USAfrica: My Work towards Securing the Dream of a new Anambra State. By Gov. Willie Obiano

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Securing the Dream of a new Anambra State.

BY THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF ANAMBRA STATE, CHIEF WILLIE OBIANO; PRESENTED AT THE FIRST SECURITY FUND RAISING IN LAGOS ON FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2014

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

Ndi Anambra, friends and well-wishers of Anambra State, I welcome you to this occasion. This event means so much to the life of my administration and our overall effort to build a new Anambra State.

The importance of this event can be seen from the fact that humanity is threatened by insecurity all across the world. There is the ISIS challenge in the Middle East and the threat of Boko Haram in Nigeria and neighboring West African countries. In cities, towns and communities across Nigeria, the threat of violent crimes and kidnapping has caused a lot of sleepless nights among our people. Happily, in the [past] six months of my administration in Anambra State, Ndi Anambra have slept with their two eyes closed.

We are gathered here to secure the new atmosphere of freedom in Anambra State and to ensure that our people sleep even better at night. We are gathered here to secure the Dream of a New Anambra State.

Ndi Anambra, another reason why this event is also important is that it is the first time that Anambra State is holding a ceremony in Lagos under my watch. So, this is an opportunity to say “thank you” to Anambra Communities in Lagos for your support and prayers during the elections that brought me to office. Some of you people in this audience left your businesses to come back home to vote for me. I am very grateful for your efforts then and the support you have given my administration since we assumed office on March 17 this year. Ndi Anambra, oga adili unu mma. Dalunu! Dejenu!

Ladies and gentlemen, this event also gives me the opportunity to give you an account of my stewardship and what we are doing in the area of security. As the governor of Anambra State, I see myself as the Chief Security Officer of the state. My first priority as the chief-security officer is to secure the lives and property of Ndi Anambra. In full awareness of this responsibility, I set up Operation Kpochapu – a Joint Task Force on Security, made up of the police, the army, the Navy, the SSS and the NDLEA on Tuesday March 25, 2014 – exactly one week after I assumed office.

To further underscore the importance of security to my administration, I quickly convened a Security Summit in Awka on the 10th of April and invited a world famous Israeli security expert, Moshe Keinan to lead discussions at the summit. The fruits of that Summit and the discussions it provoked are what we celebrate here tonight.

Ndi Anambra, our people have suffered from general insecurity and criminals for a long time. Long before kidnapping became a big business in Anambra State, we have had lived in an endless period of fear of armed robbers and brigands of all kinds.

The situation was so bad that at a time, our people adopted some unusual methods to combat the scourge. We all remember the monster called the Bakassi Boys and the extra-judicial killings of that they unleashed on Anambra State. We all remember the lawlessness of that period.

It is gratifying to see that our story is different today. We have effectively retrieved Anambra State from the gangsters that once drove our great sons and daughters away from home and made it impossible for investors to remember Anambra in their investment plans. We have chased away the enemies who forced our people to do Igba nkwu nwanyi (traditional marriage) in Lagos.

We have arrested their leading suppliers of illicit firearms and cut off their supply routes. At the moment, over 200 suspected kidnappers and armed robbers have been arrested. We have pulled down their command and control centers and deployed hi-tech gadgets to track criminals to their dens. Not long ago, we rescued the brother of famous entrepreneur, Chief Cosmas Maduka of the Coscharis Group from a gang of kidnappers. We tracked the kidnappers all the way to their hideout in Orlu, Imo State and arrested all the suspects and brought home our brother who had been in their captivity. Before the Orlu kidnap incident, we had tracked Okechukwu Nnaegbo, a kidnap kingpin from Agukwu-Nri, all the way to Muritala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos and arrested him inside a South African-bound aircraft. Police records in Anambra State show that there was not a single violent crime in Anambra last Easter. Over a month ago, our CCTV at the Onitsha Main-market was used to track some missing children and re-unite them with their families. Today in Onitsha Main Market, pickpockets can no longer ply their trade because they afraid that Obiano’s security cameras would pick them out. All these make up the narrative of the new Anambra!

Ndi Anambra, we have regained our freedom from the enemies of liberty and once again, Anambra State is ready to lead the charge for the return of Ndigbo as an economic power-block in Nigeria since the Civil War. We are fully aware that the journey ahead may be difficult and slow but we are not looking for a quick fix. We shall be relentless in our push to expand the frontiers of excellence in Anambra State and beyond.

