Ifeanyi Ubah Vs Willie Obiano: The Danger in Voting a “Trojan Horse”as Governor10 min read
Ubah offers his vision, foresight, courage, independence, charisma, public spirit, competence & determination
Obiano boasts of his certificates, banking experience, financing connections, & commitment to Peter Obi’s programmes
By Nwosu Chukwuemeka
In our great country, Nigeria, and Anambra State in particular, there are thousands of people with all kinds of IQ for talents, skills, learning and geniuses. All over the world, people who have obviously found themselves successful as actors, footballers, musicians, businessmen, preachers, activists, lawyers, writers and soldiers have been inspired by their own successes to offer themselves for public services as councilors, lawmakers, representatives, senators, governors, etc. Human endowments have never really been the exclusive preserve or derivative of those who are graduates of higher institutions of learning or holders of PHD in our society.
This is why it is truly disgusting and disappointing to hear gubernatorial aspirants in Anambra State speak out in their election debate sessions and newspaper interview publications, hampering on the lofty nature of their higher educational certificates, relative to the ones that others in the same race with them possess or declared in INEC forms. It is therefore supremely necessary that we analyze here the relative relevance of the weight of the wealth of knowledge that an aspirant has acquired from learning institutions vis-à-vis his potentials for effective performance as a governor. The fact remains clear that “Man is the measure of all things”.The value of any form of knowledge or idea is dependent upon the individual who created or acquired it. The creative IQ that you need to acquire a PHD in any area of study is not the same type of IQ that you need to be a good governor of a state. Holders of multiple PHD or graduate certifications may want to continue to fruitlessly impress us with their glossy academic possessions. We know certifications are real and are replete throughout Nigeria; Anambra and Imo State in particular. Unfortunately, history has shown that when these highest certificate holders are given the staff of leadership for their state or country, they turn into political movie stars; compulsive pranksters, who never solve the economic or socio-political problems in their hands. If you doubt me, in the history of Anambra State, these “Men of Letters”, listed below, are known to have each held the office of a governor under democratic dispensation, and as people of the “Old Guards”, they all ended their period of governance without giving the electorate the much expected dividends of democracy:
- Chief Jim Nwobodo, as a Governor, was a graduate and a professional
- Chief Christain Onoh, as a Governor, was a graduate and a professional.
- Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, as a Governor, was a PHD holder.
- Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju, as a Governor, was a PHD holder.
- Dr. Chris Ngige, as a Governor, was a Doctorate Degree holder and a professional
- Governor Peter Obi, as the Governor, is a graduate and a businessman.
In sharp contrast to these “Men of Letters” from Anambra State, there have been a few exceptions in history, even if such exceptions are outside the boundaries of Anambra State. For instance, so many past Nigerian Heads of State (example: General Murtala Mohammed, General Olusegun Obasanjo, General Mohammed Buhari, etc) were not known to be PHD holders, or even graduates of any higher institution; whatsoever! But they were still adjudged educated enough to be considered literate to hold public offices from their formal and informal trainings. And with the sheer forms of their ‘blissful ignorance’, they offered leadership in public service and guaranteed security of lives and property to all Nigerians than what obtains today from the hand of a PHD holder as the current Nigerian Leader.
