Anambra State With A New Slogan: The Plight Of The Nation

This article decried the rate at which former governor Chief Willie Obiano destroyed the legacy of Anambra State.

1. It was during the administration of HE Dr. Chinweoke Mbadinuju that Anambra State had the slogan, "Home for All". As welcoming as the slogan portrayed early on, it was later seen as a bad omen for the State owing to the rate of crimes rampant in Anambra at the time. And so, it was later changed by the administration of HE Mr. Peter Obi upon assumption of office.

2. HE Dr. Mbadinuju (Odera) inherited the affairs of the State from a military administration in 1999 with no money in the State treasury. From the little finance he was able to muscle out for the development of the State, he established and built institutions among which are: Government House, Governor's Lodge, State University in Uli, Commissioner's Quarters, Women Development Centre, Judiciary Headquarters, Anambra State Broadcasting House (ABS) to mention but a few.

3. The infrastructures Odera established were topnotch such that President Obasanjo marveled at them when he visited the State. He gave Odera A-plus in infrastructure development.

4. However, as much as Odera did his best to develop the State with meager funds available to him, his only sin which our people used to measure his administration as a failed one was the non-payment of teachers' salaries for a long period, inclusive of non-payment of pension and gratuities. Also, schools were closed down for longer months. Insecurity reigned supreme too. However, he was able to curtail the insecurity situation of the State to a lesser extent through the establishment of the State Vigilante Group also known as Bakassi Boys. He earned a B pass mark on Peace and Security.

5. Regarding non-payment of salary, what most of us failed to understand in this regard is that Odera's administration paid a salary. He inherited four months' salary owed to workers by the military administration and cleared it and then began payment of Christmas bonuses to workers. As for pension, the truth of the matter is that there was no money budgeted for pension in Abuja and sent to Anambra. So, how do people expect him to pay pensions when there is no money available for such?

6. In consequence, the administration of HE Mr. Peter Obi had to change the State slogan from "Home for All" to "The Light of the Nation".

7. The new slogan struck appropriately for so many reasons. First, the landmark judgment that was bequeathed him, HE Obi by the Supreme Court, wherein he recovered his mandate as the elected governor of the State after about two years of intense legal battle, was second to none. So, Anambra became the first state where such happened, as equally affected politicians from other states followed and to date, still follow the "light". Again, the administration of HE Peter Obi (Okwute) continued from where his predecessors, especially HE Mbadinuju and HE Chris Ngige, stopped.

8. HE Peter Obi's administration embarked on upgrading and equally rehabilitating the existing state institutions. Those were such institutions built from scratch by the Mbadinuju administration as well as those initiated and left uncompleted by the Ngige administration.

9. Okwute, of course, did not stop there. He went further to establish more institutions for the State; for example, the Igbariam Campus of the State University and the raising of the then moribund Amaku Hospital to what it is today, a befitting and or comparatively well-equipped Teaching Hospital. He went further to attract institutions for the State; for example, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). He returned most schools to their original owners and went further to equipping the schools with all necessary equipment for learning and educational development. Anambra was topping WAEC and NECO rankings as first positions back to back.

10. During HE Obi's administration, all sectors in the State were developed simultaneously via Anambra State Integrated Development Strategy (ANIDS). Thus, no single sector in the State was left undeveloped. Dilapidated roads were aggressively rehabilitated. New roads were opened, constructed, and completed. Anambra become known as the State with the largest and best road network in Nigeria.

11. Furthermore, local and international investors were invited, or better put, were attracted to invest in Anambra. International aid agencies were approached for developmental grants, which they granted.

12. So much for "The Light of the Nation" during the administrations preceding the current administration that has turned the State into "The Plight of the Nation"!

13. Yes, it is a pain in the heart that HE Willie M. Obiano has turned my dear State into a pathetic condition. He has wreaked havoc in the State! The State which hitherto boasts of over #75 billion naira painstakingly saved for her by the Okwute administration has now been plugged into over #200 billion naira indebtedness.

14. As I write this, this current administration is about to sell off some of these infrastructures built by the previous administrations, precisely the Commissioners Quarters and State Government buildings located in Enugwu. All is just for continuous looting of the State assets. How my dear State is now being made a laughing stock is not funny at all.

15. The administration of HE Willie Obiano (Akpọkuodike) that inherited a whooping 75 Billion naira has not been able to give the State her much desired developmental expectations. In the area of infrastructure, for instance, Ọka (Awka) metropolis is littered with many portions of dilapidated roads. Some towns like Igboukwu and Ihiala have roads that are seriously begging the attention of the state government for rehabilitation.