In fact, anyone who wishes to see the result of our push-back against criminals should visit Awka on a Friday night. I am proud to announce that Awka has finally started to show the signs of an emerging city with the return of a vibrant night life. I have been reliably informed that Ndi Anambra now feel safe enough to come out at night to test their new freedom and share the joys of the new Anambra. There is a new sense of hope, a new self-belief, a new beginning that has enveloped our daily lives in Anambra State and I invite you all to come home and experience it first-hand.

It might interest you to know that some of our brothers have already heeded our call and returned home to invest in the effort to build a new Anambra. On May 7, this year, I commissioned the Coched Farms Project at Anaku in Ayamelum Local Government Area which has the capacity to produce 120,000 metric tons of rice and create over one thousand jobs. On Tuesday last week, my administration attracted over $220m dollar investments. These include investments from Joseph Agro Limited that is investing $150m in Agriculture and Cardinal Developers & Trust Ltd that is investing $70m in the area of hospitality and tourism. Joseph Agro Ltd has a capacity to produce 120,000mt of rice. The company will in addition to Coched Farms Ltd will almost completely erase Anambra’s rice supply deficit by 99%. It will also create of 10,000 direct jobs and about 25,000 indirect jobs for our people.
Similarly, Cardinal will create 400 direct jobs and 2000 indirect jobs. Ndi b’anyi, this is a great time to come from Anambra State.

Big businesses in Anambra State are doing incredibly well. SABMiller is currently expanding its production capacity in Onitsha while in Nnewi, Innoson has just rolled out some easily affordable made-in-Nigerian cars from his auto-manufacturing plant. Once again, we are the first to give Nigeria an indigenous car as one of our great ancestors, Sir Louis Odumegwu Ojukwu did when he loaned his Rolls Royce and driver to pre-independent Nigeria for the comfort of the visiting Queen of England.

Ladies and gentlemen, where else are such things happening in Nigeria at this moment in time? The Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA) has received about 120 inquiries from investors from across the world and there is a growing feeling that Anambra’s finest hour is finally here with us.

My team and I have commenced a new wave of efforts to lend wings to our vision. We have flagged off construction work on 17 new roads and four new bridges across the state. We have started constructing 3 flyovers in Awka that will change the landscape of our capital city. Work has reached an advanced stage at the new 3-Arms Zone that will host the three arms of government and give Anambra a befitting seat of power. We have launched an agricultural revolution in the state. In fact, I personally handed new high-yielding seeds to farmers in Awka. We have launched a campaign to reclaim our cities and neighbourhoods from filth and dirt. Onitsha has since shed its old ragged outlook as we tighten the screws on waste management and decongest our roads of all abandoned vehicles.

Similarly, we are opening access to the food-belt of the state and building roads to connect highbrow neighbourhoods and estates. Work is in progress at the three shopping malls in Onitsha, Nnewi and Awka and we are building new and modern markets in Ogbunike, Oba, Umunze and Awka. Very soon, we shall introduce our people to a new experience in shopping. I urge you to come home and buy a piece of real estate at the Millennium Estate which used to be known as the Greenwood Estate and build your palatial homes there.

Ladies and gentlemen, the sun has finally risen on Anambra State!

It is in acknowledgement of this resurgence of hope in our people that my team and I also decided that the time has come to awaken the consciousness of our people to the soft issues of governance. We realize that it is not just enough for government to build roads and bridges but imperative for political leaders to plant the right values in the people they lead. That is why we have evolved a new cultural-identity for Ndi Anambra State and a new anthem and flag to remind us of whom we are. Shortly, we shall show you the cultural symbols of the new Anambra and what they represent.

Ladies and gentlemen, while we bask in the glow of our changing narrative, we must all remember that all over the world, freedom and progress are usually earned and not bestowed. Ndi Anambra, we must earn our freedom from fear and insecurity!

As we launch a new phase of strategies that will free Anambra State from the clutches of criminals, we need your moral and financial support. My administration has demonstrated the resolve and the capacity to win this war and banish kidnappers and violent criminals from our midst.

However, the Anambra State government cannot do it alone. That is why we have called you out this evening to tell you our story and ask for your support. I urge you to lend a hand and donate freely and generously to this worthy cause.

As you think things over before your bring out your cheque book, I would like to leave you with the words of Africa’s greatest icon of our time, Nelson Mandela, who once observed that, “sometimes, it falls on a generation to be great.”

Ladies and gentlemen, what makes a great generation depends on how well it reacts to the challenges of its time. Insecurity is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Let us react to it as a great generation should.

Dalu nu!

Thank you!

