The Address delivered by the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano to mark his inauguration into a second term in office on March 17, 2018.
Ndi Anambra, ekene m unu.
Umunne m, I stand before you today as a product of love.Your Love. Your Love for Anambra State. Your Love for Good Governance!
I am the proof that we have attained great political maturity in this state.
I am the evidence that when the occasion demands, we can rise together as one and that when we stand together as one; we can bend the tide of destiny in our favour.
Ndi Anambra, this is the moment you have wished for, hoped for and prayed for. And I am here to serve!
Never before has our beloved state witnessed the electoral history that you created on November 18, 2017. And today, I stand on the crest of your love to declare A New Season of Excellence for our beloved Anambra State.
Ndi Anambra, our dear state is on a journey of self-awakening and discovery. We are reaching for the stars with the moon beneath our feet. And I am most grateful to you for choosing me and Nkem Okeke to lead you on this journey.
Therefore, my gratitude goes to the Almighty God for saying ‘yes’ to my dream of a second term in office, and I must thank you for your prayers and your votes that made me your Governor.
I bow in humility, to the leadership and members of our great party, APGA, for fighting a good and decent fight to ensure our victory at the polls. Umunne m, nke a buuu…nke anyi!
So, I must say ‘thank you’ to the newest Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Chairman of my Re-election Campaign Organization, Chief Sir Victor Umeh and his Team, for running what has been largely described as an outstanding campaign in Nigeria.
I also wish to acknowledge the personal sacrifices of our National Chairman, Ozonkpu Victor Oye and all the members of the Board of Trustee of APGA, the state APGA Chairman, Sir Norbert Obi, and his Executives as well as the entire APGA membership in Anambra State and across Nigeria. You people are awesome! Kokoronkooo! Ndi be anyi, nke a buuu…nke anyi!
Indeed, I must recognize all the candidates who ran against me in the last gubernatorial election for putting up a formidable fight. They fought like true sportsmen and women and accepted the decision of the people in good faith. They did not waste time to congratulate me and applaud the verdict from the polls. In doing so, they added a bright new chapter to our narrative of excellence in this great state. Umunnem, oga adili unu mma!
I must also thank all the leaders of the Churches and the traders, farmers and teachers, the Anambra State Association of Town Unions, the women associations and other groups whose massive endorsement swayed the votes in my favour. I thank our highly revered traditional rulers, the youths and students of Anambra State, the non-indigenes, the Diaspora and diplomatic communities, the development partners, the security agencies and the general public who support our steady march to progress in Anambra State. The victory we celebrate here today belongs to you all. Maka na nkea buuu…nke anyi! Dalu nu rinne.
Finally, I am most grateful to my beloved wife, Chief Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano. Beloved, you fought without looking back to bring us to this glorious moment. Oga adili gi mma! And to my precious daughter, Dr Ogechukwu Obiano and my beloved son, Difu; you are the reason the earth still spins on its orbit. I love you all!
Umunne m, I have no doubt that when Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu looks down from heaven, he would be proud of what you did on November 18, 2017. He would be happy that when the people he anointed to preserve his legacy jumped ship, you fought hard enough to keep the political vessel he bequeathed us afloat on the turbulent sea of Nigerian politics. Ndi Anambra, unu zulu ka emee! Nkea bu…nke anyi!
Ndi Anambra, the recent history of our dear State fills me with pride and hope. I am proud of our infinite capacity to change our story, our silent resolve to make every new day better than the day before. Indeed, I am proud that we have successfully placed our dear state on the tortuous path of progress and from this rugged valley of hard work we can all see hope in the distant hills.
Umunne m, let me assure you here that the democratic garden you watered with your votes on November 18, 2017 will bloom with the flowers of progress. It will flourish to our joy and happiness and to the admiration of all Nigerians. We shall work together, dream together and create new narratives with happy endings for ourselves. Our dream is within a touching distance under my watch! We can see its gleaming surface on the horizon. Nke a buuu…nke anyi!
Four years ago today, when I spoke to you from this same podium, I told you that the time had come “to prove to ourselves that the enterprising spirit for which our people are known all over the world can take firm roots at home, and that together as one, we can be masters of our own house.” Ndi Anambra today, we have proved without a shred of doubt that we are true sons and daughters of our fathers and mothers and that indeed, we carry the torch of their pioneering excellence.
We have taken back our cities and communities from brutal armed robbers and kidnappers who once made our beloved state a dread to decent people and a taboo to investors. We have turned the table on our collective enemies and turned our adversities into advantages. We are Nigeria’s safest state today. We have elevated governance from building roads and bridges to building lives.
We are the new agricultural model for Nigeria. Our cities and communities are aesthetic wonders with dazzling lights at night. We have re-created our social environment and restored nightlife to our cities. We suspended taxes for low income earners and put more money in the hands of breadwinners.
We have attracted huge investments and touched every community with special projects, chosen by each community. We grew our GDP by one trillion naira in the middle of recession and increased our Internally Generated Revenue while most taxes remain suspended.
We have exposed our teachers to global best practices with training in Singapore, sent our students to represent Nigeria at the World Schools Debate Championship in Singapore and awarded scholarships to 200 students. We have increased workers’ salaries in the midst of recession and settled the arrears of pensions and gratuity abandoned by previous regimes.
Ndi Anambra, we have built the longest bridge in the South East and opened direct access to our oil and gas wells. We inherited a total of 101 roads with a cumulative length of 641.924KM when we assumed office four years ago and in spite of the poor state of the economy, we successfully completed 55 of them with a cumulative length of 422.050KM. This has left us with a balance of 46 roads with a length of 219.074KM. At the same time, my administration awarded a total of 85 roads with a length of 490KM. And we have asphalted 412KM so far. We also awarded 12 new bridges and completed 5 of them. We have set our sights on completing 40 more roads before the rains come this year. We have done all these things makana nke a buuu…nke anyi!
