The event of Sunday February 26, 2017 has altered the political firmament in Anambra North Senatorial zone. Feathers were ruffled but the outcome of the event will continue to resonate and form a topic for discourse as we approach the election month.
Anambra North People’s Assembly (ANPA), an apex socio cultural group for the people of Anambra North Senatorial district, just last week announced its unalloyed unflinching support to Gov Willie Obiano, endorsing him for a 2nd term in office and adopting him as the sole candidate from the zone.
The question that begs for answer from the perspective of a layman reads, ‘Is Obiano deserving of such support?’ And what a better way to answer that critical question other than to take an unbiased look at the changes which have taken place in Anambra State since March 17, 2014 when he assumed leadership.
Adopting the motion moved by Chief Michael Areh from Onitsha to endorse Obiano as their sole candidate and seconded by Hon Pharm Obinna Emenaka from Anambra West, ANPA declared that, ‘Since the Anambra North geopolitical zone has done well through the serving governor Chief Dr Willie Obiano. In order for a viable negotiations to take place between the zone and other zones. It will be beneficial that the zone adopts and supports one candidate in the person of Chief Willie Obiano.’
But before a peek into the intimidating achievements of His Excellency, it is pertinent we focus a little bit on the credibility of the endorsement and its significance. Anambra North Senatorial Zone which is made up 7 Local Government Areas with about 49 towns realized that ‘Anambra North should retain power for another four years so as to complete the maximum eight years in office which would see the circle of equity be completed as other senatorial zones have enjoyed lengthier periods in the past. Thus, it was a general conviction of the people that Anambra North has to win the coming 2017 gubernatorial elections.’
Thus, ANPA led by Chief Emmanuel Achike from Ogbaru set up an ad-hoc committee with former Minister of Health, Dr Tim Menakaya as Chairman to aggregate rational views from viable sons and daughters of the zone who are capable of running for governor and who deserves the support of the people. The idea of multiple candidates from the senatorial district was frowned at by the majority who believed that such situation would cause dissipation of energy and resources within the zone, thus making the chances of Anambra North retaining power slimmer.
Then exhaustive consultations followed with visitation to all major stakeholders before the very significant endorsement done in the presence of who is who from the zone, local government representatives, both state and federal houses members, captains of industries and other opinion moulders.
But why the choice of Obiano? The election drum has started beating louder and louder. Some surprising names but not so surprising, from the Zone have shown interest as far as Anambra Government House is concerned.
The intimidating achievements of His Excellency, Chief willie obiano in less than three years across the 3 senatorial zones is enough to earn him a second term. Obiano has through his people oriented policies and programs raised the tempo of both human and infrastructural development of the state amidst the economic downturn being witnessed in the country.
Here is a governor that foresaw the impending storm and made adequate preparation for the rainy day and while most states are grappling with the harsh reality, Governor Obiano is busy building bridges, putting up landmark infrastructure and increasing workers salaries.
With a well defined vision, Obiano asserted that his mission was to make Anambra State a socially stable, business-friendly environment that would attract both indigenes and foreigners to seek wealth-creating opportunities. And today, in less than three years he has achieved more in that regard.
If Anambra North People’s Assembly (ANPA) could realize this and throw in their support, I wonder why the likes of Oseloka Obaze, Tony Nwoye, Chike Obidigbo and other contenders, all from the same zone, wont tow the same line.
Gov Willie Obiano has demonstrated a strong ambition for greatness. He has shown that given time and resources, he can turn Anambra State into Nigeria’s new postcard for excellence! The records are there for all to see.
Here is a governor who has rid the state of crime and to harness the opportunity this has created, he established the Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA). The Agency with the mandate to attract investments and fast-track the process of investing in Anambra State. To date, ANSIPPA has attracted investments valued at way above $4billion to Anambra State, which cut across Agriculture, Trade & Commerce, Manufacturing, Hospitality, Housing, Electricity Generation, Waste Management, Health and Oil and Gas sectors.
Here is a governor who has created at the last count over 52,500 and 200,000 direct and indirect jobs respectively in the aforementioned areas. Training youths in diverse skills and crafts, with great plans for the unemployed in Anambra State.
Here is a governor who turned the landscape of Awka Territory, giving it the alluring beauty it deserves with the construction of 3 modern fly-overs and lighting up the streets.
With all these indices and pointers, the likes of Oseloka Obaze, Tony Nwoye, Chike Obidigbo and other wannabes from that senatorial district are joining the fray at the wrong time. You don’t change a working leadership. You can’t change a winning team. Obiano is setting a standard they should all emulate. The people of Anambra North have decided and I think no individual should be bigger than the community or society he/she represents.
If truly the interest of the zone is what comes first, then these contestants from the zone should do what is honourable and support Governor Obiano as he continue his good work in Anambra State.
I am Emmanuel Anigbogu writing from Ekwulobia in Aguata local government area.