How Obiano Recorded Monumental Failure In 43 Months As Anambra Governor (Concluded)

 

       (In Response To Obiano’s Unanswered Questions In Our Open Letter Of 23rd October 2017)

 (Intersociety, Onitsha Nigeria: Wednesday 8th November 2017)-In-spite of availability of over N420B or $1.4B cash excluding the State’s N11.3B share of the Paris Club refunds, all at governmental disposal of Gov William Mmaduabuchi Obiano,  Anambra State under him had recorded a monumental failure in governance of the State in the past 43 months or between 17th March 2014 and 31st October 2017.

This position of ours is sequel to findings of our Organization as it concerns the state of governance in Anambra State in the past 43 months and refusal of the Governor to present the scorecard of his first tenure, which is in line with international best practices. The demand for the Governor’s scorecard was contained in our open letter of 23rd October 2017 with seven days notice within which he was expected to have comprehensively responded. Another open letter was also addressed to 36 other governorship candidates with similar probing governance questions.

It must be stated clearly that we had before the issuance of the two open letters especially that of the incumbent Governor of Anambra State; carried out a comprehensive investigation into the state of governance and finance under the Administration of Governor William Obiano, but decided to put our findings on hold so as to give the Governor a benefit of doubt and an opportunity to publicly present the account of his stewardship.

Governor William Obiano’s monumental failure in governance of Anambra State is rooted in flamboyance, squander-mania and fiscal recklessness; leading to diversion of greater part of State funds traditionally meant for public good and capital development of the State into alarming governance costs including collection of outrageous monthly security votes of N1.35B (Gov N1.1B and his wife N250M) and needless expenditure of over N400M monthly to service over 1000, if not 1500 non statutory political appointees and statutory others .

Through same squander-mania and financial recklessness, Anambra’s over N420B cash wealth plus N11.3B Paris Club refunds and undisclosed locally borrowed loans running into billions of naira was grossly mismanaged; leaving the capital development of the State including provision and maintenance of key infrastructures (i.e. roads) in acute state of despair and decay.

The Governor lost focus and direction from the beginning when he allowed some political contractors and detractors to deceive him into forming and running “a government of settlement and merriment” as opposed to his predecessor’s “araldite government”. With “a government of political class” in place, Governor Obiano totally lost governance direction and recruited over 1000, if not 1500 cooks to cook a pot of soup. This marked the beginning of his monumental failure in governance.

When the governance expectations of Anambra People became so intense and loud, the Governor  imported and applied deceit, lies and propaganda to blindfold the People of the State, especially the un-attentive public, from noticing his gross governance deviation and monumental failure. The Governor also resorted to laying claims to projects with verifiable records executed by his predecessor as his.

In our investigation which heavily relied on the fundamentals of good governance in civil democratic government, Governor Obiano performed abysmally in most of them. They include management and safety of inherited public assets and liabilities (from past Obi Administration); cabinet size, monthly wage bill and governance cost; infrastructural development and social services delivery; fiscal discipline and accountability; agric, health and educational development, industrialization and foreign direct investment; water safety and security; environmental management and urban planning; security and welfare of Anambra People (human security); and human rights and rule of law.

Few Areas Where Obiano Scored Good Marks

The Governor’s performance is high only in the areas of street lightening, traffic markings and nonviolent response to political opposition. To an extent, Governor Obiano is politically intolerant, not nonviolent. His good marks in the area of absence of State sponsored political killings is noted but still shaky and hugely dependent on his Government’s reaction to the outcome of November 18th Governorship Poll.

The Governor also earned some reasonable marks in the control of violent crime of violent kidnapping (immediacy) but scored less in checkmating nonviolent kidnapping (remotely). In other words, the policing intelligence in the State is still a monumental failure under Governor William Obiano; whereby kidnappers are only pursued when they are on rampage but let off the hook when in their hideouts. That is to say that crime of kidnapping in the State is only suppressed via oiled media blackout and fire brigade approaches.

To show off and over-sensationalize security in the State so as to corner Anambra’s billions monthly as “security votes”; many innocent members of the public are swooped on by police SARS and others; arrested, detained and paraded arbitrarily as “armed robbers and kidnappers”; tortured alive or to death in custody. If survived from custodial torture, they are incarcerated for over six months before being judicially incarcerated further by way of “magistrate court arraignment and remand”.

The Governor’s laying of claims as having drastically reduced crime of armed robbery in Anambra State is utterly mischievous and deceitful because patterns and trends of armed robbery and carjacking or car armed robbery clearly show that while the car armed robbery has become scientific and is on the steady increase in the State; armed robbery is drastically reduced on account of electronic banking or ICT powered banking which has lowered the indiscriminate carriage of cash by blue collar practitioners or those who transact businesses in cash. These have further thrown up high incidences of cybercrime in the State with police doing nothing.

