Contrary to high expectations of rapid development of Anambra when it was created on August 27, 1991, the state’s growth was disappointingly stunted during military regimes in Nigeria. However, there was renewed hope when the country returned once again to democratic governance in 1999.
With the advent of the Fourth Republic, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP governed Anambra till March 17, 2006, when the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA government came on board. Today, there is no doubt that since the All Progressives Grand Alliance took over the reins of power in the state, progressive and welfarist leadership has manifested, to the delight of the people.
The party has fared better in the scheme of things in Nigeria. The dazzling street lights at night and gleaming flyovers in Awka announce the birth of hope. The influx of investors leading to the attraction of about 6 billion dollar-worth of investments shows that APGA has been making bold efforts to transform Anambra.
Apart from the new Anambra International Cargo and Passenger Airport at Umueri, the ten thousand seating capacity International Conference Centre at Agu Awka and the FIFA-standard Awka Sports stadium, Anambra will soon join the league of oil producing states, the feat that eluded it in the past thirty years; thanks to the proactive and visionary leadership of the APGA government in the state.
Governor Willie Obiano is nicknamed the alert Governor by workers for his prompt payment of salaries and pensions. Before APGA government came on board, workers were on strike for about one year, due largely to non-payment of salaries and pensions. Schools were under lock and key. But today, the difference is clear. Anambra, under APGA, is the only state in Nigeria to have yearly given a bag of rice to every worker and pensioner in the state. APGA government handed over schools back to Missions, rehabilitated schools and donated to them modern equipment and vehicles, even to private-owned schools, just as hospitals are refurbished and modernized. Today, drugs are no longer out of stock in public hospitals. The biggest oxygen plant was built in Awka by the APGA government.
People are still recruited into teaching and public service, while the serving ones are regularly promoted and sent to training. Government is paying special allowances to teachers in hard to reach areas and those teaching special courses. People living with disabilities are not left out in all these largesse.
The state is leading in security, agriculture and education sectors, while industrialization is doing well. Truth be told; APGA has shown a great leadership promise that deserves an applause, encouragement and sustainability. APGA government introduced a health insurance scheme called ASHIA to enhance the living standards of the citizenry.
Again, for the first time in the country, APGA government started a people- oriented program known as “Community Choose Your Project Initiative’’, where every community in the state receive twenty million naira to execute any project of its choice. With this development, no community has been denied direct democracy dividends by the government.
Equally, there is hardly another state that has established socio-economic 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. The programs of these agencies have attracted numerous awards to the state, even from the Federal Government. Anambra rice has dwarfed even foreign rice in our markets.
It is a thing of joy that APGA government has delivered about eighteen Bridges and many kilometers of roads to Ndi Anambra. Despite the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, EndSARS protest, recession and dwindling revenue, Anambra state government, ably controlled by APGA, has performed beyond expectations since 2006. The state is still the first in every economic indicator – be it unemployment index, poverty index or cost of doing business in Nigeria. These achievements are showcasing APGA as a reliable ally, worthy of sustaining.
Furthermore, the governments enthroned by APGA since 2006 are abiding sheepishly by the ideology, tenets and led down principles of our Supreme Leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu. Ndi Anambra, “Nkea Bu Nke Anyi”.
WRITTEN BY SIR NOBERT OBI