BY ANY measure, Anambra is an exceptional state. This is actually an understatement.
Given the number of nationally renowned Nigerians that hail from the state as well as its well-known reputation as the industrial and business hub of the South East and Nigeria, Anambra is certainly outstanding in the comity of states.
But exceptionality is not exclusively about enjoying the good fortune of having exceptional sons and daughters that hail from your territory.
In today’s world, there are measurable parameters for tracking and defining the success of communities and nations. And one of the most important is the capacity to compete.
That’s why statistics on competitiveness are taken very seriously in today’s world. The practice is to focus on business competitiveness but competiveness is not limited to business or economic capacity.
It runs the gamut of different and varied parameters which cover both development indices and other aspects of societal development.
The good news is that under the current administration of Gov. Willie Obiano, Anambra has not only retained its exceptional features as a state with some of the highest achieving avatars of business, politics, the arts, the sciences, administration etc in Nigeria; it has also grown its capacity to compete in myriad areas.
The evidence cannot be denied. An indigene of Obosi in Anambra State, 2nd Lt.
Ugochukwu Nwama, last month, won the overall best result among graduands of the Nigerian Defence Academy in Kaduna State, carting home almost every available prize for academic and military excellence.
As Obiano said when the news of Nwama’s feat got to him, the brilliant performance is reminiscent of the feat achieved by the late National Leader of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu when in the 1950s, he became the first university graduate to join the Nigerian Armed Forces.
Though Ojukwu had already obtained a master’s degree in Modern history from the world famous University of Oxford and his father was Nigeria’s first millionaire, he joined the army not even as a cadet but as a non-commissioned officer.
As a recruit, he was washing pit toilets used by sergeants and the other ranks. In other words, Ojukwu, the APGA Leader, went into the army not to amass wealth but to render great service to the Nigerian nation. Ojukwu was, of course, from Anambra State.
Obiano asserted recently, based on recent and emerging developments, that Anambra is becoming an even stronger competitive force in Nigeria, the economic challenges facing the nation notwithstanding.
It is difficult to fault the governor. Consider the sults from the training programme of police constables at Nigeria Police College, Nekede, Imo State. Constables from the state took home five out of six prizes awarded to the 192 constables who emerged from the process!
impressive performance of Anambra State indigenes in the recently announced results from the training programme of police constables at Nigeria Police College, Nekede, Imo State. Constables from the state took home five out of six prizes awarded to the 192 constables who emerged from the process!
Obiano’s joy was palpable in his reaction to the news which was publicised by the state Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr C. Don Adinuba.
The governor, who never misses any opportunity to celebrate and encourage accomplishments by Ndi icers whose efforts he described as “the brilliant performance of the fresh policemen and women” and “the latest show of excellence exhibited by our people in both international and national competitions”.
Anambra, promised to reward the security officers whose efforts he described as “the brilliant performance of the fresh policemen and women” and “the latest show of excellence exhibited by our people in both international and national competitions”.
The stellar achievement by the rookie policemen was preceded by similar performances in education by various exceptional representatives of the state.
For the third consecutive year, the state recently won the first prize in the annual national President’s School Debate Competition for secondary schools across the country.
In the final part of the contest, Anambra roundly defeated Benue State by four points to one.
Before that remarkable demonstration of consistency in the national debate contest, the Anambra flag was flying, literally and figuratively in other educational events.
The state won the first prize in the 2018 performance assessment of schools conducted by the Federal Ministry of Education and relevant agencies under its supervision. It was the second time in two years that the state would be performing the feat.
Another great performance by exceptional Ndi Anambra, this time on the international arena has already received deserved high profile media coverage.
On Thursday, August 19, 2018, students of Regina Pacis International Model Secondary School, Onitsha in Anambra State, had won in Silicon Valley in the U.S., the Golden Prize in the Global Technovation competition by developing an internet application for detecting a local and international scourge that has devastated individuals, families and communities: fake drugs.
The triumphant Anambra girls who represented Nigeria in the contest beat students from not less than 100 countries, including the U.S., to clinch the highly prestigious award.
Obiano can be forgiven for engaging in some chest thumping: “we are the only state in the entire federation to achieve such remarkable consistency in educational performance, to say nothing about the fact that we record the least number of malpractices in examinations conducted by such bodies as the West African Examinations Council (WAEC)”.
As the governor rightly observed, Anambra’s competitiveness goes beyond the educational sector.
“Many Nigerians may not know that Anambra State won the first prize in the 2018 National Immunisation Campaign under the World Bank supervision,” he stated.
The prize was given jointly to our state by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, last June at the Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja and received on our behalf by the Deputy Governor, Dr Nkem Okeke, and the Commissioner for Health, Dr Josephat Akabuike.
Development minus adequate and assured security is a rather limited accomplishment. On this score, Anambra is also exceptional.
The state is nationally acknowledged as more secure than any other in the country. This, in large measure, is due to the strategic policies and initiatives of the Obiano government which are proactive in anticipating challenges and nipping them in the bud.
A key priority is providing material and other forms of support for the security agencies. Again, Gov. Obiano is not shy in stating the facts:
“The security situation in the state has improved so much so that Anambra State is considered not just the safest state in Nigeria but also the safest place in the entire West Africa and even Central Africa”.
Obiegbu, Professor of international studies, wrote from Jos, Plateau State