BY VINCENT UJUMADU, Awka
GOVERNOR Willie Obiano, who is 100 days in office today, is giving Anambra people a ray of hope that his administration would take the state to the next level. Within the period, the governor took decisions that have gone a long way to bring sanity in the state.
Barely one week after assuming office, Obiano literally relocated to the commercial city of Onitsha and began a battle against hoodlums who had over the years injected fears in inhabitants and visitors passing through the city. His first action was to set up a special task force comprising the police, the army and the navy to handle the issue of ensuring security in the state.
The task force immediately swung into action such that few days after the take off of the special task force, the hoodlums in Onitsha fled and relocated to neighbouring towns of Obosi, Nkpor, Oba, while others fled to Asaba in Delta State.
The governor’s next action was to confront kidnappers and the first place of call was his home town, Aguleri where three buildings built by suspected kidnappers were demolished. More building demolitions were to take place at Azia in Ihiala local government area, Ogidi in Idemili North local government area and Ojoto in Idemili South Local Government Area. Also within the period, no fewer than 50 suspected criminals have been paraded by the Special Anti Robbery Squad, SARS, Awkuzu in Oyi local government area.
To sustain the security of lives and property in Onitsha, the state government, in partnership with Safety Institute and Integrated Security Services, a private security outfit, began a programme in which close circuit televisions would be mounted in various parts of the city to track suspected criminals in their hideouts. The programme is expected to be extended to the other major cities of Awka and Nnewi.
To gain the confidence of the people, Obiano in his first days assembled prominent leaders of the state to a parley at the Governor’s Lodge during which they pledged their support for him, despite the fact that most of them belonged to other political parties. The assurance from them was indeed a morale booster for the governor and he has promised to tap their knowledge whenever necessary.
One other area the state governor has placed much emphasis is in infrastructural development. Early this month, the governor awarded contracts worth about N2 billion on roads in Ogbunike community in Oyi local government area that hosts the famous Ogbunike Cave, one of the biggest tourist centres in the country. The governor said there were also plans to transform the cave into a world class tourist attraction. Already, feasibility study for the proposed project is underway.
To show the determination of government to realize the project, Obiano said the state government has already advertised for competent professionals to handle the feasibility study, explaining that the tourist centre would have all the necessary facilities that would promote the cave and its environs as a tourist centre. Facilities to be sited at the center include a standard hotel and recreation facilities.
Only on Monday, Governor Obiano flagged off the construction of three flyovers aimed at easing traffic in the state capital. The flyovers, which are to be constructed at Aroma, Kwata and Amawbia junctions in the city would ensure free flow of traffic.
The overhead bridges, he said, are part of efforts to transform Awka as a modern city., In addition to the overhead bridges, Obiano’s government has started the construction of the three arms zone, a five –star hotel, a 5000 sitting capacity conference center and a shopping mall in the capital city. The governor said all the roads to be constructed by his administration would be complemented with street light to improve the skyline of the state capital.
At the last count, no fewer than 10 new road projects have been awarded across the three senatorial zones of the state.
Obiano has in his first 100 days also made his mark on the state’s work force.
During his address to the workers at the state secretariat, the governor promised to provide them with buses that would be taking them to and from work. Four days after he made the promise, the air conditioned buses began the shuttle that has resulted in workers being in the office as early as 7.30 a.m. everyday.
As part of activities to mark the 100 days in office, the multiple prize winning novelist, Ms Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who is from the state, has been chosen to deliver the keynote address at the special lecture for the day.
The event, which will take place at the Women Development Centre, Awka, will also feature a formal unveiling of the corporate symbols of the new brand Anambra which has been in the works for some time now. The governor is also expected to flag off some of his legacy projects in the state during the occasion.
Some prominent people in the state who commented on the governor’s 100 days in office believe that if he sustains the tempo, Anambra State would become one of the fastest growing economies in the country in the next four years. National chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Chief Victor Umeh expressed happiness that the party was part of the vision that would transform the state.
Umeh observed that the governor has started well with emphasis on security, sanitation and infrastructural development and urged the people of the state to give him maximum support. According to Umeh, the governor’s performance is already attracting the attention of well meaning Anambrarians both at home and broad, adding that if he continues the way he is going, notable sons and daughters from the state in other political parties would switch to APGA.
He said that some of those who have been to the state in recent time have been calling to commend the governor and promised that with the renewed unity in the party, there would be no more distractions for the governor.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Nnamdi Meko commended the administration on its ability to sustain the developmental strides on ground on assumption of office and initiating new ones .He observed that the governor has fitted properly into former Governor Peter Obi’s big shoe and proved his capability of a good administrator. Also speaking, Mr Godwin Ezeemo who was the PPA governorship candidate in November 16 2013 election said that the governor had achieved a remarkable height in his 100 days, especially in area of security, noting that the drastic reduction in crime in the state had added to the influx of genuine business men, thereby yielding the much –needed revenue for the state.
Chief Chris Eluemunoh, who is the Anambra State chairman of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo said that Obiano had done expectedly well in his 100 days in office by touching every sector with special regard to security. He said that the governor’s security summit was a giant step which the country had emulated, adding that it was a sign that a seasoned technocrat is in charge. Mr Noberth Obi, the Commissioner for Special Duties said that the dividend recorded in 100 days by the governor was a tip of the ice berg on what he has in stock for the state.
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, however, preferred to be quiet on Obiano’s performance for now. The chairman of the PDP in the state, Prince Ken Emekayi told Vanguard that the “PDP cannot comment now as it is too early. The party is watching the governor to know the direction of his administration. For now, we hae no comment.”