Going by his accomplishments in governance and infrastructure, you would think he has spent ten years in office. But Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano has done only five years. Chukwuemeka Ezeife the pioneer Governor was earnest but limited by time, diarchy and civil service orientation. Chinwoke Mbadinuju was self constrained by over politicking and easy compromises. Chris Ngige, tossed about by the contradictions of his ascendancy, somehow managed to make impact in one or two areas; leaving former governor Peter Obi and incumbent Obiano in contention for the star prize.
What does Peter Obi’s eight year reign bring to the table? A record of satisfactory performance in some areas but hardly anything outstanding. The exception would be with Amaku Teaching Hospital, as it was then called, where the Obi regime left bold footprints. A brilliant student of Anambra’s politics aptly defined Obi’s years in office as that of a ‘minimalist’. The expression is a fitting description of Obi’s penchant to stick to the basic level. His administration paid the least public sector wages in the southeast. It built sub standard roads across the State which like the fragile MDG toilets, have been systematically collapsing. Three favoured special assistants understood this tokenism policy better when finally succumbing to their request for cars, Obi gave them the mosquito – like Picanto cars.
But this average performance was concealed from public scrutiny with deafening propaganda. A classic example of the trend to exaggerate and mislead the public is the myth of N75b cash handed over to the Obiano regime. Yet, the plain truth is that a committee comprising at least two appointed officials in Obi’s government and retained by Governor Willie Obiano and the career accountant general who also served the two administrations determined that Obi’s regime left only N9b cash and N35b worth of investments. How the porous tale of N75b has persisted in the media gives you an idea of the extensive propaganda machinery oiling Obi’s politics.
Aiming high, Obiano had quickly designed a security architecture that in a matter of months made Anambra one of Nigeria’s safest states. The ensuing social stability and business incentives spurred inflow of investments; and by 2017, Anambra had become Nigeria’s fourth fastest growing economy. 85 quality roads have been constructed parts of the state and many more are ongoing. Substantial investment in education led four Anambra schools to win international laurels in the past three years. Along with the landmark Awka flyovers, Governor Obiano constituted the capital territory administration and road maintenance agency which Obi would not do. Through his engagement with President Mohammadu Buhari, the second Niger Bridge is progressing as well as reconstruction of Enugu – Onitsha expressway. The State teaching hospital has been brought to international standard.
With such stellar achievements, outpacing and outclassing Obi in just five years, envy and anger rear their ugly heads. You can thus understand the periodic attempts by Obi’s propagandists to pull Obiano down.