1. The Peoples Democratic Party ((PDP) in Anambra State has in the last few days been planting reports in the press claiming that members of the Anambra State House of Assembly have rejected Toyota Prado sport utility vehicles (SUVs) given to them by Governor Willie Obiano because they prefer Innoson SUVs. Of course, the reports are false and misleading. The legislators did not reject Toyota Prados, nor did they request for Innoson vehicles.
2. It was the House of Assembly members who asked for Prados, to be in line with vehicles used by legislators in every other state of the federation. However, when they saw the huge financial implications of purchasing 30 units of the 2019 model of Toyota Prado vehicles for each honourable member, the 30 lawmakers, easily the most patriotic, productive and considerate of any set of legislators in Nigeria, opted for the 2017 model. They are the only legislators elected in the 2019 general vote to have the older model. By so doing, they have saved for the government and people of Anambra State a fortune.
3. For purposes of historical accuracy, let it be stated in the public domain that it is the executive arm of the Anambra State Government which has been leading the campaign to make the Innoson SUV its official vehicle. In March, 2018, for example, following the second inauguration of the Obiano administration, an order for a fleet of Innoson SUVs was placed with Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM) for Anambra State Executive Council members.
4. The order, however, could not be met early enough, apparently on account of several orders from even outside the country. The government was consequently constrained to seek another brand. It settled five months later for Ford because a worthy son of Anambra State, Dr Cosmas Maduka of Coscharis Group, holds the Ford franchise in Nigeria. Besides, Dr Maduka bought early enough into the Think Home philosophy of the Obiano administration which encourages illustrious sons and daughters of the state to invest in their homeland. Dr Maduka has spent a colossal sum to acquire 10-kilometer square of land at Anaku in Ayamelum Local Government Area where he now does both rainy and dry season rice farming, having built a state of the art dam and irrigation system there. On October 4, 2019, Governor Obiano will commission the world-class automated Coscharis Rice Mill at Igbariam in Anambra East LGA, with a milling capacity of 60 tonnes per day and 40,000 tonnes per year. The construction was begun in 2017. Both the Coscharis Farm and Coscharis Rice Mill can provide all the rice needed in at least the Southeast geopolitical zone of Nigeria. Needless to say, both projects have provided jobs and business opportunities for many Nigerians, and will continue to do so far into the future.
5. As for Innoson Motors, both the management and staff acknowledge that the Anambra State Government is not only its best customer but also its greatest supporter. On Thursday, March 29, 2018, for instance, the state government handed over 40 Innoson pickups to the Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Security, Anambra Vigilante Group, Federal Road Safety Corps, Nigerian Army, Nigeria Navy and National Security and Civil Defence Corps to enhance their capabilities in making Anambra remain the safest state in Nigeria. In November, 2019, the state government will donate 60 Innoson SUVs to the security and intelligence agencies. It is a well acknowledged fact that not only does Gov Obiano patronize Innoson Motors more than any other governor, he has been marketing the vehicles to fellow governors and executives of corporate organizations across the nation.
6. Indeed, the Anambra State Government is eminently proud of its relationship with Innoson Vehicle Motor Manufacturing Company. Its founder, Chief Innocent Chukwuma, is a role model. We are proud that he is a major investor in our state. We are prouder of his genius: he pulled himself up by the bootstraps. Despite his modest formal education, he has displayed world class imagination and creativity. He represents the typical Anambra story: a determination to succeed despite all odds.
7. Finally, the PDP in Anambra State is counseled to borrow a leaf from the other political parties in the state by joining hands with Ndi Anambra to make our beloved state continue to transform for the better. Too much politicking compromises our people’s future. Even though the 2021 gubernatorial vote in Anambra State and the 2023 general election are years away, the Anambra State branch of the PDP has been sponsoring news publications and broadcasts in a section of the Nigerian mass media against the state. It is determined to see if it can gain a foothold in Anambra State, in spite of its abysmal performance in the House of Assembly election last March where, as expected, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) displayed tremendous power. Our state will continue on the trajectory of rapid progress and remain Nigeria’s most competitive state.
God bless Anambra State, the Light of the Nation.
C. Don Adinuba
Commissioner for Information & Public Enlightenment.