Chiedu Uche Okoye
Anambra State is one of the states that make up Nigeria. Nigeria is a federation. Federalism is suitable for us owing to Nigeria’s heterogeneity and diversities. In a federal state, the component units that make up the country ought to grow at their own paces. They should enjoy and have a measure of autonomy, especially with regard to generating their own revenue. But almost every state in Nigeria is financially dependent on the federal government for survival. They receive financial handouts from the central government, periodically.
And, in the past, both military and civilian leaders ruined our economy through their profligacy and financial misdemeanour.
Nigerians are not unaware that Nigeria’s current state of technological backwardness and economic stagnation is linked to bad successive military and civilian leaderships. Is it our lot to have second rate politicians without leadership qualities, probity, and patriotism impose on us? Until 1999, civilian regimes interspersed with military ones caused the ruination of our economy and technological backwardness. The humonguous revenues we generated from the sale of crude-oil were either misspent or brazenly stolen by our past leaders.
Consequently, Nigeria is with rutted through-fares that bring back memories of roads in such war-ravaged countries as Cambodia, Vietnam, and others. The quality of health-care services that is obtainable in our hospitals is bad. Our hospitals have morphed to morgues where sick people go and wait for their deaths. Now, well-heeled Nigerians seek for cures for minor ailments in Europe, USA, and India. The medical tourism being embarked on by some Nigerians has taken its toll on our wobbling economy that is dependent on receipts from the sale of crude-oil. And the global plummeting of crude-oil prices has dealt a devastating blow on our mono-economy.
Again, it goes without saying that Nigeria is with infrastructural deficit. Incessant power outage that is pervasive in Nigeria hinders the growth of our cottage industries. More so, our educational system is dysfunctional. Campuses across the country have been turned to beauty pageant grounds and places for mercantile Pentecostalism and evangelical hunkerism. They’re no longer centres of academic excellence, and citadels of learning and research. University graduates are found wanting in their fields of study and character. Can people without skills and knowledge drive developmental initiatives in a nation-state? The answer is a categorical no.
Nobody can dispute the fact that the PDP’s inept and visionless leadership of Nigeria has laid waste our country. For sixteen unbroken years, the PDP’s leadership inflicted pains on us and engendered corruption in our country. So, Muhammadu Buhari rode on the wave of anti-Jonathan sentiments to win the last presidential election. His slogan of change and progressive rhetoric resonated with us. But President Buhari hasn’t peeled off his toga of dictatorship and fascism. Driven by sanctimoniousness, moral priggishness, and messianic complex, he has refused to abide by democratic ethos, especially with regard to obeying courts’ rulings. The doctrine of the separation of power is the fulcrum and pivot of democratic governance.
But is the Daura-born ram-rod former soldier aware of that? His economic team couldn’t prepare a budget. And the Buhari regime appears to be clueless regarding how to fix the ills that have held us down for so long. His continued reiteration of his promises for us long after the campaign had ended rings hollow now. But in this milieu of underdevelopment, Governor Wily Obiano of Anambra state has been posting resounding successes in diverse areas of governance since he assumed the mantle of leadership as the Anambra State governor.
The governor, who is a workaholic, has rid the state of criminal elements and hoodlums. Armed robbers and kidnappers who once made the state their abode had fled it for fear of their lives. The state now enjoys tranquillity and peace; and security of lives and property is guaranteed there. Little wonder, it is now a safe-haven and destination for industrialists, who want to establish industries. More so, night -life has returned to major cities in the state.
Again, Governor Obiano’s aesthetic taste has continued to rub off on the state. Now, the state is wearing a new look owing to its beautification by the Anambra state government. Refuse wastes that are dumped at strategic locations are quickly and promptly removed by workers in the employ of the state government. Street lights illuminate the streets in the state at night, now. And well-mown lawns border thorough-fares that criss-cross and dot the streets.
It’s not only in the areas of security of lives and property and beautification of the state that the governor has left his foot-prints and marks. His giant strides in the area of infrastructural development is deserving of mention and commendation. He has embarked on the building of flyovers in the capital city to ease the problem of traffic gridlock. And he is repairing and rehabilitating bad roads in the state too. And the governor, whose governance is anchored on oil and gas, agriculture, commerce and industry, has boosted agricultural activities and practice in the state. The rice mills in the state are churning out and packaging bags of rice whose quality is comparable to ones imported from foreign countries. The governor wants Anambra state to become self-sufficient in food production. Today, not a few youths who are sons and daughters of the state have embraced agriculture.
Their embracing of agriculture has reduced the number of unemployed university graduates in the state. Our schools and universities equip people with theoretical knowledge, and not skills. But Governor Wily Obiano has consolidated and improved on the commendable work of Mr. Peter Obi, the erstwhile governor of the state, in the area of education. The state has won many national and international awards in the area of education owing to the rejuvenation and revamping of the school system in the state by Governor Obiano. The Anambra debating Team that is composed of teenage secondary school students won a trophy in far away Singapore. The state’s victory in the debating competition followed on the heels of rose Obi’s emergence as Nigeria’s teacher of the year in a competition organised by Nigerian Brewery Plc. Rose Obi hails from Anambra state.
More so, while some states in the federation have failed to meet their financial obligations to their workers, workers in the employ of the Anambra state government receive their salaries as and when due. In a milieu of depressed economy owing to massive shortfall in the revenue accruable from of crude-oil, Governor Wily Obiano of Anambra state has continued to record resounding successes in diverse areas of governance.
Okoye is a poet and civil servant wrote from Uruowulu-Obosi ,Anambra State :08062220654