Posted by News Express | 11 November 2017 | 2,404 times
The Int’l Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law (Intersociety), has described most of the non-incumbent candidates in the November 18 governorship election in Anambra State as pretenders who lack the requisite capacity to vie for the number one public office in the state.
In a statement issued Saturday in Onitsha by its Board Chairman, Emeka Umeagbalasi; Head, Democracy & Good Governance Programme, Chinwe Umeche; and Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Programme, Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Intersociety observed that the contenders are more interested in material gains and miniature power positions.
“They only pretentiously seek to govern, but with clear intents of gaining materially by contracts or cash; or earn board or other appointments. Some of them become perpetual governorship candidates in every election so as to secure miniature power positions including policing protection; and social, economic and diplomatic influences in advancement of their businesses including contracts and social lives.
“Seeking to govern democratically is founded on nobility and charismatic qualities. To the likes of Pluto and Aristotle, leadership is meant for people of nobility. To truly seek to govern Anambra State; a leading first class State in Nigeria, the seeker must have mastered the following twelve (12) successful governance foundations: (a) winning of election by popular votes or input legitimacy, (b) intent and ability of the elected to serve the people in the context of service to humanity, (c) avoidance of call to squander and heeding of call to serve, (d) formation of a sizeable cabinet composed of moralists and people with technical expertise in various sectors of public governance, (e) a cabinet type devoid of favoritism and nepotism.
“Others are: (f) financial prudency, fiscal responsibility and maintenance of a moderate government monthly wage bill, (g) drastic reduction in governance running costs most especially in the areas of security votes and overheads and allowances of the political appointees, (h)zero debts culture and ability to adequately mobilise both statutory and non statutory/non loan funds within and outside the country for capital development of the governing area (i.e. Anambra State), (i) aggressive sectoral and infrastructural development and provision and delivery of social services, (j) provision of enabling environment and social incentives for the FDI inflows, private sector participation and general wellbeing of the citizenry including security and welfare, (k)justice sector reform and human rights and (l) rendering the account of stewardship at the end of every elected tenure.
“To master all these, the seeker to the office of the Anambra Governor must, through researches and studies; demystify the social negativities of the State and its incumbent Government (where it failed and what it failed to do which ought to have been done). This was how then Governor William Jefferson (Bill) Clinton upstaged his incumbent and severally became the Governor of US State of Arkansas from 1979-1981 and 1983 till 1992 leading to his triumphant emergence as the 42nd President of the United States from 20th January, 1993 to 20th January, 2001.
“Going by our open letter of 25th October 2017 addressed to 36 non-incumbent governorship candidates in Anambra State, none of them is found to have a clear-cut plan or a comprehensive blueprint for better development of Anambra State. Except verifiable statistics of former Governor Peter Obi and those independently investigated by the state’s leading rights CSOs, none of the non-incumbent candidates can explain how and where the incumbent Governor of Anambra State failed in governance.”
According to Intersociety, Mr. Oseloka Henry Obaze, for instance, is grounded and celebrated in the areas of international development, donors and direct foreign investments; owing to his 21 years experience as a UN diplomat, but no comprehensive blueprint is made out of it yet for the development of Anambra State including health, education and safe water if he is elected as Anambra Governor.
“Absence of a comprehensive blueprint from Candidate Obaze has also kept Anambra people in the dark as to what his cabinet size will be, amount to be collected as monthly security votes, number of political appointees, what his governance overheads will look like, debts policy and mobilisation of non-loan resources; status of the state’s Local Government system and its care-taker administrative policy; his policy direction on industrialisation, environment, roads and their maintenance; justice reform and human rights; control of violent crime and concept of human security, etc.
“Osita Chidoka trails Oseloka Obaze as a candidate with some promising governance packages, but again, they are amorphous and unwritten. That is to say they are not comprehensively documented into a written and understandable governance blueprint.
“Godwin Ezeemo says he ‘will fight kidnappers and armed robbers’. The statement alone exposes his gross ignorance with respect to patterns and trends of violent crimes especially abduction in the state. He is also bereft of scientificity of violent crimes and their demystification processes or methodologies using ICT and super-ware policing intelligence and detection. Candidate Ezeemo was only able to tabulate the amounts of LGA statutory allocations meant for the 21LGAs in the state between January 2014 and July 2017, which he claimed was squandered by the Obiano administration.
“For Anthony Nwoye, we cannot rightly place or link him with any identifiable and understandable governance blueprint or package for governance of the state, if elected the next Governor. Apart from banking heavily on federal might and machinery, Candidate Nwoye appears not to have any blueprint to present to Anambra electorate. He may most likely be waiting to emerge ‘by chance’ as Anambra Governor with likelihood of ‘government of anything goes’.
“While there is a consensus among all the 36 non-incumbent governorship candidates in Anambra State that incumbent Governor William Obiano failed woefully in the past 43 months including his gross poor human rights records, the candidates failed woefully too to statistically tell Anambra people how and where the Governor failed in governance. Except former Governor Peter Obi and rights CSOs in the state, statistics about Governor Obiano’s failure would have been perpetually kept away from the people if left in the hands of the 36 candidates alone.
“The cardinal question as to how each of the 36 non-incumbent candidates intend to develop Anambra State in commensuration with that of former Governor Peter Obi and in prohibition of Obiano’s governance style; is yet to be empirically answered by most of the candidates. They are largely busy beating about the bush. They also kept mute till date concerning what their respective policy towards the Local Government system and its undemocratic structure will be, if any of them is elected next Governor of the state. This strongly suggests that if any of them is elected, it is going to be business as usual.”
In the opinion of Intersociety, most of the candidates do not even know the number of states and communities that share boundary with Anambra State; total kilometers of federal roads, state roads and urban city roads in the state; the cost of constructing, or reconstructing or rehabilitating a kilometer of road in hinter, gully prone and river-line parts of Anambra State; the state of failed roads in the state; number of abandoned roads and public projects in the state; the number of public and mission primary/secondary schools and health institutions in the state; number of failed and functional large scale industries in the state; as well as the monthly wage bill of the present Government of Anambra State and its number of political appointees etc.
“Finally, it is our recommendation that the Anambra State House of Assembly should pass a law making it mandatory for anybody seeking to govern Anambra State to submit a comprehensively written blueprint to accompany his or her quest to govern the state. Such written blueprint must include the gubernatorial seeker’s knowledge of social profiles of the state highlighted above as well as how he or she intends to run the government and govern the state including its development components.”
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