The individualistic mold of most Nigerian politicians makes them think little or nothing of the larger society. This tendency deludes most of our political leaders into subverting noble strides of their predecessors in preferences for ‘new’ schemes. It as much underlies the deliberateness in retiring office holders ensnaring their successors in quagmires. This trait competes favourably with corruption in robbing Nigerians of the states and nation they direly desire.
History was however made in Anambra State on the 17th of March, 2014 when the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, posted a fruitful in-house seamless power transition that remains exemplary in the politics of the state and beyond. The novelty and nobility in the act largely derived from Chief Obiano’s solemn declaration to continue, complete and commission projects he inherited from Chief Peter Obi; he would do these while commencing new development initiatives in the state. Since the delivery of his Inaugural Address, Chief Obiano has not looked back in pursuit of the good of citizens of the state. He does this, minding less the early and persistent signals from some disgruntled fellows to bring his efforts to ruins.
In no sector in the governance of the State has Gov. Obiano kept faith more with his 4Cs promises of continue, complete, commission and commence, than in road infrastructure. A look across Anambra landscape today confirms the governor’s belief that governance is a continuum – insofar as the demands of the people are served. On assuming office, Chief Obiano expressed distaste for the reprehensive culture of abandoned-projects. He pledged to continue work on inherited uncompleted projects. Today, even roads that were awarded at the twilight of the past administration which were barely funded, count among the beneficiaries of Obiano’s belief in sustaining functional development in the state. A stickler to good (if not perfect) jobs, Chief Willie Obiano would insist on the provision of necessary appurtenances of projects, old or new, before such projects are duly commissioned.
While some of these inherited road-projects have been completed and commissioned by this administration, others are still under construction. Some other vital roads and bridges initiated by Chief Obiano’s administration are either completed or in various stages of completion. These original efforts are exemplified in the well appointed three flyovers at the Awka axis of the Enugu-Onitsha express way. Not even the most discourteous critics of the administration would deny the relevance of the flyovers in providing free traffic flow across Awka metropolis, and their impetus in giving Awka the ambiance of a capital city. The statement the skyways (with their emerging structural furnishings) make on the rising aesthetic values of Awka is inviolable.
The long stretch of strategic roads and bridges opening up the petroleum and agricultural zone of the state for effective patronage by investors is notable. Today, following the speedy construction of a vital bridge across the Omambala river to Aguleri-Otu (with other bridges under construction in the zone) the oil-rich communities in the island have been saved the endemic tension and friction consequent upon their erstwhile mode of traversing parts of Kogi and Enugu states before ferrying home. With the expansive road construction going on across Omambala/Ezu River Chief Obiano has succeeded in ventilating the agriculture and oil and gas potentialities of the zone.
Gov Obiano’s sagacious demeanour has made him successfully synergize with the Federal Government in his special interventions to salvage federal roads in the state from total collapse. Such prompt responses are exemplified in his rescue missions at the erosion-threatened base of Nkpor Bridge and along the Okija axis of the Onitsha–Owerri express way. These efforts saved commuters what would have been untold pains during the yuletide. Anambra continues to entrench its profile as posting the best road network in the country.
The promise to expand the frontiers of good governance resonates in the commitment of the Governor in upgrading amenities in schools and providing incentives for teachers, particularly in the most challenging subjects. Again, the administration gives incentive to teachers assigned to the very remote areas of the state. For these, Anambra students have maintained towering heights above their peers in other states in competitions and external examinations.
The fulcrum of all the expressions of good governance by Chief Willie Obiano remains his exemplary seal on security. His unprecedented success in curtailing criminality in the state insures the increasing wave of economic activities in the state. With sustained safety of lives and property and provision of other requisite economic enablers, the standard of living in Anambra State is palpably improving.
Okechukwu Anarado writes from Adazi-Nnukwu
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