The campaign-based issues in Anambra State election should not in any way be over-blown to include less important, albeit useful, consideration of the higher standard of the educational certificate that an aspirant possesses. Each aspirant should be guided in his own individual judgment to focus on how many valid uses that he can find, within the shortest possible time, about each of the common ‘paper clips’ that concisely represent concerns of Anambrarians in the society; as each electoral concern of an Anambrarian can actually be written down as a simple headline on a ‘paper clip’ and stacked as a bundle of manifesto issues in a ‘binder full of issues’ on the table of an aspirant to the government house. Therefore, it will require a courageous, visionary, and creative governorship aspirant to know that the bunch of ‘paper clips’ on his table can be envisioned to do anything that would advance the common cause of the state. It is by the very stroke of his ingenuity that such an aspirant can weave the numerous ‘paper clips’ that constitute the issues of concern on his campaign table into a long flexible band, strung between the simple connecting line of tractors, and herded into elephants of light – ‘The Light of the Nation’ as Anambra State is fondly called – to bring a brighter future for Anambrarians. Any governorship aspirant in Anambra State who has the greatest passion for weaving solutions to societal problems, and who can harness his ‘paper clips’ of critical issues in his quest for governance of the state into walking lights of an elephant to create a prosperous future for Anambrarians is the one that deserves the cap to the government house. Anambra State needs a man naturally configured with charisma, independent mind and great foresight, who has been tested by his own personal industry and expansive records of business achievements in creating wealth; and who shows glaringly an uncommon courage for manic persistence to conceive and turn ideas into actionable solutions. Let’s recollect the sayings of Michelangelo: “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.”
On this basis, Ifeanyi Ubah, as one of the governorship aspirants, stands out like a shinning model of a competent “sculptor” that can be trusted to carry the mantle of governorship for the people of Anambra State. He has been globally tested, as one who pioneered plot industrial business ideas, from conception to accomplished transformation into global blue-chip companies. Those of us who have had opportunities to come across the campaign live speeches of Ifeanyi Ubah are usually struck by his diligence, incision and insight in his crafting of words for delivering his campaign messages. Everywhere he goes, he speaks the same language of assured development for the state within the shortest time span. You could hear him reel out his words like the flow of a ‘river of gold’ across your mind and ears, as solutions that he has thoughtfully envisaged for the problems of the people of Anambra State: “I know your pains”. “And I have actionable solutions for them”.
Ifeanyi Ubah as a man whose biography within the last one year alone has become blended; positively with the myth of his great global business achievements, richness and exaggerated accounts of his business transactions, is one of the young Turks of gubernatorial flag-bearers, who are stridently pulling the tugs on the new generation of minds in Anambra State, to abandon the old Guards of leaders that have been deceiving the electorate and milking the state treasury dry. He is the type of governor who can make a great opener in governance through his God given magical wand, by:
- Creating one or more of ‘Capital Oil’ type of business model to form the industrial foundation of Anambra State.
- Looking up at every Anambrarian, address him or her accurately by name, and say: ‘I can see your pains; I will truly heal them’.
- Turn on the tap on the sink of resources of the state and water will flow to the mouth of every Anambrarian to quench his or her thirstiness for better life; and light will beam to the eyes of all to see clearly the prosperity of the state; and wealth will touch the hands of the needy wherever they are in the state to improve their well being.
Ifeanyi Ubah, who holds an award of a Doctorate Degree and a Harvard Business School certificate, is neither known to be boastful of his certificates. And his deputy, Dr. Emeka Eze, who also holds a professional Doctorate Degree has never been heard of making his certificate the main campaign issue for his self-glorification.
However, the APGA candidate, Willie Obiano, who has been wasting his not too inconsiderable bank of knowledge on the futile exercise to foist himself on the electorate is the only governorship aspirant who can never give a complete answer to one question in a newspaper interview without stating how he is the most educated; most experienced; most qualified; and all these he says in an unmistakable sense of self-laudation. The ex-bank chieftain, who has no answer as to how to improve the internally generated revenue of the state, proudly tells you that what accrues to Anambra State from Federal allocation is very small to rely on in running the state, and that a combination of this federally allocated revenue with the little internally generated revenue in Anambra State cannot fund up to forty (40) per cent of the capital projects of the state; that capital projects like the building of a refinery, airport, seaport, are not businesses that are funded with government money; and that from his higher certifications and international contacts, he, already, holds the keys to borrowing and begging:
- From International Banks and Lending Institutions, where he plans to secure gigantic loans to run Anambra State: “I know where to go to and who to meet to access funds…”-(The Sun Newspaper, Friday, November 8, 2013, page 45).
