ALTHOUGH Anambra State, created 30 years ago did not hit the ground running in terms of infrastructural developments under successive administrations, from the year 2003 or thereabouts, it blossomed. From the middle of the first decade of the new millennium, the state began to transform into a land to be reckoned with in Nigeria. The growth manifested particularly under the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) administrations of Chief Peter Obi and the present governor, Chief Willie Obiano.
IT IS the view of many pundits that no remarkable achievement was recorded under the various military administrations that governed the state and that apart from the initial teething problems Anambra passed through as a new state, its political life was particularly turbulent until APGA emerged in her government house in 2006 and ushered in a polity that can best be described as a political era that really settled to transform Anambra.
AS A matter of fact, Anambra’s first 15 years was an era of powerful political god-fathers and money bags who held the state by the balls and regularly quarreled with their stubborn godsons. It was a period of endless lawsuits, fracas, the embarrassment of failed abduction of a sitting governor and destruction of public facilities, as well as the Government House.
THE action retarded the state’s growth and development in no small measure that one can rightly say that there was nothing like governance in the state until APGA stepped in and led ndi Anambra to take their fate in their hands and dexterously eliminated partisanship in politics.
FROM 2006, Anambra State realistically moved forward and became more developed and lesser marked by brazen godfathers’ biases and self-centered dare-devilry. Thereafter; significant results of good governance such as economic and social growth emerged, making the state the envy of others in Nigeria.
BASED on these, it is obvious that the state didn’t achieve much under military or during her epochs of chaotic civilian rule. If anything was realised in the period, it was the opposite of advancement as the existing infrastructure were destroyed, while kidnaping and banditry ensued. Most of the state’s development happened under clement democratic rules and after ballot box democracy, through duly elected persons in periods of peace and less chaotic politics.
THE question as the state gets closer to another governorship election, nine days today, is whether ndi Anambra will want to return to the political issues that rocked half of her 30 years of existence.
IT IS also worth noting that the quality of people that had gone to the helm of affairs in Anambra over the years contributed to the good governance in the state. Apart from the military leaders, all elected leaders from Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife to the current Governor Obiano were professionals who rose to the peak of their careers.
THIS fact was well captured by former governor of Anambra State, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife in an interview he granted National Light on Anambra’s 30th anniversary where he said that Anambra State reaped re-engineering from a streak of politically and intellectually savvy governors from himself, a Harvard trained economist to Dr Chinwoke Mbadinuju – a cerebral lawyer and media administrator to Dr Chris Ngige – a physician and vastly experienced technocrat to Mr Peter Obi – a philosopher and shrewd business tycoon with vast corporate boardroom experience to Dr Willie Obiano – an innovative banker, accountant, seasoned administrator and serial academic prize winner from school days. Noticeably, the academic and administrative sophistication of the governors have rubbed off on the quality of governance in the state, thus consigning leadership by strong men to history. Little wonder, from traditional rulers to presidents-general up to legislators and other strata of public office, including Anambra’s contingents at national level, leadership selection process took new educational slant that weed out people without good pedigree.
FORMER Chairman, Police Service Commission, Chief Simon Okeke, an estate surveyor and valuer once noted that “Anambra started on a new orientation to deliver… compelling need – new templates, building governance around cutting edge policy framework, opening up neglected areas where Anambra has comparative advantage such as human capital with strategic investments to make the state competitive which resulted in metamorphosing Anambra from land of local champions to homeland of global superstar.”
NATIONAL Light therefore, urges ndi Anambra to consider the gains recorded by the state through extolling leadership endorsed in the ballot boxes and by thorough and deliberate leadership recruitments. This approach has kept the state afloat by bringing sanity and good governance to the state . Given this, ndi Anambra are urged to come out in their numbers to vote the candidate with the right qualifications and antecedents to continue from where the incumbent will stop in March 17,2022.
ANYBODY who wants to recede to gun booth democracy or junk boot military rule in whatever guise should ponder whether it has paid anybody or been of any benefit to the state in the past 30 years. A word is enough for the wise.
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