This year is already turning out to be a very interesting one. One interesting thing is that it is a year of election in Anambra State and all eyes are focused on the state. Many people will be disappointed at the end of the day because what they expect will not come to pass. God is going to intervene to make the election very smooth.
We are confident that All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) is going to win the forth coming Anambra State governorship election primarily because its candidate and the incumbent, Chief Willie Obiano has performed excellently in the past three years on the saddle.
The people of the state are very happy with the governor because he has performed well. A visit to Anambra State would show that things are working and the people are happy, workers are being paid as and when due, roads are being constructed and re-habilitated, security is being beefed up ,health facilities are being provided, and bridges are being constructed.
Last December, the Anambra State government paid the workers’ salaries on the 20th of the month, all leave allowances and pensions were paid on the 20th of the same month. So, there was no liability brought forward into 2017 and every civil servant in Anambra State received a bag of rice produced in the state.
As at the time Governor Obiano came into office, the production capacity of rice in the state was 78,000 metric tons, but today, Anambra produces 230,000 metric tons of rice. From the way things are going, in the next two to three years, Anambra will become a net exporter of rice.
The state capital, Awka, now wears a new look, three brand new fly-overs have been constructed in the city and there is street light everywhere, beautiful roads in the state capital and what used to be a local government headquarter has now became a real state capital courtesy of the wisdom, ingenuity and integrity of Governor Obiano.
Recently, the administration completed two long bridges at two different locations in the state. Despite the economic crunch, the government is still fulfilling its obligations to the people. Agriculture has received a boost in Anambra as the state now exports vegetables to Europe, which are said to be the best in the world and that is now fetching Anambra solid foreign exchange.
Today, Anambra State is arguably one of the most secured states one can think of. Throughout the month of December, there was no single shot fired by armed robbers, and no single case of kidnapping.
This is a great feat because there can never be economic development or political stability without adequate security. Other states in the country are leveraging on the Anambra experience, no wonder President Muhammadu Buhari urged other governors to take a cue from what Governor Obiano has been doing in the area of security and prompt payment of workers emoluments.
Indeed, Anambra State is expe-riencing a new era and things are moving very smoothly. This is why there is no vacancy in the government house, because the people have been benefiting immensely from the Obiano administration.
Currently, there are 181 projects going on in each of the 181 communities in the state under the “Do it yourself scheme” involving N20 million investment to each community.
By June this year, another N20 million worth of projects would be awarded in each community under the second phase of the scheme. No doubt, in the next one or two months, the governor would be busy commissioning these projects across the state. This is one major reason why the people are bent on re- electing Governor Obiano.
It is also important to note that the Anambra State government has awarded contracts for 111 roads that will be ready in the next few months. These are apart from the ongoing existing roads projects across the state. Almost all the nooks and crannies have been lighted up, all the major cities in Anambra are lighted up at night that wherever you go, it is like day break at night.
This is courtesy of the wisdom and understanding of the governor. In the area of health, the state government has awarded contracts for 326 health centres one in each ward in the state.
These are being done seamlessly as if there is no recession in the country. The governor had promised the people that they would glide through economic recession without any serious impact on their lives, and this is coming to pass. In terms of performance, Governor Obiano has performed excellently.
He has indeed performed beyond expectations. So, who are those competing against the governor? What pedigree are they bringing on board? Governor Obiano soars like an eagle and like a tower. As things stand today, nobody can match APGA in any theatre of political battle.
The people are ready to support APGA. For instance, when the issue of defection comes up, one can only see people moving from the chaotic and factionalised and dying Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) into the struggling All Progressives Congress (APC).
So, APGA does not suffer any defection in any quarter, the party is intact. In fact, many people are trooping into APGA even as the election draws nearer. But the party chose not to make it a big deal because it is not under any pressure. The performance of the governor is a testament to his indefatigable determination to enthrone probity, speedy development and security in Anambra State.
However, the people must be mindful of the activities of political hagiographers and miscreants who move about as saviours of the people when in actual fact, they are urban masqueraders. Nigeria is bigger than any individual and when people continue to fan the embers of hate and engage in ethnic jingoism, it calls for concern.
They must realise that they are not in politics to destroy or cast aspersions on the people, a practice that has unfortunately become a way of life for most politicians in this clime.
But they should bear in mind that they do not have any other business being in government than to deliver quality services to the people. This is the orientation of Governor Obiano that has made him an uncommon achiever.
The opposition has seen his outstanding and unmatched credentials that is why they have tried all kinds of ways to malign him, even when the governor traveled abroad for a deserved rest, they began to peddle rumours that he was ill and flown abroad. But the bubble burst when he returned hale and hearty. Some people talk about what happened in Ondo Statem, but Ondo is not Anambra.
The scenario is different in Anambra State, there is no crisis in APGA, it is as united as ever and there is no bad blood in the government of the state. The National Chairman of APGA, Dr Victor Ike Oye, declared recently “we have handed Anambra state to God, God brought Obiano to help us develop the state and give Anambra State a break from the destructive path.
What we are witnessing today is economic boom, political stability, better life for the people happiness and joy and that will continue as long as Governor Obiano is on the saddle.” Today a lot of people are grandstanding, calling themselves political heavyweights. But all these people who are now grandstanding should come forward with their antecedents.
They should tell the people what good things they have attracted to Anambra State. Governor Obiano is a political colossus and he is coming with a list of achievements in this election.
Let’s take a look at the case of the Enugu – Onitsha Express way. As at the last day of November 2016, that road was impassable when the attention of the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, was sought, he came to inspect the road and told the governor that something would be done, but nothing was done.
The governor saw the suffering of his people and decided to proffer some palliatives. The state Ministry of Works moved to the site and the road was fixed for those coming home for Christmas. Today this has brought great relief to everyone. The Federal Government owes Anambra State N43.8 billion for federal projects undertaken by the state and this has not been refunded.
Anambra has reconstructed over seven federal roads just to give the people some relief; this is because Governor Obiano is not the kind of a man that would watch his people suffer. In politics, we have what we call food is ready politicians.
They don’t want to suffer, they go to houses built by other persons and when they get there, they start fighting as if they were the people that founded the party. But they can’t come to APGA because they know that there is no vacancy in APGA, because the performance of the governor has astounded them.
Ultimately, one should see this election as brotherly contest in which whoever wins takes a mantle. But we know that there would be no serous fight because political jobbers now masquerading as candidates cannot match Obiano and APGA, which controls the grassroots in Anambra State. And it is clear that the people of the state are happy with the governor.
Most of the electoral losses suffered by the PDP to APC in recent elections were as a result of bitterness and in-fighting. But the case is different with Obiano as the governor does not hold any grudge with anybody, and APGA, his party is not divided.
Most of the people grand-standing today for governorship do not have a single thing to showcase. Whether it be Chris Ngige or Chike Obidigbo, Godwin Ezeemo, Ifeanyi Ubah, George Moghalu, Barth Nwibe, Tony Nwoye and Obinna Uzor, they are actually lightweights as against heavyweights that some have ascribed to them.
Most of these people have contested before and lost, so what has changed between then and now? Governor Obiano is indeed coming again to defeat them a second time. There is no vacancy in Anambra State Government House!
•Okpala, a political analyst writes from Awka, Anambra State