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USAfrica: 10 reasons why Obiano’s popularity is sky high

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USAfrica: 10 reasons why Obiano’s popularity is sky high.

By James Eze, Special Adviser on media matters to the Anambra Governor.  

Special to USAfricaonline.com,  and USAfrica multimedia networks, Houston. Follow USAfrica at Facebook.com/USAfricaChido , Facebook.com/USAfrica247 and Twitter.com/Chido247

 

These are not happy times for opposition politics in Anambra State. Willie Obiano’s sterling performance has left them searching so hard but not finding what to say. 

So, just the other day, they found the wrong thing to say. They said that governor Obiano’s popularity had “crashed.”

Now, anyone who has been following events in Anambra State would know that this is a poorly conceived lie. The fact before us actually shows that Obiano has been Nigeria’s most popular governor in the past six months. And here are Ten reasons why this is so!


Obiano took Nigeria by storm on October 1, this year. In a symbolic gesture that was intended to drive home the significance of Nigeria’s 55th independence anniversary, Governor Obiano granted amnesty to 25 prisoners in Anambra State and announced the gifting of N1m to each ex-convict to enable them get another chance in life. Giving these Nigerians who have undergone a long period of reformation a second chance with a substantial amount of money to enable them integrate back into thesociety was a very brilliant idea that drew a loud applause from far and near. But extending this great gesture to these people in such austere times when some states cannot even pay their workers actually shows Governor Willie Obiano as a leader to look up to! And this is why Willie is popular.
 

Willie-Obiano-Governor-Anambra-inauguration_March2014_Awka-USAfrica

Willie-Obiano-Governor-Anambra-inauguration_March2014_Awka-USAfrica

2.
Most people who live in Anambra State are aware that the state is sincerely the safest state in Nigeria today. 
 
There have not been any stories of violent armed robberies, car snatching at gunpoint, ritual killings or high profile kidnappings in well over one year. While some critics are quick to argue that crime wave is generally low in the South East at the moment, they forget to acknowledge that Anambra had always carried the highest crime rate in the region. But now, all across the state, people go about their normal businesses without any fear of violence of any kind. Of course there might be occasional burglaries or minor irritations that characterize any human society. But Anambra is safe. And this can only make Willie popular!
 
3.
In September this year, Obiano lifted the banner of hope for Ndigbo in general when he convened a highly successful Regional Conference on Security. It was the first time anyone would pursue the idea of cleansing Igbo land and Delta State of criminals. 
 
The conference attracted the governors of Enugu, Abia and Delta States while Ebonyi sent a representative. It was the sort of initiative that Ndigbo had been hoping to see from our leaders over the years – a coming together of sorts to rebuild the South East.
 
 Obiano also used the opportunity of the conference to appeal for greater co-operation across the region and then made a strong case for the emergence of a new economic block from the region. All the governors, the Inspector General of Police and the top military brass that attended the conference thought that it was an idea whose time had come. And this is why Obiano’s popularity has come to stay!
 
4.
A few weeks ago, Governor Obiano also showed a remarkable sensitivity to an issue that had become a major irritation to the region. Traders in the entire South East were groaning from a crushing faceoff with the Nigerian Customs Service. 
 
The traders had seen a serious erosion of their income caused by the hard line posture adopted by the men of the Nigerian Customs Service and worried that if nothing was done quickly, most businesses in the region would be up in the smoke. But Obiano quickly waded in and orchestrated a roundtable dialogue between the leadership pf the South East Amalgamated Traders Association and the Comptrollers of Customs in the various divisions in the region. 
 
This opened a veritable window for the establishment of mutual understanding between the feuding parties and saved many families from imminent loss of their breadlines. Obiano demonstrated concern at the right time and devoted his time and energy to help traders in all the markets in Igbo land. And this is why the traders adore him!
 
5.
It is no longer in doubt that Willie Obiano is a bridge builder. Unlike others before him who forced a wedge between Anambra’s illustrious sons and daughters, Obiano is deeply connected to Ndi Anambra irrespective of religion or ideology.
 
