Wednesday, 13 July 2016

With Obiano, Anambra has great future — Emecheta

By Vincent Ujumadu

Chief Jude Emecheta is the national chairman of Governor Willie Obiano Support Group, an organization that promotes the ideals of the Anambra State governor, Chief Willie Obiano. In this interview, Emecheta speaks on why Obiano deserves to be re-elected. The Obiano Support Group you formed two years ago appears to be in limbo. What is happening, especially with the 2017 governorship election drawing near?

We are working. We are building capacity at the ward and local government levels. The latest place we carried out our activity was in Orumba South where we had in attendance the former deputy government of the state, Chief Emeka Sibendu. We formed the Support Group because we saw the vision of Governor Obiano and we believe that he needs support to be able to execute his programmes and take Anambra State to the next level. What will you tell people about Obiano’s performance in his first tenure to deserve second term? When he came on board, he told the people that one of the ways he would revolutionize Anambra State is through agriculture. Is he doing it? Everybody knows that he is doing it and he is therefore keeping his vision. He is putting in place structures that help to attract investors in agriculture. He is creating the enabling environment and training our youths to develop interest in agriculture. To date, over 200 youths have been trained. In the main agricultural belt of Anambra North, the governor is providing social activities to enable the trained youths stay with the farmers. Besides, those investing in large scale agriculture in the Northern part of the state are people from the Southern part, which means that employment being generated is not limited to the North. Two examples are Cosmas Maduka from Nnewi and Emeka Okwuosa from Oraifite. To date, the governor has attracted more than $1 billion investment in agriculture. Some of the investors have big plans for the area which include establishment of shopping malls, food processing factories and others. Agriculture is already booming and Anambra Rice will soon be exported. A company in Amichi won the prize as the best rice miller in Africa. What is the governor doing in the other two zones? The governor is planning to execute multi million naira projects in all the 21 local government areas from December this year. This is aside the N20 million projects he is executing in all the 177 communities in the state. The system is that each local government will decide the kind of project it wants and where it wants it. With the election drawing near, what kind of opposition are you expecting? We expect stiff opposition but the governor’s performance will be his selling point. He is very popular with the grassroots. In the election, the issues will be what has the governor done and what will he do further? Anambra people are not blind. The people are happy that the governor is working and so, we are waiting for the opposition. Are you mindful of the likely impact of the immediate past governor of the state, Mr. Peter Obi in the forth -coming election? Yes, we can’t take it away from him. Obi is popular in this state. He governed this state for eight years and empowered some people and made friends. But one should not forget that his influence in the polities of Anambra State is now limited. It is no longer what it was when he was the governor. He also has some enemies in PDP, some of them are not happy that he is overshadowing them. Many people are still aggrieved that he left APGA. Are you aware that many APGA members are not happy with the Obiano administration? I know that some may not be happy. There are people who feel they should be commissioners or advisers but they are not. We can only have few commissioners. We know that there are some people who feel they contributed so much during the election and are not recognized now, but there is no way he can satisfy all of them. However, he has been going round all the local governments to thank them for their support and he is using the projects he is executing in all parts of the state to appreciate their support. What is your advice to Anambra people? I want to tell our people that Obiano has a great vision for this state. He is creating conducive environment for investors. By the time the investments he is making mature, this state will be very buoyant. The state is already exporting vegetables and more products will follow. Opposition people will come up with stories, but I want our people to know that Obiano means well for them. He has already provided security thus making Anambra the safest state in Nigeria. Investors are coming and industries are springing up. Those doing small business are enjoying as the governor has been helping them nurture their businesses.

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