Awka – Anambra State Government has urged politicians in the state not to de-market the state, as they go about canvassing for votes ahead of the November 6 Governorship election in the state.
The atmosphere in the state has been charged as the various political parties kick-started their campaigns, with the lifting of bans on campaigns by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The social media was not left out, as many confirmed and unconfirmed reports propelled by the opposition, are making the rounds on the state of affairs in the state, especially as it concerns road infrastructure, security and the economy.
But in a statement on Tuesday, the State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C-Don Adinuba said although there is nothing wrong with candidates and supporters criticizing one another, it is expected that they base their utterances on facts.
The government warned that it will not accept a situation where political parties, their candidates and agents, set out to manufacture facts with a view to tarnishing the image of the state in the eyes of members of the public.
According to him, this has grave implications for the development of the state and could chase away potential investors from the state.
“For example, one major driver of the huge investment inflow into the last state in the last seven years amounting to between four and five billion dollars ($4-5b) is the impressive reputation which the State has enjoyed throughout the country in recent years.
“To attempt to destroy this enviable reputation is to attempt to destroy investments in the state.
“Only enemies of the State can think of such a thing.
“Therefore, the penchant of some politicians to resort to the social media to make preposterous allegations of humongous financial abuses against the State Government as part of the disinformation strategy designed to win the November 6 governorship election stands condemnable.
“The amounts they publish, without any form of evidence, as what the State Government has received in recent years as statutory funds are wild figures.
“They beggar belief,” Adinuba said.
The Anambra Information Commissioner maintained that there is compelling evidence that the financial resources of the people of Anambra State are well managed.
For example, he said, Anambra State and petroleum-rich Rivers State are the two states in the country with the best fiscal responsibility index, according to BudgIT, a highly respected nongovernment organization (NGO) funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
“The latest unemployment figures by the National Bureau of Statistics show that Anambra State, with 13.1 per cent unemployment rate, has the lowest unemployment rate in the country whereas the average national unemployment rate is 27.1 per cent.
“To many economists around the world, the employment rate in any economy is the most important indicator of the economic performance of the place.
“The implication of the NBS publication of the latest unemployment rates is that the bureau has stated in unmistaken terms that the Anambra State economy has been managed better than that of any other state in Nigeria, including the Federal Capital Territory.
“Only an exceptionally prudent state like Anambra can build a world-class international airport in less than two years with no bank loan anywhere in the world and without owing the contactors.
“Indeed, the people of Anambra State are eminently proud of the fact that the state Government is about to deliver the largest conference and convention centre in Africa—with 13,000 seating capacity—without any loan.
“Remarkable also is that the State Government has not borrowed a kobo from any bank to finance the modern stadium it is about to complete in Awka,” he boasted.
Adinuba said it is regrettable that indigenes of the state are carrying out extreme propaganda against the very state that they want to govern by all means.
Said he; “they have even made videos of failed Federal Government roads in Anambra State and blame the very deplorable state of roads like the Amawbia-Ekwulobia-Uga- Road which leads to Akokwa in Imo State on the Anambra State Government. The irony is that the very political party whose candidate and supporters are responsible for the disinformation is the All Progressives Congress (APC). Its candidate hails from Uga in Aguata Local Government Area; he spent eight years in the Senate without addressing the terrible state of the federal road which passes through his hometown.”
Regretting that rather than unveil their development programmes for the Anambra people, some parties and candidates as well as their agents and supporters are determined to de-market their state, and cause tremendous confusion and crisis all over the place, the government warned that “this is not how to achieve gubernatorial ambitions.
“In any case, Anambra people are too discerning and sophisticated for certain political manipulations and machinations.”