 He has friends amongst opposition politicians and many other people who do not see life from his own personal prism. All state events are attended by opposition figures from Senator Chris Ngige to Senator Uche Ekwunife and Stella Oduah
 
He recognises that ideological differences ought not to count when the issue at stake is the well-being of Anambra State. This is the same attitude he carries to the church. Although he is a Catholic, Governor Obiano has repeatedly gone to worship in many Anglican churches in the state. He identifies with the Anglican Church in a manner that sets him apart from some people who were governors before him. He adopts the same attitude to other religious groups in the state including the Moslem Community which has repeatedly celebrated Sallah in the Governor’s Lodge since he took over the reign of leadership.
 
 Donations to churches for the funding of mission schools are equitably distributed without a hint of discrimination. In fact, even the opposition will admit that Obiano has built enduring bridges across many troubled channels. And this is why his popularity is far from declining!
 
6.
Sometimes, the opposition seeks to drown the voice of reason with empty agitations that sound hollow even to their own ears. 
They ask what has Obiano really done?They do this as if they don’t realise that a governor who has increased the salary of workers by 15% at a time when most states are scouring Abuja for bailouts should actually be applauded.
 
 As if they want us to turn a blind eye to the 25 speedboats he launched in Ogbaru the other day to open more access to the riverine communities; as if we should all suffer some memory loss and forget the bags of rice he distributed to civil servants in the state and the arrears of pensions owed local government workers as well as the backlog of salaries owed Water Corporation workers. The opposition would be very happy if we all didn’t remember these things. But we do. And that is why Obiano remains the man for the season!
 
7.
Again, if the prayer of opposition were to be answered, we would all forget that WillieObiano reacted rather quickly to the plight of the children of the 12 men from AdaziNnukwu who were slain by Boko Haram by offering them scholarships. 
 
Neither would they be happy if we all recalled that the three surviving children of OkechukwuOdenigwe who lost his life in a ghastly auto accident at Finotel Junction, Awka had all been given full scholarships by the governor. Obiano has touched so many people in so many profound ways that it would take the society losing its mind to forget him. And this is why his popularity pulsates with life!
 
8.
In March this year, Willie Obiano woke up from sleep and put a call through to his Principal Secretary, Mr. Willie Nwokoye. He directed that going forward, all his salaries should be devoted to charity and that they should be creatively channelled to fund different programmes that would make life easier for the underprivileged members of the society.
 
 To give meaning to this gesture, he promptly set up a home for the mentally ill in NtejeOyi council area where metal patients are rehabilitated and reintegrated into the society. Three months after Obiano had dedicated his salaries to charity, President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo undertook to slash their own salaries by half. 
 
And this is why Obiano continues to stand out!
9.
Anambra indigenes who watched the live TV coverage of the Governors’ Session of the recent Nigerian Economic Summit Group could not have been prouder with the masterful performance of governor Obiano in that session.
 
 The former investment banker showed where he was coming from when he seized the moment to sell Anambra to the investment world. He came across as the most serious of all the Southern governors at the session; marshalling out his points, showing his strategic approach to governance, playing up all the comparative advantages of his state and assuring prospective investors that “Anambra is the safest state in Nigeria.” Many people left the hall talking about the Anambra governor. 
 
 Obiano is also highly respected by his fellow governors at Federal Economic Council meetings where he dissects economic issues with unmistakable brilliance and aplomb. Willie Obiano is obviously a man on a mission. And this is why his star continues to shine!
 
10.
The tenth reason why Obiano’s popularity will take a long time to fall is that unlike most of his fellow governors, Willie Obiano came into governance fully armed with an economic roadmap. His Four Pillars of Development is very cleverly crafted blueprint that accommodates every aspiration of his administration for Anambra State. It is a rare demonstration of competence in governance. Again, Obiano’s Vision and Mission Statements are outstanding and realistic.
 
