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‘Obiano ensured violence free yuletide’

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On the unparallel security architecture

These are visible to everybody. Equipments were introduced to fight crime – vehicles, various gadgets, life boats, helicopters and human capacity building were witnessed in the security forces. The efforts of the newly introduced form of Operation Kpochapu in the state were vividly clear. Security forces were almost everywhere in the cities, local government headquarters, in villages, in fact, in almost all the nooks and crannies of Anambra State. The masses weren’t harassed, delayed or subjected to any form of hardship. Traffic was moving freely and police surveillance vehicles were stationed at strategic positions across the state.

No one was in doubt that the government was ready to take serious, drastic action against criminals. Almost everywhere was free from hoodlums, rogues, pickpockets, car snatchers, robbers. Even street fighting, violence, disorder were not seen. I can say without any equivocation that this yuletide and New Year period was the freest, safest and most enjoyable since the creation of Anambra State on August 27, 1997.

And I say kudos to the governor whose administration conceived this noble idea of placing the state citizenry in a better steady; kudos to the governor whose ideas and proactive measures brought such peace to the people. You know to ensure free flow of traffic and remove all bottle necks to adequate security and peace, the Obiano administration before Christmas, gave virtually all roads in the state a face lift. The Ministry of Works, the state Road Maintenance Agency (ARMA) and other similar agencies were at work putting all roads in good shape. This singular act of this government contributed immensely to the peace, freedom and happiness enjoyed by all during the period under discussion.

The Inspector General of Police’s order that no road blocks be mounted on Nigerian roads and unnecessary checks by law enforcement agents stopped during this period, no doubt  contributed much to the peace and tranquility we’re talking about. Even in remote areas, hard-to-reach places including riverine areas enjoyed similar tranquility and peaceful Christmas and new year as law enforcement agencies were seen in all these places patrolling with life speed boats, quite ready to nip in the bud any form of violence or restiveness. And you know workers’ salaries and allowances were paid earlier in December to enable them celebrate Christmas and New Year.

Here, I must give thanks to all agencies of government, the Anambra Traffic Management Agency (ATMA), Operation Clean and Healthy Anambra State (OCHA Brigade), Ministry of Environment, Operation Nkpochapu, local government area vigilante, and such agencies like the Anambra Leisure Parks and Street Beautification Agency, which has been working assiduously to create recreational facilities, tourist sites in Anambra for the joy and leisure of the citizens especially during this period under discourse when the state experienced large influx of people for the celebrations.

In all spheres of governance, especially during this Governor Obiano’s second tenure, we’ve seen high pace of development, positive changes in virtually all sectors and a boost in the peoples’ economic well being and this puts to shame critics and opponents who posit that there will be a hull in his second term. Governor Obiano has remained steadfast and unshaken in his commitment to the progress of the state and welfare of the masses. A cursory look at the government in Anambra State clearly shows that the administrators-commissioners, advisers, heads of boards, parastatals, etc are all focused. And they work in unity. In weekly Excos for example, there is no Mr. I-know-it-all. Whatever ideas, experience you have, you share with others.

And here you see things working. I think Governor Obiano’s style of leadership is a model and many states should copy this mode of leadership. I must thank ndi Anambra, men and women, youths, societies, organisations for the good way they conducted themselves during last yuletide and New Year. Security is everyone’s business. Without cooperation from the people, it’ll be difficult to put in place adequate security network.

I also commend the IGP for his order removing all bottle necks, unnecessary roadblocks, check points that impede free flow of traffic. Here in the state, the law enforcement agents, the police, the army, the civil defense and even the village vigilante obeyed this order. We’re pleased, happy that during this period under review, there were no bad stories, incidents of armed robbery, banditry, even pick pocketing and kidnapping as I earlier stated. To God be the glory as we saw most of our people, brothers and sisters from other states and in the diaspora coming home to celebrate Christmas and New Year with their loved ones. We pray this year’s Christmas  and next year’s New Year will be the same.

On effects of the peaceful, tranquil atmosphere

Peace and tranquility is sine qua non to progress. During last Christmas and New Year, we saw influx of ndi Anambra to the state. They came en masse from far and near because they’re sure of their security, of peaceful environment during the celebration unlike in most states where we heard stories of kidnapping, killings, robberies, violence-name it. This peaceful environment opened door to many activities, like fund raising for development in various communities, churches, halls and school projects.

Some traditional rulers performed their Ofala Festivals where indigenes of the communities converge at the palace of their Igwes, Ezes to pay them homage. The occasion creates opportunity to recognise some prominent people who have helped in developing their communities by giving them chieftaincy titles. The important thing here is that in that process, more illustrious sons and daughters declare their interest to contribute to the development of their town.