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Obiano, a pedigree of distinctions fit to lead Anambra….
By  Dr. Chido Nwangwu, on March 12, 2014

Follow USAfrica at Facebook.com/USAfricaChido , Facebook.com/USAfrica247   Twitter.com/Chido247

https://usafricaonline.com/2014/03/12/obiano-a-pedigree-of-distinctions-fit-to-lead-anambra-by-chido-nwangwu 

USAfricaonline.com: Elected under the banner of the markedly Igbo-interest APGA party, Willie Maduabuchi Obiano, a banker of international repute, a philanthropist and cultural custodian, a devout Catholic, my friend with a versatile

USAfrica_magazine_OBIANO_vsn1-cover2014.Chido_LRs
https://usafricaonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/USAfrica-magazine_OBIANO_vsn1-cover2014.Chido

sense for humor and a good son of modest background shall be sworn in — in the afternoon of March 17, 2014 — as the Governor of Anambra State.

First and foremost, to understand the realities and dynamics of Obiano’s emerging governorship, we must situate him in the recent political ecology of Anambra.

Anambra is homeland to some of the formidable financial heavyweights in Nigeria and holds an impressive mix of talented leaders.
Also, truth must be told that Anambra has, to this day, more than its fair share of spoilers and
squads of acid-tongue, elbow-throwing politicos who thrive in crises and malice. Lest I forget, there’s the motley of pint-size political god-fathers and buccaneers for whom business gets its highest returns from politics.

Over the past 20 years, Anambra has witnessed, except for two or three, an unimpressive confetti of political charlatanry and, in some cases, murderous events which turned away many well-meaning citizens of the State from competitive public service. Many refused to be involved in the partisan swindle for which the recent political business of the great State had become synonymous….

Consequently, Obiano’s emergence, his selection by outgoing Governor Peter Obi and subsequent election, I believe, reflect the popular vote of Anambrarians to maintain a responsible handling of the resources of Anambra. Evidently, the performance bar for Governors in Anambra has been lifted higher by a hardworking, resourceful and populist Obi. Obiano’s performance expectation, I must note, has been pushed very high.

Second, in the big picture of geo-politics, especially ahead of Nigeria’s 2015 potentially explosive presidential election, the Obiano-APGA votes fulfilled and secured the broad sentiments around the Igbo interest for a relatively independent and symbolically autonomous political community of Anambra. Therein lies the importance of Obiano as, potentially, a key leader of the Igbo eastern states, at this crucial period as Nigeria bifurcates along the geo-ethnic lines of the ruling PDP and the opposition APC.

Third, all politics are local, as the political maxim states. Obiano, understandably, in a way similar to Obi, prefers the PDP over the APC. Mallam el-Rufai did not help matters for his APC party with his November 2013 Anambra election drama at a hotel in Awka and useless insults at the Governor Obi.
Chief Obiano told me recently, during an exclusive USAfricaonline.com interview, that APGA and the Igbo voters “will get more mileage” by supporting Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan (of the PDP) for the 2015 elections.

My 100 minutes interview is, to date, the most comprehensive insight to Obiano, 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). 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 a personal level, he speaks about his wife Chief Mrs. V. Ebelechukwu Obiano (Osodieme) who introduced me directly to Akpokuedike Obiano in 2012.

Fourth, on the all-important issue of the direct impact of his plans, the retired banker cited, like he did during his campaign, that a number of the public policy pillars and economic enablers of his agenda for governing will drive economic development and growth, exponentially, for Anambra.
But 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 boisterous politics of Anambra (and parts of Nigeria). But I believe that Obiano’s pedigree and achievements show him as man who is determined to make history in Anambra for good reasons.
The man who goes by the courage-filled traditional title of ‘Akpokuedike’ cannot offer any less as Anambra beckons….

On balance, I believe that Willie Obiano has the integrity, the intellection and clarity of purpose to lead the great homeland of Achebe, Azikiwe, Ojukwu, Ekwueme, Osadebe, P-Square, etc. My brief inquiry to his history and upbringing show a family value of spartan discipline and resourcefulness —instilled by his late father, Sir Philip Onuorah Obiano, a well-known headmaster in their hometown of Aguleri. Those two uncommon attributes are needed for leadership roles, particularly as Governor of a State with scarce resources and fiercely competing priorities.
Evidently, Obiano’s governorship promises to usher in the dawn of a new era where policy lucidity meets relevant experience.

