by Simon Onuora
The president saw how Obi fought doggedly to make Anambra an oil producing State; he had the privilege to commission the brewery Obi attracted from South Africa, he knew about the LG Electronics Centre and the quality contributions the Governor has made to assist the Federal Government investment drive.
There is one truth that all the contenders for the Awka Government House in the November 16, 2013 Anambra Governorship election must respect, no matter on which side of the political divide one is coming from. That is what I call the Peter Obi phenomenon.
Love Peter Obi, or hate him, no sane critic can honestly deny that Obi in seven and half years has done more for the State that all the eight governors before him did in fifteen years.
Governor Obi’s legacy in the areas of infrastructural and human capital development, industrialization, economic transformation, security of life and property, health care delivery, education, agriculture and food security, transport, etc easily stand him out.
The church, traditional institutions and the aged, all attest to the fact that Obi is God’s answer to the developmental yearnings of Anambrarians. All the political travails he survived are pointers that God loves Anambra State. Were it constitutionally feasible, Anambrarians would have willingly extended Peter Obi’s rule.
However, the baton must change hands, and an unwieldy crowd of 23 contestants from as many political parties are jostling to take over. Among this crowd are the serious minded and the “also rans”.
What should agitate the average voter is who in this throng possesses the relevant academic qualification, managerial skill and experience, capacity and ability to marshal out economic policies and ideas that can improve on, or at least, preserve the sterling legacy of Governor Obi.
To achieve this Anambra does not need such a maverick politician who would be bogged down with so much party politics and intrigues that will leave him little or no time to attend to critical state matters. Obi’s success derived mainly from the incontrovertible reality that while his contemporaries plotted and contrived how to bamboozle their ways through the next election, he was determined to let his projects campaign for him.
This option paid off handsomely. I remember an episode in January 2010 in my village when a politician was trying to convince an old man to vote for a particular candidate. The octogenarian calmly replied, “I have heard all you said about this your man but let us finish with this young man (referring to Governor Obi) who gave us drinking water, renovated our school and who is constructing this only road for the first time. After that, you can then bring that your man who will distribute “aeroplane” to everybody in the land”.
President Goodluck Jonathan didn’t invite Governor Obi (a governor from the opposition) into his economic team based on his (Obi’s) special skills in politicking but because he saw in Obi an astute manager of both human and financial resources. The president saw how Obi fought doggedly to make Anambra an oil producing State; he had the privilege to commission the brewery Obi attracted from South Africa, he knew about the LG Electronics Centre and the quality contributions the Governor has made to assist the Federal Government investment drive.
Today, the emphasis in Anambra State is not so much on building of roads or health facilities and the like which is the hallmark of Nigeria’s political campaigns, but on industrialization and establishing the necessary economic environment that will reduce unemployment and by extension, crime to the barest minimum. That is the level the state is going.
Of all the frontrunners in the November 16 governorship race, the only candidate who is qualified to take over from Governor Obi in terms of track records in the management of economic and human resources coupled with the requisite educational background is Chief Willie Obiano of APGA. This chattered Accountant that excelled as the Chief Internal Auditor of Texaco Oil Worldwide and Deputy Managing Director of Fidelity Bank PLC is the man Ndi Anambra needs to evolve a Dubai out of Anambra State. The other contenders and their records are well known to us..
We know the visionless and unfocused contestants whose only driving force is the acquisition of power and all that go with it. For that reason, they feature in every governorship election while at the same time gunning for the Senate in every legislative election.
A politician who is not sure of who he is or what he wants cannot know the desire of over seven million people. It takes a person of vision to articulate the vision of others. Again, it is mere self delusion to assume that all it takes to be a governor of a state overflowing with intellectuals and professionals is to have a fat bank account even if intellectually “bereaved!” Anambra State funds cannot be used to settle personal business debts.
Governor Peter Obi has taken Anambra out of darkness and into light. The light can only get brighter if we tread the path of continuity as represented by Willie Obiano.
Read this article in the Sun Newspapers
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.