Government

The Imo Debacle and Obiano’s Power of Turning the other Cheek.

By James Eze

Although we may never admit it but the recent naked dance of power in Imo State has amplified the power of silence of Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State. And when the history of modern Anambra State is finally written, Obiano will be remembered as a kind man…a leader who always turned the other cheek.

Indeed, the more we contemplate the somewhat embarrassing tragicomedy in Owerri, the more we appreciate Obiano’s quiet strength. As governor of one of Nigeria’s most top-heavy states, Obiano has carried the weight of his office with admirable dignity. And this is no exaggeration. There is no other governor in contemporary Nigeria who has shown so much humility and meekness as to tender a public apology to his predecessor for simply doing the job he was elected to do. Nigerian governors don’t say “I am sorry.” Throughout history, power is known as the most potent intoxicant. Rarely do people in power admit their errors; not even in private. But Obiano brushed aside his ego to tender a public apology in full glare of the world. He did that with full awareness of his power as governor and that the instruments of coercion are on his fingertips. And for his humility, he got cold shoulders in return. Did it worry him? No. Obiano is a master in turning the other cheek!

Of course, it is not an overkill to say that no governor since the creation of Anambra State has absorbed unearned insults and ridicule with as much dignity as Willie nwa Obiano. The very man to whom he had publicly apologized has retained a pack of hack writers who draw monthly allowances to run Obiano down on social media, deride his achievements, undermine his public image and cause him grave psychological discomfort. In furtherance of their mission, the unruly team has fabricated cruel death rumours against Obiano’s wife, hung the foul news of an undisclosed terminal illness around his neck, accused him of selling Anambra State without naming the buyer, planted stories with the intent of insinuating mistrust into his marriage, called him names and defamed his character. But not for once did Governor Obiano retaliate. Instead, he ordered his media team not to return fire; observing in a formal address to mark one of his anniversaries that social media criticisms had served as the sharp edges that had kept him firmly focused on achieving his vision of a better Anambra State.

On the other hand, his adversary has never missed an opportunity to take a dig at him. His public lectures, and they are many, are never quite complete without phlegms of sarcasm spat with virulence in Obiano’s direction. His media appearances are laced with snide remarks at him. And yet, not once has Obiano answered back. Nor has he expressed discontent at being constantly heckled. There is power in silence. A menacing kind of power. And Obiano has mastered it!

Meanwhile, across the Amansea River is the neighbouring Enugu where former governor Sullivan Chime had run the man who handed power over to him out of town. Further subterranean moves had crippled all his businesses and left the once bubbly Ebeano Estate a ghost town. And the sky did not fall. It wasn’t until Governor Ugwuanyi came to power that Nnamani was allowed to breathe again. Governors have enormous powers. Every governor chooses how to use his. Sullivan Chime and Hope Uzodinma have shown how to use theirs. They did not turn the other cheek!

Obiano’s most recent act of grace happened a few days ago when his adversary once again circulated a false story that he was prevented from leaving the US for undisclosed reasons while the governor was already in Anambra State, holding crucial sessions with his commissioners. He remained unruffled by that childish mischief which was intended to create the false of impression that he had a run in with the law in the US. Again, the power of silence. He slays dragons with silence!

Just last year, a group of royal fathers broke protocol and went to Abuja on an ill-advised and ill-motivated mission to incite the presidency against Obiano. It was one incident which would have made some governors exert the full weight of their executive powers to make a point that nobody should trifle with them. The outcry against them was overwhelming. Ndigbo from every corner of the world condemned the treachery of the royal fathers. Writing with so much anger and disappointment, the feisty columnist, Comfort Obi described the affront as “disrespectful to the traditional institution of the state and igbo land. Traditional rulers should carry themselves with more dignity than has been exhibited in the instant case. And what they did should be dismissed in one word: Disgraceful!” She further argued that no traditional ruler in the North would have dared what the errant royal fathers attempted in Anambra. “He would be deposed. Ask the former Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. He was deposed on a mere suspicion of dabbling into politics,” she thundered.

