“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for”. President Barrack Obama
The Old Aguata Union, O.A.U is a Socio-Cultural organization created to promote the general interest of the people of Aguata, Orumba South and Orumba North Local Governments of Anambra State, socially, culturally, economically and politically. The three Local Councils used to be one Local Government known as Aguata Local Government before it was split into three different Local Governments. It has the highest per capita income in the whole of Africa and is home to one of the most enlightened, wealthy and educated folks in Nigeria. They are part of the hob of Anambra State politics.
On 24th September, 2016 the good people of Old Aguata Union gathered in their numbers to a grand reception to celebrate and endorse the WORKING GOVERNOR of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano for a second term, and also conferred on him a chieftaincy title, Agunechemba OAU to appreciate all he has done for the people. In attendance were about forty Traditional Rulers, forty two President Generals of the forty two communities out of the forty seven communities that make up Old Aguata. The wife of the Governor, Chief Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano, (Osodieme) was also honoured by the Traditional Rulers’ wives of Old Aguata by presenting her a special sewn cloth embroidered with the popular Igbo Bronze pot and other ornaments for all her care and concern towards women, the less privileged, the orphans and the homeless through her pet project, CAFÉ.
It should be noted that this journey of endorsing Governor Obiano by the people was started way back on 30th of October, 2015 when a group operating out of Old Aguata zone, Greater Orumba and Aguata Development Association, organized a major endorsement event tagged Greater Orumba and Aguata Political Summit held at Aguata Local Government. That occasion was attended by some Igwes, past office holders like Dr Anyaene, a world renowned surgeon and one time commissioner of health in Anambra State, some Town Union Presidents, political leaders of different political parties, women and youth activists, etc. Since then the people of Old Aguata have never seized to advance the political interest of Governor Willie Obiano because of his outstanding accomplishments in just 30 months of being in the saddle. A Public Affairs Analyst and Political player who has held different political portfolios in Anambra State, Dr Kenneth Anozie is the founder/Executive Secretary of this Group, as well as the spokesman. Chief Osita Obi Okafor, a businessman is the chairman of the group. This group has been lobbying the people to endorse Governor Obiano and we were very happy for the grand reception.
There is nothing wrong, politically or morally for the governor to extract endorsement or support from any group as the election is barely a year away. And there is nothing wrong for different groups and people to endorse the governor, the earlier the better.
It is quite ridiculous reading through an article with the above caption by one Odinaka Chukwuka insinuating that those who organized and ran the 24th September, 2016 event did not have the competency or the authority to do so. This smacks of blackmail and was done in bad faith. This is not only malicious but an insult on the sensibilities of more than forty Traditional Rulers led by Igwe Promise Ezeh, Abilikete Umunze and Patron of Old Aguata Union and Igwe (Col) Muoghalu, Igwe Isuofia and Chairman of Old Aguata Traditional Rulers Council; and to the President Generals as well as thousands of men and women of note who graced the powerful event which was held at Ekwulobia Township Stadium, and not at any Town hall, as the writer portrayed to give it a clannish and infinitesimal significance as if it was a “clique” agenda. The organizing committee was chaired by no less a person than Chief Titus Anigbogu, a onetime chairman of Aguata local government Area. So how can the writer portray such an event as “a pedestrian manipulation”. Who is manipulating who, if I may ask?
The event was graced by the second republic vice president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr Alex Ekwueme, and the first civilian governor of Anambra state, Dr Chikwuemeka Ezeife, (both are from Old Aguata) who chaired the event and paid glowing tributes to Governor Willie Obiano for his stellar performances in the areas of security, agriculture, trade and investment, infrastructure, education, health and welfare of the citizens including prompt payment of the entitlements of public servants and retirees which have earned the governor the sobriquet, “the alert governor”. The former Deputy Governor of the state during Governor Peter Obi’s administ ration, Chief Emeka Sibudu was also present during the event.
Chief J.J Ezeokeke, (Ezeudo Aguata) the chairman of JEZCO Group, led other 30 captains of industry and business tycoons to the occasion. The grand reception also had all members in the Anambra State House of Assembly from the zone led by Hon Ikem Uzoezie. Also all the serving Commissioners and appointees from Old Aguata led by Dr Ejikeme, Hon Commissioner for Environment, and Arch Mike Okonkwo, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Awka Capital Development Authority were there. This is the man that documented all the achievements of this present regime in Old Aguata and brought them down in hard copies for all to see. This was contrary to the insinuations by the writer that there was no person of substance or authority that was part of the power packed event.
