Today is the last day in the year 2021. It ushers in the long awaited, much talked about 2022. Glory be to God Almighty that we are alive to see this day. Ndi Anambra, nay Nigerians and the world at large are ever grateful to God that, despite the socio-economic, political and global health challenges, we have come, we have seen and we have conquered the dimming year.
The Omicron wave of the Coronavirus has dealt a big blow on many, yet we are living to testify the goodness of the Lord. Experts say the November 6 Anambra Governorship election was the most dreaded and most talked about before, during and after the poll, yet God took the centre stage and it rather went as the most peaceful, most accepted and most celebrated.
Serene nature and status of Anambra as the most peaceful state in the nation has returned after the politically instigated pre-election mayhem and brigandage by political desperadoes. Hence, Ndi Anambra in the diaspora, who returned home for the festivities, are celebrating with pomp and pageantry, without fear of molestation or banditry as it is in other states.
Commendation must equally go to petroleum marketers for heeding the call of the Obiano administration not to hoard or increase the prices of their products. This synergy has resulted in normalizing the prices of petroleum products this yuletide. Traffic management officials equally deserve a pat on the back for managing the situations amicably. For the first time in many years, Upper Iweka axis, bridge head as well as junctions in Awka, Onitsha, Nnewi, Ekwulobia and other flash points are free of gridlock.
The greatest part of the commendation by Ndi Anambra will go to the Legacy Projects Governor, Sir Willie Maduaburochukwu Obiano. Apart from allowing the minority to have their say and the majority their way, Akpokuedike gave Ndi Anambra a worthy and competent successor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, who will take over from him on March 17, 2022.
Furthermore, Ndi Anambra will ever remain grateful to God for giving them Sir Willie, who, in 2021 wiped away their tears and soothed them after 30 years long wait for an airport. Akpokuedike did not just build an airport for his people, but an international cargo and passenger airport in less than fifteen months without borrowing a dime. Thank God that most of the returnees used the facility while many more will fly back to their destinations through the new airport.
In addition, Governor Obiano, on Tuesday, December 28, commissioned another brand new legacy project – FIFA-standard Awka City stadium. With the stadium, soon, Anambra will start hosting international sports tournaments.
Another glory brought to Ndi Anambra by the ending year is another magnificent legacy project by Governor Obiano – a thirteen thousand sitting capacity International Convention Centre, situated at Agu Awka. The governor had assured that the next governor, Professor Soludo would be sworn-in at the centre on March 17, 2021. All these legacy projects are mouth full parting gift from Akpokuedike to Ndi Anambra. Indeed, the governor is leaving mighty legacies on the sand of time. Surely, history will bequeath him.
The outstanding aspect of it all is that while Obiano is executing all these projects, he has never reneged on other responsibilities. He still embarks on other capital and recurrent projects simultaneously. His administration still champions the Community Choose your Project Initiative, where all the 182 communities in the state choose any project of their choice in a year and the state government would finance it to the tune of 20 million naira.
Akpokuedikes still pays salaries and pensions before the end of every month, hence, workers nickname him, The Alert Governor. Apart from his annual ritual of giving a bag of rice to every worker and pensioner in the state during the yuletide, Obiano pays leave allowance and other allowances and entitlements promptly, while still employing workers, despite the economic crunch.
So, as Ndi Anambra thank God for bringing them thus far under Obiano, people are requested to be civil in bidding farewell to the year. People should desist from burning tyres on the road at midnight in the name of heralding the New Year, 2022. The Obiano administration has, undoubtedly, demonstrated its genuine responsiveness to the yearnings and aspirations of Ndi Anambra.
All political office holders, traditional rulers, youth groups, town union executives and the church, should mobilize the various vigilante groups in their communities to guard against destruction of public property in their domains.
Indeed, no effort should be spared to ensure that this year’s New Year event in our beloved Anambra state is once again celebrated with fanfare, without burning of tyres on the roads and indiscriminate throwing of knockouts and fireworks.
WRITTEN BY COMR. PETER NWOSU