Obiano takes Anambra’s 30 lawmakers to America, comes under heavy fire

Posted by News Express | 8 July 2014 | 4,420 times

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The fledgling administration of Chief Willie Obiano in Anambra State, South-East Nigeria, has come under heavy criticism after it became known that the governor, less than four months in office, has taken the state’s 30 lawmakers to the United States of America. No reason has yet been given for the trip which began on June 28 and is scheduled to last at least a week.

Obiano. The governor was said to have joined the team in America a few days later.

Many Anambrarians have reacted with outrage to the news of the trip, describing it as a jamboree that certainly would not add value to the development of the state. A prominent indigene of the state who would not want his name in print told News Express this morning: “Obiano should watch it. Are the lawmakers newly elected that they should be sent on abroad to learn the rudiments of lawmaking – assuming that is why they made the trip? If that is the purpose, former governor Peter Obi took the lawmakers to the UK and Dubai, so why take them to America?” In any case, they are heavily paid to be able to afford to go anywhere they like. The state government, therefore, has no business sponsoring them on any foreign trip.”

Others quoted by LEADERSHIP, which broke the story, also condemned it. For instance, a former member of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Vincent Atuigwe (Ekwusigo constituency), was emphatic that the lawmakers went on a “jamboree” that would give them an opportunity to squander the state’s funds.

He reasoned that if the trip was meant to avail the state lawmakers an opportunity of learning the American legislative system, it did not require all of them to go in one fell swoop.

He said: “If the purpose of their going to America was to go and learn the American legislative system, the whole 30 of them shouldn’t have gone. Only a few should have been selected to go and when they come back, they will teach others. For all of them to go to America shows that they are on a jamboree, just to go and squander the money of the state. I don’t see anything the state will benefit from that trip. It’s a waste.”

Also reacting, a former chairman, Awka North Local Government Council, Chief Dennis Ngene, described the trip as “unjustifiable”. He stated that for the whole 30 legislators to travel to the US means that they have relocated the state Assembly to that country. Besides, he stated that the trip will certainly eat deep into the treasury of the state government.

Some other interviewed by the paper wondered why sponsoring the lawmakers’ overseas trip should be a priority of the state government. They pointed out that the administration is barely 100 days in office, and as such, is yet to establish a strong hold on the mechanisms of the government, especially as it concerns the financial status, more so that the government claims that it is passing through difficulties because of lean financial status.

LEADERSHIP said that the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Prof. Joseph Asike, whose office allegedly coordinated the lawmakers controversial trip, denied the allegation, saying that his office had nothing to do with it.

•Photo shows Governor Willie Obiano.

Source: News Express

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