By Chuma Ezenwa

Exactly one week ago, a certain Ozioma Ubabukoh carried out a hatchet job for Dr. Victor Chukwuemeka Nnam, the Enugu State Commissioner for Lands who preemptively resigned his appointment on October 29, 2021, in order to escape the dangling hammer. In truth, nobody worries that the journalist offered himself as cheap meat.

On his part, the former commissioner is playing the victim card. He walked truth on its head by the spurious claims he gave as reasons for his exit. Dr. Nnam is unprepared to answer to the sundry charges of impropriety levelled against him from different quarters on questionable land deals during his time. It is common knowledge that once he got the faintest hint of an impending investigation into his stint after the national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abuja, he hurriedly threw in his “resignation” letter on the eve of the event. 

It is instructive that only few days ago, the Enugu State Government reversed some of the controversial and unauthorized revocations and acquisitions made by Nnam, and for which he came under scrutiny and was billed to be investigated. For instance, the plot of land that he purportedly revoked without Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s approval was restored to the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) whereas the notice of acquisition of 197.8 hectares issued to Emene community with reference number LEN 39902/2 was also cancelled. 

The new Commissioner for Lands and Urban Development, Nnanyelugo Chidi Aroh explained that these decisions were results of careful reviews of the petitions from NULGE and other affiliate bodies, as well as similar protests from Emene community through the traditional ruler, Igwe F.O. Ugwu. Nobody needs a soothsayer to know that more of such petitions have continued to flood Aroh’s table. 

While these ameliorative steps are widely applauded by well-meaning Nigerians, all that Ubabukoh and the man beating the drum for him want is for Governor Ugwuanyi to speak on Nnam’s resignation and the laughable lies he gave as reasons for his action. They say that the “governor may need to come out…and speak on some of the unstated issues” on his infamous resignation. This is the ugliest example of delusion by an obsessed power monger.  

The duo may have jaundiced views of employer/employee relationship. Or maybe, the former commissioner is so blinded by his prickly arrogance that he demonstrates such lamentable contempt for the man who gave him the job, in the first place. Decent people do not show such irritating disrespect to their benefactors.   

Silence, as they say, is golden. Words soothe nerves and have the potentials to cause grave emotional pains. And when wisely used, they are also strategic weapons that keep the other side guessing. That is, precisely, what the Enugu governor’s silence portends. 

Governor Ugwuanyi’s impeccable conduct in office has been underpinned by the peace and unity prevalent in the state. My advice is that he should sustain the delivery of quantum democracy dividends to all the nooks and crannies of the state, as well as his acclaimed generosity of spirit that has endeared him to the people, especially the less privileged. 

It is unthinkable that the governor will come down from his exalted office to engage his former appointee in any war of words. He has always adopted the far more superior strategy of restraint in his approach to governance and inter-personal relationships. In any case, he is the giant spider who determines what happens in the web.

The tragedy of the Nnam smudge campaign is his amazing ignorance of the basic tenets of civil service rules. How on earth does he and his fellow spin doctors not know that the transfer of his racketeering proxies to other ministries does not amount to “removal”? Do commissioners decide the civil servants they prefer to work with? Even when in a tight corner, honest men do not seek to save their heads by being deceitful.   

Truth be told, one must also show understanding of the former commissioner’s frustration with having to take a hurried flight when sack was imminent. All he craves today to have the sympathy of a negligible few as the victim. He should enjoy a bit of it while it lasts. It is his inalienable right. 

Surely, he will have his day before an enquiry. Until then, he remains innocent. But he is better advised to begin to draw a line between facts and propaganda. It will do him well to concentrate on substance than grope in what resembles, at best, a dense mist of mindless controversy. Even his friends and co-collaborators will chuckle and gasp with disbelief if and when the facts negate his present claims.

This is the time to do an introspective self-assessment of his many oddities when he was at the helm of affairs in the Ministry, and which may come to haunt him. It does not help his cause to mount a campaign of calumny and sponsor spurious attacks against his benefactor via the social or mainstream media. 

This is the time to atone for his misdeeds as some aggrieved people bay at his heels. These were men and women who suffered one deprivation or the other in his hands. Thankfully, the state government has started to remedy some of the many anomalies he caused in land matters. 

As an aside, with more than one year to the 2023 general elections, it is pointless naivety to concoct lies in order to pollute the air. Nnam and his co-travellers must come to terms that power comes from God. The season of politics will soon be here. And until then, it is advisable that those faceless sponsors of sundry calumny campaigns unveil their masks when the chips finally settle. 

The cheery news is that wherever they live, the evidence of Governor Ugwuanyi’s transformative governance stares the citizens and residents in the faces – from health to education, infrastructure, peace and security, rural development, agriculture, urban renewal, sports and other sectors. Indeed, Enugu State is in the hands of God!  


• Ezenwa writes from Enugu  

The post Enugu: When silence is golden appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.

Source: news