Before Governor Willie Obiano came on board on March 17, 2014, prominent citizens of the state such as a former governor, a former deputy governor, serving commissioners, traditional rulers, academics, entrepreneurs and topflight movie stars were being kidnapped with impunity, while armed robbers were on rampage, killing, stealing and maiming innocent person.
Consequently, many people and businesses were compelled to relocate elsewhere in the country and even abroad. Ndi Anambra living in the Diaspora were scared of coming home for the yuletide, socio-cultural and business activities because of threat of being abducted or murdered in cold blood. Many conducted traditional and cultural activities such as traditional marriages and burials at their places of abode like Lagos, Abuja and overseas.
Happily, this is no longer the case nowadays. Today, despite some cult related and politically instigated skirmishes during the 2021 governorship election, Anambra is now the safest state as confirmed by security agencies.
Secondly, before Governor Obiano came on board, no government in Nigeria contemplated a policy that takes democracy dividends down to the grassroots. He broke the jinx by introducing the “community choose your projects initiative” whereby the state government has, since 2017, been giving twenty million naira grant every year to the 181 communities in the state to execute any project of their choice.
Again, the aesthetic of Awka has been enhanced with the construction of three magnificent and flood light adorned flyovers with traffic lights. Recreation parks for relaxation have been created at strategic points in the capital, Onitsha and other parts of the state, thus, bringing back night life, while roads and bridges have been constructed. Youths have equally been empowered through job creation and political appointments. Students and pupils from Anambra state are today shining stars in national and international examinations and competitions as a result of Obiano’s Midas touch in education.
The Awka Capital Territory Development Authority, ACTDA, created by the Obiano government, has fast tracked the transformation of Awka and its environs into an ideal administrative headquarters of a modern state. Perhaps, if not for Governor Obiano, the ongoing agricultural revolution in Anambra state would not have commenced.
Today, Anambra is one of the foremost rice producers and millers in Nigeria. Anambra Rice dwarfs others in the markets. Vegetables, cassava and rice productions have improved astronomically and for export to Europe and United States of America. The state is equally doing well in livestock production of chickens, eggs, fish and Efi Igbo.
It is also a thing of joy that Anambra has the biggest and most modern oxygen production plant in the Southeast, situated at the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, Amaku, Awka. Anambra is the first state in the country to initiate and implement a health insurance scheme, popularly known as ASHIA, which has made access to medical treatment easier and very cheap for families who subscribe to it.
Another people-oriented programme of the present state government is facilitation of soft loans for micro, small and medium scale enterprises by ASBA from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. The Anambra Small Business Agency, ASBA, did not exist in the state before the emergence of Governor Obiano. On the first of August 2020, the Presidency gave an award to the Anambra state government as the Most Supportive State Government in Nigeria for Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in the country.
None of the previous administrations in the state ever thought of providing street lights in major roads and streets across the state until Obiano began to do it successfully. Notwithstanding paucity of funds, the state government has demonstrated its responsiveness in the manner it is systematically constructing new roads and bridges in addition to rehabilitation of deplorable roads, hitherto poorly constructed across the state.
Governor Obiano’s Anambra International Cargo and Passenger Airport, Umuleri commenced commercial operation on December 7, 2021, while the FIFA-standard Awka City Stadium was commissioned in December too. Another legacy project of the Obiano administration, the International Convention Centre, is nearing completion among many others.
There is no doubt that the governor has, in eight years, surpassed the achievements of virtually all his predecessors. To God be the glory.