TODAY, Mr. Peter Obi of Anambra State would have spent the first one year in his second term in office. And to properly assess the progress of his administration or lack of it, we will occasionally revert to his first four years in office, since development is a veritable continuum; where an aspect complements the whole.
It is believed, and rightly so, that public office holders, especially politicians in this clime should be discouraged from seeking re-election because of the danger it poses to good governance.
The less they are indulged with such chances, however, their performance in the first four years the better for society, since corruption and venality thrive most therein.
Cases abound where public office holders deliberately brought failure to bear on governance by embarking on white elephant projects in their first term in office in order to use their completion as baits to garner votes in their re-election bids. While others fail completely after an impressive first term.
It is not quite common coming across those who served out both tenures with considerable acquittal. Most times second tenure suffers severe neglect because politicians use it to feather their nests and those of their cronies.
From the arid North to the Southern wetlands, the story is not very different. Self- serving politicians took over political power with dissimulated altruism, preaching accountability and stealing the State blind.
The hallowed process of governance no longer commands the awe with which it was regarded. The presence of political profiteers unleashed into the system through many years of military autocracy has since stymied the process. With unrestrained greed they snaffle at the common wealth impetuously as they pander to the needs of their friends not as lucky.
In fact, there is scant regard now for the judgment of history. Nobody cares a hoot how the system is run or what future to be bequeathed to generations yet unborn. The interest is just to slake their greed at public expense, have unrestrained carousal, and enjoy themselves to an early end.
However, all hope is not lost. There seems some flicker of light at the end of the tunnel. Roger Cardinal Etchegary, apparently pondering over a similar situation once posited with optimism that “earth has no sorrows heaven cannot heal”.
There are those who have shown that the whole idea of governance is not entirely lost on them. They may be in short supply no doubt, but they are there; men who have shown by their words and deeds that regeneration is underway.
Among them is Governor Obi of Anambra State. Here is a governor who strives to leave his state better than he met it. Some have called him lucky, while others have continued to study him like a curio.
Whatever the case, he has dared to be different. His pattern of development which has ensured simultaneity in multi-sectoral reforms has not lost its momentum within the last one year. The pace of work in the State has neither decelerated to a halt as a result of post-election distractions, nor has the bug of pillaging state treasury bitten him.
If anything, Obi’s work rate since return has maintained the same tempo, confounding so many who had envisaged some form of break. Accordingly, this has ensured that most of the projects embarked upon by his administration are being completed in earnest while work commences on new ones.
To underscore the fact of this matter, there is this popular joke in the State which captures the disappointment of many. It tells of how some people had expected some form of refreshment in this tenure since it is believed that the Governor’s plane which has been on a long flight has reached cruising altitude.
This opinion is shared by those who believe that he has achieved in his first four years what other governors fail to do in eight years. Even those who disagree with this, still consent that he has done well for the State.
While the cynics among them who still inveigh against his efforts, are freely indulged since society is inviolably homogeneous.
Obi’s efforts since return to office last March has seen to the completion of many projects, including the 165-metre Odor Bridge, linking Awgbu and Amaokpala both in Orumba. This was one of the projects President Goodluck Jonathan could not commission during his visit to the State last year October because of time.
Others include the second phase of the State secretariat, the radiography and laboratory complexes of the Amaku Teaching Hospital, classroom blocks in most primary schools, etc.
He has ensured that work is continuing on most of the roads projects undertaken by the administration like the Nimo- Abacha Road, the Umueze-Anam-Nmiata Road, Works bypass Awka, Old Onitsha- Awka Road,Umunya- Umudioka-Afor-Igwe- Ogidi,University Road at Uli road, among others, bringing to about 520kilometres when completed the number of road done by the administration.
Mr. EJIKE ANYADUBA, a public affairs analyst, writes from Lagos.