AS the battle for Anambra governorship position begins to hot up, Governor Willie Obiano has made it clear that there will be no vacancy on the seat of power in Anambra State for the next five years.
That was the buzzword at Governor Obiano’s third anniversary at Awka recently to which many prominent indigenes of the state concurred.
In his lecture at the third anniversary of the governor, former CBN Governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, after an appraisal of Governor Obiano’s performance endorsed him for another term in office. According to him:
“Let me say that Governor Obiano, as the chief servant of Anambra, is not perfect. No one can be! Some have issues with aspects of his style; some have personal/political issues with him; some criticize his appointments or location of some of the projects; while for some, he is ‘not reaching out’ appropriately, etc.
“I am sure he hears many of these and obviously making amends where necessary.
Since 1999, Anambra has not done badly on governance. Governor Mbadinuju rescued Anambra from anarchy and restored security; Governor Ngige showed Anambra that a government can tar some roads; Governor Obi took it further especially in his second term with roads, education, health and fiscal frugality.
“We have carefully gone through Governor Obiano’s plans and performance vis-à-vis the resources at his disposal and context of Nigeria’s current economic and political situation, as well as in comparison with other states and even previous Governors in the first three years of their tenure.
Governor Obiano is certainly holding the torch higher! I drove through Awka at night from Enugu, and I couldn’t resist joking to a friend of mine from Awka sitting with me saying,“Oyibo abata Awka!
“At the business level, we must commend new forms of partnerships emerging among our businessmen.
The Igboman’s unique business model is cooperative competition and networks play key driving roles.
We need to reinvent the People’s Club philosophy, except that this time, it is no longer just a social insurance scheme, but is a Business Council – with members from both the homeland and the Diaspora.
“The list is long, ranging from exemplary security of life and property, agricultural and industrial transformation with thousands of jobs, continuation of roads/bridges construction when most states cannot pay salaries, institutionalization/modernization of governance, taking Anambra towards fiscal sustainability by raising IGR 188 per cent; extending health and education reforms etc.
The rest of the country is taking note as well: what with the various recognitions and awards! No governor of Anambra has been so widely recognized in his first three years since 1999! This is what Anambra expects and deserves: that every governor should build upon and probably surpass his/her predecessor.
“So, why mend it if it is not broken? This is a time of crisis and you don’t change the General in the middle of a war, especially the General that has led you through successes in battles.
We have learnt useful lessons from the past and must now forge new elite cohesion and consensus.
Let Anambra export a rare form of statesmanship politics. Can we then implore most of the contestants to rather deploy the billions of naira they would soon waste on the campaign trail into building medium scale industries in the state?
“That way, even the politicians would be adding to the burgeoning start-up companies, and creating high value-adding jobs!
There will be vacancy at Government House after the next four years, and anyone can contest.
In the meantime, the Working Willie as our chief servant can continue to serve and lead Anambra as a truly emerging start-up state, while we, the people, collectively support and drive the investment boom!
I therefore strongly endorse Governor Obiano for a second term in office.”
Besides Soludo, many indigenes at the third anniversary lecture scored Obiano high.
Among them were member of House of Representatives representing Orumba North/Orumba South Federal Constituency of Anambra State, Hon. Sopuluchukwu Ezeonwuka; Chief Chris Oranu Chidume, managing director/chief executive officer of Krisoral Group of Companies; Hon. Tony Omeligwe-Elee, Anambra State deputy chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA and Hon. Obiora Ezechukwu, Chairman of Aguata Local government chapter of APGA.
Their common stance was that Obiano is still the man for the job. “Obiano is God-send. In the next five years, Anambra State will become a state to be proud of because he is really working and the people are happy”.
Speaking on the governor at an award given him by a media organisation, the deputy governor, Nkem Okeke, said Willie Obiano is building on the legacy of infrastructural development and security he inherited from his predecessor.
Nkem Okeke opined that Obiano’s leadership quality has manifested in his ability to attract investors from all corners of the globe to Anambra State.
During a media tour of the state last week, the clear observation is the state government’s public-private partnership.
Governor Obiano allowed investors to partner with the state in setting up industries in the agro-allied and manufacturing sectors which led to the attraction of over five billion dollars worth of investments into the State.
Noted during the tour of the state is the Coscharis Farms, Lynden Poultry and several other investments that have established multi-billion naira agricultural and poultry farms at Igbariam.
Media men were also taken on a tour of the the long abandoned Ufuma Rice Mill which has been renovated by Joseph Agro Industries Limited as a mark of confidence in the state’s economy.
He said: “From the projects on ground, Governor Willie Obiano has demonstrated that his government can work for the people, and his programmes and policies have been designed to remain people-friendly and result-oriented.
Delivering ofgood governance
“His approach to governance has precluded Anambra state from the recession- afflicted states.
From the testimony of the workers, salaries, wages and pensions are being paid as at when due, while new road projects are being executed in the three senatorial zones of the state.
The governor has reconstructed many federal roads and this run into billions of naira that the Federal Government is yet to re refund.
“For these achievements, Ndi Anambra and other Nigerians joined their governor, Willie Obiano on the various awards given him by the media.”
For those who know him, Governor Willie Obiano has not shirked in his responsibility to deliver good governance and restore the glory of the enterprising people of the state since his assumption of office.