Do you know that for seven years, eight months and still counting, Gov Willie Obiano of Anambra State has consistently donated his monthly salary to charity? Truly, since the inception of his administration, Gov Obiano has not spent a kobo from his salary, either on himself or his family. He has not as much as seen or touched same.
On assumption of office on March 17, 2014, Obiano gave specific instructions concerning his salaries, to be dedicated to lifting the poor, the physically challenged, the destitute and the orphan, and to alleviate the sufferings of the downtrodden and the monies are channelled accordingly.
Tales have been told of his life of generosity before politics where his doors in the office and at home, remained open to anyone who needed help. His table welcomed all to eat and be merry. Obiano brought the same lifestyle of kindness and generosity to politics and governace. His visitors at the governor’s lodge or at his country home in Aguleri would attest to this and his readily question, ‘iligo ife?
This simple yet profound life of kindness underscores the Governor’s passion, on a larger scale, for human capacity building, job creation, youth and women empowerment and generally creating a safe and enabling environment where everyone in Anambra State shared equal opportunity for wealth creation.
It was the same passion that drove the socio-economic revolution which reduced poverty to a minimal level in Anambra State. It increased rice production from 80,000mt/year to about 500,000mt/year, provided business loans to over 2,000 SMEs and enabled the shoe production cluster in Nkwelle.
It built the rehabilitation home for the mentally disturbed at Nteje, supported the Ntasi centre for sexual assault, Enugwu-ukwu, inspired the inclusion of the physically challenged and sponsored the caring family enhancement initiative CAFE, a pet project of the First Lady, Dr Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano to touch lives in ways too numerous to mention.
It also built institutions that drove sustainable economic development and provided security for lives and property in Anambra State. The impetus for the yearly Christmas security operation and periodic equipping and stimulation of security operatives in the state for optimum public safety derived from this attribute.
The same spurred the Governor towards establishing more revenue windows for Anambra State even while his tenure nears its end. The recognition of Anambra State as an oil-bearing State with hopeful access to the 13% derivation fund points to this possibility.
The legacy projects of the Governor viz: the International Convention Centre, the Awka Township Stadium and the International Cargo and Passenger Airport, Umueri promise more jobs and more opportunities for wealth creation for ndi Anambra.
What is more, the humane choice and humble insistence on having a successor who possesses the ability to do better and greater things for ndị Anambra, lends credence to Obiano’s devotion to humanity. His humanitarian service in Anambra State is easily the best work of his life.