•Dr. Chido Nwangwu, moderator of the Achebe Colloquium

Chido Nwangwu, Publisher USAfrica multimedia

(Governance, Security, 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, IgboEvents, UNNalumni, and the pictorials site PhotoWorks.TV .  He is completing a book titled Nelson Mandela and Chinua Achebe: Footprints of Greatness. He has been profiled by the CNN International for his pioneering works on multimedia/news/public policy projects for Africans and Americans.     http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/international/2010/07/29/mpa.african.media.bk.a.cnn

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WHY I CELEBRATE THE LIFE AND WORKS OF NELSON MANDELA. By Chido Nwangwu  https://usafricaonline.com/2010/07/15/mandela-why-i-celebrate-his-life-works-by-chido-nwangwu/

——  2014 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

Mandela-n-Achebe-by-Chido-book-frontcover-Lrsand friendship hold lessons for humanity and Africans, the author 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/

 

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https://usafricaonline.com/2012/01/25/jonathans-boko-haram-problem-and-firing-of-ringim-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.  https://usafricaonline.com/chido.binladennigeria.html

http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=USAfrica+Chido+Nwangwu+al-qaeda+terrrorism+nigeria&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

https://usafricaonline.com/tag/al-qaeda/

• For seasoned insights and breaking news on these issues, log on to USAfricaonline.com and USAfrica powered e-groups including USAfrica at googlegroupsFollow us at Facebook.com/USAfricaChidoFacebook.com/USAfrica247 n Twitter.com/Chido247 

 

USAfrica: As Egypt’s corrupter-in-chief Mubarak slides into history’s dustbin.  By Chido Nwangwuhttps://usafricaonline.com/2011/01/30/chido-nwangwu-as-egypt-corrupter-in-chief-mubarak-slides-into-historys-dustbin-egyptians-not-waiting-for-obama-and-united-nations/

Related and prior reporting on the Jos crises on USAfrica, click here: https://usafricaonline.com/2011/08/16/10-killed-in-renewed-violence-near-jos/

News archives related to Jos, here https://usafricaonline.com/?s=jos

310 killed by Nigeria’s ‘talibans’ in Bauchi, Yobe n Maiduguri; crises escalate. USAfricaonline.com  on  July 28, 2009. www.usafricaonline.com/chido.ngrtalibans09.html

http://www.groundreport.com/World/310-killed-by-Nigerias-talibans-in-Bauchi-Yobe-n-M/2904584

Trump looks foolish and crazy screaming about Obama’s birth certificates, college records and Muslim connection. By Raynard Jackson

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Follow us at Facebook.com/USAfricaChidoFacebook.com/USAfrica247 n Twitter.com/Chido247

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• Nigeria’s bin-Laden cheerleaders could ignite religious war, destabilize Africa. By USAfrica’s Publisher Chido Nwangwuhttps://usafricaonline.com/chido.binladennigeria.html http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=USAfrica+Chido+Nwangwu+al-qaeda+terrrorism+nigeria&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8 https://usafricaonline.com/tag/al-qaeda/ 310 killed by Nigeria’s ‘talibans’ in Bauchi, Yobe n Maiduguri; crises escalate. USAfricaonline.com  on  July 28, 2009. www.usafricaonline.com/chido.ngrtalibans09.html http://www.groundreport.com/World/310-killed-by-Nigerias-talibans-in-Bauchi-Yobe-n-M/2904584

Jonathan’s Boko Haram problem and firing of Ringim. By Chido Nwangwu https://usafricaonline.com/2012/01/25/jonathans-boko-haram-problem-and-firing-of-ringim-by-chido-nwangwu/

Related and prior reporting on the Jos crises on USAfrica, click here: https://usafricaonline.com/2011/08/16/10-killed-in-renewed-violence-near-jos/

News archives related to Jos, here https://usafricaonline.com/?s=jos 310 killed by Nigeria’s ‘talibans’ in Bauchi, Yobe n Maiduguri; crises escalate. USAfricaonline.com  on  July 28, 2009. www.usafricaonline.com/chido.ngrtalibans09.html http://www.groundreport.com/World/310-killed-by-Nigerias-talibans-in-Bauchi-Yobe-n-M/2904584

 

Trump looks foolish and crazy screaming about Obama’s birth certificates, college records and Muslim connection. By Raynard Jackson

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In the light of an icon, my mentor Stanley Macebuh (1942-2010). By Chido Nwangwu  https://usafricaonline.com/2011/03/07/stanley-macebuh-tribute-by-chido-nwangwu/

The greatest Igbo ODUMEGWU OJUKWU’s great farewell in Aba.  By Chido Nwangwu   https://usafricaonline.com/2012/02/28/the-greatest-igbo-odumegwu-ojukwu-farewell-in-aba-by-chido-nwangwu