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A BROADCAST BY THE GOVERNOR OF ANAMBRA STATE, HIS EXCELLECNCY, CHIEF WILLIE OBIANO TO NDI ANAMBRA ON MONDAY, APRIL 17, 2014

By Mazi Odera
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My good people of Anambra State, I am greatly pleased to speak to you this morning.

Exactly one month ago today, I was sworn in as your Governor. I am delighted that I finally have a good opportunity to thank you for giving me your votes, your prayers and your support during the elections that made me your governor. I am here today because you made it happen on the Election Day and I thank you for that.

I also wish to thank you for turning out en masse to cheer me and my Deputy, Dr. Nkem Okeke during our inauguration at the Alex Ekwueme Square. It was a historic day, made even more so by your presence and goodwill messages and prayers. Umu nnem, unu emeka! Dalu nu!

Umunnem Ndi Anambra, I further must thank you for the good-will you have shown me since I became your governor. I am encouraged by the warm receptions and various little acts of kindness you extended to me during my recent working visits to Onitsha and Nnewi, and during my movements in and around Awka. Your support is very important to me and I will never take it for granted. I will work to continue to enjoy your support.

Fellow Anambrarians, with the swearing-in of the members of my cabinet 5 days ago, my administration is now finally in place, ready to serve. I have a team of highly distinguished men and women with a track-record of excellence in their chosen careers. Anambra is lucky to be blessed with them and many others who may not be directly involved in the daily operations of governance but who nonetheless are making critical interventions in this government as the need arises.

Fellow Anambrarians, my team and I have our work cut out for us, namely - to reposition Anambra State to a point where its high promise in human and material resources can be finally matched by the lived experience of its people.

To achieve this, my administration has outlined four major policy planks that will change the story of Anambra State, namely, Agriculture, Trade & Commerce, Industrialization and Oil & Gas. However, these are medium-to-long- term plans. In the immediate term, my team and I are also in a hurry to begin to improve the quality of daily life in our beloved State, whilst pursuing the medium/longer term development plan of my Administration. Consequently, we have outlined a number of immediate/short-term projects to signpost the direction of travel of my administration.

Ndi b'anyi, my number one priority for Anambra State is Security. In all civilized countries and societies, the primary responsibility of the leaderships is to secure the lives and properties of the people. As you are well aware, my administration has taken up the challenge of securing Anambra State with an elaborate and sustained crackdown on criminals in the State. We shall not relent until Anambra is free from kidnappers, armed robbers, drug barons, extortionists and all enemies of the society who are determined to shut the doors of meaningful progress on our dear State.

We shall not stop until Anambrarians at home can confidently and safely go about their legitimate businesses and activities without fear of any form of criminality befalling them. This must happen and shall happen.

Tell this to your families and friends who have taken refuge in other Nigerian cities and in other countries that the WAR against all forms of criminality and lawlessness in Anambra has begun and that we are winning. Make no mistake about this, I am determined to win this WAR - Anambra Shall Be Safe, the Light of the Nation Under God!

We have also launched an elaborate campaign to reclaim our environment from the filth and rubbish that have overtaken it. Just the other day, we organized a symbolic launch of Operation Keep Anambra Clean in all the three Senatorial Zones of the state to signal the fight-back against filth and dirtiness. TO KEEP ANAMBRA CLEAN IS A TASK FOR ALL OF US, AND THE TASK MUST BEGIN WITH YOU. No longer shall our people live in dirty, unhealthy environments that constitute a dangerous threat to our personal and collective health and overall well-being. WE ARE THE LIGHT OF THE NATION AND NOT ITS SQUALOR AND FILTHS. And No longer shall our open spaces and parks be turned into indiscriminate motor-parks and make-shift shops and hideouts for hoodlums. The fight-back has begun!

Ndi be Anyi, Agriculture once occupied a prominent position in Igbo-land. More than half of our people still make their daily living from very rudimentary farming, cultivating various types of crops and vegetables. Consequently, Agriculture, once again, will be accorded a prominent position in the priorities of my government. We have inaugurated a Special Committee on Agriculture with a mandate to revolutionize agriculture in Anambra State. We followed it up with a visit to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture in Abuja where I had fruitful deliberations with the Hon. Minister, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina to explore the various areas in which Anambra can benefit from a partnership with the Ministry on our numerous agricultural initiatives. I have no doubt, whatsoever, that when fully implemented, our agricultural programmes will not only give Anambra a level of self-sufficiency in food production but it will also stimulate our domestic growth and create more jobs for the youths.

Fellow Anambrarians, my administration came into office on the promise of continuity. We promised Anambrarians that we would Continue, Complete, and Commission the projects started by my predecessor Chief Peter Obi as well as Commence a programme of new set of projects and initiatives that would usher Anambra State into a phase of accelerated economic and social development. We are determined to keep this promise.

