A team set up by Anambra State government has secretly departed Awka search for the reporter who confirmed that Obiano lied to his state and the world about the export of $5m worth of ugu and onugbu, two predominantly produced and consumed vegetables in the state.
The team , sent in full knowledge of the governor himself ,which includes a particular Senior Special Assistant among 245 so far appointed in the Willie Obiano-led government who has been active in defence of the lie is leaving Awka with what a very reliable source close to Anambra State Government called ‘carrots and sticks’.
We gathered that a huge sum of money in the neighborhood of N4m to generate $10,000 has been approved from the coffers of Anambra State to negotiate and buy over the reporter, and also properly identify him in case the carrot approach fails’.
This approved sum is outside travel expenses for three aides to the governor. It is not clear what the option of stick would be, should the negotiation fail.
Obiano has been under pressure since making the spurious claim a town hall meeting convened in Abuja for what government claimed was to ‘update the Anambra State citizens living in Abuja of developments in Anambra State’.
Opposition and neutral political watchers alike hold the view that Obiano who has had a running battle with his successor, Peter Obi was launching his re-election bid prematurely under the veil of the Abuja meeting.
Anambra State gubernatorial elections are likely to hold in November /December 2017.
The last gubernatorial election in the state, on the basis of which Obiano is governor, held on November 13, 2013, amid scathing criticisms of vote-rigging and extensive lawsuits which opposition still insist was flawed.
Things got worse for Obiano, when his wife displayed temper in a social media conversation, as the topic of vegetable export was broached.
Ebelechukwu Obiano had been reported to have slapped the wife of the deputy governor of the in a similar argument in a political event held in Njikoka Local Government Area , one of the 21 in the state.
The governor’s media aides have so far been unable to substantiate the claims of the export process with opposition calling for an outright apology.
In a widely advertised radio programme on Blaze FM, located in the hinterland town of Oraifite, in the state, an aide sent in by the governor failed to provide the countries of Europe to which the exports were made over a period of one year as he said.
But claimed that the vegetables were exported ‘fresh’ ABX Shipping after collection from ten towns in Anambra state.
The predominant challenge in Nigeria is storage of fresh items.
The aide did not explain how the vegetables survive, long collection periods and shipping time to remain fresh and could not provide answers to the monthly breakdown when confronted by callers in the audience –participation program, who denounced the ‘cock and bull story’.
All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party, two major opposition parties in the only Nigeria State controlled by Obiano’s All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA),are united in their call for Obiano to take back the lies and publicly apologise, in the interest of the state.
APC Spokesman in the state, Arc. Okelo Madukaife, who featured in the same programme, had said:
“Ndi Anambra, let no one think that the issue here is about vegetables .
“No! It is about having a government which we can believe’ a statement which agrees largely with numerous facebook and twitter comments from PDP stalwarts on the social media.
“PDP has no clear spokesperson in the state owing to the existence of factions within the party.
A PDP stalwart Ike Agbanusi, however said:
“The government of Obiano has been telling lies on daily basis, but we are just waking up to it.
“He lied about rice production in Anambra State;
“He lied about attracting $3bn investment to the state;
“And lied about money inherited form the immediate past regime, and I do not think he is done lying’.
By Ada Bosa