By Ferdinand Ekeoma
Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. -Martin Luther King, Jnr.
Yesterday, a former Commissioner for Information in the Okezie Ikpeazu led-government, John Okiyi Kalu continued his anger induced rabble rousing through a poorly rehearsed piece of propaganda which sought to ridicule and blackmail Governor Alex Otti under the pretex of comparing his performance with that of his Enugu State counterpart, Mr. Peter Mbah.
Okiyi Kalu’s piece vindicated those, especially many members of the PDP who have always held the opinion that Kalu was one of the major reasons the Okezie Ikpeazu government failed Abians .Their position is that Kalu made lies and disinformation a sustained official tool of deceit and destruction in governance
By merely watching Governor Mbah present his 2024 budget during which he listed his achievements, Kalu drew a conclusion that Governor Mbah has transformed Enugu while Governor Otti has done absolutely nothing.
First, without prejudice to whatever good work our brother, Governor Peter Mba may have done in his state, yet Kalu’s arrival at the conclusion that the state has been transformed more than Abia by merely watching and listening to what was aired live on the television during budget presentation shows how intentionally mischievous and pathetically mendacious he has chosen to remain.
Kalu added thus “Governor Mbah reminded me of former Governor Sullivan Chime of the same state who hardly traveled out of Enugu State throughout his 8 years in office, reputedly spent near-zero Naira on media and propaganda but was always with his people whom he goes to meet at notable joints daily without owning a single bullet proof vehicle, to the best of my knowledge. Correct me if I am wrong”
Thank God Okiyi Kalu was not proud enough to make reference to the clueless government he served which supritended over the systemic destruction of Abia economy and the lives of innocent Abians. He didn’t make reference to his own government and the then Governor because he knew he would be ridiculing himself and exposing his hypocrisy.
Having spent 8 years lying against Abians while misleading his boss Okezie Ikpeazu with destructive sycophancy, Kalu got used to believing what exists in the Media as being more important than the reality on ground, hence his pretence not to see the generally acclaimed and applauded giant strides of Governor Otti geared towards clearing the mess and misery they left behind. Unfortunately, the loud voice of excited and appreciative Abians have subdued their lonely voice of anger and gangsterism.
Unlike the government John Okiyi Kalu served which did over 50 Newspaper and TV adverts and live coverages within three months in office , the Alex Otti led government has not spent a dime on any live television coverage or newspaper advertorials, yet Kalu is praising those who have spent several millions on adverts while he turns around to demonise the Otti government; what a tragedy!
Governor Alex Otti has already fixed a date for the presentation of his budget and doesn’t need the infantile ranting of a badly broken and bruised propagandist who verbally abused and bullied innocent Abians, especially workers and pensioners whose crime was their demand to be paid their entitlements, before discharging his constitutional duties.
While John Okiyi Kalu was busy cooking up another falsehood to sell to Abians concerning security, the Bulgarian delegation led by the Bulgarian Ambassador to Nigeria was in Abia for several days during which they met and interacted with Governor Otti and other government officials.
Above all, the Bulgarian delegation was at Lokpanta in Umunneochi LGA to explore areas of possible investment in Agriculture.
If Governor Otti was as unserious, incompetent and irresponsible like the government Kalu served in, which allowed kidnappers to have a field day kidnapping, raping our women and killing our people, kidnappers and other criminal elements would have made the visit impossible. Can’t Okiyi Kalu pause a moment and think?
The fact that Okiyi Kalu had the guts to mention Port Harcourt road clearly shows that he hates ordinary Abians with unbelievable passion.
The government he served got a loan on behalf of the state for a road project, accessed the funds, demolished people’s houses, refused to pay compensation and refused to build the road, and when the people wanted to ask questions, he was deployed as an attack dog to abuse, mock and intimidate them, yet he has the efrontary to talk and wail because God has used Otti to begin to wipe their tears, against the wish and expectation of his paymasters. May God have mercy on our beloved brother John Okiyi Kalu.
Kalu pretends not to know that the said expenditure he claimed was used for propaganda was spent in the Ministry of Information and that it was mainly for payment of salaries of hundreds of workers,. After contributing to the destruction of the Ministry through lack of infrastructure and conducive working environment, nonpayment of salary and illegal employment of hundreds of people who neither had job descriptions nor offices to work in, the same character wants to rewrite history and sit truth on its head in the most despicable manner.
Okiyi Kalu claimed that Governor Otti sacked 15,000 workers. I would like to ask; so Ikpeazu employed 15,000 people in less than three months to the end of his administration?
For the record, it was public knowledge that staff of School of Health Technology Aba, Abia Poly, Abia State University Uturu (ABSU), Abia State College of Education and Technical Arochukwu, Hospital Management Board and Abia State University Teaching Hospital (ABSUTH) were owed between 12 to 32 months respectively by the government Okiyi kalu served in. NMA was on an uninterrupted two months strike over unpaid 15 months salary arrears owed its members before the inauguration of Governor Otti.
The then Governor Ikpeazu claimed he couldn’t pay salaries because of overbloated workforce, but in a desperate attempt to save his candidate and himself from obvious electoral defeat, he succumbed to the ungodly advice of the likes of Okiyi Kalu and embarked on the most horrendous employment racketeering less than three months to the end of his administration. Does this not expose Okiyi Kalu as a man who hates Abia state with passion? When does fraudulent inclusion of names of people on civil service payroll amount to employment, especially by a government that couldn’t pay because of alleged overbloated workforce?
There’s more to opposition than timid tantrums, bitterness, malice and blackmail; opposition requires decorum, decency and emotional intelligence, unfortunately, Okiyi Kalu is still using the same terrible template of hate, anger and primitive venom with which he contributed in causing the defeat of Okey Ahaiwe and Okezie Ikpeazu to do his poor opposition.
Kalu should be encouraged to wake up from his slumber and realise that opposition is not a 7 month project.
Like one old man said “The new Abia is not for Critical “Strokeholders”. The New Abia is not being structured or governed to suit and excite the minority undertakers of yesterday like Kalu, rather majority of innocent men and women of Abia who were held hostage and made spectators while the buccaneers of Abia plundered, suffocated our democracy and arrested our economic growth.
We would have been surprised if Okiyi Kalu was a happy man, especially now that his once victims are happy, but as expected, he and other oppresors of yesterday are very unhappy and heartbroken that Abians are happy and in support of their Governor, and we are very happy that they are angry.
Otito diri Jesu !