ANAMBRA was known in the past as the state that defied all security approaches to remain tops in criminal ranking serving as the hub for all sorts of crime in South Eastern part of Nigeria. Various means of securing lives and property were adopted by past leaders, yet, little or nothing was achieved. There have been Boys O Yeah!; OTA Boys; Bakassi Boys, among others, but no appreciable success was recorded.
But today, Anambra under Obiano is rated as the safest state in Nigeria. However, security of lives and property remains the most important desire of the citizens in every clime and any leader who neglects this all-important enabler would fail woefully. And the consequences would be enormous as it will culminate to spilling of human blood, stealing, kidnapping, molestation, raping, etc.
More so, Sir Wille Obiano, having studied the security issue in the state, resolved and determined to form a government that was professionally and intellectually balanced to be role model in Nigeria on the area of security of lives and propertyof the citizenry. Presently, other states’ governors copy Anambra security policy direction set on board by the security conscious Governor Obiano.
The governor made a remarkable history when he became the first governor in the state to organise an international conference on security with a top Israeli security expert, Moshe Kainen as the head. He followed it up with a regional security conference that featured all the five states of the South East, including Delta State.
He launched Operation Kpochapu 1 to cleanse the state and wash off all vestiges of crime. With Operation Kpochapu 2, he introduced regular aerial surveillance with helicopters and with hi-tech equipment that has capacity to generate and process photo and video of a crime scene from a long distance and conduct data analytics from different locations onto a common control-room. Operation Kpochapu 2 marked the smooth migration of Anambra’s famous security architecture from the usual brick and mortar backbone to a much more sophisticated and digital security super-structure that runs with the latest information and communications technology.
Moreover, knowing the importance of the security agents in the state, the governor provided enormous and unflinching support to the security personnel. He provided series of patrol vans, communication gadgets, Armoured Personnel Carriers, 25 units of U.S class patrol smart cars, ammunitions among scores of security enhancing materials. At present, Governor Willie Obiano enjoys the collective goodwill of ndi Anambra both at home and in the diaspora. He also enjoys the co-operation of the security agents in the state because he had subdued the terrible fear of kidnappers and criminals who had made life unbearable in the state, especially at Upper Iweka, Onitsha, where armed robbers and kidnappers were having a field day.
Today, Onitsha that used to be very tough for visitors now has a 24 hour life. Kidnapping and armed robbery have been reduced drastically. Peace and night life have returned to the state making it possible for the state to be the highest receiver of foreign direct investment in the South East.
Governor Obiano, among other things, installed closed-circuit cameras (CCTV) in different flash points in the state. He Installed Sand Bags Check Points at flashpoints with tents and solar powered street lights to lighten up the usually dark areas; launched Operation Sheba for tighter security during festivals and yuletide seasons, donated gunboats to the Nigerian Navy for marine security.
Being a man of peace, Obiano also set up the Peace Committee to ensure there would be no case of herdsmen attack and to avoid any related crisis, maintains regular aerial surveillance of Anambra borders with the police helicopter.
Speaking on the laudable achievements of Gov.Obiano on security, former Minister of Information, Labaran Maku recommended the Obiano security formula to the governors of the Northern parts of Nigeria and other states that are facing security challenges.
According to the minister, It is now creeping into Anambra State and Awka, which was sleepy and provincial is now assuming the position of the commercial headquarters of not only Anambra State but the South East. We are very happy with the performance of Governor Obiano. But there is something that I want to mention. I am personally impressed by his programme on peace and security. We know that before this dispensation, Anambra used to be a place where people were afraid to visit. But presently, I am happy to say that suddenly, Anambra State has become the center of peace and tranquility.
“Obiano’s programme on security is the best in the country. I have not seen any state that has transformed from such difficulties to such glory in terms of peace and without peace, you can’t develop. And I recommend Anambra as a model for Northern Nigeria. Because you know I come from that part of the country and as a Minister of Information, before now, I used to say that governors are the only people that can maintain peace and security in their states. When I was saying that, people thought it was politics.
“Today, the governor of Anambra State has shown that any governor that is serious about security can have it. Nigeria is a federation; states have the capacity to maintain their own security. You have the police available to you, you have the army, and the Air Force, all the security apparatus is available. But a governor must mix them and take personal leadership to ensure that all these agencies perform and give their states security.
“So, I am proud of Anambra State and I am ashamed to say that in many parts of the states in the North today, we have insecurity and there is no development, because nobody is going to take money and invest in a state where people are running, where you have internally displaced people and they are running.
“Nobody is going to invest there. And so, they must come to Anambra State; each of the states in the north and other parts of the country that have security challenges, they need to come and study the Obiano formula; a leader that is serious and will not tolerate malfeasance – will not tolerate indiscipline and insecurity in his state because he knows that once that creeps in, you can say bye bye to development. So, I am very happy with Governor Obiano”
Speaker of Anambra State House of Assembly, Uche Okafor, recently donated two operational vehicles to the state police command to ensure sustenance of security in criminalities across the state.
The Speaker while making the donation explained that the gesture was to show appreciation to Anambra State Police Command for its role in protecting lives and property as well as complement the efforts of Governor Willie Obiano in security. He noted that the vehicles would help the Ayamelum Local Government Area Division and an outpost at Ifite-Ogwari to police the areas effectively to ensure that Anambra State remains the most peaceful state across the federation. He also said that the gesture would cushion the effects of the losses incurred by the police during the #EndSARS protest.
Interestingly, with these laudable achievements, Anambra has been widely adjudged Nigeria’s safest state. Recently, the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported that for the first time in history, Anambra State attracted $10.2 million in foreign investments in 2020; this was a year virtually every sector was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Indeed Obiano’s administration has brought a dramatic turn around to the social and economic life of Anambra State from a comatose state to a point where foreign investment has started flowing in. Investors now found Anambra as safe haven to invest their hard earned money and this has actually increased the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state.
In view of these remarkable achievements, the Nigeria Police has honoured Obiano with the award of Nigerias Best Governor in Supporting Security Architecture. On the continental level, he was also honoured by Security Watch Africa as the Security Icon in Governance in West and Central Africa.