Anambra State residents will wake up the morning after Governor Peter Obi leaves office and realise that a giant walked through the land. The atmosphere in the state is saner; polluters have been cut off from circulation. Governor Obi may not be a saint, but he is a capitalist. His single-minded approach to governance may be brutal but, in many occasions, it served as the bulldozer to remove intractable roadblocks.
Official activities in Anambra State, like all over the country, were put at a full stop by corruption. Unscrupulous individuals masquerading as contractors collude with politicians to undertake government projects. They use an infinitesimal fraction of the contract to make a mockery of the project and share a larger percentage among the parties. Governor Obi tied a tight string around the state purse and succeeded in fighting this fraudulent practice to the barest minimum. His critics say that he started very late but today construction work is going on practically in every area of the state and most have been effectively completed.
Anambra State is becoming liveable again. People can move around freely without the paralysing fear of being bundled for a ransom. The governor’s support of community vigilante groups appears to be very effective. The operatives tackle security problems from neighbour to neighbour as they are very familiar with the terrain.
The political gimmicks of Governor Obi must not go unaddressed before one is labelled a praise singer. The irregularities in the elections conducted under his watch are still boiling over in the election petition tribunal and some electorate are feeling robbed of their franchise. The governor advised desperate unemployed citizens to apply for jobs with the state government prior to the governorship elections. They were hopelessly disappointed because they wasted time and money and were not offered any job after the elections were over. His social security benefit to deprived senior citizens that motivated many votes during the last governorship election appears to be history. The governor contrastingly lives up to his nickname of The Rock for his heart is like a rock.
His detractors accuse him of monopolising the wealth of the state for his industrial ventures. His admirers view his governing style as using his business skill to grow the state economy. President Goodluck Jonathan must not allow the governor to escape him. He needs Governor Obi’s stubborn streak to steer the sinking ship of the nation to sail on a steady shore.
Umuoji, Anambra state