THE dust has settled and every man, woman and child in Anambra State has acknowledged that their governor, Peter Obi, is indeed the best thing that has happened to the state in since this democratic dispensation.
Any lingering doubts about this were finally put to rest when the information and national orientation minister Labaran Maku – a non-Igbo from the northern part of Nigeria and a non-APGA member – shot Obi to high heavens with praises after his Good Governance Team rounded off their tour of state and federal government projects in the state.
An overawed Maku described as amazing, the number and quality of projects that the government of Anambra State, under Gov. Obi had executed and still executing in the state. The climax came on the elegant 165-metre Odor Bridge, a link for Awgbu and Amaokpala communities in Anambra State.
Hear the minister, ‘this is the most amazing project I have seen constructed by any state government since this tour started. The only road project near to this in all ramifications is the one at Mancho, Vom (Plateau State).’
These were neither the words of a paid agent nor the praise of a biased kinsman. They were genuine words of an excited servant of Nigeria, happy that at last there exists a fellow public servant who wish is the satisfaction of the greater needs of society.
The minister speaking at the town hall meeting that followed at the Women’s Development Centre, Awka said the government of Obi had distinguished itself not just in the magnitude of projects he had executed, but more significantly in the even distribution of the projects down to the remotest part of the state.
‘The governor has moved away from the common practice of concentrating projects in the towns and has reached areas of the state that were neglected by past governments and has opened up the entire state with impressive network of roads and projects cutting across all sectors,’ Maku said.
Indeed Obi’s commitment towards opening up all parts of the state had before now led elicited criticisms. with his critics wondering why he did not concentrate development in the capital city like all the others. Obi has elected to be different. Driven by unparalleled vision and passion for the state, he saw the compelling need to give a facelift to every part of the state. The result is the massive road network that has developed all parts of the state, making Anambra the only state in Nigeria with urban villages. Consequently, many people now operate from their villages. Anyway, let’s return to Maku and his visiting team.
Speaking further, he commended Ob’s education programmes particularly the partnership with the Church and other voluntary organisations describing it as a model worthy of emulation.
The minister also took time off to visit the Innoson Motor Manufacturing Plant in Nnewi which now thrives due to the conducive economic climate provided by the Obi administration. Here, Maku was thrilled by what he saw and which prompted him to announce the federal government’s initiative to encourage the company by patronising it as well as assuring that work would fast track at Zik’s mausoleum.
The minister who also toured various federal government projects in the state, said the development in Anambra State was essentially due to the r Obi’s wisdom in working harmoniously with the presidency, a far cry from what used to be when other governors were here.
Describing Obi’s tenure as Anambra’s glorious moment, he said he had restored civility, stability and honour to Anambra State due to his vision. Maku wasn’t the only one effusive with praises.
The president of the National Union of Journalists, Mallam Ahmed Garuba, represented by the president south-east, Chris Isiguzor; RATTAWU president, Yemi Bamgbose; the president of National Council of Women’s Societies, Nkechi Mbah; Alistair Soyombi of Ben TV, Uk as well as others on the tour agreed that Anambra was one state where democracy is thriving. They said they were overwhelmed by the projects executed by the governor across all sectors, particularly roads, health, education and attraction of investors.
In Bamgbose’s words: ‘Some states we visited were even afraid to show us projects, but in Anambra they have so many that they asked that we stayed longer so that we can see at least 50 percent of the projects.’ One imagines what their impression would have been if they had seen all the 86 projects lined up for the tour.
Responding to the praises and adulations heaped on him, the ever humble Governor Obi regretted the inability of the touring party to visit all his projects. He was full of gratitude to the federal government for the initiative, which he noted would offer the people of the country the opportunity to see what those they elected to lead them were doing for them.
Obi astounded those present by revealing that the state had not borrowed from any financial institution or raised any bond during his tenure. He said all the on-going projects would be completed while new ones, with funds already set aside for that purpose would commence execution.
Concluding, he assured that all secondary schools in the state would get a bus each before the end of the year as well as computers for all the primary schools.
As the Good Governance Committee continues with their tour of states, it is evident that their experience in Anambra is one they would not forget in a hurry.
Mr. JUDE OTUONU, wrote from Nimo, Anambra State.