It is a thing of joy that Anambra is, today, the cynosure of all eyes. Apart from the fact that in politics, the history of Anambra has remained awesome, weird and unique; it is a state with a long history of noble accomplishments. For the past six years, Anambra has been consecutively emerging first in educational advancement in Nigeria. Just last week, President Muhammadu Buhari gave four distinctive awards to Anambra teachers as best overall in the country.
So far, Anambra has produced a fair number of outstanding individuals, who have carved a niche for themselves, the state, the nation and even the continent in general in various spheres of life. For instance, the only Igbo man that has been president of Nigeria, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, is from Anambra. Blessed Iwene Tansi, who is in his final celebration as a saint, is onye Aguleri.
The only Igbo man that has ever attained the office of elected Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, is from Anambra. The first billionaire in Nigeria, Sir Louis Ojukwu, is from Nnewi. Two greatest Mathematicians in Africa, Prof Chike Obi and 12-year-old Chika Ofili, are from Anambra. An Anambra son, Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu, is the only Igbo man to have been referred to as Head of state of the Republic of Biafra. Of all states in Nigeria, none has produced three Senate presidents, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Dr. Nwafor Orizu and Dr. Chuba Okadigbo, except Anambra.
Similarly, the only Nigerian that has occupied the office of the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth is from Anambra state, Chief Emeka Anyaoku. In all fields of learning and enterprise, Anambra’s distinction is unparalleled. In ICT, Philip Emeagwali; in Literature, Chinua Achebe, Cyprian Ekwensi, and Chimamanda Adichie stand out significantly.
With all these kindness from the Almighty, others say that God is Onye Anambra. The assertion is, however, not far from the truth. After all, Christianity first came to Igboland in 1857 and the first place the missionaries landed was in Onitsha. And the first Igbo man to be a Cardinal, next to Pope, Francis Cardinal Arinze, is from Eziowelle, Anambra state. Above all, the first Igbo man to hold the position of Governor of Central Bank, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, is from Anambra state and many more too numerous to mention.
It will be an aberration therefore for Anambra to fly this kind of unprecedented credentials and still play a second fiddle in the scheme of things such as a governorship election. If Anambra was an individual, he would be an international figure. Thus, a governor of the state must be a top flight general, who has been tested and trusted. Anambra is not good for a learner but someone who has proved himself in the local, national and international scenes. Professor Chukwuma Soludo is the man.
Hence, as the Anambra governorship election is about twenty-five days away, Ndi Anambra must be wise and awake. All eyes must be open! Any sincere and rational apolitical thinker can affirm that Anambra state has trigged and limped forward many times ahead of its contemporaries. Since he came to board, Governor Willie Obiano, Knight Commander of the Pontifical Order of Saint Gregory the Great, has demonstrated that he is a proactive, visionary and foresighted leader.
The founding fathers such as the great Zik, Awolowo and Ahmadu Bello all demonstrated remarkable foresight which can be seen in the legacies they left behind. The landscape of the old Eastern Region bears the indelible marks of Dr Michael Iheonukara Okpara. These men were farsighted leaders who could see beyond their noses.
In Anambra, even a blind man can see that the state has been so transformed in the seven years in which Governor Willie Obiano has piloted the affairs of the state. Obiano has written a fascinating piece of history for himself and Ndi Anambra.
Golfers can attest that what makes a great golf course is continuity and variety; right-to-left holes, left-to-right holes. A great Economist, Lewis, once said that mere change is not growth. Growth is the synthesis of change and continuity, but where there is no continuity, there is no growth.
Ndi Anambra are therefore enjoined to make a wise choice on November 6 by voting for a socioeconomic expert, Prof Chukwuma Soludo. Let us make further progress by enthroning Soludo as the governor for he holds the magic wand to further transform the state into Dubai and Japan of Africa.
Ndi beanyi, Nkea bu nke anyi oo!
WRITTEN BY OBI OCHIJE