- Go cup-in-hand looking for money from International Donor Agencies to raise money and run Anambra State: “The difference between me and other candidates is that all these donor agencies are a few calls away because I have worked with them for my bank”-(The Sun Newspaper, Friday, November 8, 2013, page 45).
What this analysis reveals is that at the end of it all, whether these capital projects are executed by foreign investors in Anambra State or not; after the loans are secured, Anambra State, which currently is the lowest debtor-state in Nigeria from foreign loans, will definitely become the highest international debtor-state. If Willie Obiano is sworn-in as the next governor of Anambra State, he will be predisposed to mortgage the state economy in the hands of international investors, and this will take decades of recovery to gain freedom again from loan restructuring and rescheduling of principal and interest payments. Bereft of a more sensible economic way to shore-up the internal revenue base of Anambra State so as to be able to schedule and service capital projects execution, this external borrowing mindset of Willie Obiano is enough to keep Anambra people in the realm of perpetual poverty for decades. It must also be realized that the current APGA government in the state is already over-burdened with the sensitive financial issue of unpaid domestic loans from banks and agencies which verifiably runs into billions of Naira. Allowing further complications from Willie Obian’s strong predisposition toward chronic economic depression for Anambra State from borrowing enormous foreign loans in the future in addition to the existing huge billions of domestic debts to banks and lending agencies will create a financial complexity and consequence that will be suicidal for the people of Anambra State. ‘Therefore, from the foregoing analysis, if the duty of a patriot is to protect his state or country from its government, then, Willie Obiano is definitely unpatriotic, and Anambrarians should better heed the warning in the danger of choosing a Trojan horse being propelled by the heavy factor of incumbency to the Government House.Willie Obiano is a governorship aspirant that seems a little good enough to be helpful in governance but the real purpose of his service will be ultimately harmful to the economic future of Anambra State.
If a scenario is allowed to unfold in future through the danger in mistakenly voting him as the next governor, he, Obiano, will definitely find‘smooth language’ from his highly vaulted educational word-base, to obscure his economic policies and state government accounts, and use this strategy to place a wedge between him and the inquisitive public, creating in turn the same abhorred state of darkness (like a squid) that will make it difficult to capture him whenever public funds of the state are misappropriated and entangled in international financial debts, as predictable from his predisposition to international stupendous borrowing to run Anambra State. Anambrarians, don’t let a Trojan catch your vote off guard!
At this point, I am compelled to ask Willie Obiano some simple questions:
- For a governor who ought to have obsessive eyes for details in running affairs of the state, if as a gubernatorial aspirant he claims that his great repository of knowledge is all that is needed to run Anambra State, will he still need to rely on his senses daily to dutifully and dynamically survey Anambra State environments which he dreams to govern?
- Or will he pre-configure himself as an ‘automated governor’ that can use his abundant and overflowing knowledge already coded in his brains and place the later on automation to run the affairs of the state government?
- Are mere fine words lodged in the head of a PHD or higher certificate holder simply enough to compelled Anambrarians to a specific choice among aspirants as the only way to butter the bread and bring scientific profits to the people and the economy of state?
The most important conclusion to draw from this article is that success in the art of governance is not predicated on the grade of certification that an aspirant possesses in his quest to the government house, and should not be pre-measured by such an unreliable criterion. Rather, the qualities that the electorate needs to discern from the aspirants are their strengths of courage and determination to serve with public spirit, depth of vision and foresight, scope of raw wisdom and independence of his personality, charisma and trustworthiness. These are attributes of the mind that must drive the determination of an aspirant’s “will force” in executing his words into actionable solutions, to bring a brighter future for the people of Anambra State. And all these are salient characteristics easily discernible in Ifeanyi Ubah that makes him stand out as the best choice for governor among the lot of contestants.
Article written by: Nwosu Chukwuemeka
(Search Engines, Websites and Social Media Publications for the Media Team of Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah)