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USAfrica: On achievements, Obiano outperforming his predecessors.

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By Chuks Iloegbunam
Special to USAfrica multimedia networks (Houston) and USAfricaonline.com @USAfricaLive
In the run-up to the 2017 governorship election in Anambra State of Nigeria, Governor Willie Obiano is countless strides ahead of the most determined of his opponents. Many reasons account for this.
Foremost is that he firmly has the advantage of incumbency on his side. But this needs spelling out. The incumbency factor at play here is not merely the occupation of the seat of power; it is that the Anambra State Governor has more than delivered. He has surpassed the records of his predecessors.
Since empiricism is in ascent, readers are called to take notice of the following facts. Governor Chris Ngige was in office for about three years, when the courts gave him the matching orders. Governor Peter Obi was through with the third year of his first term when he published a magazine entitled
Three Years of Solid Accomplishments. Whoever reads the publication and also reviews Dr. Ngige’s achievements, will come to an inevitable conclusion – if they compared them to the astounding performance of Governor Willie Obiano.
Such a reviewer would acknowledge that, in terms of achievements, Governor Obiano stands head and shoulders above his predecessors. But, there is need for clarity here. Many politicians and soldiers have governed Anambra State since its creation 25 years ago. Some lasted a few months and got redeployed, or sacked by military putsch. But political stability of sorts became apparent from the inception of the Fourth Republic. Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju served a single, four-year term. Dr. Ngige’s tenure lasted three years. Peter Obi spent eight years, minus the three months that the distinguished Dame Virgy Etiaba ably governed, following Mr. Obi’s unjust and ultimately reversed impeachment by legislative hirelings intoxicated by intrigue.
Obiano is close to completing his third year. The trio of Ngige, Obi and Obiano has imbued Anambra with a legacy of performance to be proud of. It was Ngige who first demonstrated to Ndi Anambra that human beings drove on tarred roads instead of through ponds and potholes. Peter Obi continued the road construction legacy, topping it with the Odo Bridge in Awgbu, which, in 2010, was the longest bridge in Anambra State.
Well, Governor Obiano since upped the ante. In less than two years his government constructed the new, longest bridge in the state, the Anambra River Bridge, with a span of 280 metres. Besides, Governor Obiano has changed Awka’s skyline with three magnificent flyovers on the Onitsha-Enugu expressway that splits the state capital in two. Apart from the aesthetic value of the flyovers, they have removed the tedium of travelling through Awka. Obiano has transformed Awka from a provincial enclave to a state capital worth the name.
In a dozen years, therefore, Anambra State has gone through the positive, comparative and superlative stages of good, better, best. Governor Obiano’s administration is the superlative bit. This calls for people to remember the saying that, You can’t change a winning team. Americans have a different way of putting it: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” It elicits joy that, in less than three years, Governor Obiano has amply demonstrated that he empathizes with the people fate dealt him the card to govern.
He is paying salaries and pensions promptly. And these are salaries and pensions that he raised across the board by 15 percentage points! From having the lowest paid civil servants and political appointees, Anambra State under Obiano now boasts a pay structure that compares favourably with the best in Nigeria, notwithstanding that 5000 employees were introduced into the state’s workforce on the eve of his inauguration, and not minding the financial adversity occasioned by the current recession. Governor Obiano has opened up the state’s agricultural sector to a spectacular explosion.
Those who previously pooh-poohed the idea of Anambra Rice have lost their power of speech and insolent dismissiveness, seeing that Anambra Rice is a reality. Governor Obiano has caused Anambra State to be the safest in the country.
If not in promotion of intrigue, why should anyone suddenly take on the absurd assignment of patching up plumbing that is not leaking? An answer should come from those blabbing that the Anambra North Senatorial district does not deserve the state’s governorship for two terms. Peter Obi served two terms.
Peter Obi was instrumental to Chief Willie Obiano’s emergence as Governor. Who builds to demolish? Are they not rationalising his humanity who hope or pray that Peter Obi will pull the rug from under Obiano’s feet?
Other questions begging for answers. Where lies the integrity of Anambra politicians currently switching political parties as a ploy for wearing the governorship mantle? To see professional loud speakers changing parties with the frequency a fop sheds apparels speaks to a new low in political partisanship. Even if it is assumed that Nigerian politics is ideologically ambivalent, should it also mean that it is bereft of principles?
How could people who claim affinity with equity question the wisdom of APGA, the political party that decided on slotting the governorship to Anambra North Senatorial zone? Where is the fairness in claiming that Anambra people should be denied excellent leadership because it issues from a place hitherto consigned to perpetual followership?
Waiting for convincing answers may amount to waiting for Godot! Meanwhile, commonsense dictates that the good people of Anambra North should bond together and thwart those intent on introducing the monkey’s hand in the people’s dish. They should join in ensuring that bashers of Anambra heads are not handed the bludgeon of political office that could be handy for pounding the state’s collective head into a bloody pulp.
 Iloegbunam, author of Ironside, contributing editor of USAfrica multimedia networks (Houston), since 1995, and USAfricaonline.com, serves as  Governor Obiano’s Director of media relations.

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.

 

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USAfrica: Obiano’s 2nd term in Anambra offers hope in governance. By C. Don Adinuba

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Obiano’s 2nd term in Anambra offers hope in governance
By C. Don Adinuba

Special to USAfrica [Houston]  @USAfricaLive

Since the relationship school, closely associated with Peter Drucker, made a robust comeback in the 1990s among leadership and management researchers, top management schools around the world have displayed a greater interest in the role of passion in the success of organizations.

The resource-based view (RBV) in strategic human resource management argues that a fundamental difference between high achieving organizations and average ones is the passion difference. While ordinary firms are run by people who work without passion, super performing organizations have members who go far beyond the call of duty to deliver the goods.

Two expressions which are closely associated with passion by organizational members are deliberate practice and stretch. By deliberate practice, applied psychologists refer to the fact that people who put in greater effort than most of their competitors. Stretch in management science is a term first used in 1990 by General Electric under Jack Welch to refer to a task that seemed initially impossible but eventually got done.

Passion is extremely important in political leadership, too, especially in crisis situations and transformation of societies. Passion, sometimes referred to as commitment, is the heart of nationalism. One of the critical success factors for the phenomenal transformation of South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and other southeastern societies is the passion of the people and their leaders. Nationalism is now regarded as one of the core Asian values. We all saw how everyday people in South Korea brought out highly cherished personal assets like trinkets and sold and gave the proceeds to the government to enable it to weather the storm when their country’s economy went into a tailspin in the late 1990s. Western scholars, who used to mock the Asian countries for their acute nationalism, have since acknowledged that nationalism was a key factor in the quick recovery of Asian nations and territories from the profound currency crisis. That Biafra survived for a whole 30months during the Nigerian civil war of 1967 to 1970, despite all the great odds, owed to the passion of the people.

The first thing which struck new members of the Willie Obiano administration in Anambra State as they assumed office on Monday, March 25, was passion writ large. In fact, the passion thing had become manifest three days earlier, on the first day of the two-day retreat to prepare the members for the task ahead. The governor arrived at the retreat when most of the commissioners, special advisers, permanent secretaries and heads of the agencies were still eating. Because he uses no siren, the governor took most people by surprise. On the second day, he also arrived ahead of the time.

Obiano sat through the two-day retreat, taking notes, contributing to every discussion on the scintillating presentations by Chukwuma Soludo, ex Central Bank of Nigeria governor; Osita Ogbu, an economics professor and director of Development Studies at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, who is a former chief economic adviser to the president and chairman of the National Planning Commission; Ibrahim Magu, head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission; Daniel Okafor, a director of the Code of Conduct Bureau; Bismarck Rewane, the chief executive of Financial Derivates, a Lagos-based consulting firm; Macaulay Atasie of Nextzon, also in Lagos; Twinkle Oruware, an engineer and management consultant in Ibadan, Oyo State; Collins Onuegbu, a software consultant; and Fela Durotoye, an exceptional motivational speaker . Each presenter provided sufficient food for thought.

Passion was also at display on the day the new appointees were inaugurated. Just before the inauguration, a short ceremony was conducted for those who worked with Obiano in his first term. John Emeka, the Anambra State deputy governor from 1999 to 2003 who was to serve under Obiano as Commissioner for Science and Technology, delivered a soul-stirring speech which was apparently spontaneous. Far from showing bitterness for not being reappointed like most departing members of the council, Emeka told Obiano: “I will cherish participating in your government every day of my life. People of Anambra are very proud of you. This is why they voted for you overwhelmingly in the last November 18 governorship election”. Turning to the new members of the council, the ex deputy governor said: “You must prove your mettle from Day One. He is accessible and amenable. He wants you to disagree with him because he knows you are no robots; he likes good, healthy debates”. Like other members of the outgoing council, Emeka received a certificate of merit, a lapel pin of the state and all his entitlements right there.

The inauguration was followed immediately by the first Executive Council meeting which the governor led, and he spoke for about four hours on various topics without leaving his seat for a second and without notes. He remembered the minutest detail of discussions held at the last Exco meeting on March 5.Throughout the long hours the first Exco meeting lasted, he left no one in doubt that he genuinely believes in his mantra of “achieving more with less”.

The governor was passionate during his meeting with the board of the Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS) two days later. Having built the most technologically advanced radio and television stations in Africa, he demanded that the TV channel go digital in less than three months and that it do 24-hour broadcasting which has to be available on DSTV, the popular pay channel operated by Multichoice of South Africa. Expressing disgust at the quality of buildings at the ABS, he said work would soon begin on the construction of tall and elegant buildings there. Turning to me, he declared: “We must learn how to use our land resource very efficiently, since the state is the smallest in the country in terms of land mass, after Lagos. Even so, erosion has reduced our land mass considerably. See how Singapore, Israel, Hong Kong and Taiwan use their limited lands to create wonders”.

The meeting with the ABS board had hardly ended when he entered the weekly Security Council meeting where he dominated the environment. Members of the council include not just the state police commissioner, the DSS director in the state, the Civil Defence and security Corps commander, the army and naval commanders in the state, the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, the governor’s special adviser on security, his special assistant on security and head of the state vigilante who is a respected retired police commissioner, but also heads of the Customs Service, the Immigration Service, the Prison Service, and the Federal Road Safety Corps.

Obiano invites some other people to participate in the security council meetings depending on the issues for deliberations; this time a representative of the traders unions attended because of some market issues. The governor takes security so seriously that he counts the number of road blocks by security agents and the number of soldiers and policemen manning each at any point. He even noticed that some sandbags used by the police in remote riverine communities sharing border with Kogi State were torn and ordered their replacement.

The next day, he ran straight from Onitsha where he was attending the Maundy Thursday mass in Onitsha, as part of the Christian Holy Week of Easter, and headed straight to the Alex Ekwueme Square in Awka where he handed over 40 vehicles from the Innoson Vehicles Manufacturing firm in Nnewi to security agencies. He promised an additional “100 made in Anambra vehicles soon to the agencies to ensure our state remains the most peaceful in West Africa”. Val Ntomchukwu, the Deputy Inspector General of Police who represented IGP Abubakar Idris on the occasion, said: “Other states should emulate Anambra which has become the country’s safest state. The governor means every word he utters”.

I have never seen the Anambra people so optimistic of their state as they have been in the last few months. Having been in office for just two weeks, I now have a better understanding of why Chukwuma Soludo, Bart Nnaji, Victor Umeh, Chris Okoye, Okey Ndibe and even Emeka Anyaoku and the Obi of Onitsha encouraged me to go to Anambra State and make my contribution to the development of the state, after my initial hesitance. Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, calm , cool and very measured as ever, spoke about Obiano the way I have never heard him praise any governor. Anambra State provides a glimmer of hope for Nigeria.

Adinuba is Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Anambra State.

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Obasanjo slams Buhari as “ineffective, incompetent, a failure”

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Nigeria’s former military ruler (from February 14, 1976-1979) and elected President (1999-2007), Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has castigated the current leader, Muhammadu Buhari, who like him, ruled as a dictator (from December 31, 1983 to August 27, 1985) and elected President in 2015 for “bringing hardship on Nigerians”,, “running ineffective economic policies,” and causing a high number of “crippled businesses.”

The first lesson I learnt in my military training is to never reinforce failure. What we have now is failure. Never you reinforce failure. Let failure be failure.

Obasanjo who failed in a multi-pronged quest for an unprecedented 3rd-term as President (see/search USAfrica and USAfricaonline.com news index) told a delegation of the New Nigeria group (led by Chima Anyaso) that it will be foolish and counter-productive for Nigerians “to reinforce failure by re-electing ineffective and incompetent government in 2019…. The truth is this: When you have an ineffective and incompetent government, we are all victims. And don’t let anybody deceive you. Those of you who are in business, your business could have been better today if we have a competent and effective and performing government.”

He continued: “As I said, stop giving excuses; we met challenges. If there were no challenges, then we wouldn’t need you to come.”

“You came in because you know there were challenges and then giving us excuse that you have many challenges, that is why you haven’ t achieved results.

“And then you still want to go [for re-election]….  And if you do not see what you should see, you will then be a victim of what you don’t like, because it’ s only when you see what you should see and you do what you should do that you put away what you do not like.

“You see, I have publicly said and I mean it, that as a party, neither PDP nor APC can get us there as they have been. Never mind about reforms and apology and all that.”

Obasanjo was a key power broker who supported Buhari of the APC and abandoned his PDP then incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Several retired army Generals and civic leaders are expressing their disappointment with the current leader.

Buhari has faced trailer-loads of problems, as he has with many members of his team exposed their relative inadequacies across various sectors of government.

Buhari contested and won under the banner of the APC, a party and presidency stifled by its naked instinct for nepotism, regional impunity, ideological sectarianism, punitive engagements as standard instruments of governance  and self-defeating insularity.

Lest we forget, Obasanjo became President under the umbrella of the corruption-ridden confederacy of financial locusts called the PDP.

Evidently, the battle for Nigeria’s 2019 elections has started, almost….                                                                                                 By Chido Nwangwu, Founder & Publisher of USAfricaonline.com, CLASSmagazine and USAfrica magazine, appears occasionally as an analyst on CNN International, SKYnews (London). He is the author of the soon-to-be-released 2018 book,  MANDELA & ACHEBE: Leadership, Identity and Footprints of Greatness. ISBN 978-0-9893970-0-1

 

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USAfrica: Gov. Wike tells Buhari the APC is “dead” in Rivers State

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Special to USAfrica [Houston] and USAfricaonline.com @Chido247

Nigeria’s Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state says President Muhammadu Buhari will need a miracle to revive what he called a “dead” All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state. Buhari belongs to the APC while Wike is a catalyst in the PDP.

He said the federal government has not briefed him on the planned visit of Buhari to the state. “I hear they say that the President is coming to our state. I have not been told the President is coming and why he is coming. He has the right to come to any state,” he said.

“Maybe the President is coming to make sure that he will improve the fortunes of the APC that is dead in Rivers state.”

“Apart from Jesus Christ, we don’t know of anyone who has risen a dead thing. APC is a dead party in Rivers state. No matter how you fast and pray, it will never wake up.”

Rivers is, reportedly, listed among the states Buhari plans to visit regarding recent killings in some parts of the country– especially by the Fulani herdsmen.

Wike added: “Let nobody bother him or herself that the President is coming for security reasons. We don’t have security challenges in the state. We have never had herdsmen killings or crisis in the state, except when some criminals tried to disrupt the peace and they were checked. We resolved that challenge.”

Wike made these remarks on Thursday while flagging-off the reconstruction of Egbelu Street and link roads in East-West in Rumuodara, Obio Akpor area of the state. By Chido Nwangwu

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