Former Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Onitsha Branch and activist, Chuka Obele-Chuka, was a key figure who fought doggedly for Peter Obi’s mandate during his time as Governor of the state. Twice, Obi tasted victory through court judgements to complete his chequered eight year tenure.
In 2006, he was declared winner of the 2003 gubernatorial election in the state after three years of litigation against Chris Ngige of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
But after spending just seven months in office, he was impeached by the State House of Assembly on November 2, 2006, and replaced the next day by Virginia Etiaba, his deputy.
Again, Obi was reinstated as the governor on February 9, 2007, by the Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu following serious legal fireworks.
But Obele-Chuka, a close ally who played key roles in the legal tussles which favoured Obi, in an interview, said Peter Obi’s government was disastrous for Anambra state.
The respected lawyer and activist said the state suffered greatly from the misgovernance of Governor Peter Obi at the period.
The lawyer highlighted neglect and poor performance of Obi across all key areas of the state , including education, health, economy and security.
He said, “Let me limit myself to issues of Anambra state for now. We have a crucial battle to rescue our people from the misgovernance of Governor Peter Obi of Anambra state.
“In Anambra, the present government did not only embargo employment, it is not also creating jobs it covenanted in his campaign brochures to use to fight crimes. The only attempt at creating jobs is the purchase of few mass transit mini buses and the terror machine known as Anambra State Traffic Agency (ASTA).
“Obi’s government unleashes the agency on hapless citizens to extort sundry illegal levies. ASTA and other Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) agents have constituted themselves into monsters which employ Gestapo tactics to terrify the citizens in the name of generating and hitting the N1billion monthly revenue benchmark set out by the state government.
“Health wise, the situation is alarming. Doctors in Anambra are on strike, the second time in 9 months. And our Governor says he does not know why they are strike. Only God knows the number of persons who have lost their lives as a result of the doctors’ strike. Primary health-care in the state has virtually collapsed, and that is part of the reason the doctors went on strike. Go to the General Hospital and see the huge fraud that Peter Obi calls kidney dialysis centre. The building is collapsing and no single equipment is there.
Speaking further, he lamented that “People are trapped daily in horrible traffic snarls as a result of neglect of our road networks or shoddy rehabilitation of roads. The lives of Anambra citizens have become, if you do not mind, miserable, nasty and brutish.
“Education in the state is parlous. Even Agulu Boys Secondary School, located in the governor’s hometown, and his alma mater, St Joseph’s Boys Secondary School in Aguleri, are in a decrepit state. Agulu Boys was the best college in infrastructure some years back. Take a visit to the school and you will shed tears. Number of students per class is averaging 55. None of the workers was paid his/her salary last December.
“Water Corporation workers are yet to be paid since Peter Obi came into office, and they are starving to death. Over 40 have died, over 20 bedridden by stroke.
“Anambra State Environmental Protection Agency (ANSEPA) workers are owed over 22 months salary arrears, as well as other entitlements.
“Awka, Nnewi and Onitsha are dirtier than Peter Obi met them. And it is obvious that there is no pipe borne water in this state.”