Former Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife (Okwadike Igbo-Ukwu) has canvassed support for the second-term bid of the State governor, Chief Willy Obiano, saying the governor has done well enough to deserve another four-year term.
Ezeife, an economist and first civilian Governor of new Anambra State, said in his country home at Igbo-Ukwu, Aguata Local Council, that from what he has seen and going by people’s testimonies, he was convinced that the governor has what it takes to lead Anambra for another four years.
“I don’t hide my opinion. I told the governor that…in politics, society, economy and the likes, seek thee first security and people who feel secure in your place would do your bidding by investing, thereby propagating agriculture, manufacturing and all other things. But if they do not fee secure, nothing would happen,” he declared.
“Last Christmas, we came home and enjoyed. Last Easter, we came home and enjoyed as well. And long before then, after six months of his inauguration, we started to enjoy coming home. Formerly, our big men would stop at Asaba and pack their vehicles, if they had to come this way at all. They would hire taxi, come in the day and smuggle themselves away in the night.”
Besides, the elder statesman described as commendable the fact that the Obiano administration has done so well in agriculture that Anambra is now exporting agricultural produce to Europe.
“When he said his administration had started exporting Ugu (pumpkin leaf), some people started saying that it was a lie, a fabrication and all that. When I heard about it, I came back and asked people where the so-called ugu was being; APC said it was fabrication. When I heard about it, I came home, asked around and they showed me. I was surprised; eventually, I met with the pilot who specialises in carrying the stuff.
I was also told that the same pilot is also packaging other items such as yams, onugbu (beater leaf) and the rest for Shoprite, from Anambra farms. These are things that, as a well-trained governor of Anambra, I never conceived such ideas. You know in politics, some people are always prepared to say that everything is a lie, but they have not been able to show me one lie,” the former governor remonstrated.
And contrary to opinion in some quarters, Ezeife also described the three flyovers built in Awka, the state capital by the Obiano Administration as stately and comparable to any such infrastructure elsewhere in the world.
“Everybody who passes through Awka can testify that those three flyovers there make the State capital look special – like London Bridge if you like. So, I have looked around and the young man is hardworking,” the Oxford University trained scholar further stated.
Ezeife said the allegation that the governor is doing much more in the northern part of Anambra than in other parts is largely misplaced, noting that it is only natural for the governor to develop the under-developed part of the State, which Anambra North represents.
He said: “My answer is that if we who had held power ignored that place, it is still part of Anambra, let him develop it. I went to Nsukka and I was so happy.
You see, what is happening in Anambra is happening in Nsukka too, which is Enugu North, which is holding power now. If you haven’t been to Nsukka in a long time, you would not recognise it today.
So, I was the first elected governor of Anambra State but I never did anything for my area. By then, there was nobody to copy and I was doing the best I knew, not giving advantage to my place. If Willy Obiano faces his place and develops it, the next person will come from the South.”
He urged not to relent in trying to give Anambra North a face-lift, arguing: “Let him also face his place and develop it and before you know it, development will go round. It is that simple, and that is the beauty of rigid rotation of power. But on the whole, I think he has worked hard enough to deserve re-election.”