Merchants of malice versus Obiano’s harvest of achievements
By Chido Nwangwu Founder & Publisher, USAfrica multimedia networks, Houston
Willie Obiano, technocrat and retired banker of international repute, philanthropist and cultural custodian, devout Catholic, a man with a versatile sense for humor was sworn in — the afternoon of March 17, 2014 — as the Governor of Anambra State. Then, began his first term of four years.
I was there at his invitation and those of the First Lady Ebelechukwu Obiano, as one of their pre-governorship friends.
He is in his second term.
First, from Day One, the Obianos were ‘welcomed’ with a rain of malicious, misleading, vicious personal attacks instead of engaging them in robust and meaningful counterpoints regarding better public policy options for the state.
Second, into 2020, the political landscape of the state will be fully animated by a forest of issues and a truckload of both fair and false messaging regarding the Governor‘s performance in office. Practically, the Obiano legacy….
Third, to understand the realities and dynamics of Willie Obiano’s 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.
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.
Fourth and Lest I forget, there are financially-armed brigades of pint-size political god-fathers and buccaneers for whom business gets its highest returns from politics. Therefore, for them, their triple keys for their unrestrained access into the treasury of the state are simple: fueling InSecurity, escalating criminal conduct and fostering an atmosphere of fear!
Fifth, Obiano got it right by making Security the priority of Anambra.
Remarkably, I do know that many of those politicians who scream like carnival barkers, giddily, that “Obiano has failed” or “Obiano has no security legacy” could not sleep in their 15 feet walled palaces in their own villages and hometowns!! Many of them spent the night at Asaba in neighboring Delta State.
Those. Incredible champions of hypocrisy.
Is Willie Obiano perfect in this area of governance? No.
Is the man deserving of commendation? Yes.
Sixth, especially For those who have forgotten, let me remind us of some actual events and factual history.
Over the past 25years, Anambra witnessed, except for two or three leaders, 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 Anambra partisan swindle for which the recent political business of the great State had become synonymous….
Consequently, Obiano’s emergence, with the support of his predecessor 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 both men.
Obiano, recipient of the USAfrica Best of Africa International Banker of the Year 2012 (long before he had an eye on partisan politics) told me in an exclusive 100-minutes interview in 2015 about his plans to make Anambra State a business destination of choice in Africa.
His government has attracted international investments and partnerships;
Exponentially expanded agricultural production and exporting some vegetable and rice; built roads and flyovers; improved access to healthcare facilities and importantly allowed communities to pick their preferred projects while his government provided the funds.
Why are these 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).
Seventh, I believe that I collectively classify as Obiano’s harvest of achievements show him as man who is determined to make development history in Anambra, for good reasons.
Eight and comparatively, Obiano has demonstrated the capacity, the intellection and clarity of purpose in his service to the great homeland of Achebe, Azikiwe, Ojukwu, Ekwueme, Osadebe, P-Square, Mokelu, Ugochukwu, Nwankwo, Umeh, Nwosu, Adichie, Flavour, Edochie, Otti, Ike, Ofong, Nwangwu, etc.
Ninth, his approach to governance show values of efficient planning 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.
Tenth, the man who goes by the courage-filled traditional title of ‘Akpokuedike’ has been working hard since Anambra beckoned on him to make a transformative difference in the existential needs of its citizens and strategic position of the State.
• Dr. Chido Nwangwu, Founder of USAfrica multimedia and public policy networks, served as adviser to Houston’s ex-Mayor Dr. Lee P. Brown on Africa business/issues, and appears as an analyst on CNN, SkyNews London; is completing a book on MLK, Mandela & Achebe: Power, Leadership and Identity. He established the first African-owned, U.S-based professional newspaper published on the internet, USAfricaonline.com