airlines is an indication that the candidate will not take Enugu seriously if he wins. It is politically immature to promise 100% of the votes of Enugu to any candidate in a democratic election unless there is a plan for wuluwulu.But it is up to the electorate to prove this hubris wrong when the time comes.

The Jonathan administration commissioned the construction of seven new multi-billion dollar hydro electric power plants with none in the South East (which gave the administration the largest proportion of votes in the previous elections without much to show for it). The administration also established nine new universities with only one in the South East (which incidentally leads the country in educational attainment). The administration is also reported to have promised a coal-fired power plant in Enugu without any of the environmental health evaluations that have forced industrialized countries to increasingly rethink coal as a safe source of energy. Chime could have asked for a wind farm to be sited along the hilltop across the state to enable us to harvest energy from the wind more sustainably and supplement with solar for homes in more remote villages. 
The South East states should support the presidential candidate who commits to the implementation of the National Confab recommendation for a sixth state in the region to make it equitable with all the other five regions with six states each. Enugu state should insist on being classified as an oil-producing state because the state has oil and gas deposits in commercial quantities especially in the Awgu Shale Formation that is identified as part of the Niger Delta Basin in the geological maps but the state receives no derivation revenue while that oil is probably being siphoned down the river under our feet where it probably flows like an underground river. Only a presidential candidate who commits to paying reparations for the Igbo genocide deserves to expect overwhelming support from the South East.

Similarly, instead of Governor Willy Obiano of Anambra state beating his chest to announce that APGA was the first to endorse President Jonathan for re-election even before the PDP adopted him, he should have been demanding that PDP should endorse APGA for the governorship of Imo State in return, at least because his party won that state but the sitting governor chose to decamp to the APC. Azikiwe did form alliances with other parties but his own party also always fought to win the national election too.Why are the governors of the South East shying away so brazenly? Perhaps because the minority parties are not living up to their tasks.

What? Are they thinking at all? Uwawa (No)!

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