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*Transformation of Anambra State
If you are among those that judge Anambra State based on her past, the judgement will be uninspiring. The evidence on ground shows that Anambra has moved on from the era of non-payment of pensions and brigandage that led to the destruction of the State in 2004. Today, what we have under Peter Obi is a new, improved Anambra State that has become one of the envious states in the country. Anambra is today in the news for all the good reasons, in spite of the fierce opposition that prefer the chaotic past because of what they benefitted. Anambra is a story on innovation and substitution of bad with the good.
For the first time schools in Anambra have been spoilt with computers by the Obi administration, a luxury the students could only dream of many years back under the likes of Okpala. The same schools have been given school buses for the first time, while the government had equally provided bore holes and transformers for them to ease their problems especially the female students. His regime has promoted teachers four times and lifted embargo on their promotion which a former governor claimed was not their right.
Obi then took the bull by the horns by handing over schools back to their missionary owners. He did not just do that but doled out N6b for the infrastructural development of those schools. Now Reverend Fathers and pastors have taken over the administration of the schools while the government takes care of their salaries. This is aimed at restoring sanity and good morals in schools. ( Continues below….. )
Under this arrangement, 50 secondary schools and virtually all the primary schools were handed over to their previous owners.
Hospitals have witnessed the greatest government intervention ever in the state. For the first time the state will have a teaching hospital that will serve the state and the state owned university which the government has equally turned around and commenced the building of their permanent site. Ambulances have been provided to hospitals for the first time, while mission hospitals were also handed over to them with the government providing money for their infrastructural development.
Health centres are within reach of every community in the state and the schools of nursing in Obosi and Nkpor have received great facelifts. The general hospital at Onitsha has been transformed and this led to its accreditation by the Nigerian Medical and Dental Council.
Onitsha, the commercial hub of the state, has been witnessing a great turn around by the Obi administration which has built may link roads in the city. The first functional stock exchange in the state and perhaps in the entire east has been built in Onitsha and is contained in a sprawling business centre which has yielded enough money for another business centre which is nearing completion in the city.
The city boasts also of an ultra-modern mini-sports stadium in the northern end while a similar one is nearing completion in the southern end. The first one is replete with flood lights, tartan tracks and an under-ground tunnel.
Nnewi, another commercial and industrial hub of the state, has equally witnessed massive road network that connects the villages while work is currently going on on the last major road in the town. ( Continues below….. )
Workers have been given a befitting workers’ secretariat for the first time in the state’s history. Hitherto, the state’s ministries were scattered across the capital city, making it very difficult for effective coordination. The first two phases of the secretariat have been completed and put to use.
Before the Obi administration, the capital city had not been touched in any manner by his predecessor. It was therefore left to Obi to start from scratch to reconstruct the capital city. He started with Zik Avenue which he transformed and put street lights on. He reconstructed the Court Road and opened up a new road that leads to Works Road. He opened up a bye pass from Agu Awka through Nise to Enugwu-Ukwu so that one may not bother to enter the heart of Awka while going beyond it from Enugu.
Obi has also opened up the GRA section behind government house with a beautiful road network. He has opened up the Ngozika Housing Estate, turning it into a delight to watch and live in and has begun the tarring of Udoka Housing Estate, both in Awka. He is building the first ever library in the state in Awka. This is coming after the one built in 1966 in Onitsha.
Obi’s all sector approach to development was what made him to break the jinx of serving governors in the state not coming back for a second term. He thus became the first governor in the state’s history to have two tenures, having been returned by an appreciative public.
It is instructive that the only group that hates Obi’s guts are those who brought the state to its knees in the recent past by their gluttony and squandermania. These are the people Obi sacked from government premises and they have tried to fight back to no avail. It is obvious that they are fighting against the tide of public opinion as the rest of the citizenry are praying God to have somebody like Peter Obi as Anambra governor after his tenure finally expires in 2014.
Rosemary Ogudo, Anambra State University, Igbariam
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