From Nweke Nweke, Onitsha
In less than two weeks now, the purported governor elect in Anambra state, Chief Willie Obiano will be taking the oath of office and that should be if the Court of law can fast track and dispose the matter brought before it by the authentic chairman of APGA, Maxi Okwu, it swearing of Chief Willie Obiano no doubt will be precipitating political troubles attached thereto, there are still many salient and incipient issues that are still staring the governor-elect, Chief Willie Obiano in the face.
Among these issues include the lingering crisis in the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA which is seemingly so to say still at the incubator despite the last reconciliation between Chief Victor Umeh, the Court sacked National Chairman of the party and Governor Peter Obi.
Though Chief Obiano emerged the governor elect of the richly and stupendously blessed Anambra state, many political analysts still believed he has a lot of challenges staring him in the face which includes but not limited to the breeding and seeming fractionalization of the party shortly after he takes over the mantle of leadership from Obi.
It is on record that within the eight tortuous years full of intrigues and challenges that Peter Obi sat on the saddle, he had among other things maintained composure and as a true Igbo man, conducted the affairs of APGA which unfortunately is controlling only one out of the 36 states of the country.
Apart from the composure which is very apparent in Peter Obi’s administration, he had also initiated a life serving projects across the state that are not only beneficial to the people but can also stand the test of time.
Many had believed that within the eight years of Peter Obi’s administration and its attendant controversies and challenges, he had emerged the best Governor ever in the state since the return of democracy in 1999 owing to what politics and governance used to be in the state.
Since the assumption of office after he gallantly fought to reclaim his mandate from Senator Chris Ngige, Obi had aggressively embarked on developmental projects aimed at rebuilding the blocks and rebuilding the state which he maintained he met at the point of political and developmental ruin.
Part of the challenges that started him in the face was the rebuilding of the government property that were either razed down or completely in existent during the reign of terror in the state from 1999 to 2006. From that moment however, Obi had vowed never again to allow brigandage and other forms of political impunity to rear its ugly heads in the state again.
Now the governorship election had come and gone and a winner emerged in the person of Chief Willie Obiano, a relatively new face and a baby in the game of politics taking over the mantle of leadership from Obi, there are still issues that bother prominent persons in the state as to regards the future of the projects initiated by his predecessor.
It is on record that even with his administration at the end of its breath, Obi is still initiating projects across the state with assurances that these projects cannot stop or be abandoned on the ground that before initiating the projects, his administration had mapped out the money for its completion even after he must have left office.
He stated this at Umuoji during a flag off of a major road linking Umuoji and its neigbouring communities of Abatete and Ukeh, all in Idemili North council area, where he assured the people of the community that paucity of funds can never hamper the completion of the projects.
In other areas, Obi had assured that the projects which his administration is embarking upon at the wee hours of its life time shall not be abandoned by his successor, Chief Obiano. Prominent among these projects include the International Hotel project in the commercial city of Onitsha which is at its completion stage, the AguluLake hotel project and the bridges that cut across the state among others.
In the area of roads, he had also assured the benefiting communities that his successor will in line with the developmental agenda which he said endeared him to Obi shall never disappoint Ndi Anambra. This maybe was evident in the choice of slogan chosen by Obiano during his campaign where he conspicuously said “FORWARD EVER, BACKWARD NEVER”
If Obiano is to be appraised only on his positive perspective, it is therefore good to note that his emergence may not have come as an accident, though there are still bad feelings within the members of APGA and founding stakeholders over the choice of Obiano. Obi on several fora had insisted that the choice of Obiano over all other aspirants was based on track record and integrity.
From the foregoing therefore, Obiano will be riding and cruising in sweet victory, singing a song of victory in political stardom. There are still therefore many odds that are staring the Agulueri born banker turned politician in the face which if not properly handled or better still nipped in the bud could either pitch him against his predecessor as earlier predicted or derail the ship of development which his predecessor had repositioned on the right way.
Workers welfare: Before the emergence of Obiano as the governor-elect, the state has never witnessed workers’ unrest solely from the hands of the state government except a nationwide industrial action. Many political watchers believed that Peter Obi is very tactical in handling issues of workers whenever it comes to strikes.
Apart from the time of Governor Chinweoke Mbadinuju when teachers and indeed workers went on strike for a very long time over unpaid salaries, the state has never gone close to workers’ unrest and workers anarchy since the inception of Governor Peter Obi’s administration. Obi had been accused of using Obasanjo’s theory of carrot and stick on the workers whenever they wanted to go on strike.
In the last national industrial action embarked upon by trade union across the country and the national protest against the removal of fuel subsidy, Anambra state was ranked among one of the few states where the protest did not hold. This was attributed to Peter Obi’s game of dangling carrot and wielding stick.
Chief John Okeke said that one of the first challenges that Obiano may face at the beginning of his administration after swearing-in in March 2014 may likely come from workers’ unrest. He hinged his prediction on the ground that Peter Obi had within his eight years placed embargo on employment and therefore stagnated the promotion of few workers in the state, adding that Obiano in the bid to lift the embargo could enter into deep workers’ palaver.
However, there are also workers in other sectors either sacked without due benefit or retrenched without meeting legal procedure as it concerns civil service in the state. One typical example of these workers who are laying siege for Obiano are the sacked workers at the Anambra Broadcasting Service, ABS, Anambra Water Corporation and Transport Company of Anambra state, TRACAS among others.
As it stands now, some of these workers retrenched by the administration of Governor Obi may likely going to win their case in court and may likely be ordered to be re-absorbed into the state workforce with their salaries paid and those who were due for promotion must be promoted and their salaries all these years they were out of work paid without any delay.