Obiano’s pan-Igbo spirit
Sir: In seven years of political office, Anambra State Governor Willie Obiano has impacted on the fortunes of Anambra State as well as on the field of Igbo renaissance. Obiano’s leadership thrust tells us a thing or two about his sense of the sub national collective.
The popular view is captured in the cumulative assessment of Anambra’s fortunes by John Nnia Nwodo, President General of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo in the declaration counteracting IPOB’s campaign for boycott of the November 18, 2017 Anambra governorship poll. ‘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.’’
No issues here. But a less known dimension of the Obiano story is the patient cultivation of a pan Igbo agenda.
A closer look at the pattern of Obiano’s momentum indicates the presence of a native worldview; the dream of regional cooperation and the openness to sharing the Anambra experience on this community platform. It is common knowledge that the progressive advance Anambra has made under the watch of Obiano rests on a multiplier foundation of state security. The integration instinct instructed that better outcome lay in the network approach and Obiano would not fail to explore the composite view. Anambra State was not an island unto itself and her wellbeing was tied up with the fortunes of neighbouring states. The result was that on August 22, 2015, Anambra hosted the first ever southeast – Delta states security summit in furtherance of regional stability and cohesion.
A keen sense of the Igbo mission led to the Ozoemezina memorial held in honour of the Igbo victims of the 1966 pogrom and subsequent civil war. Observed on the significant date of January 12 in 2015, the rite of passage was an Obiano initiative for pacification of a brutal past and coming to terms with its memory.
In further confirmation of the noble spirit of Igbo union, Obiano boldly stood up to host the Ohaneze Ndigbo Summit on Restructuring of the Nigerian State on Monday, May 21, 2018.
A takeaway from the past Igbo experience is the imperative of integration today. Sensitivity to the values of our identity and heritage can only be commended. Kudos to Obiano for forging the ties of Igbo civilisation.
Ifeanyi Chukwu Afuba.
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