I READ with disappointment the position of my brother, Hon. Chudi Offodile over the situation of things in Awka vis-à-vis the Government of Mr. Peter Obi. It is in bad taste when some of our people deliberately chose to distort information. Is it a case of short sightedness or plain mischief?
Anambra State was created in 1991. I can state categorically, and without fear of contradiction that Awka as a town and the entire State Capital Territory have fared best under the Peter Obi Government. I challenge anybody who holds contrary view to come forward with fact and figures of things on ground.
No Government has given Awka due attention as the governor has done presently.
On assumption of office, Anambra State Government had no functional Government House, Government Lodge and the House of Assembly Complex. They, including Anambra Broadcasting Services, were all burnt down in 2004. The Women Development Centre and Ikenga Hotel were also not spared. Governor Obi has re-built all of these, except the Ikenga Hotel where he intends to site a new shopping mall.
Since Anambra was created in 2004, no past government including those Hon. Chudi Offodile served under paid compensation for Awka Land acquired for capital projects. Today, Governor Obi has paid us in excess of 500m Naira.
From what my brother said about development in Anambra and in Awka particularly, it is clear he is one of those who does not understand what development really is. Development is not about building skyscrapers, Airports and nuclear power as Hon. Chudi insinuated, but first about developing the people through right values and orientations.
You will agree with me that Obi, while not neglecting Offodile’s skyscrapers, has embarked on the institutionalisation of right values which drive and sustain development. It is on record that the last library in Anambra State was built in 1966, but today, Obi has given Awka an ultra-modern Prof. Kenneth Dike Central Library. It is significant that the Governor chose to name it after our own son, which may certainly mean nothing to Chudi.
St Theresa of the child Jesus said that virtues consist in doing little things very well. It is fundamentally faulty to equate development to grandiose buildings, which, in any case Obi has equally built in Awka.
Chudi says Obi has done nothing in Awka, whilst the Teaching Hospital is clearly a few metres to his Hotel. Under previous Governments, Awka was not even considered fit to host such project, but not with Obi.
There is no law that says Obi could not take it to Agulu, which is even within the State Capital territory; but always guided by equity and justice, he sited it at Awka. He has, within a few years, turned the place into one of the best teaching hospitals in Nigeria, structure-wise.
He has not done anything in Awka, yet the Teaching Hospital has almost 20 new giant buildings such as: a new Theatre, Two Pharmaceutical stores, Special Ward, Children’s Ward, Male Ward, Female Ward, Laundry Building, Catering Building, Mortuary/Pathology building, General Outpatient Department, Community Medicine/Consultants’ Clinic, Administrative/Accident and Emergency building, College of Medicine building, House Officers’ Quarters among others.
The Governor conceived and built all these from the scratch, yet Offodile says he has no power of conception. Why are some people wicked and ready to run others down for no reason? It was an Anambra man who said the impressive edifice was not fit to host prisoners.
In terms of road network, let me take this opportunity to condemn as wickedness, people seeking or creating faults in others. Since 1991, no past Government constructed any road in Awka.
The major road, Zik’s Avenue, was not only constructed, but was dualised by Governor Obi. Other roads in Awka, namely: Arthur Eze Avenue, Awka- Nibo- Nise- Enugwu-Ukwu, Awka NTA- Enugwu-Agidi Road, Works road, Awka Inner Ring Road, Ifite-Awka-Ebenebe-Holy Family Road, Extension Roads within GRA, Umuokpu by-pass, Court road, Majua Road, among others were done by this administration. Most of these roads were constructed by RCC, CCC, Niger Cat and Master Holdings. So, how can Offodile talk about incompetent contactors?
Mr. MOLOKWU CHINEDU, a social commentator, wrote from Umudioka village, Awka, Anambra State.