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Pressure on Obiano ahead of Anambra 2017 guber poll

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Willie Obiano

Willie Obiano

For Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra, it has been smooth sailing with the governance of the state, and has been receiving accolades from within and outside the state.

He has been credited with faithfully keeping the vision of Peter Obi alive and ensuring that sanity was brought back to Anambra and particularly to Onitsha, the economic nerve center of the state.

The governor has also been noted for prudently managing the resources of the state to the extent that where most states of the federation are indebted to their workers in salary arrears; Anambra is increasing the wages of its workforce.

Recently however, the honeymoon seems to be over. All of a sudden, there has been a barrage of problems from all angles including political and communal. The social media has been awash with reports screaming about how the Governor has become a failure.

The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), which he has successfully stabilised after the exit of Obi, has also been embroiled in crisis.For instance, about 10,000 citizens of the state have resolved to frustrate the second term bid of the governor for his alleged failure to create jobs for the teeming youths.

In addition, they accused him of nepotism and deliberate discriminatory practice in the provision of infrastructure for the communities.The youths congregating under the aegis of Omambala Indigenous Youth Foundation (OIYF), explained that they resolved to jettison Obiano because he did not support their community when they confronted their Kogi State neighbours over the Orient Petroleum site at Enugu Otu Aguleri

Incidentally the youths are from Anambra North Senatorial District, which is Obiano’s constituency. They hope to muster more youths in the state with the sole objective of ensuring that the governor does not remain in the Government House beyond 2017.
 
According to the chairman of the Foundation, Simeon Okafor, Omambala is made up of 34 communities in four local government areas in Anambra North Senatorial Zone. The councils are Anambra East, Anambra West, Ayamelum and Oyi

He asserted that Obiano has not executed any serious project in the communities or provided jobs for the youth – except for those of his hometown of Aguleri.Okafor said that it was the choice of the governor to either meet their needs for jobs and the provision of infrastructure in the affected communities, or risk not getting the second tenure.
 
Besides, he claimed that each of the 34 communities has qualified graduates who could serve in various capacities at the state and local government levels. He maintained that they went to Governor Obiano to provide them logistics support to visit the Attah Igala at Odeke in Ibaji Local Government Area of Kogi State to negotiate peace with the people over the lingering dispute between Anambra and Kogi over the Orient Petroleum site, but their request was turned down.
 
“We took a very big risk to visit Odeke. They nearly killed us but for the quick intervention of the elders who noticed that we came for peace and pleaded with their youths to spare our lives. Fortunately, our meeting with them yielded tremendous results because before that meeting, Odeke people had banned and chased all the Igbo from Odeke but after that meeting they lifted the ban and accepted them back into their fold,” he added.
 
At the political front, the national working committee of APGA has been at loggerheads with him over his backing of the embattled chairman, Victor Oye.The party has insisted that the governor should forget any plan for second tenure if he chose to stick to Oye. Several efforts by Obiano, who is the chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT), to reconcile Oye with members of the NWC have so far proved abortive.

Nonetheless, observers see the unfolding developments as part of the intrigues of the state’s governorship election coming up next year and as attempts by some stakeholders to position themselves for relevance.

They argued that Obiano has actually stood out among the governors in the country and should not because of politics be regarded as having failed the people.

Similarly, James Eze, Senior Special Adviser to the governor on Media sees these challenges and the recent characterisation. According to him, the governor has not manifested any trait of failure neither does he fit into that frame of reference, wondering how can a man who in less than one year in office clean up Anambra of crime and criminality fit into this framework.

“Obiano wiped the state clean without spilling blood; chased kidnappers and armed robbers out of town, cleaned up Upper Iweka and restored the confidence of Ndi Anambra in the home-state and the pride of Ndigbo in this frontline Igbo state. How does that make Obiano a failure? he queried.

Besides, Eze argued that the governor started an agricultural revolution that has placed Anambra on the agricultural map of Africa, noting that recently the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, the governor of the Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele, and chairman of Agricultural Committee, Senator Atiku Abubakar Bagudu were at Coscharis Farms in Anaku, Ayamelum Local Government Area to witness the impressive partnership between the State Government and Coscharis Farms that was midwifed by Obiano.

He said commendation should go to the governor for providing an enabling environment for businesses to thrive. He disclosed that the governor has built six bridges simultaneously in two years while the country’s economy was sliding into a recession.

He added: “Again does a man who increased the salaries of workers by 15% at a time when other state governments were borrowing commercial loans to pay salaries qualify as a failure? I don’t think so. Does a man who granted amnesty to 25 prisoners and gave each the sum of N1m to help them find their footing in the society at a time Nigeria is in a recession qualify as a failure?


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Willie Obiano

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