16. What about the numerous deadly erosion sites that are tearing communities apart? Although he has recorded some credit in the area of streetlights, many a town are yet to get their fair share. So that crimes of all sorts still prevail in such communities at night.

17. While we must give this administration credit for upholding security as well as prompt payment of salary to workers during the first term, we won't shy away from calling their attention to the path of failure they have chosen to tread, especially since the second term began.

18. Let the truth be told. Akpọkuodike's administration has not done well for the state in terms of infrastructural development, educational development, financial management, and health care management considering what they inherited from inception.

19. Daily, the state treasury is being drained for frivolities. The generated internal revenues are being siphoned into private pockets. Federal allocations, as well as security votes for the state, are appropriately looted and further used to pay social media urchins who do more harm than good to our image with the spread of falsehoods. "Willie is Working" has been the jingle order of the day!

20. Only uncritical minds will believe the popular, but a fallacious phrase "Willie is working". But of course, Willie is working very hard in spreading lies and falsehoods. Willie is working very hard in squandering the enormous treasury of my dear home State. Willie is working very hard in signing the white elephant Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Willie is working extremely hard in looting what is left of the State assets kpamkpam kpamkpam!

21. Do not make the mistake of falling into the deceit system that Willie is working toward the betterment of 'The Light of The Nation'. He has rather been working toward selling the assets of the hitherto "Home for All". Our ever-working Willie has only succeeded in making our dear State 'The Plight of The Nation'!

22. Akpọkuodike's administration is yet to sow good seeds for the future. They are only reaping all that was sown by the preceding administrations. Now that the billions of naira HE Peter Obi handed over to him have been squandered, then denied, he is now concerned with selling off the Commissioners Quarters built by HE Chinweoke Mbadinuju. And if we don't join hands to stop this Aguleri man now, he will prepare to sell off the many roads constructed by HE Chris Ngige, or the ones added by HE Peter Obi!

23. Obiano's administration has been deceiving us all along! First, they started the game of chicanery with vegetable export. If truly they were exporting ụgụ and onugbu vegetables to Europe while claiming also that we have enough of such vegetables in Anambra for both local consumption and export, why don't they continue the lucrative business thereby generating more foreign exchange earnings for the State development?

24. What about attracting investors to the State for the establishment of industries that could serve for the employment of labor, thereby alleviating the high rate of unemployment in the State?

25. Since they have no tangible projects now with which to campaign during the upcoming electioneering campaigns, they quickly resorted to building an airport. I heard one of his hallelujah boys the other day trying to deceive our people that the airport project is now at the finishing stage.

26. His paid miscreants are all over social media defending him, lying more than the devil, raining insults and curses on anyone that challenges the bad developments going on. I make bold to say that the situation is enormously bad and very pathetic!

27. Ndi Anambra, HE Willie Obiano emego anyị ife. O tego anyị ose n'anya. Mana ọzọ emena. Ọzọ emezina!

28. We have to change the narrative, dear good people of Anambra. We have to stop the likes of Willie Obiano from occupying Agụ Ọka (Awka) forthwith. It is time. For the greater development of our dear State, we must remove the clothes of sentiment and socks of bias that some of us are wearing. We must replace such wears with clothes of sincerity and solidarity respectively for the betterment of the State.

29. Anambra bụ nke anyị. Obodo anyị abụghị nke Willie na ndị otu ya. Oge erugo ka anyị napụta Anambra n'aka Willie na ndị otu ya, ma were zie ya tinye n'aka onye dị mma ịme ka obodo anyị na-asa ọkụ kwa ụbọchị.

30. I wonder what we gain by spreading falsehood in defending this administration that is hell-bent on draining our hard-earned assets to the last drop.

31. Ndi Anambra, greater development and world-class transformation for our dear State lie in our own hands. Let's not misuse our hands for it. It is now time for us to thoroughly scrutinize the aspirants, then candidates jostling for the governorship position and elect a time-tested candidate at the polls in November.

32. Working toward restoring our lost glory from "The Plight of the Nation" to "The Light of the Nation" starts now through a rejection process. Yes, we must reject unachievable promises that are about to fly around from sugar-coated political mouths during electioneering campaigns.

33. Dalụ nụ!

By Chukwudimma Aaron-Okonkwo

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