By Ogbuevi (Engr.) Basil Ejimovo Manafa
In Part 1 of this article, we analyzed the revenues that accrued to both Peter Obi and Willie Obiano. We saw how Obi’s 8-years stewardship that received the total sum of ₦343.99bn (an equivalent of $2.313bn) could only generate the sum of ₦42.3 billion (in his last 6 years) in internal revenue, while Obiano’s 3-years stewardship that have received only ₦133.56 billion have been able to generate the sum of ₦40.9 billion internally, that is, about 79% growth on the figure he took over at his inauguration. We also analyzed the policy thrust of Obi’s administration, his claims and the realities.
Part 2 of this Article will focus on how Obiano articulated his Vision and Mission for Anambra State, how he fulfilled his 4Cs Campaign promises, and how he demolished and bankrupted the Armed Robbery and Kidnapping Crime Industry in Anambra State and thus elevating Anambra State to the enviable position of the Safest State in Nigeria.
The following sections will analyze Obiano’s stewardship, his policies and outcomes as he continues to serve Ndi-Anambra, his master.
1. OBIANO’S VISION AND MISSION FOR ANAMBRA STATE
Theodore Hesburgh, priest, educator and author must have had people like Obiano in mind when he wrote that “the very essence of leadership is that you have a vision. It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.”
Obiano would always say that he “came prepared”. His vision is for Anambra State “to become the first choice Investment destination and a hub for Industrial and Commercial activities” while his mission is “to create a Socially stable, business friendly environment that will attract both indigenes and foreigners to seek wealth creating opportunities in Anambra State”.
Understanding Obiano’s vision and mission, will help in comprehending and assimilating his strategies and why he recorded such huge successes where his predecessors were too afraid to tread. It will help you make sense of all the awards he was able to garner from distinguished, responsible and highly respected leadership institutions.
Obiano lives up to the message of David Gergen, the American political commentator and former presidential advisor to Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton, who stated that “a leader’s role is to raise people’s aspirations for what they can become and to release their energies so they will try to get there.” Is it a wonder then, that Obiano sought to raise the aspiration of Ndi-Anambra by articulating his vision and mission and thereby providing the inspiration for Mr. Tony Odili Ujubuonu to compose the Anambra Anthem? It’s therefore not surprising that no less a person like Mr. Edward Kallon, the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Nigeria, would applaud the lyrical relevance of the Anambra Anthem and commended its visionary invocation of the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda as captured in the body’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
It was Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and founder of analytical psychology, who wrote in one of his famous reports on leadership that one’s “vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside awakens”. Willie Obiano must have been a student of Carl Jung, as he was able to prove by inspiring Ndi Anambra not only to dream but also to look inside by awakening the greatness that lives within them. This formed the foundation of his leadership as he deliberately unleashed the power of vision and mission to Ndi Anambra.
It was the ability to look inside to awaken that led Obiano to solve in its near absolute terms, the insecurity that pervaded Anambra State when he resumed, and as a sequel to his Akuluouno Philosophy, rising to the call of history by calling on all Igbos to formally perform the burial rites of Ndigbo who lost their lives in the Biafran war, the two world wars and countless gales of violence that repeatedly shook the foundations of this country. He named that symbolic memorial ceremony OZOEMEZINA.
Ozoemezina is both the awakening and the tool to re-awakening the republican spirit of the Igbo man and Anambra keyed into this, being led by Obiano. He thus awakened in every Ndi Anambra, the greatness that lies within and the urge to settle at home. That was Willie’s prelude to Akuluouno!
2. 4Cs – Continue, Complete, Commission and Commence
Obiano seemed to have gone ahead of Ciampa & Dotlich (2015) when they argued in their book – Transitions at the Top: What Organizations Must Do to Make Sure New Leaders Succeed – that transition is over when it is apparent that there will be leadership continuity, that is, when the new leader is established, has taken hold of new responsibilities and has earned credibility from early success. Willie Obiano aptly matched the leader in the transition they outlined.
Obiano’s hinged his campaign promises on the 4Cs strategy in which he promised to sustain the Peter Obi’s legacies by completing existing projects and initiating new ones. He realized that this is the bane of our nation’s leadership woes, where outgoing regimes recklessly award inflated contracts at the end of their tenure, commit the new regime by paying out mobilization fees even without bank guarantees, and leaving the incoming administration dry and confused.
Obiano believe his predecessor laid a good foundation on which he can build. He also understands it’s his responsibility to fix the foundation wherever it’s found to be cracking or failing. True to his campaign promises, Obiano has completed over 320 kilometers of road, including over 80% of the roads Obi awarded towards the end of the last administration’s tenure. Obiano did not abandon any project initiated by Obi’s administration. In the spirit of continuity, Obiano has entered into a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement for the completion of Onitsha Hotel, Awka Mall and Agulu Lake Hotel.
