By Emeka Ozumba
When Governor Willie Obiano vowed to dislodge illegal revenue collectors from Anambra State, he was not in doubt that the revenue mafia who have fed fat on the state over the years will strike back to maintain the status quo.
Having made good his promise leading to infrastructural development at community and state level and the sustenance of overhead in the last five years to the delight of ndi Anambra. From internally Generated Revenue of N8.7bn in 2013 to N19.7bn in 2019 is a quantum leap and a testament to increased transparency in the collection process. Does anyone expect the dislodged to keep mute and lick their wounds? No of course!
As anticipated the dislodged touts have banded with the restive and rabid opposition in the realization that someone may have finally broken the state revenue barrier for good. Today with the massive investment in innovation evident in the State Revenue Dashboard which gives the the Governor and revenue officials birdeye view of inflows, the prospect for further increase is guaranteed.
How does this concern Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano one may ask? The simple reason is that touts have no regard for basic rules in conduct of public affairs. Granted that even in time of war time and emergency, women and children are spared from the worst. But the dislodged touts see the fight for the state revenue windows as war of attrition with scant regard for soft targets. Hence the relentless attempt to drag-in and sully the name of the wife of the Governor.
Of course, it is a favourite part-time of the opposition to create and sustain a phantom image of an almighty Mrs Obiano to justify the loss of their illegal life-line to the Governor’s transparent revenue regime. To sweeten their tale of the absurd, they are weaving a basket of lies with individuals who are mere officers reporting to the Governor, and manufacturing figures to justify their smear campaign
Is Governor Willie Obiano and the wife, Ebelechukwu who is busy about her family and NGO, Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFE) affairs bordered? I doubt. If anything, they are well aware about the price of leadership and service to the people.They are unperturbed at the reckless disregard of decorum by faceless individuals who are exploiting free online platforms for vile and malicious fabrications and attacks. Only the gullible may fall for their bait but the larger majority are well aware of the prevalent falsehood in the daily staple of diatribe targeting the Obianos. The beauty of it all is that the joke is on the touts and the desperate losers.