My 100 minutes with Willie Obiano on his Anambra agenda, Peter Obi, security and diaspora
By Chido Nwangwu
Around noon of March 17, 2014, Chief Willie Maduabuchi Obiano, a banker of international repute, a philanthropist and cultural custodian, a devout Catholic, a friend with a versatile sense for humor and a good son
of modest background whose scholastic distinctions earned some of the plum corporate jobs, shall be sworn in as the Governor of Anambra State.
In this revealing USAfrica exclusive interview, featured in the March 2014 print special edition of USAfrica CLASSmagazine (cover attached), Obiano charts a path for his priorities as Governor from March 17, 2014, speaks candidly on his relationship with the outgoing, popular Governor Peter Obi who strongly backed him to victory in the November-December 2013 elections.
He reflects on how he got into politics and governorship campaign, and outlines why he considers security as critical to making Anambra State a business destination of choice in Africa. On 2015 elections, he specifies why his party APGA will support PDP’s incumbent President Jonathan. On a personal level, he speaks about his wife Chief Mrs. V. Ebelechukwu Obiano (Osodieme) who introduced me directly to Akpokuedike Obiano in 2012. He handles a dozen other topics and vignettes.
Our 100 minutes interview is, to date, the most comprehensive insight to the accomplished banker who bagged the USAfrica Best of Africa International Banker of the Year 2012 (long before he had an eye on partisan politics).
Elected under the banner of the markedly Igbo-interest APGA party, the man who is set to govern the usually boisterous homeland of some of the financial heavyweights in Nigeria, made more challenging by an army of unemployed, creative youth and a treasure of profound human resources inside Anambra and across the world.
Evidently, the performance bar for Governors in Anambra has been lifted higher by a hardworking, resourceful and populist predecessor, Peter Obi. Obiano’s performance expectation, I must note, has been pushed very high.
During my interview with him, the methodical banker cited the public policy pillars and economic enablers of his agenda as going to drive economic development and growth, exponentially.
Governance and campaigns are two different realities.
For the campaign, it’s largely an information warfare and mobilization battle, and….
For governance, first it’s about definable achievements to be seen by the constituents; then followed, realistically, as both information messaging and mobilization battle for the hearts and minds of the governed/voters.
Why is this relevant to Obiano?
Even the best plans and initial achievements have, sometimes, been drowned in the fire and thunder of the political ecology of Anambra (and parts of Nigeria), by squads of acid-tongue, elbow-throwing politicos who thrive in crises and malice.
I believe he has the integrity, the
intellection and clarity of purpose to lead the great homeland of Achebe, Azikiwe, Ojukwu, Ekwueme, Osadebe, P-Square….
>>The worldwide video cast of the Obiano-Chido interview goes on YouTube at the USAfricaTV channel on March 7, 2014 www.youtube.com/USAfricaTV . The transcript of the interview will appear first in our magazine and then here at USAfricaonline.com, our social media networks and several of our 10 blogs/e-groups.
