CHIEF Sylvester Nwobu- Alor is a second Republic lawmaker and former Director-General of the Peter Obi Campaign Organisation. He is a founding chieftain of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
In this interview, Alor gives his perspectives on the governorship election. Excerpts:
By Dapo Akinrefon
What is your take on the impending election and the standing of the incumbent governor, Chief Willie Obiano?
Truly, Anambra in the past had it good in terms of governance. Starting from the regime of Ngige and then to Peter Obi’s administration, Anambra State posted superlative and sterling results in terms of democratic dividends and performance, and so if the citizenry now complain, that means there is a gap and lull in the expectation.
Truly, given the current outcry and from personal observation, Willie Obiano, though a nice man, his government has not met the yearnings and expectations of Anambrarians.
But the government of Obiano has reacted by saying that ‘Willie is working,’ so why do you doubt its performance?
It is preposterous and prevaricating for a properly constituted government with huge allocations and IGR to point at the payment of salaries and pension as an achievement.
By the way, it is legal, moral and natural to pay all workers at the due time. It is unconscionable and despicable really to owe a worker who has completed his task.
Therefore, Obiano’s government should not see the payment thereof, as an achievement. Besides, governments before it (that is, Ngige and Obi’s) paid salaries and pensions and still performed and packaged the infrastructure to the admiration of Ndi Anambra.
More so, Obiano’s government has no reason not to pay salaries and improve the lives of Ndi Anambra because a solid financial foundation was availed by the preceding government of Peter Obi.
What of the N20million disbursement to communities in Anambra State by the government of Willie Obiano?
I tell you one thing, Willie is working, but regretfully Willie is indeed working woefully and that’s why his government is illogical, comical and theatrical.
The N20million development fund comes with too much baggage. First, it is a misdirection and misappropriation. Nobody knows where he is getting the funds to finance the “Community Projects,” but assuming it is from the joint L. G. account, then it is illegal.
The Local Government system as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is the third tier of administration with clearly defined and delineated obligations and mandates and which obviously does not include the wanton disbursement of cash to communities.
Therefore, Governor Obiano’s penchant for appropriating funds meant for the Local Government administration for other uses is unlawful and illegal, ab initio.
Second, since such disbursements are not lawfully appropriated and deployed, it gives room to all manners of manipulations.
For instance, it’s been shown that the current disbursement bazaar by the current government only gets to his surrogates and lackeys.
Third, the direct cash disbursement to communities being an illegality itself is also a Greek gift whereby it’s given with the ‘right hand’ and stealthily collected with the ‘left hand’.
You seem critical…
A government that cannot point to a single signature project to its credit has failed the electorate and does not deserve a re-election. The media is awash of how previous governments’ projects are claimed as Obiano’s achievement.
If the government has performed, why claiming other people’s projects, for instance, road networks done by Ngige and Obi’s regime? For example, it is on record that Peter Obi’s administration did a total of 265 roads during his tenure and one cannot point to a single road done by this Willie administration and that is scandalous and suffocating.
Your party, APGA has been factionalized and fumbling, what is your take on this?
It is painful seeing a project one heavily invested in suddenly sinking and skidding. As one of the founding fathers of APGA, I know the plan was to make APGA a national party with an Igbo base.
So, why are you backing Obaze?
I believe in objectivity and not swayed by parochialism and sentiments. Honestly, the government of Obiano has not done anything positive to warrant a second tenure.
I say it again; giving Obiano a second chance means total liquidation of Anambra State.
Let me break it down-Governor Willie Obiano’s government has received a total of N63,654,309,711.92 (almost N64 Billion) from May 2015 to June 2016 from Federal allocations and this excludes Internally Generated Revenue (IGR); this excludes the squandered N4 Billion naira set aside by Obi’s administration of secondary school education and Health facilities; this excludes the N3.7 billion in UBEC Accounts 1 and 2 he inherited and now misappropriated; this excludes the N75 billion handed over to him by his predecessor, Peter Obi; this excludes total revenue from dollars investment by Obi’s government; this excludes the N50.4 billion already collected by Government Obiano as security vote since 2014; and this excludes a total of N533,179,178,592.00 (over N533 billion) of Local Government fund controlled and managed by Governor Willie Obiano since 2014.
Truly, the above-quoted figures are gargantuan and gigantic in all ramifications and if what the incumbent government in Anambra state can point at as its achievements with the enumerated enormous sum are the payments of salaries/pensions and street light projects, then Ndi Anambra have really boarded a ‘’one chance” bus.