Willie Obiano

GOVERNOR of Anambra State, Dr. Willie Obiano on 17 March renewed his oath of office for a second term following his landslide victory in the November 18, 2017 election.  A mammoth crowd from within and outside cheerfully witnessed the inauguration.

By his laudable performance which largely, advantageously worked for him at the poll, Akpokuedike-Aguleri indeed deserved a second term. Splendidly, a cursory look in his new cabinet will convince every doubting Thomas that the state is in a safe hand and the governor is determined if nothing else, to maintain the frequency. The distinguished figures in the list including a raconteur and media guru; C. Don Adinuba as the Commissioner of Information, who earlier served in the Presidency as a Special Assistant to then Minister of Power, Engr. Barth Nnaji, is a clear indication that the “Light of the Nation” is practically on track and automated for people-oriented governance, luxuriant growth and excellence.

In the first term, Obiano overwhelmingly consolidated, complemented the achievements of his two predecessors and took it to next level. All hitherto seemingly abandoned towns substantially received senses of belonging particularly through road rehabilitations. Thus, the choices of the people since the return of democracy have tremendously paid them. It is remarkable that Ndi-Anambra indeed have taken their destinies in their hands by untiringly ensuring that only adept leaders mount the podium as the governor of the state. It is therefore imperative to extend same approaches for the choices of their representatives at the national and House of Assembly.

From 1999, the state has experienced diverse political metamorphosis which to a large extent is providential. Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju’s administration was appraisingly, widely zeroed; however, a holistic evaluation may submit that Mbadinuju contributed correspondingly albeit in a different dimension. Inarguably, his tenure was the prime era of godfathers ruling by proxy. And like many other states, the anti-democratic elements invaded Anambra for control of state resources with strong backup from the Presidency then under Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.  It was completely political bullying and supremacy combats between elected government officials and Abuja clique. Funnily, Obasanjo, their arrowhead is presently spearheading a coalition for good governance in Nigeria. Irresistibly, in any contests the clique showed up interests, it was do-or-die affairs. Oddly, all elective positions across the federation were always allotted at the Presidential Villa by imposition and submitted to the Returning Officers to announce accordingly. For governors, it was either complete compliance to sinister deals particularly on security votes and sensitive positions or kangaroo impeachment and immaterial if only six signed impeachment motions against seventeen members.

Beyond jokes, to become a governor, radical aerobics were sensibly necessary for any eventualities from the presidentially-backed self-acclaimed godfathers as their hostilities came in diverse violent dimensions over noncompliance to their orders. The concert was suitable for “Things Fall Apart extra-ordinary”. Mbadinuju was the first casualty in the state with almost all appointees foisted on him. Believably, amidst frustrations, the helpless Mbadinuju retired to faith-proclamations on the state; resorted to reprogramming the state with affirmative words and consequently, clairvoyantly changed the state’s original slogan “Home for all” to “It shall be well with Anambra State”. Unwittingly, the people both the positive-minded, indecorous and hubristic characters were daily declaring and reciting it; but unconsciously sowing seeds of progress and luxuriant growth for the state alongside his daily devotions at the government house which he personally led except when unavailable.

Eventually, due to ceaseless squabbles, Mbadinuju wasn’t returned for a second term by the clique but replaced with Dr. Chris Ngige who by mission or omission dined with the clique, hence faced legitimacy crisis after emergence as the PDP’s candidate. In their usual overshadowing manner, Ngige was however declared a winner but immediately he was sworn-in, major crisis busted as he unpredictably, unwaveringly took full charge and sidelined the ‘godfathers’, above all, reneged on all hostile agreements over control of state machinery and treasury. Strategically, Ngige expeditiously cleared workers’ piled up arrears and energetically became workaholic; embarked on unprecedented massive road constructions despite their colossal distractions, possibly in anticipation of a rerun. It was indeed a positive drama. Suddenly, the Christian community that hitherto rejected him reversed, embraced him over his laudable performance especially on workers’ arrears alongside mega projects. On the other hand, Mr. Peter Obi that was massively voted for as APGA’s candidate and battling for redress at the tribunal began to face apathy with open demand that Ngige with a pilfered mandate should ride on.

Along the line, the court’s gavel transferred the mantle to APGA and legitimacy crisis shifted to Obi on account of high standard Ngige set in motion. To worsen Obi’s situation, the clique conspiratorially, hurriedly impeached him and installed their man, Andy Ubah which immediately hit the brick wall. After Obi’s reinstatement by the apex court, he quintessentially espoused Ngige’s panache. However, to prevent stealing someone’s thunder, Obi had to painstakingly differentiate his projects with signposts like “this road was constructed by Peter Obi” for people to see. It critically became a battle of exploits and feats only.

The most distinctive feat of Obi that cannot be overemphasized is that despite belonging to opposition, he maneuvered his way and became the then President, Goodluck Jonathan’s Mannesmann and advantageously added value to his state. Thus, from Mbadinuju’s predictive slogan, the state progressed to the “Light of the Nation” as sensitively renamed by Obi. Inarguably, the state under Peter Obi’s leadership was a desideratum. Willie Obiano’s first term equally glowed superbly. And by extension, the light shines around her adjacent particularly Asaba, capital of Delta through real-estate developments.  Last year, Obiano remarkably approved the proposal for construction of export processing facility estimated at $150million in Ogidi. Thus, it is indeed becoming well with Anambra state. As Obiano continues to navigate the state with clear blueprints and proficient workforce, the light, perceptively, will shine brighter and brighter. Congratulations Ndi-Anambra!

Umegboro, public affairs analyst wrote from Abuja from umegborocarl@gmail.com (07057101974 SMS only)

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