U.S Congressman Green congratulates Anambra Gov-elect Obiano at USAfrica interactive forum in Houston with Anambra diaspora http://usafricaonline.com/2014/01/13/u-s-congressman-green-congratulates-anambra-gov-elect-obiano-at-usafrica-interactive-forum-in-houston-with-anambra-diaspora-chido
—— 2014 forthcoming book: In this engaging, uniquely insightful and first person reportage book, MANDELA & ACHEBE: Footprints of Greatness, about two global icons and towering persons of African descent whose exemplary lives
He chronicles, movingly, his 1998 reporting from the Robben Island jail room in South Africa where Mandela was held for decades through his 20 years of being close to Achebe. He moderated the 2012 Achebe Colloquium at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.”I’ll forever remember having walked inside and peeped through that historic Mandela jail cell (where he was held for most of his 27 years in unjust imprisonment) at the dreaded Robben Island, on March 27, 1998, alongside then Editor-in-chief of TIME magazine and later news chief executive of the CNN, Walter Isaacson (and others) when President Bill Clinton made his first official trip to South Africa and came to Robben Island. Come to this island of scourge and you will understand, in part, the simple greatness and towering grace of Nelson Mandela”, notes Chido Nwangwu, award-winning writer, multimedia specialist and founder of USAfricaonline.com, the first African-owned U.S-based newspaper published on the internet, in his first book; he writes movingly from his 1998 reporting from South Africa on Mandela. http://www.mandelaachebechido.com/
There’s a compelling political trinity to Nelson Mandela: the man, the messiah and the mystique. http://usafricaonline.com/2013/07/18/mandela-95-hearty-cheers-to-his-footprints-of-greatness-by-chido-nwangwu/
Why Jonathan should fight back, or Obasanjo will end his presidency. By Chido Nwangwu. http://usafricaonline.com/2013/12/19/why-president-jonathan-should-fight-back-or-obasanjo-will-end-his-presidency-by-chido-nwangwu/
USAfrica, December 19, 2013: To fully make sense of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s December 2, 2013 letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, you should follow the key point of my analytical deduction which I refer to as Obasanjo’s unspoken historical burden; namely, for the 3 times where he exercised partisan power and influence in Nigeria’s presidential election history,
he has faced unpleasant twists, unexpected and unsatisfactory outcomes: 1979 (he supported Alhaji Shehu Shagari, NPN, removed in a military coup in 1983); 2007 (he personally picked an ill Alhaji Umar Yar’Adua, PDP, who died after 3 years of ineffective presidency as the 13th Head of State on May 5, 2010) and he also picked Yar’Adua’s VP, Goodluck Jonathan who became acting President on May 6. On April 18, 2011, he was declared winner of the presidential election with the very active campaign support of Obasanjo.
But Obasanjo insists that Jonathan is not good enough and deserves the December 2 acidic, public denunciation of his presidency and worse, of this same man who has been, according to my key sources in the presidency in Abuja, very respectful and deferential toward Obasanjo.
Based on Obasanjo’s military antecedents, power attitude and drawing from my reading of his history as a leader, he will Not — for lack of a better word — “forgive” Jonathan despite his references to God and Christ, and to the great Nelson Mandela the same week as a forgiving leader. To be sure, Obasanjo does not have the forgiving spirit of Mandela…. For the FULL text of this commentary, click here http://usafricaonline.com/2013/12/19/why-president-jonathan-should-fight-back-or-obasanjo-will-end-his-presidency-by-chido-nwangwu/
Nigeria’s Federal Republic of Insecurity. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica, USAfricaonline.com and the Nigeria360 e-group. http://usafricaonline.com/2011/12/17/nigeria-federal-republic-of-insecurity-by-chido-nwangwu/ : IF any of the Nigerian President’s 100 advisers has the polite courage for the extraordinary task of reminding His Excellency of his foremost, sworn, constitutional obligation to the national interest about security and safety of Nigerians and all who sojourn in Nigeria, please whisper clearly to Mr. President that I said, respectfully: Nigerians, at home and abroad, are still concerned and afraid for living in what I call Nigeria’s Federal Republic of Insecurity. FULL text of commentary at USAfricaonline.com http://usafricaonline.com/2011/12/17/nigeria-federal-republic-of-insecurity-by-chido-nwangwu/
Obama’s Africa agenda, our business and democracy. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfricaonline.com and CLASS magazine and The Black Business Journal
Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa’s writer of the century. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica, and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com http://usafricaonline.com/chido.achebebest.html
How and Why Romney beat Obama in first presidential debate. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica. http://usafricaonline.com/2012/10/03/how-and-why-romney-beat-obama-in-first-presidential-debate-by-chido-nwangwu/
Related insight: USAfrica’s October 17, 2001 special report/alert: Nigeria’s bin-Laden cheerleaders could ignite religious war, destabilize Africa. By USAfrica’s Publisher Chido Nwangwu. http://usafricaonline.com/chido.binladennigeria.html
• For seasoned insights and breaking news on these issues, log on to USAfricaonline.com and USAfrica powered e-groups including USAfrica at googlegroups. Follow us at Facebook.com/USAfricaChido, Facebook.com/USAfrica247 n Twitter.com/Chido247