The governorship election for Anambra State, Nigeria, is fast approaching and the politicians are gearing up for the grueling but festive campaign that will blight them or lead them to Awka State House. The people of Anambra State including those in Diasporas are watching with keen interest and anxiety. The voters in the state are looking forward to an election where there votes really count and not a victory by machination of votes (a topic for another day).
The people of Anambra State have been and continue to be the light of the nation. One of the greatest Nigerian political leader who was at the vanguard of Nigeria’s self actualization the Rt. Honorable Nnamdi Azikiwe was from the Anambra state. Numerous great Nigerians call Anambra State their home including Cardinal Arinze, Chiuua Achebe, Philip Emegwali and many others. The point is that the people of the Anambra are detribalized, great patriots and open minded .We abhor mediocrity and extol meritocracy, therefore our leaders must be the best qualify based on merit not on sentiment.
The question must be asked: Does the present occupant of the governor’s mansion deserves a second term? The question deserves a candid answer. Governor Peter Obi has made many of us proud, the way he purported and conducted himself as the executive governor of our state. When his mandate was stolen from him, he did not take law into his hands but he took the injustice to the court. His mandate was restored and he became the possibility of what our nation could become. With his victory he was able to stabilize and normalize the state. He is simply in a class of his own, although the issue of the wandering 250 million Naira controversy took a dent on his pristine image.
Peter Obi did some good things and left many things undone. Therefore it is imperative that his record should be examined. Therefore the time has come for us to take a proper and realistic stock of the current governor and the wellbeing of the state. The Anambra people without fear or favor will endorse him with their votes or look for other candidates.
In the provision of sustainable social infrastructures just like the previous ebullient governor before him (Dr.Ngige), he built many roads and constructed administrative buildings. Peter Obi went further to equip many secondary schools with modern laboratories and libraries filled with new books. To Obi’s credit he has a comprehensive blue print that touches all areas of the government including refurbishing and provision of medical facilities in the government neglected and dilapidated hospitals.
One of the most important functions of any government is the protection of life and property. On this Peter Obi did not fare so well. On the twin devils – kidnapping and armed robbery he failed the people of the state. The core supporters of the governor will become defensive and tell you that security apparatus of the state is controlled by the federal government. That might be true, but a governor can still do a lot to curtail and control the rising phenomenon of kidnapping and armed robbery. Taking a critical and closer look at this slippery slope of moral decay in the state, one can deduce that the most culprits are unemployed youths and wayward young men.
The state must find a means to placate and control youthful lethargy and delinquency by providing minor jobs to occupy their time. An idle mind, they say is a devil’s workshop. Ananmbra State resources are limited but government can still create some sort of minor jobs include Safety corps, Environmental officers and Road corps that can keep most of these youths busy and occupied.
Candidates Soludo , Ngige and others
The citizens of Anambra must seriously not passively but take a good look and even consider other candidates for governorship office. We can not afford to be emotional by describing other parties and its candidates as unfamiliar. Nigerian constitution states clearly that political parties cannot be based on ethnicity, religion and sectionalism. Political party’s platform and manifesto must be ideologically anchored. We must give all the candidates a benefit of doubt and hearken to their voices. All gubernatorial candidates of the different political parties are our brothers and citizens of the state. Moreover these candidates including Professor Soludo and Dr. Ngige are men of integrity and doyen characters. They are higher achievers with superior minds and battle tested. To the credit of our state we are blessed with men like Soludo and Ngige that have in the past and at present continue to make us hearty.
Professor Soludo is renowned economist and former Central Bank of Nigeria chieftain that is globally recognized. And Dr. Ngige is the man that kept the light burning in those dark days that we were searching for direction. The former Governor Ngige was the one that built the first modern durable roads with efficient drainage in the Anambra State when he was the governor. Ngige gave our people hope when we were down and out.
Anambrians must stand up and be counted
Ngige, Soludo and Obi are great candidates that can lead our state to greatness. The challenges confronting the state are numerous especially the well being of our young men and women. Erosion is reclaiming our land, environmental pollution and degradation are gathering momentum and we are losing our children to crime and ignorance. The up coming generations are lacking good role models; all they see are people of unquestionable characters that parade themselves as serious members of society. Moreover, employment has become a serous problem in the various communities of the state.
The people of Anambra State cannot afford to put all their eggs in one basket. We must make the right choice for sake of our children and posterity. One man may not change the world but one man can become a beacon of hope and justice. Anambra State needs that leader with vision and strategy to make life more livable.