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Governance hinged on grassroots development



His Excellency, Chief Willie M.Obiano is now six years in office as governor of Anambra State. It has been an eventful period, marked by the state’s rise from mediocrity to a leading force in the nation’s polity.
From social harmony to economic prosperity, Anambra rides in verve; enriching her rich gallery with more collections of laurels and dominating in major competitive areas.

Citizens wish time could slow its ticking pace, to savour more amazing gains of service-oriented governance from a man whose heart and soul remain close to his subjects.
Obiano’s six years so far has truly transformed Anambra State from just one of the states that make up the federation to one which bears glowing light in committee of progressive states in the developing world.

National Light in salute to a rare-breed in generation of administrators that had occupied Anambra State Government House, chronicles many feats that make his reign spectacular in the anals of time in this special edition, ‘Obiano’s government @ 6: Legacies of Passionate Governance’.
Enjoy our reporters’ collections served in reviews, analyses and interviews

GOVERNOR Willie Mmaduaburochukwu Obiano is not the first Anambra State Governor and definitely will not be the last but his regime’s landmarks in grassroots development of the state etches him permanently in the heart and soul of ndi-Anambra as one of the greats, if not greatest leaders in the state’s history.

  The narratives of Anambra State governance under democracy has been an impressive one, such that the state has savoured innovatives of progressive minded personalities that held the realms of its adiministration overtime more than  loathsome bigots some states may have had in their anals.

  For the past six years, Governor Willie Mmaduaburochukwu Obiano has articulately redefined the craftsmanship of good governance with amazing grassroots development architecture that has brought both the urban and rural people to a common course in building a strong people’s government and collectively sharing dividends of vibrant policies.

  The ‘four-pillars and their enablers’ structure has taken governance away from hegemony of few political class to involvement of all people in the project- a hallmark of democracy. Perhaps, this has given more opportunities to communities whose voices were little heard in the past, to partake in unfettered manner in their own governance affairs.

  Today, not only do communities in Anambra State enjoy massive infrastructural development but that virtually all communities are interconnected with the much eluded community link-roads and other infrastructure. Obiano’s poise to take his development strides down to the grassroots reflects his understanding that charity as popular saying goes, should begin from home.

 His partnership with African Development Bank for the construction of rural roads in 14 local governments of the state under Anambra Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP) at relatively short period to tune of $50m affairs that he was not courting any rhetoric but ready for real deal.  Ayamelum, Anambra East and West, Oyi, Dunukofia, Awka North and South, Aguata, Ihiala, Ogbaru, Idemili South and Aniocha Local Government Areas have either benefited or on the process of benefitting from rural road projects for easy carriage of agro products from areas of production to urban centres and markets. 

  It continues to be a delight driving through Enugwu-Ukwu, Abagana down to Ogidi due to the excellent reconstruction works carried out in the areas such that users of the roads today can hardly remember the pains of plying it due to its bad condition before Obiano came to their rescue. It is on record the glowing plaudits a Catholic Priest in Nawfia; St Anthony Catholic Church, Nawfia, Rev. Fr. Damian Kenechukwu, showered on the present government for engaging in projects that touch directly on masses’ lives.

  Today, Ogbunike community in Oyi Local Government Area spares no thought in showering encomiums on the governor for his human- faced government. These appreciations would not have come if they were not witnesses to the springing up of infrastructural facilities across many communities, including, the neatly tarred road linking them with Ogidi, Abatete and other neighbouring towns. What more dividends could democracy yield than offering what the people crave for? In a social media post credited to a user from the town, it reads, “Willie-is-the-man. For long we have been clamouring for road; we got much promises but no fulfilment. Governor Obiano has done it, something different in the history of Ogbunike. It may not have come too early but what matters is that it is done well.”

  According to Anambra State Commissioner for Works, Marcel Ifejiofor, Governor Obiano has holistically touched Anambra such that anybody who does not see his legacies across all facets of the state may be living in the moon. “The governor has done wonderfully well and he is still doing. Some governors in their second tenure will think there are no jobs to be done but that is not Obiano for you.

He has taken his last two years in his second term as if he has just started.” Taking a cursory walk through Obiano’s grassroots road projects, the commissioner noted that even communities along the riverine areas, precisely Nzam, Onono, all in Anambra East that usually go to their communities through Delta State, Aguleri- Olu  and Aguleri-Otu now all have good roads traversing their communities.

