BUT for Governor Obi, flood would have washed the entire Awka away. It was a former Governor that blocked the Iyiagu flood channel and sold all the land there, and people had started building skyscrapers there before Governor Obi’s intervention.
Today, Awka people are very grateful to Governor Obi for opening the channels. He has also done other erosion works in Awka such as storm water management and flood/erosion control at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church gully site, Awka; storm water management at the flood/gully site around Silgery Hospital, Awka; storm water management at the flood/gully site at Umuokpu, Awka; storm water management at the flood/gully site at St. John of God Secondary School, Awka; control of erosion at the new Judiciary Complex, Awka. Even our motor park at Eke Awka, for the first time, received attention. It is asphalted now and therefore rendered usable.
Today Obi has completed the best estate, Ngozika Phase I and started Phase II. It is the height of ingratitude for an Awka man to only seek ways to belittle a noble venture. Gratitude, the wise one said, is the first step to repay a debt.
Talking about development in the State, recently, the government of Peter Obi distributed hundreds of transformers to communities, out of which Awka got some. Benefiting communities include Ifite road, Awka; Agu-Awka (behind Tourist Garden); Agu-Awka (near Commissioners Quarters); Amaku Hospital, Awka; Mopol Base, Awka; Udoka Housing Estate, Phase I; Udoka Housing Estate, Phase II; State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), among others. It will serve Offodile well if he should tell us other past Governors who did such to Awka. Perhaps it also falls within the category of his little things. Haba!
Strange enough, Offodile talked about airport and stadium for Awka. I am aware the people of Awka discussed the issue of stadium with Gov. Obi during the last ‘Imo Awka’ feast and his position was for us to free the stadium land from all encumbrances, for work to start.
As to the issue of airport, Governor Obi has made it clear that with Enugu and Asaba airports, which are about 40 minutes to Awka, Airport is not our priority. Once the roads are fixed, my people would travel to Lagos by road. Airport and capital projects are projects that require deep, feasibility studies and not built out of sentiments.
We are gradually coming to a state where people will request Obi to build seaport in Awka as we have in Lagos, not because Awka which does not have any sea needs it, but to spite Obi.
Chudi Offodile argued that Obi completed projects others started. As far as I am concerned, I do not know how to reply to this. If others completed them, would he have any need of completing them? He may not finish all the projects he started, should others not complete them? From his thesis, uncompleted projects should be abandoned forever. He may have completed the giant State Emergency Management Agency’s building, the building in Women Development Centre, the ASUBEB building, among others, but he also started and completed the roads, the two giant blocks in the State Secretariat, the Customary Court of Appeal building, the Judges Quarters and many more projects.
Development is not about physical structures alone, it is about taking care of the people, not in the sense of sharing the State resources as some want, but using the resources to do the right things. Since Obi became Governor, I have been receiving letters from my people to thank him for paying them arrears of pension owed them since 1991. I have also received letters from civil servants requesting me to thank the Governor for increasing their salaries five times since 2006 and for paying regularly.
Obi has not build schools. Why should a man concentrate in building schools, when those on ground are dilapidated and without basic infrastructure? Today, Girls Secondary School, Awka; St. John Secondary School, Awka; Kenneth Dike Memorial Secondary School, Awka; Capital City Secondary School, Awka; Bishop Crowther Secondary School have benefited from all or one of the following: Computers, generators, buses, borehole, Internet facility, laboratory equipment, among others. Such things may make little sense to Offodile, but they are basic things that when got right will form the basis upon which others will stand.
Since Anambra was created, the State had no base map and none of her cities had structure plan until under Governor Obi. The only thanks Obi is getting for this from Offodile is his diatribe. This is unfortunate.
Beyond Awka, which is my town, I can attest to Obi’s good work in my constituency of Awka South and North. Awka South has one of the best network of roads today with Nibo-Umuawulu road, Agu-Awka- Nibo- Nise ring road, road to Ishiagu, among others. Towns in this local government have all benefitted from one form of project or the other.
In Awka North, Obi has constructed three bridges: Ogbonabo Bridge, connecting Okpuno and Isuaniocha; Ebenebe Bridge, leading to Oba-Ofemili; Umuodu Bridge, Okpuno. These are the first bridges being constructed in those areas, which used to have colonial wooden bridges. Towns like Amanuke benefitted from rural electrification. The School of Agriculture at Mgbakwu can now compete with the best of its kind in Nigeria.
Mr. MOLOKWU CHINEDU, a social commentator, wrote from Umudioka village, Awka, Anambra State.