 In fact, many aspects of Obiano’s Vision statement are already fully realised. Many governors in Nigeria do not have any clearly stated vision or mission for being in government. Recently, at the very well attended Stakeholders Interactive Summit, Obiano gave a compelling insight into the many achievements of his administration in a mere eighteen month period and the left most of Anambra’s pre-eminent citizens impressed and speechless. 
 

Ndi Anambra are aware of all these, and because Ndi Anambra cannot be led by the nose by people whose only means of livelihood is to hurl invectives at innocent hard-working people on Facebook and their preferred partisan  platforms, Obiano’s popularity will continue to soar! ——————–

@Chido247 


Boko Haram: SkyNews London interview wt USAfrica Publisher Dr. Chido Nwangwu on BOKO HARAM vs BUHARI (Nigeria’s President inaugurated May 29, 2015). Interview on May 30 (Houston) May 31 (London) 2015

————–

VIDEO #CNN special #CHIBOK Girls n #BokoHaram Live intvw wt the Founder of USAfrica multimedia and public POLICY networks Chido Nwangwu. CNN anchors John Berman n Michaela Pereira.  

Mandela-n-Achebe-by-Chido-book-frontcover-Lrs and friendship HOLD lessons for humanity and Africans, USAfrica Founder Chido Nwangwu takes a measure of their works and CONSEQUENCE to write that Mandela and Achebe have left “footprints of greatness.”
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/

  Dr. Chido Nwangwu, moderator of the Achebe Colloquium (GOVERNANCESECURITY, and PEACE in Africa) December 7-8, 2012 at Brown UNIVERSITY in Rhode Island and former ADVISER on Africa business/issues to the Mayor of Houston, is the Founder & Publisher of Houston-based USAfrica multimedia networks since 1992, first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the INTERNET USAfricaonline.com; CLASSmagazine, AchebeBooks.com, the USAfrica-powered e-groups of AfricanChristians, Nigeria360 and the largest pictorial events megasite on the African diaspora www.PhotoWorks.TV . He was recently profiled by the CNN International for his pioneering works on multimedia/news/public policy projects for Africans and Americans.   E-MAIL: Chido247@Gmail.com

 

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Charles Patrick

    November 11, 2015 at 11:29 am

    willie is working in dancing arenas.lmao.baba you sabi dance.am your bigest fan.

  2. Okwy Macfoy Akachukwu

    October 31, 2015 at 7:21 am

    Willie is working

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AFRICA

World SOCCER SHOWDOWN: South Africa backs Morocco; U.S under pressure

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Special to USAfrica [Houston]  • USAfricaonline.com  •  @Chido247  @USAfricalive

“It is an old myth that Africa doesn’t have the capacity, and naysayers should stop using the political argument. Africa hosted the best Fifa World Cup ever and with good support, Morocco can emulate South Africa,” said the SAFA president Jordaan.

Johannesburg – South Africa Football Association (SAFA) president Danny Jordaan has promised Morocco that South Africa will give its unqualified support to secure another World Cup on the African continent in 2026.

Morocco is vying to stage the world’s biggest football prize against a joint bid by Canada, Mexico and the U.S.

The Moroccan delegation comprises ex-Senegal and Liverpool striker El Hadji Diouf and former Cameroonian goalkeeper Joseph-Antoine Bell.

Jordaan said it would be great for Africa to have a second bite of the World Cup cherry, adding Morocco’s bid was Africa’s bid.

Jordaan assured Morocco that he would personally lobby for the Council for Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) and the rest of the continent to rally behind the Moroccans.

In his remarks, Antoine Bell said Morocco had all the ingredients to host another spectacular World Cup.

“South Africa showed the way and I am confident Morocco will follow suit. The country has international standards, from the stadiums to top infrastructure. Morocco can compete with the best in the world,” he said.

By giving Morocco its support, South Africa’s voice would make all the difference on the continent, Bell said.

