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Anambra 2017: Focus on Oseloka Obaze, the PDP Candidate.

By Chukwuemerie Uduchukwu

As the November 18 Anambra State Governorship Election draws nearer, I have watched the contestants closely and have observed that the man announced as the PDP Governorship Candidate lacks both political and social structure to occupy the State Government House as the governor. Oseloka Obaze is a former staff of the United Nations and such position gave him the thinking to parade himself as a Diplomat with the best CV to govern Anambra. He was also a former Secretary to the Anambra State Government (SSG) under the administration of his current political godfather Peter Obi. Both Obaze, Peter Obi and their supporters always claim that the PDP candidate possesses the best CV that the state Government House needs, they always stand on his former positions in the United Nations and the State Government under Peter Obi to push their ridiculous propaganda. Because of these, this writeup will focus on previous positions he held and what Anambra State benefitted from them.

Meanwhile, it is interesting to note that this PDP flag bearer comes from Ochuche-Umuodu in Ọgbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State, which is one of the very remote villages of the State.  We may believe that he had no direct connection for the development of his village when he was a staff of the United Nations, but we are still finding it difficult to know why he made no personal inputs for his community then or at least lobby the United Nations to provide necessary assistance to his community. At least he could afford sponsoring some of his village brothers and sisters who mostly lack resources to attain higher education. He could have also provided his community with at least a health centre but he didn’t do so. Since he failed to provide for his immediate community as a staff of the United Nations, there is no need trying to know what Anambra as a state benefitted from his personal efforts then. 

On June 2012, Mr. Oseloka Obaze was appointed the Secretary to the Anambra State Government, an office in charge of all administrative procedures in the State. It is important to note that it was under the watchful eyes of this man Oseloka Obaze that the Anambra State Government then led by Peter Obi operated an evil scam known as the Anambra Integrated Development Strategy (ANIDS), an initiative that was meant to develop all sectors of the State Economy simultaneously. The initiative ended up constructing very poor quality roads across the state. Presently, majority if not all those rods have gone very bad. In fact, there is non of those roads that is not occupied by potholes. ANIDS also ended up providing Anambrarians with water supply that was never enjoyed by anybody. Even the one drilled at Awka that was allegedly sponsored by international bodies never operated. 

Another fraudulent policies of ANIDS was its claim of developing the education sector of the State. Under the initiative, the tuition of the State owned University was increased by over 100% and Peter Obi boldly said on air then that Education is not for the poor and that majority of rich men didn’t go to the University. Despite the huge increment of the State University tuition by the State government under Peter Obi and under the administrative eyes of Oseloka Obaze, the State Owned University remained a glorified Secondary school throughout their administration. 

ANIDS also provided the State with story buildings without adequate equipment and called it Anambra State University Teaching Hospital. Note that the medical department of the same hospital never gained accreditation from the National University’s Commission throughout the administration of Peter Obi and Oseloka Obaze. It’s accreditation was granted within the present administration of Willie Obiano. ANIDS also donated computers without instructors and standby power supply to secondary schools across the state and one wonders what will be the fate of those computers. The initiative also claimed credit for the repeated successes recorded by Anambra State in the internal Examinations conducted by the West African Examinations Council, National Examinations Council and other examination bodies but one wonders why the state positions sharply dropped just immediately Peter Obi left office.

 The news that most of centres discovered to be magic centres by JAMB were in Anambra suggested that Peter Obi and Oseloka Obaze’s administrations may have bought those recorded successes because there is no way a state with well improved education sector will sharply drop in performance rankings soon after a governor left office. If those successes were truly and genuinely worked for, they will surely be sustained for many years. ANIDS also hurriedly went into bus Bazar towards the end of Peter Obi’s tenure. The scheme dashed mini buses to all the Principals of various Secondary Schools in the State. Each principal received one mini bus then.

 These Principals who do receive salaries use those buses for their comfort while the students who pay school fees trek long distances to school. You may wonder whether the Buses were used by Peter Obi’s administration under the watchful eyes of Oseloka Obaze to bribe Principals to mobilize parents to support the then governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance because the Students need means of transportation more than the principals. Even if Buses must be donated, they should be coasta buses that will accommodate many students and not mini buses and each school should have been provided with at least five coasta buses that will serve transportation need of numerous students. So with these, its clear that ANIDS supervised under the watchful eyes of Oseloka Obaze achieved nothing but was used to scam Anambrarians. It was in fact a jack of all trade and master of non. 

Moreover, one of the basic attributes of any political contestant is his or her ability to initiate and manage his personal political structure. Till now, there is no known political structure of Mr. Obaze as all those campaigning for him are official political Aides of former governor Peter Obi and this makes it difficult to ascertain the true agenda of Mr. Obaze for Ndị Anambra. Will he run an extended government of Peter Obi or his own government? Recall that during the 2014 Anambra State Governorship Election process, the All Progressives Grand Alliance which the present political godfather of Oseloka Obaze, Mr. Peter Obi was a governor on its platform disqualified Mr. Obaze. 

Obaze’s disqualification then may not be unconnected with the fact that he lacks a political structure that will give him victory even at his polling unit. You can now wonder why Peter Obi who supervised the disqualification of his current political godson then to pave way for the incumbent Willie Obiano now suddenly see him (Obaze) as a messiah for Anambrarians. Why did Peter Obi tell Ndị Anambra that Willie Obiano was far better than Oseloka Obaze? Why is same Obaze that was not preferred and was even disqualified now the best for Ndị Anambra in the eyes of Peter Obi? What is really the interest of Peter Obi at Agụ Awka? Someone should please tell Peter Obi that the man he once supervised his disqualification from governorship contest can’t be a messiah and can never be better than Willie Obiano that he campaigned as the best then. 

The refusal of Obiano to sustain the scam known as ANIDS shouldn’t warrant imposition of a stooge that lacks political structure to win even his polling unit on Ndị Anambra by Peter Obi. Anambrarians cannot be fooled twice. 

A person that supervised an administration that ended up as a scam can never be a good governor, a former SSG that was not able to stop the scamming of citizens through an initiative called ANIDS cannot be a good governor, a “Diplomat” that was unable to lobby the United Nations and a  government that he supervised as SSG to provide necessary amenities for at least his immediate community can never attract international investors or bodies to the state and consequently, cannot be a good governor. 

Anambra deserves better and not products of political imposition. 

May God guide Anambrarians as they make this important decision on November 18. 

* Chukwuemerie Uduchukwu writes from Awka, Anambra State. 

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