But even in the face of such extreme provocation, Obiano’s reaction was measured. Rather than outright dethronement of the royal fathers, he merely announced their suspension for only one year. And less than six months after that, the errant traditional rulers were forgiven and their full honours restored. These are people who had committed a sacrilege. But Obiano merely chided them in a manner that says “go and sin and no more.” Tell me about turning the other cheek one more time.

It needs also to be mentioned that it took the forgiving nature of Willie nwa Obiano to restore erstwhile governor, Chris Ngige to the official memory of Anambra State. Chief Ngige who had risen to power through the backdoor was flushed out through the court and stripped of the halo of all former governors. But Obiano has restored his pensions and his official portrait in the executive chambers of Anambra State. It does not matter that the same Ngige now wakes up every morning with a word of reproach for Obiano.

All things considered, Governor Willie Obiano has shown that leadership is about the people…that power is intoxicating but transient and that any leader who fails to keep an eye on tomorrow is doomed.

This is Obiano’s silent power that has sustained the social balance of Anambra State!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You may also like

Announcements Business Education Government News Society Technology Technology Trends Telecoms Tourism Trends

NCC commits to bridging digital gender divide

post-image

 

…As Danbatta Bags ‘Icon of Digital Revolution Award’

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has reiterated its unwavering commitment to bridging growing gender-oriented digital divide to accelerate inclusive economic prosperity for all Nigerian citizens.

Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta who restated this commitment in Lagos at the 2022 Nigerian Women Entrepreneurs and Executives in Tech Summit (WEETS), Thursday, September 15, 2022, where he was conferred with the ‘Icon of Digital Revolution Award’ for his role in stimulating digital connectivity in Nigeria, said promotion of gender equality is a major component of ICT development.

He noted that the gender dimensions of ICT, manifests in access and use; capacity-building opportunities; employment and potential for empowerment, and that all these dimensions need to be explicitly identified and addressed, to leverage on technology and communication as powerful catalysts for political, economic, and social empowerment of women, and the promotion of gender equality.

Speaking…

Read More
Announcements Business Events Government Society Technology Technology Trends Telecoms

NCC Deploys 84 IT Projects to Support Persons with Disabilities

post-image

 

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has deployed 84 assistive Information Technology projects at different locations in Nigeria to support people with special needs while supporting policies that enable disadvantaged members of the society to live a more qualitative life.

“The E-Accessibility project seeks to meet the ICT needs of persons living with disabilities in Nigeria by providing ICT tools, assistive technologies, training, and Internet provision in the identified locations. Between 2012 to 2020, the NCC has deployed the E-Accessibility Projects in, at least, 84 locations nationwide.”

The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, disclosed this during a courtesy visit by a delegation from National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) to the NCC over the weekend in Abuja, where the EVC also restated NCC’s commitment to continually support people with special needs across the country.

Danbatta, while receiving the NCPWD team led by its Executive Secretary, James Lalu,…

Read More
Business Society Technology Technology Trends Telecoms

CX is just the tip of the competitive spear

post-image

Following the successful introduction of a reinvigorated brand at the recent CEM Africa Summit in Cape Town, Immersion Group’s bold new vision of creating a new industry standard where all experience disciplines work together to fully maximise profitability and growth is best articulated by the Group’s newly appointed Head of Experience Design, Ismail Dawjee. He believes experience design should be viewed as a strategic lever in gaining a competitive advantage and that multi-disciplinary skills integration in end-to-end experience design will have an unprecedented impact on the industry and organisations that adopt this fresh approach.

 

Forward-thinking organisations are beginning to see that experience design isn’t just another business capability, but rather a fundamental ingredient to commercial success. Conversations are rightly shifting from how many UX (user experience) professionals a business might need or what an ideal journey map looks like to how organisations can plan…

Read More
Business Government Investments Society Tourism

NIGERIA HOSTS GLOBAL INVESTMENT FORUM IN NEW YORK

post-image

 

In its continued bid to further open up the country’s economy to international capital and attract foreign investment, the Nigerian government, in collaboration with the Africa Business Roundtable, is organizing the second edition of the Nigeria International Economic Partnership Forum (NIEPF), a global economic investment platform, this time in New York, United States.

