The people of Anambra State and the entire Nigeria will today experience an unprecedented flamboyant inauguration as Anambra State Governor Willie Obiano will be sworn-in for a second term in office, having overwhelmingly won the November 18, 2017 gubernatorial election in the state.
The venue, Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka has been decorated to accommodate the high profile personalities that would grace the occasion, even as residents of Awka, the state capital, and other towns in the state on Friday expressed excitement about the inauguration and hoped that Obiano’s second term will bring more democracy dividends to them.
The personalities expected to grace the inaguaration will be drawn within and outside the country. Already, five State Governors have indicated interest to be present among other personalities from different walks of life.
Those in entertainment industry are not left out as Tekno, one of the most sensational artistes on the Nigerian music scene, will perform live.
The enigmatic crossover artiste, who has never performed in South East Nigeria since he assumed the status of an adored figure in contemporary Nigerian music will have his first home-coming when he performs along Flavour.
The Ebonyi State born singer will be hitting the stage with Anambra-born Flavour in a memorable performance that has been scripted to bring verve and colour to Governor Obiano’s date with history today.
The two superstars are some of the brightest lights of Nigeria’s music industry with huge fan base across Africa and beyond.
Another artiste, Dan Ian of Wrinkars Experience, will also add colour to the inauguration.
Dan Ian is one of the greatest pop singers of the 70s with a string of hit songs that helped Ndigbo to heal from the trauma of the Biafran War. Ian wrote and belted ballads like none other in his time and left a monumental work in his song “Fuel for Love.” He also released other timeless songs like “Money to Burn” which topped the charts for months in its time.
The Ihiala, Anambra State-born singer, is widely seen as an artiste that is far ahead of his time as his ‘Fuel for Love’ has remained evergreen, winning new audiences among the younger generation.
The inclusion of Dan Ian among the musicians billed to perform at Obiano’s inauguration is seen as a perfect blend of old and new flavours that will meet the assorted musical tastes of the variegated audience expected at the ceremony.
Ian joins Flavour and Tekno in a show that is scripted to lace up Governor Obiano’s second term inauguration with the bright colours of happier days ahead.
The hallmark of the inauguration is the taking of Oath to commensurate his electoral victory on November 18, 2017.
The former Anambra State Commissioner for Information, Chief Tony Oyima, said the electoral victory is not only a confirmation of his achievements in the last four years but has also placed on his shoulders a historic responsibility.
He said: “The event will mark the beginning of Obiano’s journey towards consolidation of his legacies after an impressive first half.
“The taking of the oath of office and that of allegiance is a mandatory requirement of section 185, subsection 1&2 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). As a solemn and divine event, it acts as a contract between him and the people. The import and seriousness of the ceremony is underscored in the Holy Scripture.
“The Bible in the book of Numbers, Chapter 30 verse 2 states “when a man voweth a vow unto the Lord, or sweareth an oath to bind his soul with a bond, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.
So before Ndi Anambra, family, friends and well wishers, the governor is expected to renew his pledge made four years ago to “create a socially stable, business-friendly environment that will attract both indigenes and foreigners to seek wealth creating opportunities in Anambra State”.
According to Onyima, “As the governor prepares to begin his tenure, it is expedient to take a cursory look at some of his achievements.
Development, it has been said, is a continuum and unending. At best it’s incremental. This is why each political leadership grapples with different challenges and priorities. However, a political leadership that has its eyes on history focuses on projects that have the greatest impact on the lives of the people.
These are what people like former Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, calls ‘signature or Iroko projects’. The governor must have had this at the back of his mind when he enunciated his blueprint, comprising four main pillars and about 25 enablers. The administration has no doubt made enormous impact on areas like education, health, investment, agriculture, infrastructure, community development and most importantly security.
The governor has publicly promised to set the pitch of development higher in this second coming. To that extent, the tempo of activities has, since re-election, been more than an uptick in the positive ring. It is expected that in the intervening days, the deepening of institutions of government will be done to enable the governor to begin to fulfill the many promises he made during the campaigns.
With the unparalled effort in security which triggered uncommon development in almost all the sectors of the economy, the Obiano administration has set about to consolidate not just the gains in governance in the state, but the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), the party that has graciously indulged Ndi Anambra with integrated development in the last 12 years.
With a missionary zeal, the governor is expected to take the political message of APGA to other states particularly the South East states. Repositioning the party aside swelling its chances of winning elections will augur for replication of its many achievements and the planting of the APGA philosophy of fraternity in other states.
For a decade and more, the party had dominated politics in Anambra and was within an ace of replicating the magic in the South East, especially Imo State, when the effort was truncated. Winning Imo State was an effort made possible by the party’s mass appeal. But no sooner was the victory achieved than it was betrayed by unguided politics.
The quest for personal glory and the erroneous impression that the interest of the people is better served in a bigger party conspired to liquidate the effort at expansion. At great many cost to public good, the party was caused to shrink in size. Its fledgling influence was not only allowed to suffer impious decline, but a concerted effort was made to nip what was left of it off the political firmament of the entire South East.
Sadly, past efforts at resuscitating the party could not yield much not so much because APGA could not reinvent its appeal, but there was no conscious effort to expand. The government in Anambra at the time was shy of making further effort at capturing new grounds either because it was enmeshed in leadership tussle with the national executives of the party or there was insufficient funds to drive its programme.
Those who thought the party could replicate the feat of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) under the leadership of the wily, but indefatigable, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in Lagos were disappointed. The party held on to Anambra and made no further progress.
But since Governor Obiano’s re-election, there are signs that the status quo will change. He has shown interest in expanding the reaches of the party. So far, nothing suggests he will act any less than Tinubu in ensuring that APGA takes effective control in the South East and beyond.
He had worked hard to give the people dividends of democracy by changing the security architecture of the state, reinvented agriculture, attracted enormous investments, sustained development in education, boosted effort in health delivery, reordered infrastructure and delivered development to communities according to their choice, etc.
It is difficult to imagine he will be smug with merely leading a government and a party that cannot make effort to break new grounds in the next four years. It is a mark of his leadership style, which abhors micromanagement of ideas that before and after his re-election, there has been an influx into APGA.
As a matter of fact, the 21/21 victory can be said to be possible because not a few persons exerted themselves for him. And no day has passed since the re-election that people do not take up membership of APGA. The party has become a brand that is sought by all. What remains is its ability to manage well the subtle interests as may exist in various states when offering tickets for elections. Once that is achieved, APGA will soar higher in the coming election.
To effectively consolidate on the many gains of the administration, Governor Obiano having identified his baskets of value offerings should pursue their implementation with an unwavering commitment and tenacious determination. No doubt when fully implemented like the improved security architecture, investments, agriculture, education, health, Umueri Airport City Project, communities-choose-your-projects initiative among others will have transformational impact on the lives of Ndi Anambra and become an enduring legacy of the administration. When this is done, the governor would have finished strong and well.