Wednesday, 11 January 2017

OBIANO’S MISSION: HOW FAR, SO FAR?


I was contorting my face in a vain effort to tag this article with an apt title. I anchored its analysis on the avowal by Gov. Obiano in 2013 that his mission was to reposition Anambra and make APGA a truly national party. Then, a friend stepped into my house and picked up a leaf of paper on my table. It did not occur to me that I scribbled the mission statement on the paper. He read it and went mute in thoughts. I must admit, my reception to him was at best, cold; and I feared that he had picked an offence. I wanted to explain but his question was faster.
“Obiano’s mission, how far, so far,” he queried.
I sprang up and hugged him tightly so that he was palpably surprised at my belated and aggressive welcome. I knew better; he has given my article a title. In response to his question, I handed him this article. Few minutes later, he announced to me that in a world where vows are worthless; where making a pledge means nothing; where promises are made to be broken, it is nice to see pledges fulfilled to the letters. I nodded in approval. No sooner he left than I titled this article accordingly.
As the November 16, 2013 gubernatorial election in Anambra was gathering momentum, Gov. Obiano, then the APGA guber-candidate for the polls, unveiled a document he called the Four (4) Pillars of Development. Obiano said,
"These four pillars of development constitute the treasure box of Anambra State and the ignition through which we shall light up the enablers like education, health, the environment, youth and sports development, security, housing and urban planning, women and children and social infrastructure, among others."
Guided by the four-pillar economic compass, Gov. Obiano pledged:
a. to create a socially stable business friendly environment that will attract both indigene and foreigners to seek wealth creating opportunities in Anambra;

b. construct the phase 2 of over 1,500 classroom blocks for primary schools including on-going rehabilitation works in schools;
c. to pressurize the federal government to expedite action towards building the second Niger bridge;
d. introducing a capacity building program to re-equip the community vigilante groups in their effort to assist the police in keeping Anambra free of crimes, while he would also sustain equipping security operatives by donating 500 petrol vehicles within the first two months in office;
e. to revise the compensation and welfare packages of civil servants to ensure optimal service delivery, greater productivity and better life for our people.
That was some two years ago; so that when my friend asked me, Obiano’s mission, how far, so far; I knew exactly what he meant. This article was handy in answering him that so far in the development of the State, Obiano has gone so far. We shall now dissect and suture up the pledges, showing excellence, good governance and promises kept; a general repositioning of the State. This approach was suggested by the saying in Igbo land that when you show a toad in the midst of stones to a child, you do it by pointing.
The security situation in Anambra prior to Obiano’s administration reached a crescendo that the past administrators in the State erroneously believed that the problem was associated with the “Home for All” slogan and they opted for the “Light of the Nation.” They argued that “Home for All” meant home for armed robbers, kidnappers, prostitutes and the likes. Change of state slogan did not solve the problem as kidnapping and armed robbery kept thriving with mind boggling impunity in the State. Gov.
Obiano held the bull by the horn. True to his pledge to making Anambra State an investor’s bride, he came against the erstwhile insecurity roosting in the State and enthroned security to an inimitable heights.
On April 28, 2014, he inaugurated “Operation Kpochapu” with 125 patrol vehicles to fight crime. This was later reinforced with state-of-the-art American styled smart patrol cars which were equipped with gadgets to track over-speeding vehicles, alcohol detecting kits and other special kits that would aid crime detection and prevention. He left no stone unturned in detecting and demolishing kidnappers’ dens in the State. The notorious Upper Iweka where all kinds of crimes ranging from pick-pocket to kidnapping were quartered was fundamentally flushed and turned into a romantic and honey-moon worthy park. The once dreaded crime zone has turned a venue of the State’s annual Christmas carols. Expectedly, investors came scampering into the State for investment purposes. It was indeed expected because when a flower blooms, the bees come uninvited, one of my friends would always say. Today, one can only make a long list of investment inflows in the State grossing over $4.2 billion USD.
Pursuant to his pledge on education, he set an objective that the State would be one of the top-3 states with the highest literacy rate in Nigeria. Already, Obiano’s administration is closing all the gaps that once existed in this sector. In recent times, Anambra has consistently come tops in WAEC and NECO exams in the past three years. His administration has renovated 862 units of 10-classroom blocks across the 21 Local Government Areas in the state. In addition, he has disbursed the sum of N733 million to the missions for the renovation of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) mission schools. He courted teachers’ productivity with his heartwarming welfare packages. For instance, in April this year, he sent 23 teachers to Singapore to undergo training in technical and vocational education. He increased teachers’ salary by 15%; and awarded scholarships to over 300 students in various levels of education. His One-Teacher-One-Laptop scheme has attracted other states that come cap in hand begging to be taught how they might borrow a leaf from the State.
The Obiano’s administration has courted the Federal Government for development in Anambra State. He pledged specifically, pressuring government to complete the 2nd Niger Bridge which has suffered disinterestedness overtime. Gov. Obiano’s pressures brought about the visit by the Minister of Power, Works and Transport, Babatunde Raji Fashola who revealed in a statement that he came pursuant to the commitment of the Federal Government and that of President Muhammadu Buhari to complete the bridge. The quintessential Obiano could not but drum it into the ear of the federal emissary about the importance of the second Niger Bridge asking that the project should be completed in good time.
One can only write volumes trying to attend to each and every achievements by the working Willie. The Civil Servants in Anambra State have shed the apprehension of unpaid salaries. The Obiano’s administration pays salaries promptly; even where other states queue up for the federal bailout fund. He interacts with the Civil Servants periodically, paying attention to their pains, and allowing them incentives and motivational packages towards increased productivity in the Civil Service.
Obiano’s giant strides stand astride the transportation sector like the Colossus of Rhodes. The launch of a comprehensive Mass Transit Scheme with 200 brand new taxis and 40 Luxurious Buses remains a locus in quo. He expanded the scope of his milestone achievements in the sector to marine transport with the launch of 15 Speedboats and 7 Water Ambulances to mitigate the suffering of the riverine communities.
Roads and infrastructural monuments springing up from the nooks and crannies of the State are self-speaking. Obiano’s administration has completed, constructed, and commissioned several roads in the State. He equally has asphalted over 100 roads and flagged off 30 new roads to link up strategic locations, opening access to the agricultural, industrial and commercial areas of the State. The Awka skyline is shinning, 'bling bling', all to the glory of God, courtesy of the three gigantic flyovers with the Anambra trademark protrusions.
This Obiano’s administration that dishes out dividends of democracy to Ndi Anambra did not emerge from the blues. Gov. Willie M. Obiano rode onto power on the platform provided by All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA). Against the sectional standing of the political party, Obiano pledged to give the party a national outlook. Unlike his fellow governors and highly respected party members that defect from one party to another at every impulse of the moment, Obiano stood with APGA. He weathered storms with her especially in Abia. This dedication to the party has prompted candidates beyond the ethnic Igbo clime to run political offices under the APGA platform. He engendered peace in the party. In doing this, the peace-loving Gov. Willie Obiano could stop at nothing in cementing party schism weakening the foundation of the party; and today, APGA remains a strong and more united party.
This article by every inch is just a tip of the iceberg of the giant strides of Obiano’s administration. Be that as it may, it is certain that my friend was right when he said about Obiano’s achievement that: in a world where vows are worthless; where making a pledge means nothing; where promises are made to be broken, it is nice to see pledges fulfilled to the letters.



Ozeh, Cornelius Chiedozie

 Awka, Anambra State

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