Patterns and trends of car armed robbery or carjacking have also changed in the State. In most cases, cars are no longer snatched at gun-points but quietly and scientifically unlocked at their parking lots and made away without traces. These new patterns and trends are highly sophisticated and syndicated in the State that policing intelligence has failed woefully to unravel or demystify them till date.

 

Communal restiveness is also very rampant in Anambra State under the Obiano Administration, to the extent that many communities are presently at loggerheads. Governor Obiano is at the center of accusation including his alleged reckless imposition and recognition of imposed persons as traditional rulers of the affected communities. 

In the area of protection of lives and property, Governor William Obiano scored negative. Under his watch as the Chief Security Officer of the State, not less than 140 defenseless and unarmed Igbo citizens were massacred by the State Joint Security Taskforce under his chairmanship. While over 110 were massacred with most of them criminally buried inside the Onitsha Military Cantonment between 29th and 30th May 2016 when they were massacred and Wednesday, 1st June 2016 when they were criminally interred; over 30 others were massacred on 30th August and 2nd and 17th December 2015. Members of Gov Obiano’s Joint Security Taskforce especially soldiers also crossed over to Asaba on 30th May 2016 and killed not less than 30 others. Most of them were criminally buried on 26th June 2016 in secret mass graves in Asaba, Delta State.

Infrastructural Decay & Abandonment Under Obiano

Anambra State is one of the highest motorized States in Nigeria. It is also very notorious when it comes to soil fragility in Nigeria. Over 95% of its population use road or land mobility. Till date, it has no single railway line and its marine or waterway transport is still at subsistent level. Totality of these puts pressure on its road network; requiring steady expansion and adequate maintenance of same. These also explain Anambra citizens and residents’ craze over good and expanded road network. Road construction is done by kilometer coverage or measurement. Road construction in non river-line/gully part of the State goes for average of N200M per kilometer, while construction of same in Ogbaru and Omambala river-line areas goes for as much as N300M/N350M per kilometer or more especially with bridges.

For instance, construction of Abazuonu Street (0.275km), Ihitenansa Street (0.53km), Ibekwe Street (0.1km) and Acha-Madonna Cath. Road (0.905km) by IDC Limited; totaling 1.8km awarded in January 2013 and completed by the Obi Administration in February 2014 at the total of N705M was on  average of N360M per kilometer while construction of Ekwulobia-Ezinifite Road in Aguata LGA, which is measured 6.3km; done by Obi and Obiano Administration and executed by the same IDC Limited at cost of N765.5M was done on average of N130M per kilometer.

In all, development, expansion and maintenance of Road Network in Anambra State under Obiano Administration since March 2014 are nothing to write home about. Following our recent in-depth investigation into the state of governance in Anambra State in the past 43 months, it was discovered that while the Obi Administration inherited 13 uncompleted roads from Chris Ngige and had them fully completed before awarding new road contracts; the Obiano Administration inherited 69 with most of them at advanced stages of completion, but abandoned most of them (about 95%) till date.

 

 

One of the minutest few, if not only two completed by Gov Obiano is Ekwulobia-Ezinifite Road in Aguata LGA. The contract for its construction was awarded on 13th July 2013 with 30 weeks completion. As at the time the Obi Administration was leaving office on 17th March 2014, a total of N557.3M, out of total contract sum of N765.5M had been paid to the IDC Limited; leaving N207.9M balance so as to ensure its speedy completion as timed.

The work on the Road was delayed due to an intra communal disagreement over choice of a site for burrow pit; forcing the contracting firm (IDC) to leave the site with a promise to return to the site as soon as the issue was resolved. It was finally completed by the Obiano Administration this year (2017) from former Obi Administration on 40/60 completion ratio or 40% for Obi and 60% for Obiano). This Road is one of the minutest few, if not two completed by the Obiano Administration out of 69 uncompleted roads inherited from the Obi Administration.

Of the 13 roads inherited from Chris Ngige and continued and completed by the Obi Administration, the likes of Atani-Ogwuikpere Federal Road and Mmili John State Road were awarded without mobilization of contractors to the their sites. They were taken over and completed alongside others including Umunze-Umuchu-Uga-Ezinifite-Igboukwu Road and Awka Zik Avenue (dualization) Road.

But in the case of Obiano Administration, reverse was and is still the case. Our findings show clearly that the Obi Administration had as at January 2013 awarded contracts for a total of 99 roads across the State; with total contract sums of N93.3B and paid contractors as at 17th March 2014 a total sum of N47.4B and left a balance of N45.9B. Out of the 99 awarded roads, 30 were fully completed while the remaining 69 were at advanced levels of completion with vast amounts paid to their contractors; leaving them with a total balance of N45.9B.

