A Chartered Quantity Surveyor and a Consultant to Central Bank of Nigeria, Emma Afam Nwobu spoke to EMEKA NNADOZIE on the passion and dynamism of Governor Obiano
HOW would you access the governor?
I really cherish the performance of the Governor especially what he is doing now on the environment of Anambra State. He is doing a monumental sustainable development on the environment, especially on the road infrastructure; the kind of landscaping, the kind of interlocking work he is doing on the roads and in various places. In fact, yesterday, I was at Amawbia Junction, only to behold what I used to see overseas.
It has never been seen in this part of the country; may be except in Calabar and in Akwa Ibom, Those areas are where you can have what is called uncommon developments. The governor is doing a whole lot for the people of Anambra State, and the way he is responding to situations and the way he pulled down the Amawbia round about that caused the problem that took lives and he took the bull by the horn to pull it down.
In fact, I believe he is going to do something better there; and then, the prompt way he pulled down the filling station at Amawbia/Enugu Agidi Junction; the way he settled the matter and put the place to a kind of security hotspot where you can go at any point in time and see security men and they are at red alert to respond to traffic situations, security situations and all kinds of emergencies.
Do we talk about the one he is doing at the round about, the junction where you have Okpu-Uzu round about at Agu Awka; the one he is doing all the places?
I cannot but say Governor, thank you and happy birthday. I know he would soon start the work at our own side of Awka which is begging for attention. Having done the consultancy work, the survey work for the Umuogbu/Umuike Oruru Ide Junction, that place is begging for him to come.
I know these people have been coming, the Niger Cat Construction Company, saying that they are waiting for the governor to give them go ahead and give them mobilization fee to start. They will go ahead and start the work. They have come over 10 consecutive times at the road that leads to Umuike, to SS John and Paul Church, Umubelle-Awka.
In fact, he has done marvelously well and nobody has done that kind of thing. When you look back, the community choose your project initiative, that thing has never been done anywhere in the country. A situation where every part of the communities that make up the state receive something for themselves; it has never been done.
We have seen people and community names in the budget and at the end of the day, it ends up with the budget and in the paper, but this time around, each community were asked to do something and I will be glad to see if the governor is going to audit those communities that didn’t do anything with the money.
Those monies are government money, like in Awka, there was nothing done in Awka and they said there was crisis in Awka. Does it mean that the crisis will warrant them to go away with the money. Audit them let’s know who and who took the money meant for Awka and know what they have done with it.
What else can you say about him?
I duff my hat for the governor in the areas of security. Yes, there is bad security situation in the country, but we cannot say that of Anambra State. The governor is all out for the hoodlums, the bandits or whatever they call themselves.
The governor is doing extremely well. His critics have been dumbfounded; those who say he is not capable, that they will change him during his half tenure, just in his first tenure. He has really put them to shame.
See the way he is bringing the investors into Anambra State. I would advise the governor to do what he saw in Austria, which were being shown on the television in the areas of solid waste management; where people will invest in projects that will take all the wastes we have here.
I know that some of them can even buy the waste. You carry your barrow load of waste; they pay you some money to collect it and then, take it to their factory and turn it into wealth; turn it into electricity; turn it into fertilizer. I believe the governor will do something towards that direction.
What other areas?
He is doing very well in terms of agriculture. Anambra rice has flooded the places. We are even exporting rice now. I don’t eat any other rice. I have told my people not to go for any other rather than Anambra rice. Even my friends, I told them to patronize Anambra rice that it is a very good species of rice.
On the area of flood management, his emergency strategies and the way he tackles hazards and flooding is second to none. The governor has done very well and if there is any third term, I recommend him for that, but since there is none, I would ask him to stay back and don’t go back to America. He can go and contest for Senatorial seat when his time is up. He can still go there and work for Anambra State.
What areas do you want him to look into?
All I will ask him is to intensify efforts on tree planting. All these roads that has been done can only be protected by planting tress. Let there be corridors on both sides of the roads and ensure that trees are being planted as seen in places like Calabar, Cross River.
Trees will safeguard the roads, it will check erosion, it will create shades for people walking along the road. Let there be massive tree planting and that will bring us at per with states like Calabar, Uyo and even Abuja. What he is doing in the environment is good; putting the environment in good shape.
You know when you cover the ground with things like the interlocking tiles, you prevent what is called infiltration. Tthat water going to recharge the underground water is what we need; so let there be enough grassing. I want to say that it is not good for this state to say that we don’t have a stadium in the state capital. It is not good.
I know Obiano can do it. This local government stadium, the Awka Township Stadium at Arthur Eze can be finished in a record time, and people can walk into the stadium and enjoy themselves. We are not participating in the league matches. Please, efforts should be made, even if it is through private partnership participation (PPP). Let the thing be done. He knows what to do and I urge him to do so.
How much do you know him as a person?
Well, I do not know him personally. I just know him as my governor. Once I shaked his hand and that was in a crowd and I know he is a son of a principal, a teacher and he is disciplined. Other things he does that people may not like, is his private life.
I know he has a very good wife, Osodieme. It is very hard to see a woman very high up there but still humble. What the woman is doing with her pet project. T
here is this situation where she is taking mad people and other people out of the street and taking them to Nteje to rehabilitate them;
it is second to none. I remember when a house was built for one of the women that was rehabilitated at Umudioka by Chief Leo Nwuba, the transitional chairman of Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State. The governor’s wife was there to open the house and a lot of things were donated and they are things to behold.
I think he is a very good family man; he is a jolly good fellow, I can’t forget what he did at the then Abakaliki Street, which he turned into Club Street.
He is really taking Anambra State to a greater height. I want him to quickly resolve the problems in Awka. One of the good things a leader will do is to always be on the side of the people. If you want to lead your people, look for what the majority are saying and then go ahead with it. They can never be wrong. After all, it’s the majority of the people that voted for you.
How do you think that people rate him?
All he did are speaking for him. He has achieved a lot in roads, bridges like the Umueneche Awka to Nibo bridge; where can we start.
Things are happening. Roads are being tarred. I wish him happy birthday and if there is a party going on at the government house, I would like to be there. Obiano breathes passion and dynamism. His wonderful rapport with the federal government is very excellent.
Even when he did not belong to the party at the centre, he is doing well by integrating Igbo people with the president. Mind you, some of us did not vote for Buhari during General election, but unlike some of our leaders like Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Dr Alex Ekwueme had foresight that even when our people are parochial about their support, about the people at the centre, which is understandable and reasonable because we always say “Nkea bu Nke anyi.”
Like the other leaders, he has linked us back to the centre and it is yielding results. We can see a lot of federal presence in Anambra State, Osibanjo just came to Anambra the other day, the wife just came here and we would not be surprised that President Muhammadu Buhari will visit Anambra State, even when (APGA) is not his party.
Yet he is coming because of the governor. When you check the ministerial list, recently released, you will find out that Anambra State is among few states that have double slots. The governor’s relationship with the House of Assembly is very perfect. They work for the betterment of the state.