An American Sociologist, Matthew Desmond argued that “a Home is where children find safety and security, where we find our identities, where citizenship starts. It usually starts with believing you are part of a community, and that is essential to having a stable home”.
Anambra State is called the “Home for all”, and truly, that is what it is. However, Willie Obiano inherited a home where children couldn’t find safety and security, where people no longer believe they are part of the community, where they feel detached as a result of criminal activities going on everywhere.
Prior to Obiano’s stewardship, kidnapping and armed robbery was a thriving and lucrative industry in Anambra State. With over 200 people kidnapped among whom were politicians, traditional rulers, priests and religious. The kidnappers were known to have extorted well over N2 billion in ransom from family members between 2006 and 2014.
Prominent people that were kidnapped include but are not limited to the following:
(1) Igwe Robert Eze of Ukpo (N100m)
(2) Igwe Patrick Okeke of Abagana
(3) Igwe Lawrence Oragwu of Adazi Nnukwu
(4) Igwe Jerome Udechukwu of Ihembosi
(5) Late Dr. Chidi Nwike – Former Deputy Governor (killed by the kidnappers)
(6) Prince Kenneth Emeakayi – State Chairman of PDP
(7) Iroko – Chairman of Nnewi Auto Parts dealers
(8) Mr. Earnest Obiora – former Chairman of Nnewi North LGA
(9) Dr. Emeka Aniebonam – Member, House of Assembly;
(10) Sir Toby Obi – Chairman, Emeka Offor Foundation;
(11) An Expartriate whose company paid N165 million ransom;
(12) A sister to Chief Ekenna, the MD of Orange Drugs;
(13) A younger brother to Chief G.U.O. Okeke;
(14) A Manager and Cashier with Access Bank Plc
(15) A Manager with Julius Berger Plc
(16) A Manager with CCC Construction Company
(17) Late Pa Iloenyosi – father of former Super Eagles player (killed by the kidnappers);
(18) Madam Adafor Madueke, an 89 –year old grandmother
(19) Miss Chisom Nwoye – daughter of a former HOA Member;
Coming to office, it became quite clear to Obiano that his vision of making Anambra State the first-choice investment destination and a hub for industrialization and commercial activities is at the risk of being truncated by the thriving kidnapping and armed robbery industry. Meeting a state that was heavily traumatized by violent armed robbery, kidnapping, child-trafficking and growing cases of drug-related crimes, Obiano knew that he must provide the antidote to crime for his vision to be achieved.
Obiano’s belief in security as the backbone on which Anambra State’s economy is to be founded, put in action, the words of Barack Obama, that “in a world of complex threats, our security and leadership depends on all elements of our power – including strong and principled diplomacy”. It was that strong and principled diplomacy that led Obiano in hosting the landmark Security Summit which was facilitated by Moshe Keinen, a renowned Israeli security expert, resulting in the clear blueprint on security. The implementation of the security blueprint led to immediate set up of Operation Kpochapu, a Joint Task Force that is made up of the Police, the Army, the Navy and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA. He also erected security tents on locations that used to be flashpoints for violent crimes, donated a gunboat to the Navy to protect Anambra waterways and launched occasional surveillance helicopter patrols into our Anambra skies. This arrangement also led to the erection of clockwork 360 degrees security architecture that ensures the safety Anambra state in the skies, in the waters, and on the land.
Obiano’s investments in security has made Anambra the safest state in Nigeria. This has been attested to by no lesser person than the Inspector General of Police, in many interviews and functions.
Despite all these achievements in security, Obiano like Ban Ki-moon believes that “true security is based on people’s welfare – on a thriving economy, on strong public health and education programmes, and on fundamental respect for our common humanity. Development, peace, disarmament, reconciliation and justice are not separate from security; they help to underpin it”. It was this belief that led him to “tackle the menace of herdsmen attacks and kidnappings with the use of diplomacy, tact and surveillance”.
Obiano constituted a Cattle Menace Committee headed by the Commissioner of Police, and comprising traditional rulers and leaders of the Fulani community in the state as members. Agreements were reached that has stemmed the menace of the herdsmen and none of them carry guns in Anambra State.
Obiano’s stewardship has made Anambra the most secured state where businesses thrive.
Anambra State remained the state with the lowest or no threat of herdsmen attacks owing to the pragmatic solution arisen menace.
Part 3 of this article will devote time to examining Obiano’s stewardship with respect to what he called the Anambra Economic Equation. This economic equation is the formula is the basis of his broad-based wealth creation and employment generation strategy.
The 12 Enablers + 4 Pillars (Economic Engines) = 8 Outcomes