By Abimbola Teniola
IT is yet another election period and as usual, Anambra State has found itself in the frenzy of the democratic process, which requires elective office seekers to woo the people they wish to lead to vote them into power. Usually, in the bid to actualise this, the incumbent is naturally the number one victim of vociferous media attacks and castigations that could potentially reduce their achievements and Governor Willie Obiano has not been spared either.
As the election date draws near, the governor has had to face various orchestrated attacks with opposition political parties in the South-east state dangling carrots to the people as their candidates are already researching into how to outdo one and other. They are also taking their time to display their unique selling points that could set them apart from others in the race. But in all of these, some close observers have actually identified some of the reasons why Governor Obiano should not be dismissed, not only by his opponents but even the electorate.
For instance, early this month, an international media website known for advising on issues concerning politics and good governance, health issues and also reporting news worldwide, Viewers Corner News team visited Anambra State on a working tour and their conclusion was that governor Willie Obiano has done so much for the state, which puts him ahead of other governors in the entire South eastern states.
Posted on their website after the visit was this message: “Viewers Corner News team appreciates Governor Willie Obiano’s efforts, especially in making sure that pensioners and workers in the state are paid correctly and promptly, which we value so much. No matter how little a person’s income or allowance is as long as the money is paid as at when due, the person or persons would be able to plan ahead and at that point hunger and other pressing needs, which the money can solve, would be taken care of. But if salaries and allowances of pensioners are not paid as at when due, stress related problems might set in, which is likely to take the individual’s life.
“Viewers Corner News team also gathered that security in Anambra State is great. The crime rate within the state has drastically reduced compared to how it was before Governor Obiano came to power. Now, all these put together are great achievements for Anambra State. Therefore, in our opinion, if Obiano can perform so well in his first tenure, it is only reasonable for the people of Anambra State to vote for him again to continue his second and final tenure, because we believe that he has been tested and can deliver as always.
“Again, Viewers Corner News team, appeal to the people of Anambra State not to be carried away by promises being made by other governorship aspirants in the state. Sincerely, Obiano has done remarkably well for the people of Anambra State but then, the decision on who to cast your votes for is solely yours, please do the right thing, because whoever you vote for to lead the state or represent you and your various communities would determine to a huge extent how successful things would be.
One important thing Obiano has going for him in the face of intensified political attacks is he has maintained his impeccable pedigree, giving a leadership that has shown adequate experience in repositioning his state through economic programmes and policies aimed at galvanising the potential of the state for rapid development.
Another thing he has going for him as a performing governor – as in football where a winning team is not changed – Obiano should simply be allowed to complete some of his landmark projects that his government commenced.
It is as a result of the dexterity brought in from the banking sector, where he was already a top manager with Fidelity Bank that he succeeded in listing the state as one of those that effectively contained the shocks created by the recession and for those with analytical minds and abilities in empirical evaluation of the positively improving indices, continuity is the best Anambra people should vote for to sustain and bring the much-desired transformation to fruition.
Indications point to the fact that the people of Anambra are appreciative of what Obiano has achieved and are still trust his promised transformation. Governor Obiano has said the need to take development further to the grassroots in the state as well as to complete pending projects is the reason for seeking a second term.
The governor, who spoke to journalists recently said aside completing his legacy projects, he hopes to institutionalise the achievements he has made in his first term. One of such prominent projects in the governor’s agenda is the Anambra airport that is already slated for completion in two years.
According to Obiano, in less than three years, every town in Anambra state had experienced government’s presence to the tune of N40 million and his target is that by the time he has done eight years in office, every town in Anambra would have significantly improved on infrastructure.
“In agriculture, the state is doing very well and has attained self-sufficiency in rice production. We consume 320,000 metric tonnes and now we produce 375,000 metric tonnes per annum, from 80,000 metric tonnes when we assumed office.
“What I want to leave behind as my legacy after eight years is to ensure that Anambra state is self-sufficient in the its revenue sources so that we will not have to be waiting for Abuja to run the affairs of governance,” said Obiano.
who has displayed enviable confidence that the people of the state will return him to power on the basis of the successes recorded by his government so far.
Abimbola Teniola is a public commentator, who wrote from Abakaliki, Ebonyi State