Commentary: Time To End Disinformation In Anambra State

Every rational thinker in Anambra State has decried the disinformation campaign against the government, which has continued more than two months after the November 6, 2021 gubernatorial election in the state. However, it is obvious that such disinformation is designed to “de-market the state, create trust deficit between the people and the government and manufacture a friction between the outgoing administration of Governor Willie Obiano and the incoming administration of Professor Chukwuma Soludo.

The latest instance is the sponsored false report on the social media that the Obiano administration budgeted a whopping five hundred million naira for the Professor Soludo inauguration on March 17, which the governor-elect rejected and rather opted for a twenty million naira ceremony. Regrettably, none of the figures bandied about has any iota of truth, as the governor never prepared a budget, which Professor Soludo could have possibly accepted or rejected.

More embarrassing is the allegation that the governor-elect wants an inauguration ceremony, which cannot cost more than twenty million naira. Professor Soludo, who is determined to run a frugal administration, wants a most modest inauguration, which will last a couple of minutes in front of Government House, Awka, and cannot cost anything near one million naira.

Soludo’s decision has been conveyed to Governor Obiano who is delighted that his successor, whom he supported every inch of the way in his gubernatorial quest in the last few years, is resolved to run a lean administration so as to save money for Ndi Anambra.

Governor Obiano has always stated publicly that he chose to back Professor Obiano on account of his outstanding brilliance, robust performance record, solid commitment to the public good and acute preparedness to transform the state within a short period. Therefore, all the concocted reports about a fight between him and the governor-elect are baseless.

Another disinformation worth commenting on is the claim in the media last week that the absence of Governor Obiano at the inauguration of the Transition Committee led by Dr Oby Ezekwesili, a former World Bank vice president, was an indication of a rift between Obiano and Soludo. Notably, the only reporter who filed the report, which went viral, obviously took fiction too far, even by standards of sensational journalism, and ended up embarrassing his colleagues who were at the venue and provided accurate reports of the proceedings.

Of course, Chief Obiano was not scheduled to attend the inauguration, as a large and competent government delegation led by the Secretary to the State Government, Professor Solo Chukwulobelu, was at the venue. The SSG, commissioners, special advisers and heads of various agencies have since been providing all necessary facilities and information to the Transition Committee needed for a smooth handover.

Thus, it is obvious that the fictitious reports, sponsored by politically exposed individuals who lost out badly in the November gubernatorial vote, are meant to damage the state’s reputation.

It is regrettable that even Anambra International Passenger and Cargo Airport, which saw a phenomenal 3865 passengers and 145 flights in the first month of commercial flight operations which started last December, is also the butt of vicious attacks by politicians.

In a desperate effort to stop people from using the airport, they sponsored a report on the social media claiming that a large herd of so-called Fulani-owned cows broke into the airport, assisted by dangerously armed herders.

It is remarkable that all the airport stakeholders, including airlines, passengers, security agencies, technical and cabin crews, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, the Ministry of Aviation as well as serious journalists treated the report with the contempt it deserved.

Politicians, who sponsor such relentless reports against the state in the name of fighting a political war, are therefore advised to desist from the attempt to de-market the state. The election is over and what our people need now is an atmosphere of cooperation, collaboration and solidarity to enable the governor-elect to kick off the desired revolution to launch Anambra State into a stratosphere of development.

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