“When South Africa talks on the continent, the rest of the continent listens hence it is vital for South Africa to support Morocco. South Africa has the experience and Morocco will use this experience to win the 2016 bid,” added Bell. African News Agency

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AFRICA

USAfrica: Catholic priest Etienne killed by militia in DR Congo, after a wedding mass

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Special to USAfrica [Houston]  •  @USAfricaLIVE

Goma – A Catholic priest was found shot dead hours after he said mass in Democratic Republic of Congo’s restive North Kivu province, a member of the church told AFP.

“Father Etienne Sengiyumva was killed [on] Sunday by the Mai Mai Nyatura (militia) in Kyahemba where he had just celebrated a mass including a baptism and a wedding,” father Gonzague Nzabanita, head of the Goma diocese where the incident occurred, told AFP.

The Mai Mai Nyatura are an armed group operating in North Kivu, in eastern DRC.

Nzabanita said Sengiyumva, 38, had had lunch with local faithful before “we found him shot in the head”.

North and South Kivu provinces are in the grip of a wave of violence among militia groups, which often extort money from civilians or fight each other for control of mineral resources.

Last week unknown assailants kidnapped a Catholic priest in North Kivu, demanding $500 000 for his release.

Eastern DRC has been torn apart by more than 20 years of armed conflict, fuelled by ethnic and land disputes, competition for control of the region’s mineral resources, and rivalry between regional powers.

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AFRICA

USAfrica: Nigeria’s LOOTERS LIST and Buhari’s selective corruption targets. By Majeed Dahiru

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PDP vs APC Looters List and Buhari’s selective corruption targets

By Majeed Dahiru

Special to USAfrica {Houston] • USAfricaonline.com • @USAfricaLive

 

Timipriye Silva, a former governor and PDP chieftain, who became a founding member and financier of APC, had his corruption charges quashed by a federal high court and Buhari’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failed to appeal the N19.5 billion fraud case.

More curious are the missing names of some accused looters with marital ties to Nigeria’s First and Second families. Gimba Yau Kumo, the PDP appointed former managing director of the Federal Mortgage Bank and now son-in-law of President Buhari, who was similarly accused of fraudulent activities amounting to about N3 billion and reportedly being investigated by EFCC, is missing from [Buhari’s Information Minister] Lai Mohammed’s list.

For a party that has been accused of destroying Nigeria by squandering accrued oil revenues estimated at over $500 billion in sixteen years, it is confounding that Lai’s list is not only exclusively comprised of PDP looters but also captures the last two years of PDP’s last lap in power and included just Goodluck Jonathan’s associates, who supported him against candidate Buhari, while also relating only to funds used in the last electioneering campaign of the PDP.

Whenever the obviously abysmal performance of the Muhammadu Buhari administration appears to be gaining sustained attention, and leading to murmuring within the rank and file of his supporters, a tale of humungous looting by opposition elements is usually spun and thrown into the public space to distract people away from the core issue of the failure of governance.

Like a fit of deja vu, the recently unveiled list of looters by Lai Mohammed, a fellow who comes across as more of President Muhammadu Buhari’s chief propagandist than a minister of the federal republic of Nigeria in charge of information and culture, didn’t come as a surprise. The list is all too familiar as the unveiling was a summarised rehash of politically exposed individuals who are members of the opposition party, close associates of former President Goodluck Jonathan, particularly his appointees in government, who have been named and shamed several times in well-coordinated media trials.

First on Lai’s list is Uche Secondus, the chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Lai had this to say of Secondus: “On the 19th of February 2015, he took N200 million only from the office of the NSA”. An unidentified former financial secretary of the PDP was similarly accused of “taking” N600 million from the same office of the National Security Adviser. Lai Mohammed also re-revealed that frontline member of PDP and media mogul, who deployed his media power to promote Goodluck Jonathan by de-marketing the Buhari candidacy in the run up to 2015 presidential election, Raymond Dokpesi, is on trial for “taking” N2.1 billion from the office of the then NSA. Lai also reminded Nigerians that his shouting match and former spokesman of the PDP, Olisa Metuh is on trial for “collecting” N1.4 billion from the same office of the NSA.

