EMPATHY AND CAPACITY IN GOVERNANCE : THE CHIDOKA EXAMPLE – Arthur D. Ibeneme

The Oasis Reporters

November 18, 2017

Osita Chidoka (Left), Willie Obiano (right) and bottom is Oseloka Obaze.

As a policy development and Tech consultant, I have beyond average understanding of how political events play out while paying very close attention to politics generally. This is my little commentary on the political atmosphere in Anambra State.

The truth of the matter is that the outlook is not looking too good for Anambra. It does not matter if you believe in Nigeria or Biafra, if you decide to sit this election out, you’re really shortchanging yourself and failing to do something about our collective frustrations.
Come out and vote today.
Onye ọbụna bịakwa tụọ vote on Saturday maka na mmili a na élú ga ama anyị ncha.

I took my time to watch last night’s debate on YouTube this morning. And I must say, I’m not quite surprised with the performance of the contestants. From the very ridiculous nkoyeli Willie, to the embarrassing presentation by Tony. In between the two of them, I saw Ezeemo and I wonder why not Yul or KCee since we’re being unserious.

As a people, how we proceed from now onwards depends largely on what steps we take to map out a shared future for us all. Onwelu ife ana achọkwanu na ike ite na abụro azụ? Ọ dị mma Anambra na ani Igbo ka anyị chọọ.

Beyond all the flowery speeches everywhere, what we want is a better tomorrow.
If my brothers in IPOB understand how high the stakes are today, their rallying cry should be rig and burn, not vote and die.

From my observations, plans are in high gear to use instruments of state to baulk the will of the people. What they want is to break Ndigbo as a people by foisting the most hopeless candidate in the election today. If they succeed, we lose.

Therefore, no boycott please. The first step towards self determination is to have a formal structure that can articulate our grievances and channel this struggle properly.
Please come out and vote.

Having said that, let’s talk governance and the top 3 serious candidates we have.
The background to my discussion is on sustainable development and impact of good governance on the lives of citizens. We must understand that one of the key ingredients of quality leadership that is lacking amongst the political elite is empathy, ndị na achi anyị dị very wicked..
As a leader, your policies and strategies for governance must have a human face, if it doesn’t reflect in the general well-being of your people, then it means you don’t know what you are doing.

Willie Obiano was just reeling off unsubstantiated statistics claiming increase in GDP per capita, let me ask, can his government be evaluated on relative standards of well-being experienced by Anambra people in terms of economics, investments and sustainability?
Can he open government records for us to know the true income and wealth of the state?
Can he let independent evaluators determine how economically stable Anambra is?
Where are the employment indices? What real investments did he make in education, health and infrastructure in the past 4 years? How sustainable are his policies with regards to income equality amongst people?
What is he doing about the environment and is he building administrative capacity for civil servants to drive government policies?

I’ve heard a lot of stuff about Willie which I chose to ignore before now but after his bumbling performance at the debate, I wonder how he became governor in the first place. He’s more interested in preserving his position than delivering on his mandate. To make matters worse, his unfinished business with Victor Umeh, Peter Obi and Obaze does not look straight.

Oseloka Obaze is an eloquent, articulate and intelligent man no doubt, but the fact remains that Peter has scores to settle with Willie Obiano and Victor Umeh, ₦7b or ₦5bn is enough for me to look the other way. Nonsensical financial chit-chat has been the core focus of their campaign in the past 2-3 months, shows that money is at the root of their problem.

On the issue of godfatherism , he called it semantics. That word play depends on how you look at things, isn’t it? Reminds me about CNN, and their This Is An Apple campaign. The fact is that Peter is his godfather simple.

I’ll try not to cast aspersions on people but guys, you do know Peter is one hell of a hypocrite?
A master of subterfuge and deceit. He can represent Africa in deception.
Peter wants a platform and leverage to further his political career at the national level. He should use his personal funds as a billionaire. Anambra funds should be used for develop Anambra to drive growth.
If he wants to be Vice president, let him use his personal cash.
Do the maths, if he spends ₦3bn to install Obaze, he’ll have unfettered discretion to appropriate Anambra funds come 2019 on PDP.
I just don’t trust Peter, Victor Umeh and Willie Obiano. They should take their chatter away from us.

This leaves me with Osita Chidoka. Amongst all the candidates, he’s the only one with a coherent development roadmap. I’ve seen his manifesto and in my 5 years of development consulting, it’s the only public policy development strategy I’ve ever that focuses on maximising public policy outcomes with a rigorous fact-based step by step approach to achieve his vision.

The only snag is I’m not really sure about the financial outlay for this vision. But at least, there’s a plan, a capacity and the sprightly commitment to excellence. You heard the man speak.

Speaking about empathy, let me tell you a story about my encounter with him as FRSC Corps Marshal, I wonder if he remembers this. I came out from a meeting at the Federal Ministry of Education and wasn’t really having a good day at all. To make matters worse, my car was clamped by the Federal Road Safety Corp, FRSC officials for wrong parking.
Then tried to explain to them that I was on wheelchair and we couldn’t have gone to the car park but it cut no ice with them.

Lo and behold, there was Osita coming out from the Ministry of Police Affairs. I stopped him and requested his intervention.
He explained that they cannot reverse the booking because there are processes in these things. So a way out, he borrowed ₦8k from one of his aides and asked him to make sure my car was processed and released to me. Then he gave me his card to call if I have any issues.

From that moment he earned my respect for showing concern and empathy, at the same time he made sure I understood he cannot just violate the rules because he’s the Corps Marshall.
This is how disciplined he is. He also directed the traffic officers to reserve one of the VIP parking spaces for people with disabilities. This gives you an insight into the man’s mind.

So yea in essence, I believe I trust this man to know what he is saying. Irrespective of his party, the young man has capacity to take Anambra forward, unlike the rest who do not know jack about empathy.
Osita is officially my choice for governor.

Written by Arthur D. Ibeneme

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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