Anambra State Association worldwide has been reading with keen interest the write-ups on Gov Peter Obi’s Government in Anambra State. We, Anambra Indigenes from Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, South Africa , Anambra State Indigene members from the United State collectively known as ASA World as well as pending affiliates from Malaysia, Singapore, Ireland, India, Ireland, Germany, Sweden and Spain believe that it is high time that we stated for the record, a few noteworthy facts, observations and recommendation for our home governments, stakeholders, well wishers and detractors as well.
Ndi Anambra has been and will continue to be the “light of the nation” in Nigeria and in Diaspora. Overseas Ndi Anambra remains the “gateway “to nearly all noteworthy developments and trail blazing records. Great leaders have emerged from Anambra State. Notable among them are Nnamdi Azikiwe, Cardinal Arinze, Emeka Anyaoku, Nwafor Orizu, Chinua Achebe, to mention a few. Anambra people are open minded, patriotic and willing to work with others for the common good. Our leaders have to be the best because we promote meritocracy, a system that gives opportunities and advantages to people on the basis of their ability rather than and their wealth or seniority . Our clear and firm pursuit to being the best we can be betrays our refusal to accept mediocrity. That my friends, has been the cornerstone of our collective nicknames as the “light of the nation” The current Governor of Anambra State Governor Peter Obi is “human” . He serves at the pleasure of the people of Anambra State that overwhelmingly returned him in February 2009 to finish building on what he constantly reminds us as his “blue print” to sustainable development in Anambra State. A good number of ASA World member affiliates grew up in Anambra Stae and because they grew in Anambra State they are growing increasingly weary of the strange phenomenon we are deploring to deflate and obliterate the only infrastructure of the moment in place to build sustainable development in our state. Readers are invited to take this narrative anyway and or anywhere they want, but the institution in place at the moment allows for only one governor at a time. The flaws in the systems is the systems inability to set a guideline for when campaigns for new offices really stop and when the elected officials should be given the spaces and supports to do the work that they are elected to do. No one will argue that there should not be oppositions. However, oppositions should be factual and designed to point out the loopholes in the governance they emphasize the alternative approaches to moving the state forward and by so doing endearing themselves to the electorates in lieu of the next election. Unfortunately, what we at ASA World have observed borders on character assassination of the infrastructure of the day; in this case Governor Peter Obi.
For the record, Governor Peter Obi is “human” and the only current custodian of the infrastructure for Anambra State growth and development. Our state is still in his custody until 2014. It is a long way from 2011 to 2014. Here are profound ideas; how about we work with him to seek solutions in moving our state forward? What if we motivate him by emphasizing and making aware to the Anambrarians around the world, some of his accomplishments since he took custody of our great state at the same time we work with him to emphasize his shortcomings as human. The awareness campaign should also include “straight talk” with all stakeholders in Anambra State, young and old. A great American President once told the Americans to, “ask not what your country can do for you, but instead, to ask themselves what they can do for their country”. Let us look beyond the office holder of the day and party politics of the day, let us look towards our great state, the “light of the nation” and how we can work with the current custodian towards growth and development of our great state, the light of the nation. Today it is Governor Obi, tomorrow it will be Governor “somebody else”. ASA World pledges to work with Governor today and Governor “somebody else” tomorrow, provided that the Governor “somebody else” has the state’s best interest at heart and in mind. Governor Obi and Governor “somebody else” approach to governance we can always question, his character flaws we could careless about unless, such character flaws have direct impact on the growth and development of our state. For the record, ASA World is proud of the way Governor Obi has conducted himself as the Governor of Anambra State and the chairman of the SE Governors forum. A writer in the name of Femi Adesina, a non-Anambra and for that matter, a non stakeholder, in his article on the Daily Sun written on May 27, 2011 dubbed “Deconstructing” Peter Obi chronicled Governor Obi’s transition to power and challenges that he had to endure, likely to have taken an ordinary man to a “Why bother” place. In his article, he described Governor Obi to“a common man buffeted from all sides by unfriendly wind” that later prevailed.