Lai Mohammed’s expanded follow up list included the usual suspects – former ministers, PDP state governors, service chiefs, presidential aides, associates and family members of former President Goodluck Jonathan, who were collectively accused of looting Nigeria of close to $2.1 billion through the office of the former NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.).

The choice of words like “took” and “collected” deployed by Lai to describe the manner in which those named received these monies was deliberate for the maximum effect of propaganda, portraying the accused persons as looters who broke into NSA vault and catered away boxes of cash at something akin to a gun point.

While the clamp down on PDP looters who supported Goodluck Jonathan and are still members of the former ruling party has been heavy handed, others who decamped from PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the eve of the 2015 elections and supported candidate Buhari’s campaign with their share of loot have been forgiven. For example, former NSA, Sambo Dasuki is being treated as an apostate for his role in the disbursement of funds that were used to oil Goodluck Jonathan’s electioneering effort. He has been kept in detention illegally and in defiance of several judicial rulings. Judging by the Buhari administration’s anti-corruption standard of an accusation being tantamount to guilt, in clear contempt of court proceedings by the resort to the naming and shaming suspects even before investigations and criminal prosecution are concluded and convictions obtained, it becomes curious that Lai’s list didn’t reveal any new name. Rather some names were either missing or omitted from what is a familiar list. This appears so because the bulk of PDP bigwigs who “destroyed” Nigeria in sixteen years of national rule are firmly in control of the APC, from its elected national executives to the National Assembly and appointed members of the federal executive council. The majority of APC-elected governors were also former members of the PDP. Even recently decamped PDP members to APC, such as Musiliu Obanikoro and Sulivan Chime, who have been prominently named and shamed in the recent past, were conspicuously missing from the released list of looters.

More curious are the missing names of some accused looters with marital ties to the first and second families. Gimba Yau Kumo, a former PDP appointed managing director of the Federal Mortgage Bank and now son-in-law of President Buhari, who was similarly accused of fraudulent activities amounting to about N3 billion and reportedly being investigated by EFCC, is missing from Lai’s list. Also missing on that list is Bola Shagaya.

Arguably one of Africa’s richest women, with a reputation for close business and political ties to all first families in the past two decades, Bola Shagaya was exceptionally close to the Goodluck Jonathan family. Often described as a bosom friend of former first lady Patience Jonathan, she has been accused, in numerous instances, allegedly, of acting as Patience Jonathan’s front for the laundering of illicit money estimated at over N13 billion, while engaging in other fraudulent activities involved in state capture. All that may be in the past now as she has found her way back to reckoning with the marriage of her son, Seun Bakare to Damilola, the daughter of Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo. Little wonder then, Bola Shagaya’s name is not on Lai’s looters list.

In a clear display of the arrogance of ignorance, the Buhari administration has narrowed its war on corruption to the hounding of members of the Jonathan administration, other individuals and organisations that were known to have worked against the emergence of the President [Buhari] in the 2015 presidential elections. This is clearly evident in the selective nature of the current anti-corruption effort.

The tone of generalisation of the PDP as the problem of Nigeria, as an indicator of corruption, should make all members of PDP (both former and present) and their collaborators in other parties guilty, hence qualifying them for naming and shaming, while being liable for criminal prosecution.

Therefore, Buhari’s list of looters is devoid of integrity, because his selective war on corruption is indicative of corruption in itself. All that is required of a former PDP looter is to get baptised into APC and profess Buhari as the saviour of Nigeria. This is precisely responsible for the failure and ineffectiveness of the war on corruption. Nothing has changed as the current APC looters continue to loot Nigeria, while the redeemed former PDP looters continue to enjoy their loot in hibernation under the abundant grace of the infallible Buhari.

• Dahiru is based in Abuja 

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