In this very circumstance, business activities flourish, hotels get a great boost, businessmen and women enjoy lucrative business and visitors, especially tourists move around freely and joyously all because the period was devoid of violence and youth restiveness. Some enjoyed various recreational facilities provided by the governor through his administrator’s Leisure, Parks and Streets Beautification Agency. You can see the beautification work of the agency across the state in Awka, the capital, in Nnewi, at Upper Iweka, Onitsha, where nine parks have gotten a face lift, at Ekwulobia, Nawfia, etc.

 It is gratifying to see ndi Anambra of all ages enjoying the beautiful work of nature sitting and walking around these places of beauty, seeing the paintings, feeling the architecture, the drawings and the smell of beautiful flowers adorning these beautiful recreational places. I know of at least 15 states in this country where insecurity has made it impossible for people to enjoy this beauty. You should note that development is not only roads, bridges and schools and fly over construction. These beauties are of great intrinsic value and they contribute a lot to life, to human development and good standard of living. They constitute great aspect of development in their own right. The intrinsic values of this aspect of development, if fully analysed, are unprecedented.

It’s pertinent to note that since Governor Willie assumed duty, March 17, 2014, water tight security network has been put in place. Many ndi Anambra have been returning home for Christmas and New Year celebrations due to this special security in place unlike in previous years when our brothers and sisters, because of crime and violence prevalent in Anambra then, stayed behind, never to visit their state during the period under survey. Some even performed such functions like traditional marriages where they reside. They abhorred coming home for fear of being kidnapped, killed or maimed.

On general appraisal of Obiano’s administration

One can say here without any equivocation that this governor, Chief Willie Obiano is the man of the people. He has successfully redefined governance and proved to everyone that government fund can be judiciously utilized for the welfare of the citizenry. The lot of work that has been done in Anambra State since this very administration came on board is better imagined than described. Look at the street beautification going on in strategic places in the state and leisure parks springing up here and there. The Upper Iweka, Onitsha hitherto a den of armed robbers has now been transformed to leisure parks, adorned with street lights and beautiful flowers.

 Little wonder visitors are seen there day and night relaxing. Ziks Roundabout at Awka Road, Onitsha, has been transformed to another beauty spot. Here in the state capital, the artistic work done at the Amawbia Round about, along Old Road remains one of the greatest works of art ever seen in any state capital in the country. Hardly one passes there without stopping to have a glimpse at this beautiful work. Even at the Government House at the front gate, the artistic work there; the ox bow and meandering roads created with flowers by the sides speaks volumes of the importance of beauty and role of nature in human development. This form of street beautification and leisure parks are seen in various areas of the state, in Nawfia, Nimo, Ekwulobia, in Nnewi and Ozubulu as earlier mentioned in this discourse and these constitute one of the greatest intrinsic values of this administration.

In fact, Governor Obiano has left invaluable records of achievement and has exhibited uncommon attributes of exemplary leadership. Under this administration, Anambra State has witnessed transformational leadership.

The present state administration has exhibited a high sense of transparency and forthrightness and has remained committed to the core values of discipline integrity and responsibility. Within this administration, the true impact of leadership has been felt by ndi Anambra and the governor has set standards in all spheres of governance. I commend him for his vision, steadfastness and passion for good governance at this challenging period of economic recession. It is successfully exploring international partnership to boost investment potentials in the state to better the lots of her citizens.

The governor’s exploits and giant strides transcend party lines. And I make bold to state that his prudent management of resources has brought massive development to all the nooks and crannies of Anambra State and set the state on the path of socio-economic advancement. We’re fortunate, in fact, lucky to have this very administration. And I have said repeatedly, all hands must be on deck to give the governor and his team adequate support.

As internal security has been the centre point of this discourse, it’s pertinent to look at a few things in the state water tight security apparatus. It’s the responsibility of every government to protect its citizens from risk and disaster. The Obiano administration knew this right from the onset and took all proactive measures to ensure the people are secured. During the period under review, the administration was battle ready for any form of criminality. It launched the use of CCTV cameras – a clear message to the men of the underworld. Governor Obiano, in conjunction with security personnel prepared well to achieve a peaceful and crime-free yuletide and New Year. His efforts here made the state the safest in the country. With the combined efforts of security officials, the governor finally shrugged off the dark clouds of insecurity, crimes and lawlessness. In fact, I’ll say here that the internal security management of the state is superb. You remember that Governor Obiano has won international award of the Best Governor on Security Architecture in West and Central Africa, an honour given to him by Security Watch Africa in the Gambia, in the presence of the country’s President, Adama Baro. There can be no meaningful progress in an atmosphere of insecurity and violence. If space permits, I’ll enjoin all ndi Anambra to support this government’s security initiative by shunning all forms of crime, reporting suspicious movements to the law enforcement agents and giving necessary information. My prayers and hope is that this year’s Xmas and next year’s New Year will remain as peaceful and enjoyable as the last one. To God be the glory.

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