Policy Briefs

Anambra’s quantum of infrastructural development has stalled – Obaze

Mr. Oseloka H. Obaze, MD/CEO Selonnes Consult Ltd. and Anambra governorship aspirant recently spoke to Elombah TV on various political and national issues. Here are some excerpts. 

As an APGA Anambra State governorship aspirant, do you think there is a level playing ground for all, whether in APGA or otherwise?
Thank you. First a clarification; I am not an APGA aspirant. I’m no longer in APGA. I am contesting the elections on the platform of the PDP. As to your question, I believe that the level field exists for all parties and aspirants, even as the capacity and wherewithal may not be the same. That is the essence of democracy. Yet, there are risks that those who control the levers of governance might seek to tweak the political environment in their favour.
A few days ago you regretted that the Anambra North Peoples Assembly, made a move to endorse a particular candidate. Why do you consider the move illegal and undemocratic?

I did not say the endorsement by ANPA of a sole candidate from the North was illegal. I said it was undemocratic, non-inclusive and myopic. Naturally and strategically, you do not put all your eggs in one basket, more so a basket that is perceived to be weak. Secondly, a cluster of handpicked personalities, no matter their standing are not representative of public opinion. ANPA took no polls; they did not enter the markets or buses to seek public opinion. Our people are hungry, frustrated and angry with the government of the day. They are as such likely to cast protest votes. Of all the seven local government areas the ANPA Committee visited the total number of the people they engaged does not exceed 1,000. So how could it be said that Anambra North has spoken. That contention is fallacious.

What is your evaluation of the Willie Obiano-led government for the three years it has been in office?
After I left office in June 2015, for over fifteen months I never commented on Anambra politics and governance, but I did observe developments. Last November I granted and interview in which I warned that Anambra has been hijacked. Bad advisers have led to bad policies some quite indefensible. Yet, Anambra State has made progressive stride since its inception but for one very dark period. The greatest advancement developmentally occurred under Peter Obi. That was also the era that ushered civility in governance and politics and set the foundation and trajectory to take Anambra State to greater heights. That was the governance structure and impetus the present administration inherited in 2014. Three year hence, Anambra despite the claims is far behind where it ought to be. There has been a system-wide arrested development and in some areas, retrogression. This is an unpopular thing to say to loyalists of this government, but the truth is bitter. In youth unemployment, education, social welfare scheme, poverty alleviation, assistance mission-owned schools and churches we have regressed. The quantum of infrastructural development has equally stalled. The security situation is stable and efforts to build on the security architecture put in place by Peter Obi are continuing.

What is your perception of the Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government, economically and politically?

The assessment of the Buhari Government remains largely mixed. The administration had a false start from which it is yet to recover. Nigerians are still hungry, and polarized. The recent SBM Intelligence Jollof Rice index is indicative of the spiraling cost of food and living. The recession has not abated and economy is still crying for corrective measures and gingering impetus. Politically, the change that was promised is yet to materialize and may not before the nation becomes submerged in the throes of the 2019 election. I have just completed a book on the policy challenges that confronted the Buhari administration in its first year in office. Economically and politically, Nigerians are not entirely thrilled about the choice they made, all in the name of change.

Oseloka Obaze, MD & CEO

Oseloka Obaze, MD & CEO

Mr. Obaze is the former Secretary to the State Government of Anambra State, Nigeria from 2012 to 2015 - MD & CEO, Oseloka H. Obaze. Mr. Obaze also served as a former United Nations official, from 1991-2012, and as a former member of the Nigerian Diplomatic Service, from 1982-1991.

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