The mass media have been described as the Fourth Estate of the Realm in a democratic society. This is because of its importance in educating, informing and enlightening the populace about the goings on in the other three arms – Legislature, Executive and Judiciary.
However, the mass media can be put to negative use to deceive and misinform the populace if their owners choose to be partisan or to propagate their selfish instead of national interest.
One such misuse of the media is the flurry of tendentious comments in the private electronic and some sections of the print media in the country on the governorship elections held in AnambraState on November 16, 2013.
A content analysis of the national newspapers generally referred to as the Western Press and analyses by ‘experts’ and commentators in the electronic media will clearly show their bias and deliberate efforts to thwart the will of the majority of the electorate in Anambra State.
Every attempt is made to turn reason and logic on its head in order to achieve an aim of cancelling an election where a clear winner had emerged.
One easily concludes that the reasons the ‘expert analysts’ give for calling for the cancellation of the election range from ignorance of the provisions of the Electoral Act as amended to contempt and disregard for the good people of Anambra State as expressed in their use of their electoral mandate on November 16.
Is it not very unreasonable and ‘idiotic’( apologies to Chief Ojo Maduekwe) not to accept the clear fact that a party that secured 25 percent of the votes in 16 out of 21 local government areas in the state is the preferred political party in Anambra State? How do you compare this with Dr. Chris Ngige’s APC which secured the said 25% votes in only nine local governments or the candidate of the Labour Party who secured same in only his Nnewi North Local Government Area.
The reasons for the massive electoral votes for APGA in AnambraState are not far to seek. Yes, Dr. Chris Ngige, during the three-year tenure he stole in 2003 from the mandate given to Mr. Peter Obi rescued the state from buccaneers and godfathers who looted the state treasury hitherto.
But he concentrated his massive road development projects in his Idemili North and some areas of Idemili South local government areas to the detriment of the 19 other local government areas. Hence, all the villages in his Alor hometown and neighbouring towns are connected with good roads.
The import of this discriminatory action was not lost on Anambrarians and they used the November 16, 2013 election to inform him in clear terms that he is Onwa of Idemili alone and not other local government areas of Anambra State.
Significantly he was only concerned with roads while other sectors of AnambraState economy were neglected. Mr. Peter Obi came and not only did many more kilometres of roads all over the state but also opened up Anambra North Senatorial District for the first time, thereby giving the indigenes and inhabitants a sense of belonging.
Let the wolf criers be informed that calling for the cancellation of the elections is not the solution to the electoral problem of Dr. Ngige. Even if the election is held 10 times over, Dr. Ngige will not win the mandate of Ndi Anambra. He is not the Messiah Ndi Anambra have been waiting for. After all his tenure as a senator representing Anambra Central District has not been inspiring so far.
He cannot be moving from the Senate to Government House Awka and back to the Senate as if he is the only star in the firmament in AnambraState.
When the Great Zik left the governorship of Old Eastern Region of Nigeria for the centre after the 1959 general elections, he handed over to Dr. Michael Okpara who proved to be a much more dynamic person and gave Eastern Nigeria unprecedented economic and political development. Dr. Ngige’s era in AnambraState should be history by now and he should allow other brilliant minds to contribute their best endeavours to the development of the state.
The argument that because less than 500,000 voters out of a voters register of more than 1,700,000 voters cast their votes during the election also falls flat on its face as it is done without sense of history and voting behaviour in Nigeria.
The question to ask is how many voters were registered in the state for the 2011 governorship election in which Mr. Obi defeated Dr. Ngige and how many voted? Had voters in AnambraState ever reached a figure of 500,000 in previous elections?
The case of the university dropout who aspires to govern AnambraState is also a very laughable one. It reminds Ndi Anambra of the 1991 governorship election in the state when an illiterate was cruising home to victory until Anambrarians woke from their slumber and gave their mandate to a brilliant mind, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife.
AnambraState, inspite of the huge population of traders is too sophisticated for their affairs to be directed by semi-literate people sponsored by money bags with questionable credentials. Hence, the successful capitalist should concentrate his energy on developing his capital and leave governance to trained and equipped people of the ilk of Dr. Willie Obiano, a chartered accountant and Dr. Nkem Okeke, a cerebral economist. They are adequately prepared to move AnambraState forward.
Let the columnists, political analysts, and wolf criers who tend to weep more than the bereaved leave Ndi Anambra alone. They have clearly demonstrated who they want to govern them. No level of media propaganda or use of money by moneybags to intimidate INEC or bribe judiciary officers can thwart the will of the electorate of AnambraState.
Mr. Victor Oguejiofor, a political analyst, wrote from Nnobi, Anambra State.