MOST people believe that a man’s real character and personality is not known until they are given power to hold or when in a position of authority. This belief is as a result of various events in the past where men who seemed to be calm, humble, down to earth, honest and selfless become unnecessarily toxic, selfish and autocratic when they clinch or find themselves on the corridors of power.
For seven years in Anambra State since he was sworn-in as the executive governor and leader of the state, Governor Willie Obiano has continued to demystify the belief that men in his position are demi-gods, canny and brute.
To the dismay of many, including opposition, Obiano has continued to serve and uphold the vow he made to the people of the state at Ekwueme Square, Awka. Not only has he held onto justice, equity, fairness, compassion and empathy to pilot the affairs of the state, he has also created a conducive environment where oppositions and persons with divergent views could bring their stakes to the table of governance. This lifestyle of his has not only endeared him to the people of the state but this has put him up as an “Ideal” which his contemporaries should follow.
On that very day, March 17, 2014, when he was newly sworn-in as governor of the state, he promised to continue and complete projects of the past administrations. Not only has Obiano matched his words with actions, he has in some cases, extended and expanded some projects to meet contemporary global standards.
Records from the state Ministry of Works show that out of the 97 roads, Governor Obiano inherited when he took over, his administration has completed 54 of them while others are still undergoing construction.
Some key roads that Obiano inherited from his predecessor and faithfully completed in fulfillment of the continuity mandate include; the Ekwulobia-EzinifiteRoad, Ndiokwu-Amikpa-Oki Umuchu Road, Nsogwu Umunze Road, Igboukuwu-Ekwulumili Road by GrandStar, the Justice Nwazota, Oraifite, St Theresa’s Road, St Peter’s Nnewichi, Oguonu Road, Ozubulu,the Oye Neni-Adazi Nnukwu-Akwaeze Igboukwu Road and finally, the Umunamehi Road in Ihiala, among many others
As a man of Integrity, Obiano has not relinquished on his promise to improve public servants welfare as he continues to dutifully pay civil servants as at when due. Even when the coronavirus pandemic rippled global economies and various state governments hinged on the pandemic not to carry on their primary assignments, Obiano did not blink an eye on delivering service to the people of the state. This has ensured trust between the people and government.
Coming from the private financial sector where he reached the pinnacle, Obiano has imbibed the culture of not just making short-term plans for the state but also long-term. In his vision for Anambra, Obiano in his wisdom has started to make developmental plans for the state and her next generation tagged “Anambra Vision 2070”. This developmental plan has assembled think-tanks from various sectors irrespective of their political affiliation; truly our dear state holds a special place in his heart.
During the last quarter of the year 2019, his ingenuity led him to procure and establish an oxygen plant at Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, Awka. At the time of the oxygen plant procurement, many had adjudged it as waste of public fund and a facility which could go moribund in no distant time; little did they know that the man at the helm of affairs at Agu-Awka is the nostradamus of our time as the coronavirus struck almost immediately.
Unlike many of his contemporaries, Obiano believes in the Igbo principle of “egbe belu, ugo belu”, which strives to harness divergent views to achieve a common goal. Political chaos and uncertainties which are as a result of the incumbent fighting his predecessors as witnessed in other states are unfounded in the state.
Despite unscrupulous attacks on his government by the opposition, Obiano has remained resolute and undistracted in his pursuit of delivering good governance. In an event that serves as evidence to his unmatched level of humility, Gov. Obiano publicly asked his predecessor for forgiveness while also extending an open arm for both to work together in the interest of the state.
In the same vein, Obiano had forgiven traditional rulers from the state who had gone to Abuja to bear false witness against his government; a case which his mates wouldn’t tolerate.
Despite his sojourn in his professional career, Obiano has not lost touch with his root. To him, culture and tradition are the core values a man should identify with. This has led him to be in the forefront of any ideology/policy that promotes Igbo culture and tradition, championing Igbo renaissance. In his efforts, Obiano saw to the organisation of mass burial/commemoration tagged, “Ozoemezina,” in honour of Igbo victims of the civil war on January 12, 2015. As a lover of arts, Obiano has contributed immensely to the sector with the successful organisation of Gulder Ultimate Search, Nigeria Police Games 2020 and the introduction of the now yearly homecoming festival which began in December, 2018.
As a fashionista, Obiano has not lost trend in the fashion world as he dutifully wear clothes that match different occasions. This has also endeared him to youths as they feel him as one of their own.
With his dexterity, Obiano has continued to break jinx while setting a new paradigm in governance. Despite unwarranted distractions, he continues to be focused on delivering service to the people without losing himself to grip of power.