On Saturday July 23, 2016 at Nicon Hilton, Abuja, the governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano in premature launch of undeserved re-election campaign in Abuja, lied to the world that Anambra State under his watch has earned $5m from the export of two vegetables – pumpkin [ugu] and bitter leaf [onugbu].
With these two nutritious vegetables God blessed Anambra State, and our people have exported to their families abroad in domestic quantities and in dried form since the days after slave trade.
As a political party with profound interest in the development of Anambra State, we eagerly look forward to that day when Anambra State will export these vegetables in commercial quantities to the point of earning $5m (N2bn approximately).
Unfortunately we know it for a fact that that day has not come, and certainly the government that will take Anambra State to that point is not here.
What Gov Obiano claimed in Abuja is false.
It is not surprising that to be able to push through this lie, the government lost the opportunity to bring his audience to Anambra State and showcase the theatres and laboratories of its imagined accomplishments.
Rather, Gov Obiano went to Abuja, transporting thousands of co-conspirators in the global deceit , coterie of government officials, a battery of praise singers including, but not limited to, a few whose names have been consistently mentioned in the last 10 deceitful years of APGA governance and identified with short-changing the people of Anambra State.
Governor Obiano earned the equivalent of N2bn in vegetables, yet he could not fund Common Entrance Examinations.
The Government with a seat in Agu Awka earns $5m, without any identifiable farm of good scope, yet First School Leaving Certificate Examinations have been postponed twice and till now no date has been fixed.
Governor Obiano has earned $5m from vegetables, yet most capital projects in Anambra State have been suspended and government cannot meet its obligation to pensioners and workers, particularly judicial workers.
Anambra State Government is $5M richer under Obiano from vegetable export, yet the tenure of Local government expired on January 12, 2016 and the government offers funds as the excuse for not conducting local government elections.
The truth which the world must know is that no such money is being earned by Anambra State for export of vegetables.
We challenge the government to provide evidence, of a positive kind, beyond Photoshop pictures of iced fish cartons being passed off by desperate citizens of states other than Anambra pretending to be for vegetables.
We expect a certification from the statutory bodies in charge of and connected to export in Nigeria, which documents must be duly registered including, but not limited to, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council.
Anambra State expects to see a clear evidence from financial institutions connect to and in charge of the collection and keeping of the earnings which must be made available pronto.
We expect an inspection of the farms currently producing these vegetables by a team of neutral stakeholders and the media for best practices.
We are expecting a statement from the communities in which these farms are located which must bear concrete pointers to the parameters of the enterprise and its growth pattern, and methods used in production.
We take it for granted that the Bill of Laden and other export documents as well as the ships that have participated in this wonderful venture of $5m export earnings should be proudly tendered in the open, now that gubernatorial reputations are at stake.
We need to recover some of the products for transparent scientific tests to confirm what indeed is being exported and to what countries.
We need to know the segment of the Anambra State budgets in the period that capture the projections and earnings and the ensuing expenditure from them and relate it to the balancing of the figures.
In the time being, we liken this $5m bogus claim to the $3bn investment portfolio shamelessly claimed in the two year anniversary ‘celebration’ speech of this lame duck administration reputed for procuring awards outside Anambra State, as well as the bogus and unfounded claims to rice production in Anambra State.
We are at pain to invite Anambra State House of Assembly to investigate this $5m insult of Anambra intelligence.
It would be a futile exercise on the altar of shameless collaboration and rubber-stamping that is the hallmark of those who should have checked our governor.
Rather we warn the Anambra State House of Assembly that its complicity in the giant fraud called Obiano administration is not going unnoticed, and it would not be long before the wrath of the people comes visiting.
In the meantime, Anambra demands proof of $5m export earnings in ugu and onugbu from Obiano-led, APGA controlled administration, as personally pronounced by Obiano.
For: All Progressives Congress (APC) Anambra State Chapter
Arc. Okelo Madukaife, BSc, MSc, MNIA
Anambra State Publicity Secretary