We have held fruitful meetings with all the contractors handling on-going projects in the State and extracted a commitment that all the projects would be completed and commissioned on schedule. We have commenced a round of inspection tour of the projects and my visits to Awka North, Ekwusigo and Anaocha Local Government Areas where some roads and tourism projects are going on have convinced me that these targets shall be met. Ndi Anambra, my administration is fully aware that true democracy derives its powers from the people and that Africa's democracy cannot succeed without the stabilizing role of traditional institutions. In view of this, we have consulted widely across the length and breadth of Anambra State. We have held successful meetings with our traditional rulers, the council of elders and the presidents general of our 177 communities and they have all endorsed our campaign for a moral and ethical rebirth of Anambra State. I implore Ndi Anambra to fall in line and together, we can rebuild the moral fabric of our society.

They have assured us of their support in our long and hard critical self-examination and questioning to know when the rain began to beat us and when we should dry our bodies. Above all, the royal fathers and all the custodians of our tradition have accepted the responsibility to become the change they seek in their various domains by lending a weighty hand to the battle against hoodlums and the wanton pollution of our culture in their domains.

Ndi Anambra, my administration shall be sensitive and responsive to your needs. To this end, we have realized that our crackdown on criminals must go hand in hand with a robust plan for youth employment. We are well aware that if we replace the guns in the hands of our youths with employment letters and seed monies for small-scale businesses, Anambra would be freer from criminals and social miscreants that have denied us a peace of mind. In response to this, we have held fruitful discussions with our famous sons and daughters whose industrial and entrepreneurial talents have created employment for people across the world and they have given us their assurances that they would redirect their investments to Anambra State. Simultaneously too, we will be creating enabling business environment to attract inward and foreign direct investments into the State.

We have also opened a Diaspora Unit headed by a competent Anambrarian with vast contacts in Anambra Communities in the Diaspora to facilitate the inflow of investments from our people in the Diaspora back to Anambra State. I have no doubt that before long, these efforts will begin to yield expected results and lead to the creation of jobs and more jobs for the youths of Anambra State. Just the other day, we paid a courtesy visit to SABMiller Breweries and received the assurances of the company's management that the number of Ndi Anambra in its employment would be doubled at the end of this year. This is a huge victory for our youths! This is also one good reason to be hopeful in Anambra State!

Fellow Anambrarians, in the coming weeks, we shall do some new things in Anambra State. We shall commence a campaign to retrieve all roads in Anambra State from the increasing threat of potholes and make life more miserable for criminals in the state by installing streetlights in the major arteries of our cities. We shall launch intra-city transportation with new buses and taxis to make life easier for commuters within the state. But Lawlessness and Indiscipline too must be banished on our roads, and this is not restricted to commercial drivers (Bus, OKADA and KEKE drivers) but also to private vehicle drivers. We shall be introducing stiff penalties for such conducts on our roads. We shall install traffic lights, clearly mark our roads and highways and erect road signs to guide the flow of traffic and decongest our cities. We shall also rid our roads and highways of potholes and abandoned vehicles and set up teams of Street-Sweepers to free our thoroughfares from rubbish. We shall carry out a compelling campaign to beautify Anambra State by creating new relaxation parks and building botanical gardens, fountains and roundabouts that will restore our sense of aesthetics and beauty.

Fellow Anambrarians, I dream of a New Anambra State - a land of promise and beauty; a place where the creative energies of our restless youths will find purposeful expression in the service of humanity; a state where the wisdom of our elders shall serve as a beacon to our fulfilled hopes and a state where our people's diverse talents shall be matched by an abundance of opportunities to showcase them.

Above all, I dream of a safer Onitsha, Nnewi, Awka and all our 177 communities where the entrepreneurial and creative impulses God has given our people in super abundance shall no longerbe overwhelmed by the crippling fear of insecurity that has chased many of our entrepreneurs, sons and daughter, brothers and sisters, and worst, ageing and frail parents and grand-parents, out of State and/or in 'hiding' in other parts of the country or overseas. This is the Anambra of my dream, and guns in the hands of a few criminals shall not prevent its realisation!

So I say this to KIDNAPPERS, ARMED ROBBERS, AND VILILANTE GANGSTERS - BE WARNED: IN THE NAME OF GOD, GIVE UP YOUR CRIMES & EXTORTIONIST ACTIVITIES; REJOIN CIVIL SOCIETY OR LEAVE ANAMBRA STATE FOR GOOD; IF YOU DO NOT, THE MIGHT OF THIS GOVERNEMNT WILL FIND YOU! YOU ARE NOT BIGGER THAN THIS GOVERNMENT - MY GOVERNMENT IS DETERMINED TO RID THIS STATE OF YOUR CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES FOR GOOD WHATEVER RESOURCES IT TAKES.

I, Chief Willie Maduabrochukwu Obiano and my entire cabinet are committed to creating the Anambra of my dream - A Safe, Prosperous, and Environmentally Beautiful Anambra! Let this be our Shared Dream; I realize that as your Executive Governor, I cannot achieve this dream alone. I need your help and support: Therefore let us work together to realise this Dream, our common Dream!

Fellow Anambrarians I pray you to join me in creating this New Anambra State! Join me in Expanding the Frontiers of Excellence in Anambra State!

Long live Anambra State!
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria


True success begins in the heart before materialisation.
By: Ayami Dennis