This non-Anambra as we pointed out earlier as a non-stake holder went further to point out what we now take for granted and by so doing he reminded us that prior to Governor Obi Anambra State was “troubled and troublesome”, that the arrival of Governor Obi saw the people that used to command the old order appear to have been put out of business. In his report, he quoted the Governor as reflecting at his meeting with him that “it is no longer possible for someone to be a red cap chief without a daytime means of livelihood”
His articles went further to chronicle Governor Obi’s accomplishments which are yet to be disputed, to include 500 Kilometers of roads, his efforts at improving healthcare, education, job creation, infrastructural development and security in Anambra State so far. If non-Anambrarian, therefore non-stakeholder can see all these prospects and accomplishments in our Governor, why are we oblivious to the same truth? Can agree that no one is perfect therefore, when we criticize, let us in criticizing remain constructive and factual? Let us sometime agree or agree to disagree that we have a government led by an able Governor, His Excellency Governor Peter Obi. Let us also agree that he was elected by popular mandate. Let us also agree that the rule of democracy implies that once a winner is declared whoever that is elected becomes the Governor for all Anambrarians.
ASA World will continue to support His Excellency Governor Mr. Peter Obi’s innovative style of governance, new breed of civil society and politics to Anambra state. ASA World do reserve the right of course, to point out any and all areas of improvement as we stand firmly behind the Governor the day, “Whoever” that may be, in seeking sustainable development avenues in our home state. Our goal is to continue to ensure that the days of political violence and intimidation, sycophants are no longer welcome in the state.
We will continue to work with Governor Obi in his effort to make sure Anambra State remain Peace loving and respectful of the rule of law and that our image and status continue to rise. Anambra state now enjoys the status of the “light of the nation” as opposed to its old unflattering nickname of the laughing stock of the nation or a testing/battle ground for the destruction Igbo-land.
ASA World, have been and will continue to constructively engage the government of Anambra state in the areas of economic, education, health security and social development of the state thereby ADDING VALUE to the state.
ASA World will continue to support Governor Peter Obi as Chairman of SE Governors forum, SE political leaders and their efforts at working closer with Ohaneze Ndigbo to unite Ndigbo for a common purpose. For the first time since the civil war, Ndigbo appear to demonstrate that unity is strength with the election of the President of Nigeria Dr Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan.
ASA World appreciates His Excellency, Governor Peter Obis’ support during the launching of the Igbo Farm Village in Staunton, Virginia, USA in 2009, Igbo farm is a recognition by the USA government made up of four nations, English, Irish, Germans and Igbo on record as the largest ethnic group from Black Africa
It is imperative to point out that Anambra’s State financial allocation from the Federal government has always been historically poor in relation to other rich oil producing states. ASA World wants to commend His Excellency for what his government has been able to do with the minuscule allocation from the federal government.
ASA World’s vision is to see the day when Anambra people will invest locally and by so doing create jobs for our growing youth. Creating local new private sector job will help our internally generated revenue as Anambra state cannot depend on the minuscule federal allocation to run a fairly big state like Anambra. Anambra State fixed expenditure far exceeds its federal allocation. Oil producing States like Akwa Ibom, Rivers State, Delta State and Bayelsa State (30 Billion on average) tend to fair better than Anambra State (approximately 2 billion) financially. Anambrarians should be aware that we need other sources to internally generate revenue. We need to pay taxes or find other sources of internal revenue generation in order to survive. We need to educate Anambrarians on the reality at the same time we show accountability to them.
As far as security is concerned, even though the federal is in charge of security, our Governor can still curtail and control the issue of kidnapping and arm robbery because most culprits are unemployed youths and wayward youths. Keeping the youth busy will become a key part of the solution. Anambra State has been very peaceful lately with night life returning in most areas until a few recent kidnappings. This recent events must be nipped in the bud for business to prosper. ASA World will continue to engage all stakeholders in seeking solution to the ongoing security problem in Anambra State. ASA Worlds’ mission is to continue to engage the Governor by acknowledging all his good efforts at moving our state forward and pointing out his shortcoming as we continue to close the shortcomings. We hope that this practice continues beyond Governor Peter Obi’s government term in office.