For instance, the Atani-Ozubulu Road (Part 1) with bridges, valued at N2.3B, a total of N1.57B was paid to the contractor as at 17th March 2014; leaving a balance of N723M. In its Part 2 with bridges, out of total contract cost of N2.92B, a total sum of N2.29B was paid to its contractor as at 17th March 2014; leaving a balance of N631M. The two-part Road is totally measured 11.2 kilometers with about three capital intensive bridges. Today, the important Road is one of the abandoned road projects in the State under Gov Obiano.

We had in the course of our in-depth investigation, stumbled into records showing that Gov Obiano had between 17th March 2014 and 2015 abandoned most, if not 67 out of 69 inherited uncompleted roads; inherited from his predecessor. The Gov not only abandoned those important roads, but also awarded 30 new road contracts valued at N65.4B; out of which only N10B was paid then leaving a staggering balance of N54.3B. Till date, most of them have not been completed except those located in his hometown of Aguleri.   

 

 

 

Purported N127B Inherited Road Contract Debts With Uncompleted 101 Roads

This is found to be untrue going by our findings as highlighted above. That is to say that there are no N127B unpaid inherited road contract debts from the previous Administration; there are no 51 inherited roads completed with expenditure of N44B; and there are no 101 uncompleted roads inherited from Obi Administration. The truth is that 67 out of 69 uncompleted roads valued at N45.9B have been abandoned till date; likewise Nnewi and Awka Shopping Malls and Onitsha Hotel Project.

As we speak, there are no access roads to Amanuke, Urum, Mgbakwu and from Achalla to Mgbakwu; all in the State Capital City of Awka. Esther Obiako Estate Roads are in shambles; likewise Amawbia-Nise-Agulu Road to mention but few. Across the State, 80% of drainages and public gutters are blocked; forcing floods to flow on and damage the road surface. Many, if not most urban city roads in Onitsha Zone including Ede and Obodoukwu Roads in Ogbaru; Port Harcourt and Bida Roads, to mention but few have all failed.

Purported 179 Ongoing Road Projects

Gov Obiano had last Friday, 3rd November 2017 at Uke Adoration Night Vigil, informed Reverend Father Emma Obimma (Father Ebube Mmuonso) and his congregants that “he is presently building 179 roads in Anambra State”. This literally translates to 540 kilometers on average of three kilometers per road. When multiplied by average of N200M per kilometer, it means that Gov Obiano is constructing roads worth over N108B; whereas the total budgetary estimates allocated to road construction in Anambra’s 2017 budget of N115B is N24B.

 It also means that Gov Obiano is “building (constructing simultaneously) over half of Anambra’s total Trunk B or State Road network”. Gov Obiano’s latest policy of “campaign bulldozers” is the height of governmental deceit and fraud in governance; whereby hundreds of roads worth over N130B (Anambra’s total non loan revenues for two years) are indiscriminately being “flagged off” without due processes and outside enabling laws and availability of adequate funds for their execution and completion. There is no supplementary budget showing that Anambra State generated more than its budgeted revenues for 2017; requiring award of more capital projects especially roads.

Direct Foreign Investment Inflows

We found Gov Obiano’s claims of “attracting over $7B FDIs to Anambra State” to be a height of government falsehood and fraud. Apart from liquor joint “MOUs”, nothing else turned out to be real regarding such bogus claims. There is no single sight of any FDI company in the State under Obiano; comparable to that of Intafat Breweries in Onitsha (makers of Hero Beer).

 

 

 

Industrial Rice, Ugu & Yam Export

Our investigation cannot locate the industrial export of any of these in any part of the State. In the recent rating of industrial agric States by Federal Government in Nigeria, Anambra State was conspicuously missing from the list.  Our investigation only found pockets of individual rice mills with acutely low tonnages and no government industrial involvement; likewise Pumpkin or Ugu and Yam cultivation and harvest in the State that are still at subsistent levels with no State government industrial partnership or involvement till date.

State Of Education & Health Under Obiano  

Health and education growth and development under Gov William Mmaduabuchi Obiano also recorded stunted, if not retrogressive growth and development since mid 2014; in comparison with their state under his precedessor.

Signed:

For: Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law

Emeka Umeagbalasi, B.Sc., M.Sc.

Board Chairman

Mobile Line: +2348174090052

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Chinwe Umeche, Esq., LLB, BL

Head, Democracy & Good Governance Program

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Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Esq., LLB, BL

Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program

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