Governance is about the good of the people and the provision of the dividends of democracy. Old Aguata has not been left out in any way in the developmental strides of this Obiano administration, which was the primary reason for the grand reception and honour/chieftaincy title conferred on him by the people. Old Aguata was actually being very strategic by this remarkable grand reception where Governor Obiano was conferred with the title of Agunechemba O.A.U by all the Traditional Rulers of Old Aguata with the concurrence of the people. It was no fluke; it was not a “desperate attempt to impugn the integrity of Old Aguata Union”, it was not a stage managed event. It was in appreciation of the Governor’s remarkable accomplishments which Old Aguata has benefitted from tremendously, and a way of keying in into the well structured agenda of this performing government, and attract the Governor’s attention to those things urgently needed by our people to move the zone forward.
There is no argument that Old Aguata needs more infrastructures, more amenities, more employment, more appointments and what have you. But it will only be gotten through strategic partnership and cooperation with the present government. But first let us appreciate what have been done and proposed to be done by this government for the people of Old Aguata.
Governor Obiano has employed more than six hundred indigenes of Old Aguata as teachers, Local Government workers, State Civil servants and in various ad-hoc and Task Forces since coming into office just thirty months ago. As at today more than hundred primary school and secondary schools in the area have received various measures of reconstructions of classrooms, new roofs, perimeter fencing, laboratory equipment and water boreholes as well as sanitation facilities.
Three general Hospitals located within Old Aguata have all been transformed. In fact the Ajalli General Hospital has been so modernized that it is now a referral hospital with world class equipment and medical personnel. This government has constructed more than twenty boreholes within the zone including six at Igboukwu, Aguata Local Government where for decades it has been impossible to get a functional borehole. In the area of road construction we have not been left out. Today we have “Anambra Rice”, and the agricultural revolution is on. No be small thing ooo. A quite but steady transformation is going on in Anambra State. As President Obama said as quoted in our opening remark, Governor Willie Obiano is the change we have been waiting for, for this season and we are seeing and witnessing the change as enshrined in the four pillars and twelve enablers. Anambra is on track and therefore no need for change again.
Overall, the people of Old Aguata did the right thing. The caliber of people who were part of the grand reception attests to the quality and seriousness of the program. The Governor felt quite appreciative of the gesture as he beamed with smiles and danced to the “Uhie” music reserved only for royalties and titled Igbo men. Comrade Chinedu Obidigwe, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Political matters and President of United Anambra Youth Assembly (U-AYA) felt he has scored a bull’s eye as his egaligarious and excited team with their high sounding band escorted Governor Obiano into the arena with pomp and pageantry. After all this is the first time Old Aguata Union will formally endorse someone running for the office of the governor; so one will expect antagonisms and palpable anxiety from others, especially those from the zone who have similar ambition.
The intention of the author of that article is to ridicule the event and classify it as a crass opportunistic ceremony meant to hoodwink the people and “dupe” the governor. I will classify his article as cathedrals of falsehood or labyrinths of trickery. His deduction of the event is far from what happened on the ground; as the enthusiasm expressed by all present demonstrated that there is unanimity among Ndi Old Aguata about the reception. That some people who hoped to use the event for pecuniary interests failed in their quest and thus resorted to blackmailing the organizers and the event generally does not classify the event in the bad light the author intended; and his intension is an example of political irresponsibility. Thus my opening quote by Mark Twain aptly described the state of the author who probably did not attend the event; but rather decided to do a hatchet political job for some mundane interests. I was present and was part of it. I was not part of the planning committee, but the committee did a remarkable job to assemble such a crowd and caliber of people. It was an honour for me to have seconded the motion for Old Aguata to endorse Governor Willie Obiano for a second term in office. I did it on behalf of all the Igwes, the President Generals and political leaders as well as captains of industry.
Governor Obiano came to Aguata, saw and conquered; and as we await the dry season when he promised to roll in the caterpillars to embark on major road construction we shall keep saying in unison; Willie is Working and the people of Old Aguata are happy!
Dr Kenneth Anozie
Public Affairs Analyst
Executive Secretary: GREATER ORUMBA AND AGUATA DEVELOPME NT ASSOCIATION
GOADA House, Igboukwu, Aguata LGA, Anambra State