A rare man of his words
A STANDING ovation for Governor Willie Obiano for being a man of his words. One remarkable attribute that endears leaders to people is the ability to marry words with action. The verb of leadership rather than the noun is what distinguishes one leader from another. Taciturn may overwhelm a leader if they choose to wear such toga as attire, but are forgiven if their actions carry much weight than the lightness of their mien on a positive note.
Making promises is one thing, delivering its dividends sound logical and appealing. The striking balance in which Gov. Obiano interweaves between action and words keeps manifesting even when the situation tends to prove contrary. The forthrightness of Gov. Obiano’s actions far outweighs all shortcomings a leader of his calibre may portray. Leadership isn’t about making many promises as political statements. Tell the people what you will do to add value to their lives however few and deliver.
Governor Obiano has demonstrated this numerous times. During the campaign for his re-election in 2017, when he promised to construct an international cargo and passenger airport in the state. Anambra State being the most populous and industrialised, besides the gateway to the Southeast, needs such a project to facilitate faster and safer movement of people and goods to the state.
Some people, especially sceptics went to town saying that the promise won’t materialise after the election. They argued that Anambra State has struggled with building a domestic cargo airport with a site at Oba, Idemili South Local Government Area for years. How attainable it will be for the governor to accomplish that feat before he leaves office by 2022. The Oba airport project has remained in the making since the late 1970s. Anambra State indigenes constitute a large percentage of air travellers that patronise neighbouring states airports. Yet, capable of building an airport, while missing out on the economic potential it offers the state.
From the conception of the Anambra International Cargo and Passenger Airport, Umueri, during Gov. Obiano gubernatorial election campaign, work began at the airport project site in December 2020 and within 15 months landing and other facilities at the airport are achieved.
While addressing the crowd that gathered to witness the airport’s first series of successful test-run flights on April 30, 2021. Gov. Willie Obiano, said the state did not borrow a Kobo to construct the airport.
“We began this project in January 2020 when COVID-19 was adversely affecting economies of every state, nation and the world over. We were able to start and by the grace of God we are here to witness this historic event.” he said.
Gov. Obiano, who listed facilities already completed, said the airport had the best and longest runway, control tower and lightning system in Africa.
On assumption of office, he became the “ALERT GOVERNOR” as Anambra workers nicknamed because of his labour friendly policy that all workers must be paid on or before 26th of every month and, that leave allowances are paid alongside December salaries.
He has reiterated on several fora that he prioritised workers welfare and well-being. He acknowledged the vital role the workforce is to the socio-economic development of the state. Leading credence to prioritising workers welfare, in 2018, Gov. Obiano was honoured with a Presidential award as the “Best Governor on Workers’ Welfare” at an event organized by the Office of the Secretary General of the Federation.
Akpokuedike as Gov. Obiano is fondly called promised to pay off the 25- years arrears gratuities owed to retired workers of Anambra Newspaper and Printing Corporation, (ANPC) and Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS), and also re-enlisted staff of Anambra Newspaper and Printing Corporation into the state pension scheme, which previous administrations didn’t implement, though stipulated by the edict establishing the corporation.
No Governor handled the October 2020 the #EndSARS protests that swept across the nation like Gov. Obiano. He made good his words when he walked with protesters, visited the SARS office at Awkuzu and released some inmates. Earlier in 2015, the federal government transferred 47 Boko Haram inmates to Ekwuloba prison throwing the state into disarray for weeks. Gov. assured the ndi Anambra that the state will demand the federal government relocate the Boko Haram inmates to another location. He succeeded in doing that.
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