Governor Willie Obiano, at 66, is an achiever per excellence by every standard. Succinctly put, achievers are those who have redefined impossible, changing what cannot be done into work in progress.
Obiano’s 66 years sojourn on earth and seven years and five months in office was summarized some time ago by Chief John Nnia Nwodo, former President–General of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, who said, quote: “Today, Anambra has the lowest poverty index in Nigeria. Today, Anambra has the highest growth rate of manufacturing outfits in Nigeria. Today, Anambra has the highest growth of import substitute endeavours in rice and vegetable production in Nigeria. Today, Anambra is the state with the lowest loan exposure in Nigeria with the capacity to meet its monthly obligation to workers timeously. Today, Anambra and Lagos are the only states involved in the building of new cities planned to meet the standard of any modern city in the world.” End of quote.
And further borrowing from him, today, Anambra is the only state in Africa that built an International Cargo And Passenger Airport in 15 months without borrowing a dime, while also constructing an International Conference Centre and a FIFA-Standard Stadium simultaneously.
Since Governor Obiano was sworn-in on March 17, 2014, he has shown that when you have the solution, you become a sought of pilgrim land. The picturesque new Awka with dazzling motorways and gleaming flyovers announce the birth of hope. The influx of investors leading to the attraction of over 5 billion dollar-worth of investments shows that Obiano is a leader who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.
Same goes for the increase in and prompt payment of workers’ salaries and pensions. Graciously, the alert Governor and the Most Worker-Friendly Governor in Nigeria has been living up to his promise of paying salaries by 25th of every month.
The state is leading in security, agriculture and education, while industrialization is doing well. Anambra Rice has now dwarfed foreign rice in the market. The export of bitter leaf to Europe in 2015 signposted the dawn of an economic civilization. Today, Akpokuedike champions The Ugbo Azu Uno Initiative by setting up a committee to propagate homestead farming.
At 66, Governor Obiano has shown a great leadership trait that deserves an applause and encouragement. There is massive construction of other new legacy projects such as roads, bridges and provision of road infrastructure such traffic lights in different parts of the state, thus making Anambra number one in terms of road network in the country. Night life has returned to Anambra, thanks to the glimmering street lights in all communities, making it a one-city-state.
The Obiano administration also introduced a health insurance scheme, ASHIA, in order to enhance the living standards of the citizenry. This scheme provides healthcare to people, almost free, including laboratory, drugs and surgery. Aare Amogun of Ado Ekiti equally constructed the biggest oxygen plant at COOU Teaching Hospital, Amaku Awka as well as equipped the hospital with modern health facilities and personnel.
Again, for the first time in the country, a government started a people- oriented program known as “Community Choose Your Project Initiative”. With this development, no community has been denied direct democracy dividends by the government.
Equally, there is hardly another state that has established an outfit akin to the Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency, ANSIPPA and Anambra State Small Business Agency, ASBA, to attract investors, and empower small and medium scale entrepreneurs. Sir Willie attracted Appeal Court to Anambra, 29 years after the creation of the state.
Governor Obiano celebrated the final burial rites of our dead brothers and sisters during the Nigeria/Biafra war, tagged OZOEMEZINA, observed on the significant date of January 12, 2015. Again, he sponsored a musical fiesta in Awka in April 2017, which featured pop stars of the post-civil war.
Furthermore, the Anambra Broadcasting Service, ABS, is now the cynosure of all eyes due to Akpokuedike’s interventionist strategy. He built and equipped ABS with modern state of the art equipment as well as appointed a round peg in a round hole digital media management guru, Dr Uche Nworah, to man the complex. Today, ABS operates terrestrial and online media broadcast. Hence, ABS can now be received in any part of the world.
Otunba Atayese of Ekiti equally enrolls all the war veterans and former Rangers players into the health insurance scheme of the state. Apart from appointing the Ex-Rangers into sensitive political positions, Governor Obiano pays all of them monthly emolument, despite their state of origin.
Akpokuedike has touched all sectors, affected all the three zones in the state, beautified Anambra, changed the outlook of many communities, made Anambra the safest state, revolutionized agriculture, lighted up all parts of Anambra, improved electricity supply, put smiles on the faces of workers and pensioners and improved both human and material resources. Thus, he has bagged many notable awards, both locally and internationally, chief amongst them is the Knight Commander of the Pontifical Order of Saint Gregory the Great from Pope Francis.
No doubt, Chief Sir Willie Maduaburochukwu Obiano is a hero at 66. May you be gifted with life’s biggest joys and never-ending bliss. After all, you are a gift to earth, so you deserve the best. Congratulations Sir Willie.
WRITTEN BY DR. NNAMDI NWADIOGBU