This high-level event is scheduled for Thursday, September 22, 2022, on the sidelines of the 77th United Nations General Assembly taking place in the American city.
Holding alongside the annual global gathering, the NIEPF is expected to draw the presence of world leaders in politics, economy, media as well as Civil Society Oganisations and international media to focus on the vast economic potentials of Nigeria and Africa’s leading economy.

Most significantly, President Muhammadu Buhari will deliver the keynote address at the event and will also host a High-Level Presidential Session with fellow Presidents and Heads of delegations on Issues…

Read More
Business Featured Finance Investments Technology Technology Trends

Sidestepping complex payments through the power of one platform

post-image

 

 

The fast pace of digital transformation for financial services is vital for the empowerment of small businesses and their customers. However, in this transformation process, traditional payment methodologies are being bypassed by new technology and products.

 

Understandably, merchants are finding it increasingly difficult to keep abreast of all the latest payment products and solutions that are available. “It is complex and costly for merchants to manage their own integrations into multiple solution providers. Merchants should be focusing on their core businesses and leave payment complexities to specialist companies,” says Andrew Springate, CEO of tech and financial gateway service provider PAYM8.

 

Founded in 2001, PAYM8 quickly expanded its footprint across the African continent and now processes over R3 billion in annual transaction value for its clients, and is one of the few payment solution providers in Africa capable of providing a single offering to merchants spanning both payer and payee-initiated…

Read More
Business Technology Technology Trends Telecoms Trends

NCC Deploys 84 IT Projects to Support Persons with Disabilities

post-image

 

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has deployed 84 assistive Information Technology projects at different locations in Nigeria to support people with special needs while supporting policies that enable disadvantaged members of the society to live a more qualitative life.

“The E-Accessibility project seeks to meet the ICT needs of persons living with disabilities in Nigeria by providing ICT tools, assistive technologies, training, and Internet provision in the identified locations. Between 2012 to 2020, the NCC has deployed the E-Accessibility Projects in, at least, 84 locations nationwide.”

The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, disclosed this during a courtesy visit by a delegation from National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) to the NCC over the weekend in Abuja, where the EVC also restated NCC’s commitment to continually support people with special needs across the country.

Danbatta, while receiving the NCPWD team led by its Executive Secretary, James Lalu, said…

Read More
Business Finance Gadgets Investments News Technology Technology Trends Telecoms

The most common Facebook Marketplace scams and how to avoid them

post-image

 

 

Carey van Vlaanderen, CEO of ESET South Africa shares critical safety tips when buying or selling on Facebook Marketplace and how to tell if you’re being scammed.

 

Last year, Facebook Marketplace passed one billion global users. With this, it has become a giant in the consumer-to-consumer commerce space, allowing individual Facebook users to buy and sell seamlessly. Online retail in South Africa has more than doubled in just two years and with 29.5 million-strong Facebook users, more than half of the country’s population has a Facebook account.

 

Dominating the online classifieds

Marketplace has become so popular in South Africa that similar platforms are struggling to compete. Previously-popular OLX has closed its doors, while Gumtree still hangs on by a thread. Facebook Marketplace has outstripped the popularity of these online classifieds portals for several reasons. It is free and simple to use, as most people already have a Facebook account….

Read More
Business Investments Technology Technology Trends Telecoms

Clickatell Helps Nigerians Access eNaira Services, Boosting Financial Inclusion

post-image

Clickatell (https://www.Clickatell.com), a CPaaS innovator and Chat Commerce leader, has partnered with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) (https://www.CBN.gov.ng) to deliver fast, simple, and cost effective eNaira banking services to all Nigerians using the USSD channel, eliminating the need for data and available on all handsets.

 

Clickatell has collaborated with the CBN to launch a USSD channel for its eNaira Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) (www.eNaira.gov.ng) as part of the country’s drive to make basic banking accessible to all Nigerians, ultimately driving financial inclusion.

The eNaira was launched in October 2021 when the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, said Africa’s first central bank-backed digital currency would help boost remittances, foster cross-border trade, and help his government make welfare payments more easily. With financial inclusion at the heart of the eNaira goals, President Buhari also said that he believed the CBDC…

Read More