By Uche Nwosu
In a country where the spirit and patriotism to honestly leave an enduring legacy that will survive the scorching times is increasingly weaning , ex Governor Willie Obiano, the immediate past governor of Anambra State should be given a seat of honour. His seat should be placed side by side with former governors who had left remarkable imprints in their states.
His predecessors, Dr Chris Ngige and Mr Peter Obi (the Rock) are in this class, so is Mr Donald Duke, ex governor Cross River State. In fact, the disastrous outing of Chief Chinwoke Mbadinuju, (Odera, Governor of Anambra State,1999-2003), should be a lesson in dishonour. If Ngige, who came after him, had not cleaned up the putrid he left behind; Anambra State would still have been wallowing in fetidness. Today, Anambra has become a frontline state in terms of infrastructure and strong economic base because of these gentlemen.
Ngige set the roadmap to infrastructural implantation, while Peter Obi solidified it. The duo cleared the backlog of arrears of salaries Odera left as he made his inglorious exit out of Government House, Awka after an uneventful term.
Ngige’s legacy became a springboard which Peter Obi trudged on. He sustained it galvanized Anambra to an Eldorado where infrastructural provision was taken for granted, payment of salaries was seen as the routine of government. No excuses at the end of every month on who was paid and was not. Contractors executed their jobs without third party involvement and were promptly paid accordingly.
Under Peter Obi, ravenous wolves in Anambra were extricated from governance and the vampire that is called godfather took a flight. Anambra money went to Ndi Anambra. The legacies were real and not phantom. Peter wanted a continuation. He reached out for Willie Obiano and got him onto the saddle. Obiano continued from where Obi stopped, his inadequacies notwithstanding.
He consolidated on the infrastructure Ngige and Obi laid down. He built roads, not in the internet, but on the ground. He revolutionized agriculture on the farms and not online. Passing Anambra, one does not need to be told what Governor Obiano was doing. The works spoke for themselves. He built airport, he exports agricultural products (Ugu vegetable inclusive) to Europe and consolidated on the shares of Anambra State in London Stock Exchange whose monthly dividends pay Anambra workers and pensioners every month. Peter Obi’s vision saw this come to pass.
Besides all these, Willie Obiano gave the state a substance of inestimable quality to govern Ndi Anambra in the person of Prof Chukwuma Soludo, an economist that knows (in theory for now) how to extract water from the rock. In the world’s economy and finance circles, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of hidden funds in many organizations waiting to be tapped.
It is only the initiated i.e. economic gurus whose knowledge in international finance/funds generation and usage could see them. Those funds lie fallow waiting to be tapped. A lot is involved in getting them out for developing states/nations; pandering to the gallery won’t get them out because of the strident conditions attached to them. Actually, there are many givable and giveaways funds in United Nations, European Union, UNESCO, UNICEF, World Trade Organization etc. that can be accessed and used to improve and build a nation or state.
What Obiano gave Ndi Anambra is a man that is capable of accessing these funds because of his integrity and credibility in the international financial circle. If Soludo does what he promises Ndi Anambra, the state and indeed the entire Southeast will be in the world map of economic glory. That is what the Obiano gave Ndi Anambra.
However, the former governor governed Anambra State without caution. He wasn’t tact in governance and seemingly governed the state through idiotic behaviour. His wife, Ebelechukwu was more visible than necessary. The state was run by Willie/Ebelechukwu partnership to detriment of the people. And that’s why she danced the macabre dance of Jezebel. People, especially those in Government House circle were smacked and harassed with reckless abandon. And because of stomach infrastructure, the doctrine of sealed mouth became the only way to survive during the days of the regime.
Because of Ebelechukwu, aides and political associates declined to tell Obiano that after a glorious outing, the best is to cover one’s tracks. Ebelechukwu wouldn’t hear that from an ordinary appointee and so the appointees kept quiet while the King went to the market square with excreta behind his royal apparel. Now, security vote has become an issue; the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) rightly or wrongly says it is peeping into how security votes are spent during a public officer’s stay in office.
Obiano would have cleaned himself up in that direction. The airport and other projects would have been handled carefully too. He left things as raw as they were executed, thus giving room for that faultfinding boy at the commission to send his men after him. He was so frightened about the commission that no sooner he handed over to Prof Soludo than he fled Anambra en route to Houston, United States and was caught like a kitchen rat.
Why the hurry? Traveling the same day he handed over makes him guilty. EFCC had put him on watch list since November 2021 and by this, Obiano in the eye of the commission is a suspect. Traveling few hours after handing over the reins of governance to his successor confirms the suspicion.
Interestingly, Obiano fled left Anambra, leaving behind, a rancorous and ferocious wife whose outing at the inauguration of Soludo would continue to haunt her and her husband’s administration for a long time. The trending news condemns her behaviour in unmistakable languages. Eyewitnesses say she was anything but Excellency. What is excellent in her idiotic cat walk to where Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu’s widow, Bianca Ojukwu was seated to engage the Igbo Matriarch in a show of shame? Does she not know that harassment of Bianca Ojukwu is an attack on Ojukwu and that an attack on Ojukwu is like sending a missile (Obunigwe) to the entire Ndigbo? Ndigbo deserve an apology from Lady Obiano.
Obiano indeed, did well, but his wife pissed on his sterling achievements.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.