EVERY good song waxes more melodious as its cadence grows over time. Starting like a ditty before growing to a ballad, the Gov. Willie Obiano narrative lives true to this Ludwig van Beethoven postulation because with skill set honed in eclectics, it continues to activate a feel good effect inescapable by even critics. From business, politics, infrastructure – both physical and intangible – arts, culture, tourism, agriculture, education, health, name them. There is good tiding painting everywhere on Anambra skyline red. Little wonder then the consensus that leadership must be genetic in first governor to sire this marquee moment on a state hitherto picked apart by turbulent politicking.
No time may be more auspicious to probe any connection the biographical nuggets of such a pathfinder has with this proposition than a day Gov. Obiano is marking 64th anniversary of his first stint on cradle. Three syllogistic questions come handy in this enquiry. Is Gov. Obiano salving Anambra State with a magic wand? Is his pedigree of busking his way through same deluges that overwhelmed his predecessors cast in his DNA? Or is his brand a blend of the two foregoing hypotheses?
Nobody needs rocket science to come up with an outcome that will stand tall in Aristotelian logical crucibles, both now and in near or distant future. Nor is there any better arc from which to take off than checks at his native Aguleri town in Anambra East Local Government Area, Holy Trinity School, Onitsha and the famous Christ the King College (CKC), Onitsha as well as University of Lagos where one proposition denominated the basis on which the Obiano logic is premised at every stop.
According to President-General of Aguleri, Chief Alex Onukwue, the governor is not only a leader made for his era but one who indeed mastered his era’s tool kit from boyhood.
“What Anambra State has been enjoying since March 17, 2014 is not a product of any magic. God forbid! Our people in Aguleri do not know anything like that. His Excellency Gov. Willie Maduaburochukwu Obiano is clear evidence that great things can actually come from Nazareth, because not only has he proved to be what Anambra State has been yearning for since May 29, 1999,
but has also shown that no matter how long it takes, a good son of a great land will not grow away traditional ethos of his family and community that give him edge over his contemporaries. He must respond whenever duty calls. That is why Obiano holds the prestigious chieftaincy title of Akpokuodike Aguleri,” Onukwue said.
A testament from CKC reels in similar strand with Onukwe’s typology. Gov. Obiano was shown to tower above his classmates in very many fields but his leadership nous stood out primus inter pares, even at such tender age when it was easy to miss out.
Former Managing Director of Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA) and Member of CKC Old Boys Association, the late Joe-Billy Ekwunife, once brought up the CKC window on Gov. Obiano beyond hype or window dressing. He said that it takes CKC memes for Obiano to come up with the Four Pillars development model.
“Gov. Willie Obiano is good example of what it takes for CKC to pass through a student while he passes through her.
Anybody who thinks he’s fluke should check his records at CKC, and whatever he or she will see is what forms that leadership bulwark around which Obiano navigates Anambra State. Brilliance, focus, poise, grit, confidence, swag, authority, engagement, utility, the governor is a total personification of CKC, Onitsha and will continue to make the difference in all spheres of Anambra economy.
That’s where his brand as an outstanding leader has roots. Just take a look at how ANSIPPA made Anambra the first port of call of foreign investors in just three years,” Ekwunife explained.
A vista that complements Ekwunife’s point is a milestone at CKC crediting young William Obiano as winner of John F. Kennedy Essay Prize in 1974. He has since complimented this honour with another diadem as holder of National Merit Certificate for outstanding service at his area of primary assignment as a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) intern in Benue State during 1979/80 Service Year. Of course, more feathers have lined his cap.
If Gov. Obiano has delivered on the common good of an illusory all – through provision of round-the-clock security whose multiplier effect has rubbed off on other sectors of economy, for instance – the governor did not let up private human angle.
That’s why while all 181 communities in Anambra State caper in the Obiano ballad, each benefitting two to three legacy projects under choose-your-project development template currently in Phase III, pensioners of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) – whose cries were not loud enough to attract his predecessors’ ears – have been smiling to the banks every month since 2017.
That’s why just as nobody has lost life over an election as transient as who becomes president-general of town unions, which brought down terror regimens on many communities not long ago; Gov. Obiano has doused conflagrations previously rending more than 30 towns over who become their traditional rulers.
He has also intervened in markets where previous culture of bad blood in leadership succession triggered flashpoints. These and more defused tension from Anambra political space to create stable polity.
All these are reference points in Obiano’s rule book in which everyone is winner after elections by ensuring that nobody will be left behind in distribution of dividends of good governance.
Chairman of Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) of Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation (ANPC) Chapter, Comrade ABC Ubani, minced no words in his analysis of Obiano’s treasure trove as an outstanding leader.
“We have never had it so good. Right from her creation in 1994, successive administrations in Anambra State have passed the bulk over payment of pensions and gratuity to our retirees. It took Obiano’s belief in making the gander as well as the goose to bring this injustice to an end. Today, our members are no longer queuing up to die. We’re enjoying our pensions and gratuity like others.