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Resolve all controversies now – Obiano urges communities



Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano has urged leaders of the 179 communities in the state to use this Christmas season to resolve all unnecessary controversies which have affected community development in the state.

According to the state Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C. Don Adinuba, the plea has become necessary because of the inability to commence in earnest the third phase of the government’s Community-Choose-Your-Project “several months after setting aside a whopping N3.4 billion for this purpose”.

Under the development scheme, each of the 179 communities selects a project it needs and also decides a contractor from their area for it while the state government provides N20m for the execution.

Obosi and Onitsha get double of the amount because of their huge populations.

Various communities have under the scheme executed projects which range from market to library to health centre to water borehole and to civic centre.

While all communities have received the first tranche of N20m each, most communities are still battling with the second phase mostly on account of various community disputes, including over the sites of such projects and the perennial conflicts between town union executives and traditional rulers as well as land ownership, land compensation and even the names such projects will bear.

The state government made the completion of the first and second phases of the Community-Choose-Your Project in each area a prerequisite for participation in the third.

Adinuba said that inability of the third phase to take off was discussed extensively at the last state Executive Council meeting of the year at the weekend, and Governor Willie Obiano who presided at the meeting decided to use the opportunity of the yearly mass return of Anambra people all over the world to their homeland during Christmas to appeal to stakeholders in each community to resolve every dispute affecting the third phase.

“A situation where less than 20% of our communities have yet to complete the second phase of the Community-Choose-Your-Project is not commendable”, Commissioner Adinuba quoted the governor as saying.

“We must do something about this state of affairs, all the more so during Christmas when Igbo towns and villages have for decades used to launch various development projects and reconcile differences.

“Though Anambra has in the last five years emerged Nigeria’s safest state and also the most peaceful and socially cohesive, pockets of controversy in various places have not enabled us to attain the level of development we envisage for our people.

“Let stakeholders from abroad and elsewhere intervene in the unnecessary controversies in their various communities, reconcile differences and come to the state government immediately for the takeoff of the third phase of the Community-Choose-Your-project, an original idea of the current Anambra State administration which has gladly been copied by some other states and is the subject of study in universities abroad.

“If the resolution of these controversy is the most important achievement of our people during this Christmas season, it is worth it because Anambra State is in a hurry to develop”.

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