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When leadership calls for the best and brightest

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It was Peter Obi, who came into office through electoral litigation, who turned around the fortunes of the state. Proofs of his prudent, pragmatic, able, and successful leadership of the state abound for everybody to see.

Thankfully, Anambra State is on the march to greatness, again, after being held down in the past by unscrupulous political elements in the state. Then, they placed their selfish and parochial interests above the collective good. When the fourth republic dawned here, the generality of Nigerians heaved a sigh of relief and expected that things would change for the better. It did not change for the better, immediately, however.

In Anambra State, instead of enjoying the fruits and gains of representative government, the people suffered under suffocating and ineffective political leadership occasioned, partly, by the political godfatherism that characterised the politics of the state, then. Is Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju and Sir Emeka Offor’s fight for the financial purse and soul of the state not fresh in our memories? And Dr. Chris Ngige took on his political benefactor, Chris Uba, over the control of the state. Those needless political fights hobbled the state and stalled its development.

It was Peter Obi, who came into office through electoral litigation, who turned around the fortunes of the state. Proofs of his prudent, pragmatic, able, and successful leadership of the state abound for everybody to see. He revamped the educational sector. Little wonder, over the years, the state recorded impressive performances in such examinations as NECO and SSCE during his reign as governor. And he upgraded and refurbished Nursing schools and government-owned hospitals in the state, knowing that functional and effective health care delivery system is an imperative in any society. The impacts of his able leadership of the state can be seen in the areas of infrastructural development, agriculture, road rehabilitation and construction, and others.

His successor, Willie Obiano, has acquitted himself exceedingly well so far. Having garnered leadership experience in the oil and banking sectors, and having been well-acquainted with the state’s multifarious problems, he formulated policies that would address those problems before he took the oath of office.

So, not surprisingly, he has lived up to expectations. Is Anambra’s revenue not shored up and augmented by the money it generates from the state’s exportation of its agricultural produce? And the flyover bridges, which he built in Awka, the state capital, have solved the traffic problems there. More so, he has rehabilitated bad roads in the state and constructed new ones, opening up the state for rapid industrialisation. Little wonder, towns that are near the commercial cities of Nnewi and Onitsha have become boom towns and hub of economic activities. More importantly, the security of lives and property in the state is guaranteed as he unrolled and executed pragmatic security policies soon after he entered in the saddle of leadership as the Anambra state governor.

So, even the most implacable political foe of Obiano will struggle very hard to prove that Governor Obiano’s leadership scorecard for his first term in office is not glittering. So, the teeming masses of Anambra state would like him to continue in office as our governor. But one of the features of democratic governance is the conducting of periodic elections to vote out bad leaders and vote in good ones. The Anambra people will go to the polls in November to elect the governor of the state. And Obiano, expectedly, is the governorship candidate of APGA, the ruling party in the state.

Among other top contenders for the coveted governorship diadem are Chief Osita Chidoka, the flag-bearer of Unity Progressive Party, Oseloka Obaze, the governorship candidate of PDP, Godwin Ezemo of PPA and Tony Nwoye, the governorship standard bearer of APC.

It is an indisputable fact that Mr. Tony Nwoye, who is currently a lawmaker in the National Assembly, can make a good showing in the governorship contest given the fact that his backer is with a huge financial war-chest. Although his political party, APC, is the ruling party at the centre, it has not made inroads into the south-east, especially in Anambra, as evidenced by the results of the last presidential poll.

Another governorship candidate who is not a political pushover and minor is Chidoka, the Obosi-born former Federal Road Safety Commission boss. This mercurial and effervescent UPP governorship candidate has thrown his hat into the political ring with regard to the Anambra governorship election on the strength and coattails of his achievements as the FRSC boss. He seems to pander to the whims, caprices, and sentiments of the agitators for the creation of the state of Biafra in order to achieve his political ambition. No well-meaning and politically sagacious politician can afford to be clannish and insular in today’s world, however.

For the sake of continuity and the good of the state, Willie Obiano should be re-elected to govern the state for a second term. He is from the Anambra north senatorial zone like Oseloka Obaze and Tony Nwoye. And equity and political fairness demand that we cede and zone the governorship post to Anambra north as politicians from other senatorial zones had ruled for the greater part of the years since the state was created in 1991.And Obiano has performed creditably, so far, as the Anambra state governor, based on indices and benchmark for assessing good political leadership. Based on that, he is deserving of being re-elected into office.

Anambra State, which is the light of the nation, needs a governor who will guarantee its political stability and unity and sustain the tempo of development in the state.

Okoye wrote from Awka.



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