By Ezekiel Isiwu
It is a public knowledge that since the commencement of the restoration of Enugu City masterplan by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s administration, political opponents, mischief makers and hired social media deviants have been doing everything possible to undermine the noble project. They have tried to politicise and trivalise the project, by hypocritically and intentionally criticise and condemn every action or inaction of Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority (ECTDA) on social media platforms.
They have overtly and covertly called Governor Ugwuanyi names, castigated his government and the leadership of ECTDA. They have made insinuative, scathing, uncomplimentary and insulting remarks against the project. Not that the project is not for the good of the majority of Enugu people. It is and they know it from the bottom of their hearts. But they must criticise it to gain public attention, cheap popularity, play to the gallery and settle political scores ahead of 2023.
Their antics are not new. They are known and have remained the same for years now. It is nothing but “Keep Attacking And Twisting Every Policy, Programme and Project of Ugwuanyi’s Administration On Social Media Platforms To Pull-Him-Down Ahead of 2023.” Majority of their sponsors have been in government over the years with nothing humanitarian, progressive or developmental to show for it. They have lived all their lives being in government. They have not done anything meaningful in life, apart from hanging in the corridors of power like monitoring spirits and surviving on public funds.
They see serving in every government in the state or national level as their birthrights. They want to dictate for the Governor and want to be consulted always by the Governor before any decision is taken in the state. In a free and fair election, majority of them cannot win election in their families, let alone their political wards.
Even in this Covid-19 pandemic, which had occasioned sit-at-home or lockdown, they are nowhere to be found among their people. They are enjoying with their immediate family members in their homes. They have not spare time to come out to assist the state government in sensitizing the people about Covid-19 pandemic and its preventive measures. They have not bought or shared ordinary sanitizers, face masks and hand gloves to the people, let alone giving them food items to cushion the effect of the stay-at-home order. Their hired social media rats are busy on social media asking what palliative measures have governments put in place to assist the people especially the needy during this lockdown.
Nigerians know these wheeldealers, who usually masquerade as leaders. They have witnessed and experienced their antics when the Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja and now Governor of Kaduna State Mallam Nasiru El-rufai tried to restore the masterplan of the FCT. El-rufai stepped on toes. He was called names, fought against and even threatened to be killed. In all these, he refused to budge or be daunted. Not even the then President of the country, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo could stop him. Today, he is seen as hero by those who criticised him then.
Even in Kaduna State, where he is the Governor today, he has continued to restore the state masterplan, without minding whose ox is gored.
Ugwuanyi’s predecessors namely Senator Chimaroke Nnamani and Barr. Sullivan Chime faced the same barrage of attacks and criticisms, while their administration tried to restore the Enugu City masterplan. They did their best. The only difference between their own era and now is the presence and availability of social media platforms now, where everybody is a critic, public affairs analyst, blogger, journalist, human rights activist, social crusader, citizen journalist and others.
It is this non-regulation, liberty and freedom of speech and abuses on social media platforms that enemies of Enugu State Government and Ugwuanyi’s political opponents have capitalised on to launch undue virile attacks and armchair criticisms against his government and policies.
But what is cheering is that neither Ugwuanyi government nor the leadership of ECTDA is bothered about the undue sponsored social media attacks. Majority of these hired social media miscreants have not lived and are not living in Enugu State. They launch their attacks against the ECTDA and Enugu State Government based on hearsay and rumours. Their sponsors and cohorts in the state are in minority. They have no political value. They can only bark on social media platforms, but cannot influence votes at the polling units. They can be best described as toothless bulldog.
They exposed and took their hypocrisy to the next level recently in Enugu, when a major rainfall and storm in the city washed away a filling station being constructed on a major waterway and bridge around Onu Asata, Enugu.
The effect of the natural disaster, which shook the residents of the area, made them to call the attention of the ECTDA. The agency moved in quickly and removed the remnants and debris from the collapsed filling station and other shanties nearby to clear way for easy flood passage.
Instead of reporting exactly what happened at Onu Asata bridge/ waterway, the hired social media miscreants took to social media platforms accusing ECTDA and Ugwuanyi’s government of demolishing people’s houses during the sit-at-home period, without providing them with alternative accomodation. This is even when the affected persons have moved on with their lives, knowing full well that they flouted the law by illegally erecting shanties on major waterway.
These social media deviants who will never rest on their oars, did one-sided video and fake news against Ugwuanyi’s government that went viral on social media platforms. Some gullible and vulnerable people, who usually take everything they see on social media platforms hook, line and sinker took it as the truth without bothering to read or hear government’s side of the story, which the hired social media miscreants refused to reflect in their version of the circulated the story and video.
But unfortunately for them, not up to one week after the Onu Asata waterway incident, precisely on April 5, 2020, a three storey building under construction without government and had been marked for demolition by ECTDA collapsed at Ezulike Street, Olympic Layout, Off One Day, Agbani Road, Awkunanaw, Enugu South LGA, the ECTDA has since announced its decision to immediately commence evaluation of the structural integrity and stability of all buildings within the State Capital Territory from April 10, 2020.
While the news of the collapsed building has been reported by the mainstream media, these hired social media miscreants are yet to report or hype ugly incident on social media platforms. This is because it didn’t suit their predetermined agenda of running Ugwuanyi’s government down on social media with negative and twisted reports. Had it been the building was demolished by ECTDA for being erected without government approval, before its collapse, they would have quickly done a video and report it on social media platforms, accusing ECTDA and Enugu State Government of insensitivity and wickedness.
These social media deviants and their sponsors know the truth about good governance in Enugu under Ugwuanyi’s leadership, but will always skew or twist it, because of their ulterior and political motives.They know that ignorance is no excuse in law and that there is no where in the world, not even in advanced countries that government provides every need of the people, not even the needy. But they will always pretend or do otherwise in their criticisms.
Imagine if it is in Enugu State that the popular Nigeria actress, Mrs Funke Akindele and her husband were arrested and arraigned in court by Lagos State Government for organising a birthday in total violation of the lockdown order by the Lagos Government, these hired social media miscreants would have keep the social media platforms buzzing and agog with all kinds of tantrums against the Enugu State Government.
But as can be seen in Lagos, Mrs Akindele, her husband and other defaulters have been made and allowed to face the wrath of the law. This is because no one is above the law. Majority of commentators on social media platforms have sincerely blamed them for flouting Lagos/Federal Governments’ directive on lockdown over Covid-19 pandemic by hosting birthday without observing social distancing. That is how to grow and live in a decent society. It is time for hired social media miscreants and their sponsors against Governor Ugwuanyi’s government to have a rethink and change strategies, because they have been long exposed and are no longer doing anything new to draw people’s attention and sympathy.
They should know that just like majority of Enugu people have supported Ugwuanyi’s administration since 2015 and reelected him with 95.5 per cent votes in 2019 and he has continued to provide them with the expected good governance and unity among the people, the people will still support him and his party in 2023 to produce his successor.
Not millions of these hired social media miscreants and their sponsors can deceive, mislead or pitch Enugu people against Ugwuanyi government with their fallacies, hearsay, rumours, name calling and propaganda.
Mr. Ezekiel Isiwu, a community leader wrote from Amuri, Nkanu West LGA, Enugu State.