By Clifford Ndujihe
TO get Anambra indigenes and visitors to key into his development agenda and ensure sustainable growth for the state, Governor Willie Obiano will present an engaging book on Anambra as part of his second term inauguration.
The 800-page photo-book titled, Anambra: Light of the Nation, documents the history, icons and cultural heritage of the state.
Essentially, the book celebrates the state’s rich history/cultural heritage, enterprising spirit and exploits of her people, arts and craft, food and lifestyle, iconic personalities, past and present leaders, traditional institutions, budding businesses and rich tourism potentials.
Taking Anambra to the next level
Tasking Anambra people on taking the state to the next level, Governor Obiano, whose second term begins on March 17, wrote in the introduction of the book: “The Compendium is a detailed pictorial-based reference manual on the history, people and government of Anambra State, 25 years after its creation. We have tried to x-ray in pictures and prose the beautiful story of Anambra people.
“We sincerely hope that the information contained in the impressive compendium on Anambra State will help ginger future generations of citizens of the state to surpass the toils and great accomplishments of the outstanding beacons and icons of the state as well as its past and present leaders.”
Documenting the lives and times of great men and women of Anambra State origin and their successor generations, who have made and continue to make their marks in different fields, the governor reasoned, would inspire the spirit of excellence, enterprise, hard work and ingenuity in the current generation and those to come.
Anambra, land of several firsts -Okonkwo
Indeed, speaking on the reasons behind the compendium, the Editor-in-Chief, Chief Emeka Okonkwo, said: “Our dear state, Anambra, is the land of several firsts in different fields and her people have contributed in many ways in shaping the history of Nigeria, but one of the greatest problems we have is that the history of Anambra and the numerous great exploits of our people are not well documented for people, especially the future generations, to appreciate.
“Take for instance the great strides of pioneer transporters such as Ekene Dili Chukwu or the unequalled business acumen of the late billionaire, Sir. Louis Odumegwu Ojukwu and several others whose lives were tales of integrity, hard work, enterprise and unblemished characters that are worthy of emulation.”
He described the book as an “authentic referral material on Anambra that is devoid of partisan politics as it seeks to give a factual and accurate information on Anambra’s 179 communities, early civilization, government structures, past and present leaders, traditional festivals and religions.” The Compendium is divided into 12 engaging sections.
Anambra beacons, icons
The section on Our Enterprises, details the big businesses owned by Anambra people both in the state and outside, and celebrates “our Beacons and Icons”, those personalities of Anambra origin, past and present, with outstanding achievements as pioneers or leaders in every field of endeavour.
Land of billionaires
The section reads in part: ‘’Anambra State is easily the state with the highest number of billionaires in Nigeria…this is not surprising considering the well known commercial, industrial and enterprising nature of Ndi Anambra. Right from the colonial era, Ndi Anambra have continued to excel in industry, trade and commerce. The achievements and exploits of Ndi Anambra’s forebears such as Sir. Louis Philip Odimegwu Ojukwu are legendary.”
Huge tourist potentials
Chronicling the enormous tourist endowments of the state, the book also recorded many mysteries in various communities. One of these is the amazing Omambala and Ezu rivers, which meet at a confluence known as Agbonabo, where both rivers inexplicably refused to mix. And the strangeness is marked by the obvious differences in colour of the waters of the two rivers.
I recommend the compendium to all —IBB
Writing the foreword to the book, former Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, retd, who created Anambra State on August 27, 1991, said: “I took a look at the draft of this compendium. It is a very rich book and from it I have learnt a lot about the state and its people. The chapters on the communities, tourism and lifestyle and enterprises are particularly enthralling,” adding that he would recommend it to all.
Meanwhile, there is intense lobbying for appointments ahead of the swearing-in ceremony.
Intense lobby for appointments
Since Obiano was re-elected, some political stakeholders who played roles in facilitating the victory in their various areas, have been lobbying to be allowed to nominate certain political appointees in the in-coming government. In fact, homes of some prominent politicians, traditional rulers and influential clerics have become very busy in the past one month with people lobbying for one political appointment or the other in the next Obiano administration.
A recent memo by the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Professor Solo Chukwulobelu, directing all political appointees and heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, who are not civil servants, to prepare their handover notes and submit them to their respective permanent secretaries or the most senior civil servant in their offices on or before March 16, 2018, a day to the swearing-in ceremony.