PRESS STATEMENT : EMEAKAYI’S CALLS FOR OBIANO’S RESIGNATION , A PITIABLE STRAIN OF POLITICAL RASCALITY
After a careful study of the Address of Prince Ken Emeakayi, one of the factional leaders of the Anambra State Chapter of the PDP, at the recent meeting of the splinter group of the party in Awka, the Anambra State capital, which the factional leader disingenuously turned into a Press Conference, we feel compelled to address some of the issues raised at the event.
Ordinarily, we wouldn’t bother to join issues with Prince Emeakayi who is well known for his penchant for attention-seekingand political brinkmanship. But his call for Governor Obiano’s resignation over the controversial N75bn purportedly bequeathed him by his predecessor, former Governor Peter Obi borders on the grotesque and the bizarre and should be smacked down before it misleads the uninformed.
From all indications, it is very obvious that Emeakayi is either uninformed or ill-informed on the matter and should have done himself and his factional group a world of good by keeping silent or picking another soft-bone to sustain his lust for the limelight. Sadly, he choose to play to the gallery as usual, thereby compelling us to bring him back to what he should know.
Consequently, we shall respond to Emeakayi’s Statement in order of importance –
On the Controversial N75bn Legacy
Emeakayi’s call for Obiano’s resignation over the contentious N75bn bequest of the Peter Obi administration is political rascality taken too far.Not only does Emeakayi sound cheap, he also comes across as totally confused. After what looked like a long winding ramble on the contentious issue, Emeakayi finally submitted that – “It has been established by both sides to the effect that crime of fraud, false statement of account, falsification and deceit has been committed on Oath against the Government and people of Anambra State, what is now remaining is the determination of who was liable.” It therefore beggars the imagination how Emeakayi who could not determine who was liable between Obiano and his predecessor would still go ahead to call for Obiano’s resignation over the same matter in which he is presumed innocent until culpability is determined. This obvious gap in Emeakayi’s capacity for serious contemplation and logic makes the factional PDP Chairman an unlikely party to raise issues bordering on the propriety of the conduct of public officials in the state. When this is taken into consideration along with Emeakayi’s well-known roles in some of the darkest chapters of contemporary political history of Anambra State, it becomes clear why no self-respecting Nigerian should pay attention to Emeakayi’s seasonal tantrums. What is as clear as daylight however is that Governor Willie Obiano has changed the socio-economic landscape of Anambra State in less than two years. In such a short time, Obiano has built what Prof Chukwuma Soludo referred to as “Signature Projects,” started an agricultural revolution, attracted massive investments and touched the lives of civil servants and the common man on the street. Obviously, what must have infuriated Emeakayi and his ilk must certainly be Obiano’s clinical eradication of crime and criminality in the entire state especially his retrieval of Onitsha from the stifling grip of violent criminals. This is one feat that successive administrations including the ones in which Emeakayi played a two bit role could not achieve. Ndi Anambra are therefore advised to disregard the likes of Emeakayi whose sole intention is to distract Governor Obiano and halt the giant strides of progress that he has commenced in Anambra State.
On the tenure of Local Government Councils in Anambra State
Prince Emeakayi’s threat of anarchy and bloodshed in Anambra State over the tenure of Local Government Councils is a frightening reminder of the dark days of lawlessness and brigandage from which Governor Willie Obiano has rescued the state and must be resisted by every well-meaning citizen of the state. It is rather appalling that at a time when Anambra is widely regarded as the most secure state in Nigeria, Emeakayi and his followers are promising the spilling of human blood to appease theirabhorably dark designs. And what’s more? On close examination, Emeakayi’s threat of bloodshed and anarchy over the local government council can best be described as an outright act of deceit and fraud on his followers and the general public. This is because, Emeakayi cannot cherry-pick on the issue of the nation’s Local Government Law which has been amended about nine times since it came into existence in 1999. There is nothing whatsoever in section 51 (3) and 70 (3) of the said law which compels a state government to hold an election soon after the determination of tenures of office of Chairmen and their Councillors. Even so, it has become necessary to remind Emeakayi and his band of followers that the Local Government Law 1999 effectively introduced the option of a Transitional Committee into the local government administration which was firmly inserted through the March 2002 amendment clause. This law has been in force for a long time and has been severally exercised by the immediate past administration of former Governor Peter Obi. And since we are not aware that there is any suit either by Emeakayi or anybody else in any Court in Nigeria challenging the validity of Sections 58 or 70 of this Law, it is rather preposterous that Emeakayi should make so much ado about nothing. What is however clear is that Governor Obiano would be acting within his legal limits if he considers any of the options that are open to him under the Local Government Law which could be either a Transition Committee or a full scale election. But since Obiano has not indicated what he intends to do and has not broken any law yet by not holding a local government election in the state, the least that Emeakayi and his group could do is to watch his body language, not threaten bloodshed. One is compelled to ask, whose blood? Emeakayi should know that in the New Anambra that Governor Willie Obiano is building, his threats of bloodshed sound hollow and out of place and condemnable. Anambra has since moved beyond theHobbesian State in which Emeakayi and his fellow travellers had consigned it for years. Sincerely, Emeakayi should be reminded that the horse has since left the stable!
Judicial Workers’ Strike and Anambra Central Senatorial Election
In further demonstration of Prince Emeakayi’s unbridled quest for relevance, he dredged up the long resolved issue of the Judicial Workers’ Strike in Anambra State as one of the reasons why Governor Willie Obiano should resign his appointment. This singular guff underscores the utter lack of substance in Emeakayi’s diatribe and further exposes him as a politician who has lost touch with the reality of his environment. This view is further re-enforced by his mischievous reading of the Appeal Court Judgement that ordered a fresh election for the senatorial seat of Anambra Central Senatorial Zone. Prince Emeakayi would do well to read the hand writing on the wall and realise that all the voodoo electoral victories of the PDP across the country have all been quashed by the courts. The latest in this series of manufactured victories to fall to the intense scrutiny of the law is the Abia gubernatorial election from which Dr. Alex Otti has just emerged as the Governor Elect. Need we remind Emeakayi that the world is aware of how his fragmented party overturned the mandate of the people of Anambra Central through the barrel of the gun? And now that the slow grinding arm of justice has given the people a second chance to choose their senator, Emeakayi should know that the political configuration that ensured the successful machination that threw up Senator Uche Ekwunife is no more.
In Conclusion, while every democracy is watered by the variegated views of an enlightened opposition and the prodding of constructive criticism, we make bold to say that Prince Ken Emeakayi’s trenchant call for the resignation of Governor Willie Obiano is a misqeued red herring that should not attract the attention of serious members of the society. Truth is; Emeakayi’s tirade is empty of substance and meaning and should be roundly dismissed as the hollow echoes of a dying drum.
Senior Special Assistant on Media to Governor Obiano