Umunne m, our administration has established the basis for hope. We have announced a new season of excellence. We owe it to ourselves to be greater than those who came before us. Ndi Anambra together, we shall carve out a future that posterity will be proud of.
This is why we must gird our loins and roll up our sleeves for the next four years. I am fully aware of the weight of the history you placed on my shoulders with the landslide victory we recorded on November 18, 2017. I understand your hopes and expectations and I will never let you down, maka na nke a buuu…nke anyi!
Ndi Anambra, the next four years will witness a bold effort to lend roots to the great progress we have made in the past four years. We shall tighten the screws on our security architecture to ensure that Anambra remains Nigeria’s safest state.We shall install Ultramodern CCTV Cameras in strategic locations across the state to give us a new advantage in crime detection.
We shall drive hard reforms in the education sector to retain our position at the top and make education accessible to everyone to ensure that no child is left behind in our dear state. We shall build a state-of-the-art teaching hospital in each of the three senatorial zones to deepen our reforms in the health sector and initiate a medical scheme for people above 75 years of age. Major roads in Onitsha, Nnewi and Awka shall be dualized to ease traffic congestion and boost the aesthetic appeal of our cities.
To exploit the natural inclination of our people towards entrepreneurship, we shall introduce an Entrepreneurship Development Training for micro, small and medium scale entrepreneurs. This will ensure that we retain our competitive edge in areas where our talent has found the greatest expression while acquiring new skills that will help us fit into a fast changing world.
We shall devote a lot of time and attention to the construction and completion of the Anambra Airport City Project. This project carries the entire promise of the Fifth Pillar of our economic blueprint which is Logistics. Our dream of turning AnambraState into a logistics hub in the South East and South-South regions will come to reality once the Airport City Project becomes functional.
Brothers and sisters, our dear state has always been in the commanding seat of Nigeria’s creative industry. Yes. This state has produced great writers, singers, poets, painters, actors and storytellers. Among us are innovators, inventors and trailblazers. Anambra is the birthplace of Nollywood which has become a multi-billion naira industry today. It is for this reason that I have decided to add another Enabler to my Economic Blueprint which I have designated as The Creative Economy. This shall harness the creative impulses of our people in different forms and build a big industry out of them. Yes, we are ready to bring Nollywood back to its birthplace and offer a home to our people’s creative energy. So, if you are a creative person in Anambra State, wake up because your time has finally come!
We have set our sights on turning the Awka Capital Territory into a 21st Century city that will reflect our collective personality as Ndi Anambra. It will be a city of dreams that will announce our ambition to the attentive world! It will take a lot of sacrifice and hard work but it can be done and it will be done!
Ndi Anambra, as I gaze hard into the face of tomorrow, I see joy and laughter for my fellow citizens. But I also see challenges that we must overcome to enjoy the liberties of true citizenship. I see the mountain of doubts created by electricity supply to the colourful dreams of our people. I see the horrifying threat posed by the menace of herdsmen to the happiness of our farmers. I see the lingering anxiety caused by the uncertainties in the nation’s economy. But these challenges are not stronger than our collective resolve to take back our happiness. I have no doubt that together we will rise against them and together we will put them behind us for good.
Fellow citizens, our dear country, Nigeria is going through her usual cycle of self-interrogation and self-doubt. Once again, the ties that bind us are threatening to snap. Once again, voices are rising against voices and for the umpteenth time, we wag fingers in each other’s faces. But this country has seen it all and this country has survived it all. Yes! Nigeria has travelled through the darkest tunnel of time and came back safely to light. So, fellow compatriots, this too shall pass!
For those of you who desire a brighter future for your dreams; those who hope and pray for a Nigeria that is strong enough to compete in the comity of nations and kind enough to sooth the pains of her citizens, I urge you to worry no more because our great party is here to fulfil that promise.
Fellow compatriots, as the election year draws nearer, think of a better Nigeria. Think of APGA! If we can do it in Anambra with lean resources, we can do it in Nigeria with our abundant human and material endowments. I urge those who have yet to obtain their Permanent Voters’ Card, to do so now because the greatest power on earth today springs from the ballot box! Your Permanent Voter Card is your power to change our world. Please don’t deny yourselves this power!
Umunne m, as we lift our eyes to the horizons and the difficult decisions we must take, let us bear in mind that the hallway of history is lined up with as many heroic exploits as supreme sacrifices that made them possible. No meaningful progress is ever made without sacrifice. None!
And as each new day comes bearing the hopes and armour of a New Promise, let us stretch out our hands and open the doors of greatness to our dear state. Let us accept responsibility for our happiness and build a new world that will announce our presence on God’s earth.
If our forebears; the Great Zik of Africa, Sir Louis Odumegwu Ojukwu, Mokwugo Okoye, Dr Akweke Nwafor Orizu, Igwe Osita Agwuna, Professor Kenneth Onwuka Dike, Professor Chinua Achebe, Professor Chike Obi, Mrs Janet Muokelu, and other illustrious personages laid the foundation for today’s Nigeria, our generation has no choice than to make Anambra State the quintessence of excellence! This is one mission that must not fail!
Brothers and sisters! This is the Anambra Challenge! The Anambra Promise!
It is up to you and I to keep it for generations yet unborn!
Ndi Anambra, the Time is Now!
God bless Anambra State
God bless Nigeria