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Anambra 2010: An Analysis of Governor Peter Obi’s Blueprint

By Odenigbo Chidi Anyaeche

Just after assuming office in March 2006, Governor Obi in April of the same year announced his economic and developmental blue print for Anambra state. Details of this blueprint were published and announced nationally in both the electronic and print media. Highlights of this blueprint as published on-line by This Day newspaper of Tuesday, May 02, 2006 are presented below: -

• Massive improvement in the states Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

• Restoring quality and functional education across board.

• Institution of overseas scholarship for indigenes of the state to study Medicine, Engineering and Financial Management.

• Recruitment of Chinese farmers (within 3 months from April 2006) to kick-start the state's cassava revolution.

• Massive construction of roads across the state.
• Construction of boreholes in 44 selected towns yearly from May 2006.

• Rehabilitation of water schemes in Onitsha, Awka and Nnewi.

• Massive clean up, reconstruction and urbanisation of Onitsha, Awka and Nnewi via the establishment of Urban Development Councils (UDC).

• Establishment of 20 industries before March 2010.

• Reconstruction of all buildings and infrastructure damaged by the Andy Uba sponsored November 10-12, 2004 mayhem by May 2007.

There were mixed feelings across board as to how this blueprint will impact on the development of the state and its effect on the indigenes. Some school of thought saw the blueprint as the catalyst the state needed to move forward but some more enlightened school of thought saw the document for what it was: A low-level piece of document put together by amateurs and not worth the paper it was written on. The later, I belonged to and infact published an article in This Day newspaper of May, 2006 and online in nigeriaworld.com describing the blueprint as a document borne out of “Analogue thought process in a digital age”. Time has proven me right.

Governor Obi has been in office for over forty months now and it is high time to score him using his blueprint as an index to do just that. He developed the blueprint I must emphasize. It is his own document and not an inherited piece.

Within one month in office without recourse to verifiable facts, data and other matrices, Governor Obi's boast: “To improve the revenue of his government via massive improvement in Internally Generated Revenue (IGR)” is a massive flop as evidenced by the states over dependence on federal allocation. Again no publication anywhere to date has shown any increase in IGR. A visit to the states slapdash website under the caption “Summary of Achievements” attests to this fact.

Rudimentary trading and not sound education has been Governor Obi's stock in trade so his swank on: “Restoring quality and functional education across board” was a mere paper exercise for a visit to his old school, Christ the King College (CKC), Onitsha and other schools in the state such as Boys High School, Nnobi, Community Secondary School, Obosi, Girls Secondary School, Ukpor to name a few, show a failed education system in Anambra state.

The Anambra State University of Science and Technology, Uli is a laughing stock to say the least. The vice chancellor was in the news some months ago pleading for money to buy a generator; to provide electricity for a university of science and technology. How can science and technology be taught without electricity? Yet Governor Obi's administration is spending millions of naira building sports complexes, stock exchange buildings and other white elephants. Nwafor Orizu College of Education, Nsugbe is not even accessible by road, more especially during the raining season. But most importantly, Governor Obi during his campaign, vowed to educate his children in the state should he be voted to power: to show his commitment in restoring quality and functional education. The education that is good for his children. Today his children are been educated in the UK whilst 'other people's children' are being educated in his failed schools, what hypocrisy?

Another swank of Governor Obi in that blueprint of his was: Institution of overseas scholarship for indigenes of the state to study medicine, engineering and financial management and recruitment of Chinese farmers (within 3 months from April 2006) to kick-start the state's cassava revolution. To date no indigene of the state has been awarded the said scholarship and there are no Chinese farmers anywhere in Anambra state kick starting his cassava revolution. The only Chinese in the state are his fellow traders found in Onitsha main market and Nkwo Nnewi trading in contrabands and fake products imported from China and to the detriment of sustainable employment by the indigenes of the state due to lack suitable industries to employ them.

Governor Obi's promise in his blueprint: “To provide indigenes of the state portable drinking water this 21st Century” via construction of bore holes in 44 towns across the state yearly and rehabilitation of water schemes in Onitsha, Awka and Nnewi are in shambles. He has failed woefully to deliver on this promise. Taps in Onitsha, Awka and Nnewi are still dry, whilst the promised bore holes that should have been sunk in all the towns by now are nowhere to be found. Again readers are invited to visit the states website under Projects to verify this fact besides the situation on the ground. My hometown, Ukpor, a local government headquarters cannot boast of any Governor Obi sunk borehole despite huge amount of federal revenue allocated to the local government that Governor Obi has failed to account for despite repeated calls by my people. Democracy indeed.

He has reneged on his pledge in the said blueprint: “To clean up, reconstruct and urbanise Onitsha, Awka and Nnewi via establishment of Urban Development Councils (UDC).” Firstly the UDC's has not been established and secondly the principal towns of Onitsha, Awka and Nnewi remain an eyesore. Infact Onitsha is in a position to vie for the dirtiest and most disorganised town in Nigeria whilst Awka remains the most under developed state capital in Nigeria. Nnewi fares no better – please visit Bank Road, Nnewi amongst other roads in the town.

In the said blueprint, Governor Obi promised to: “Ensure the establishment of twenty industries before March 2010. This is one of the reasons that in my rejoinder to his blueprint, I described the contents of the blueprint as “Borne out of analogue reasoning in a digital age.” For this pledge is impossible. To date he has not established a single industry and March 2010 is around the corner.

The buildings and infrastructure destroyed by the Andy Uba sponsored November 10-12, 2004 mayhem that Governor Obi promised to reconstruct by May 2007 are still as they are: destroyed.

From the above analysis of Governor Obi's blueprint, it is quite obvious that his government has failed irrespective of the rhetoric's his PR machinery spews out daily. The situation on the ground speaks for itself. His, is a failed government, period. The indigenes of Anambra state deserve better come the next four years. That better is not Governor Peter Obi.