Those individuals attacking Anambra State government of the day should do so with the intention of providing clear and more viable alternatives, otherwise, ASA World will view their attack as selfishness designed to distort facts on the ground and destabilize our state.
A reminder to those oblivious of fact is that ASA-World did project inspection in the past and found Gov Obi’s hard at work on his projects, executing at 92.5% in 2009.
Here are some of the noteworthy since ASA-World project inspection in 2009:
• Anambra has achieved more than Lagos State where only the Lagos Township is developed.
• In Anambra the rural areas has been developed and transformed into being the state in the country with the best road network with more than 500 kilometres of road constructed by the present administration.
• This administration has been noted to have built 15 solid bridges, perhaps the only state with such statistics.
• This administration is working on all sectors simultaneously through his Anambra State Integrated Development Strategy (ANIDS).
• The health sector is doing very well with the following. The first teaching hospital is underway and will be commissioned this year. It is located at Amaku General Hospital Awka.
• Accreditations have been given to the schools of nursing at Obosi and Nkpor due to the massive infrastructural developments the Obi administration heaped on the schools. The general hospital in Onitsha has also been accredited enabling our medical students to do their housemanship there for the first time. A dialysis centre has also been established there.
• Health centres are now almost in very community and the government has equally rehabilitated dilapidated general hospitals.
• In education secondary school students are now virtually playing with computers which a few years back remained a luxury they could only dream of. Buses have been given to these schools also as well as generating sets to power the boreholes sunk for them.
• Many Anambra schools of them have also been given transformers. The Obi government is also building 4, 000 classrooms at 1, 000 per year in every community, the first of its kind in the country.
• Many courses at the state university have been accredited while the government had boosted the infrastructural development of the school by building the Law Faculty, library and Mass Comm department among others which include some administrative buildings. A permanent site of the university is already under way.
• Workers’ comfort and general welfare are also part of Obi’s business. A gigantic state-of-the-art workers’ secretariat has been completed and is functional. It is aimed at ensuring that the various ministries are situated in one place instead of being scattered like the case before now. A second one is almost ready just beside it.
• Workers’ salaries have been increased four times and embargo on promotions lifted. Before Obi his predecessor had told workers that promotion was not their right.
• Onitsha the commercial city is getting a massive business boost. A first class business centre which houses the first stock exchange in the east has been built and the money it yielded has been ploughed into building a second one.
• The government plans to build a five star hotel in Onitsha and pressurizing the federal government to finish dredging the Niger Bridge as well as the construction of a second bridge across the Niger. The completion of these will boost business in Onitsha.
• The athletes of Anambra origin who have defected to other states are being wooed to return as part of measures to rejuvenate sports in the state. Already an ultra-modern mini stadium has been built in Onitsha north while a second one in the southern end is almost ready. Equipped with tartan tracks and flood lighting the completed stadium will be used by the athletes for training while it will host competitions. Also schools’ sports are being revived from its long comatose condition.
• The state emergency management agency SEMA has been fully equipped to function properly and same goes for the transport sector with the coming of ANIDS buses and the refurbishment of TRACAS an acronym for the state transport corporation.
• Deliberate efforts are on to ensure that water runs in parts of the state by the end of June this year. Right now pipes are being laid.
ASA World’s recommendation:
1. ASA World urges the State Government to move on with its current plans and conduct a free and fair election for the local government seats
2. Anambra state government should double down and continue working on improving the state security
3. Since our revenue allocation is one of the lowest in Nigeria a serious effort should be made to increase internal generated revenue collection or taxes but the public must be better educated or informed on this matter
Chudi Asidianya, Secretary General, ASA World, President (ASPA) -Canada
Christian Onuorah, Vice President, ASA World –President ASA-U K
Dara Ilechukwu, President — ASA- Japan (ASUANJ)
Frank Anyeche, President – ASA- South Africa
Dr. Nwachuku Anakwenze of USA, Chairman – ASA World
Pending membership entries:
Malaysia, Singapore, Ireland, India, Ireland, Germany, Sweden and Spain