The Sun News

Willie Obiano: The making of a one term governor

In this episode, I will discuss the factors that will determine if Chief Willie Obiano will remain governor after November 18 or end his run as a one term governor. I smell an odour of failure if in truth our journey to greatness stopped under his watch. Then the people deserve better alternative?

Prior to 2014, Anambra state was in ascendance and living up to the dream of the founding fathers. What the state achieved as the Center of Excellence in education, primary health care , roads , security and social re-awakening became a source of inspiration not just to Anambrarians but to the Igbo who looked up to the state for leadership. Visitors praise the state for its excellent network of roads and the people’s industry. This was a period of resurgence and another ‘Good Morning’ for Anambrarians knowing we have had our fair share of uninspiring leaders and mercantile Godfathers that held the state prostrate.

I had my infatuation of what milestones the state would achieve by the next decade if we remain steady and focused. I loved it when the State got praises and was in the news for good reasons.  But, Anambra, can hardly be described as politically harmonious. Political disputes can reach the tipping edge while elections can get to a feverish pitch and yet we never tip the cliff.

The November 18 election, has its own bickering too, part of which is who made Obiano governor in 2014 and why? Was it Chief Victor Umeh or Mr. Peter Obi or was Governor Obiano self-made?

For some unknown reasons, Mr. Obi whom I thought all this while foisted Obiano on Anambra has not been vehement in claiming credit for the feat.  In dismissing Obi’s influence on his emergence, Obiano whom I accept has some ego, characteristically, described Obi as ‘one of those detailed to ran errands during the campaign’.  Owing to this serious revelation I now free Obi from whatever liability, , huge arrays of failures, dysfunction, discontent, disillusion, decline and high incidents of mismanagement that may have characterized Obiano’s stewardship.

However, eager to satisfy myself that Obiano understands what it takes to be more than a one term governor , I took the challenge of visiting my community on a mission to identify his contributions in these key areas: roads, primary health care , education , agriculture and security as it applied to my community. My findings were eye opening hence I will encourage every single voter to also make similar appraisals in their individual communities before casting that important vote on November 18. You do not need to take my words for it, do your individual findings and be the judge yourself; “What has Obiano done for your community in 4 years?’

The name of my community is Enugwu Agidi, Njikoka LGA and I will wish to put on record Obiano’s achievement in my town. Under Obiano, my community  benefited an ongoing block of building styled ‘Skill Acquisition Centre’, valued at N20m. The project is courtesy of the ‘chose your project initiative’ of Willie Obiano.

The next achievement is that my community is in darkness for over 3 years due to the callous   evacuation of 50% of the electricity meant for Awka and environs to Aguleri by Obiano. As a result living in Awka and environ is equivalent to living in hell.

Another credit to Obiano was the dubious issuance of Certificate of Recognition to ‘Igwe of Enugwu Agidi’ without recourse to the town and regards to Anambra State Chieftaincy law. The power vested on the governor to issue Certificate of Recognition to an Igwe is not arbitrarily power. It’s a power that should be exercised based on laid down rules as contained in the Anambra chieftaincy edit among which is that the community by themselves will select or elect one of their own as king and present same to the governor for recognition. How  Governor Obiano came about unilaterally choosing an Igwe for my community without any recourse to the people, our custom , our established process as contained in the EBU Constitution and the Anambra chieftaincy law beats all imagination. Thanks to Obiano, my peaceful community is now in crisis.

Also to Obiano’s credit was his inaction on the N1bn Enugwu Agidi International Market project, which is a community initiative. All that we asked from the Governor was to commission the market and designate a particular line of trade to operate from the market, but Willie will not lift a finger because that investment was not done by some Chinese whom he prefers  to sign all manners of MOU that is neither here nor there.

Enough of Obiano’s achievement in Enugwu Agidi, here are what he has not done in education , security , health and roads.

On roads: Before Obiano, we had three tarred roads running through Enugwu Agidi. We also had two bridges constructed by the Peter Obi’s administration. Obiano’s contributions so far on roads and bridges in Enugwu Agidi is zero.

On Education: As a community we built and donated two secondary schools to the government of Anambra State who are collecting school fees, levies  and taxes from the school. Today the two schools are both desolate and eyesore. Things are so bad that my community is currently raising money to build toilets for teachers and students as well as classroom desks; we are the one paying some retired teachers to volunteer their time to teach mathematics, English and sciences in the schools because the school has no specialized teachers. The school bus, generator and computers provided by the Obi’s administration are all grounded or has disappeared. The school is overtaken by weeds and elephant grasses. Most of the buildings including the principal office has no roof anymore. The current government has not contributed ordinary chalk to the schools in 4 years. Where is government and continuity?

On health: Obiano’s contribution to our primary health centre is an abysmal zero. The community is the one paying salaries of workers beginning  from the security guards to the nurses. We have not seen a single doctor since Obi left office. Again, where is government?

Finally on security which the governor often signposts as a major achievement. I dare say that the security in my town is due to the will and personal effort of the community.  Under Governor Peter Obi , communities in Anambra including mine were encouraged to form a 20 member strong local vigilantes group. The state then paid monthly stipend of 10k each to 10 members of the vigilante group while the community paid the rest 10 persons. In the last three years, Enugwu Agidi Vigilant Group has not received any stipend from Anambra state government. It’s unfortunate that he carried on as if there will be no second term or another chance to face the electorates to explain his stewardship. We can stop the ongoing nonsense and reverse our misfortune by using our voting power wisely. This is our chance to put our people’s interest over politics. Let me also warn that even if he escapes the judgment of men come November 18 , he will never escape the judgment of God.


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June 2018
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