Since inception the Obiano’s administration in Anambra state have been target of high powered conspiracies and disparaging attacks orchestrated by political contractors, accidental media practitioners, unwholesome journalists and their patrons, all geared towards diminishing or outright denial of the giant strides of His Excellency Chief Willie M. Obiano in various sectors of the state. Fortunately it appears that the more Obiano traducers try the more recognition and plaudits Akpokuodike and his government garners for his good works across Anambra State.
In all fairness, the immediate past administration laid the foundation of the New Anambra while the Obiano administration in keeping with his promise is consolidating and perfecting the foundation to a super-structure. This is why the Continuity project was adopted and is being accelerated amidst dwindling state resources. Many projects including roads flagged off by his predecessor have been completed and commissioned. For instance, the Agulu lake bridge, road and street lights were completed, commissioned, just like the Onitsha Shopping mall project which houses the Shoprite was supported, completed, commissioned and put in use for the benefit of Ndi Anambra.
It is noteworthy that many roads constructed over eight years by the previous administration which were affected by floods as a result of excessive rain fall are regularly repaired and maintained by the Anambra State Road Maintenance Agency powered by 150 hardworking youths deployed across the three Senatorial Districts. In some cases roads have attracted complete resurfacing to sustain the state’s rating of having the best road networks, of which almost 50% are now adorned with modern street lighting with more under construction.
Another undeniable fact is that Awka Capital Territory is now wearing a new look befitting is status following Obiano’s facelift of the city after 25 years of becoming a state capital. To stem the rate of major accidents involving haulage trucks at Agu Awka, and in furtherance of the agreement with Federal Government, the Obiano government is reconstructing the Onitsha-Enugu dual-carriage expressway from Juhel junction to Amansea. Yet, the Federal Government is yet to refund the outstanding 43 billion naira expended by the state on Federal Projects in the state. Records show that the previous administration spent 10 billion on Federal projects while the administration of Chief Obiano has so far spent 33 billion naira. Hopefully the defraying of the expense will enable the administration to do much more.
In agriculture, the Obiano administration have done so well that laurels and accolades come in almost on monthly basis for the achievements in the sector. Anambra is now the largest producer of yams and the first state in Nigeria to export farm produce to Europe in commercial quantity. To sustain the export drive and increase food production, Anambra state government provides financial leverage to farmers and cooperative societies through Anambra Small Business Agency (ASBA). To date, over 70,000 farmers has benefitted from the single digit loan scheme from ASBA ably managed by Chief Omenife Clems Chukwuka. It is no longer news that the state now enjoy home-grown best and fast selling rice brand in Africa known as “ANAMBRA RICE”. Anambra Rice Mills Limited located in Amichi is one of the largest rice mills in Nigeria with the daily capacity of 440 tons of rice (approximately 10,000 bags of 50kg rice). This was made possible through deliberate effort of governor Obiano, whose agricultural policy promotes private sector-led growth. It may be trite repeating that in the past 3 years, all the civil servants and pensioners in Anambra state get rice gift courtesy of Akpokuodike, the “Most Passionate Governor in Nigeria” every December for Christmas celebrations.
In the area of security, Chief Obiano scored “SUMA CUM LAUDO” in restoring the glory back to Israel. The people of Anambra state no longer give out their daughters in marriages in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. Ndi Anambra no longer takes traditional titles in Lagos. Ndi Anambra no longer goes for annual thanksgivings in Abuja. The enthusiasm and the love for fresh village cuisine and delicacies are back- Ofe utazi, onugbu and uziza are now back on the menu as our grandmothers once more enjoy them with their grandchildren every weekend. Our extended family ties and bonds of love are strengthened through increased visitations. The fear of high profile crimes like bank robberies, high-way robberies, kidnappings and other clandestine criminal activities is a thing of the past in Anambra state. Akpokuodike enyego ndi ekweganakwe na ndi ochonganaoko oso. Akpokuodike has made Anambra the safest state in Nigeria.
Human capital management has also got a boost under Akpokuodike. Anambra civil servant is owed; it is only in Anambra that you can hear “BUSH ALLOWANCE” for civil servants. I discovered it just yesterday. Backlog of gratuities and pensions have been cleared. Recently, the retirees of Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS) and Anambra Newspapers Corporation who were owed their gratuities, pensions and other statutory allowances since 1979 had course to smile as Obiano commenced the payment of their outstanding. Capacity building which hitherto was considered luxury has become continuous exercise with local and overseas training especially for teachers to enhance productivity as well as motivate civil servants for optimum performance.
The achievements in the health and education sectors also speak volumes. Recently, Lorreto Special Science School Adazi went to represent Nigeria at the World Schools debate taking place in Indonesia and is already excelling against global opponents. This is made possible by the unfettered support to education and hard work of our own humble Prof Kate Omenugha (Ezigbo Mmadu). It is also on record that the administration of Chief Obiano ensured that the medical school of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital graduated its first set medical students after ten years. The governor also gave automatic employment to the graduands and has been working tirelessly to make the Teaching Hospital to be self-reliant/sufficient. Ndi Anambra had never had it so good.
All told, it is generally acknowledged that Anambra State is in good hands and everything should be done to support Governor Obiano to sustain the momentum of development in the years ahead. Although political jobbers are already aligning to drag Anambra back to the dark days of sufferings and pervasions, Ndi Anambra and all men and women of goodwill should not relent in their prayers and vigilance. One thing is sure our ancestors will never allow them to drag us back to Golgotha again.
Odaa writes from Amichi