 Away from the riverine areas, the mainland’s have great tales of road infrastructure to relish. Amansea, Ndiukwuenu communities now have link roads, well tarred, ashphalted and good drainage to ward off flood. Ogwuaniocha in Ogbaru and Isuaniocha, Nteje, Nando, Otuocha communities are in reveries of good road, Nise- Ring Road, St Joseph’s Road, Nibo, are all Anambra’s pride to showcase, courtesy of Governor Obiano.

  The Federal Government of Nigeria acknowledges that Nigeria loses US$9.8bn annually in post harvest losses. That informs their choice of programme that opens up rural places and mark five states out for pilot phase of providing facilities that would ease conveyance of agro products from hinterlands to urban centres.   The state’s include: Taraba, Bornu, Anambra, Benue, Cross River and other 13 states. The facilities federal government targets to provide include: roads; markets, veterinary clinics, cottage industries, storage equipment and road safety facilities..

  Even as federal government is battling with addressing agro products revenue loss through envisaged provision of enabling conditions, Anambra State’s move to make agrarian areas accessible through provision of roads cannot be more apt. The multiplier gains extend to job creation as road maintenance personnel would certainly be needed, agric workers of different categories as well as operators in transportation industry will have opportunity to play some parts.

  The state government has great vision and knack to key swiftly into the needs of the masses, hence its proactive engagements in those areas of need.

  In the words of the Commissioner for information and Communication Strategy, C. Don Adinuba on feats of the indefatigable governor, ” Anambra State receives one of the least financial allocations every month from the federation account.”   He quoted the National Bureau of Statistics as showing Anambra as the least indebted state in the whole country as well as the state with the lowest poverty index. It goes without saying that the industry in an avarege Anambra citizen has been boosted with viable policies their visionary leader has been able to provide.

  To cap a glorious era, Anambra State security architecture has provided a robust platform for advancements recorded in the state for the past six years and remains a model for other states in Nigeria to emulate. This did not come through fortuitous twist but well articulated plans executed with honest expertise. When Obiano doled out security patrol vehicles shortly after convening South South Summit in 2014, it was crystally a strong statement of non compromising position of the state with any act likely to undermine her progress yet many did not give the project much chance, as similar ventures embarked by different administrations in the past fell short of people’s expectations. The same may be said of many states across the country and crimes continued on the rise every day.

  Apparently, the general security situation in the country today measures the tremendous impact of Obiano’s security architecture. This is given the peace and harmony enjoyed in the state when some other states today struggle under the siege of terrorism and other crimes. It would be recalled that Anambra State, some years ago, was reference point when life was to be seen as brutish and lacking in purposefulness. Today, the narrative has changed and the social climes exude peace, conviviality and safety that people go about their businesses without fear and sleep with two eyes tightly closed.

  Without relapsing on achieved success, the governor tightened the noose on security by launching the second phase of Operation Kpochapu with panache that left observers awestruck. Rolling out 110 heavily equipped smart vehicles with Boston, Massachusett’s made CCTV installed in them and handed to all security agents in the state – the Army, Navy, Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp, Federal Road Safety Corp and Correctional Services; the bar on fight against insecurity surely got notches too high for any challenge from her counterpart states. Criminals did not need to be told that the game was up, while those who dared to remain in the state have the gods that blocked their ears to blame, as imminent crackdown was there for all to witness.

  To appreciate the impact of good security system in the state, the growing economic life of communities both at the urban and rural areas need to be taken into account. Small and medium scale businesses are now springing up in their numbers in all nooks and crannies of communities across the state and thriving well too. This would not have been, if confidence of the people in their safety as well as property was not given massive boost through formidable security system.

  Even with the growing menace of herdsmen and their penchant for horrors, communities in Anambra State today lose no sleep about any attacks from these terrorists due largely to their confidence in security architecture the government has bequeathed her citizens.

  Renowned economist and former Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, once said, ” what is not broken, why mend it?” Governor Willie Obiano has indeed given ndi Anambra enough to relish in a long history and what remains is to have a successor that will consolidate on the legacies of impacting-governance to the people when he leaves office. The signs are clear that his government will continue to deliver on breathtaking innovations until the last seconds of his tenure.

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