Two key events have already marred 2017 from being a perfect year for Willie Obiano, the governor of the south eastern state of Anambra; the loss of his mother and the attack in a church. That attack alone left in its wake eleven (11) people dead and eighteen (18) injured in St. Philips Catholic Church, Ozobulu in Anambra state, southeast Nigeria on Sunday, August 6. The number one citizen of the state would have been receiving an outpouring of goodwill messages because it’s his 62nd birthday today, Tuesday, August 8.
While the governor was still reassuring the people that the November 18 governorship election will hold after IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu had said it will not, the enemy of the state decided to strike in the cathedral leaving Anambra in a state of mourning.
The murder in the cathedral was the least Obiano could have foreseen, this is because Anambra has not been listed among the states in Nigeria with security risks. Though the unfortunate incident has occurred, the best a ‘chief security officer of a state’ could have done was what Obiano did on Sunday when he visited not only the scene of the incident but also assured Anambra people that the worship centres and other places in the state is safe for them even as he promised that the culprits of the St. Phillips Catholic Church attack will be brought to book.
Would we say the people did not believe him? no they did, this was also why his political opponents could not ‘blame’ the governor for the ugly incident even when many thought that would be the case.
The ‘no blame game’ is a clear signal that Obiano has not failed the people as the ‘number one citizen’ and ‘chief security officer’ of the state.
Before the Ozobulu incident, Obiano was widely celebrated by Anambra people and non Anambra people for the good works he has carried out in the state since he took over from Peter Obi who was another spectacular performer.
The love for this ‘able performer’ by Anambra people and his continuous development of the state, shows that Willie is not only willing but is also wanted by the people come November 18 election so as to maintain the continuity.
Born August 8, 1955 in Aguleri, a town in Anambra state, Willie Obiano moved from a well accomplished banker to a politician who has not only made promises to his people but has fulfilled them in just his first term as the governor of Anambra state.
Obiano holds a bachelor’s degree in Accountancy from the University of Lagos which he obtained in 1979 and also has a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the same university. Indeed his degrees in these fields are evidence on the transformation he has carried out in Anambra state since he became governor of the state on March 17, 2014.
Obiano began his banking career with First Bank of Nigeria in 1981 before he left to join Chevron Oil Nigeria Plc as an accountant. He later rose to the position of Chief Internal Auditor.
Eight (8) years later, Obiano was listed among the auditors that audited Texaco Refinery in Rotterdam, Netherlands in 1989 to be precise. In 1991 Obiano joined Fidelity Bank as Deputy Manager and head of Audit unit and rose to the position of Executive Director on October 2003
Obiano left the banking sector in 2013 and delved into politics where he has made a remarkable impact.
While many prefer to start from the grassroots politics so as to showcase their political prowess, Obiano who is known as the ‘man of the people’, clearly knew what he wanted this was why he contested the Anambra governorship election on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in 2013. He won the election and was sworn in on March 17, 2014 to succeed Peter Obi and has not disappointed since he was elected.
Though when he assumed office with his team on March 17, 2014, Obiano inherited a relatively stable state with an impressive network of roads and good fundamentals in education and health care, he also inherited a state that was heavily traumatized by violent armed robbery, kidnapping, child-trafficking and growing cases of drug-related crimes.
However Obiano has turned Anambra state to a first choice investment destination and a hub for industrialization and commercial activities. Obiano also established four pillars of development aimed at accelerating Anambra’s economic advancement through Agriculture, Industrialization, Trade and Commerce and Oil and Gas.
Obiano was able to do this by hosting a landmark Security Summit which was facilitated by Moshe Keinen, a renowned Israeli security expert. With this he was able to set up 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 the skies.
With this development, Obiano succeeded in erecting a clockwork 360 degrees security architecture that ensures the safety of Anambra state in the skies, in the waters, and on the land. with that arrangement too, Anambra became Nigeria’s safest state and leading destination for investments.
Meanwhile, Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA) is the institutional catalyst of Anambra’s growing reputation as the leading destination for investments in Nigeria.
ANSIPPA is an agency that is fully staffed with thorough and vastly experienced professionals with a collective wealth of experience that any visionary manager would envy. On the Board of ANSIPPA are first class bankers, investment analysts, lawyers and thoroughbred professionals who find immense pleasure in nursing investment dreams to reality. This agency is charged with the mandate of attracting investments and fast-tracking the process of investing in Anambra State.
Against the odds, ‘happy’ is still the word to describe our wish on an auspicious day like this. Happy 62nd birthday to Chief Willie Obiano, Nigeria’s most performing governor.
……from (ALEDEH Team).