Text of a Special Broadcast by the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, on November 16, 2017, 48 hours to the gubernatorial election on Saturday.
Ndi Anambra, ekenem unu!
Umu nnem, a time comes that rarely comes in history when a people must stand up and take full ownership of their lives and circumstances or forever live in absolute regret. Ndi Anambra that time is NOW!
Three years and 8 months ago, when I assumed office as your governor, Anambra was in the firm grip of criminals. Kidnappers and armed robbers roamed the length and breadth of our state. Our people lived in fear and many of us could not go to sleep with both eyes closed.
Ndi Anambra, but our story has changed today. We have turned our adversities into advantages. We have taken governance from a mere construction of roads and bridges to fashioning out a new philosophy of life.
We have become Nigeria’s safest state. We have become the new Agricultural model for Nigeria. Our cities and communities have become aesthetic wonders at night with dazzling lights. We have created an environment for businesses to thrive on a 24-hour basis.
We have attracted investments valued at over $5billion. We have touched every community in Anambra State with special projects chosen by each community. We suspended taxes for low income earners and put more money in the hands of breadwinners in a recession. In fact, we grew our GDP by N1trillion in the middle of recession and increased our Internally Generated Revenue without increasing taxes.
We have sent our teachers to Singapore for training and handed out scholarships to 200 students in a time of recession. In return, our children have continued to bring us honour with excellent performances in World School Debates and external examinations, year after year.
Ndi Anambra, we have constructed roads and bridges that have enormous economic importance. We have built the longest bridge in the South East and opened direct access to our oil-wells. We inherited 101 roads and completed 51 of them. We inherited 6 bridges and completed 3 of them. We awarded 94 new roads and completed 20 of them. We also awarded 12 new bridges and completed 5 of them. So, in three and a half years in which Nigeria has witnessed the worst economic recession, my administration has completed 71 roads and 8 bridges. Many more are still coming.
We have floated the Universal Health Insurance Scheme to make quality medicare available to the rich and the poor. We have renovated 3 major general hospitals and 10 maternal and child-health centres. We have also disbursed the sum of N747m to Mission Hospitals.
Umu nnem, we have increased workers’ salaries in the midst of recession and settled the arrears of pensions and gratuity of workers that were abandoned by previous regimes and next year, we shall give workers another salary increase by the Grace of God. We have completed the construction of the Golden Tulip Hotel in Agulu and it will open for business before Christmas. We have commenced work on the site of the Anambra Airport City Project in Umueri and the surrounding areas. This ambitious project will change our story and change the trajectory of our development forever. This project is the future of Anambra State and the economic game-changer of the entire South East region. It will be ready in three years and Anambra State is not putting a single kobo in the project. So, it is a win-win situation for us.
Ndi b’anyi, obodo anyi adigokwanu mma! Anambra achapugo! We have crossed the threshold of mediocrity and become one of Nigeria’s elite states. We have re-written our narrative and hoisted our flag among the greats. Our today is great. But our tomorrow will be greater.
Ndi Anambra, November 18 is two days away. The time to answer the call of history has come. The time to finally demonstrate our readiness to safeguard our future has come. The time to show the world that we are prepared to defend the freedom we have enjoyed in these past three and half years has come.
Ndi Anambra, the time has indeed come to preserve the only political heritage of Ndigbo and ensure that outsiders do not squeeze it to death. APGA is the only party that Ndigbo can lay any claims to. Anambra is the last frontier of the bloodless war to conquer Ndigbo militarily, economically and politically. We must therefore not allow the COCK handed over to us by our illustrious fathers to die in our hands. Indeed, this COCK must not die. We must be ready to protect it with our lives when the time comes. For in the words of the famous African American civil rights leader, Dr Martin Luther King Jnr, “he who has nothing to die for is not fit to live.”
My brothers and sisters, we must defend our heritage and honour with our strength and might and a firm faith in God who controls the affairs of men. No sacrifice is too much to preserve the momentum of development that we have achieved in Anambra State at the moment. So, we must not be found wanting on the Election Day. For APGA must not die!
Umu nnem, all eyes are on us today. Everyone is watching to see what we shall do with our votes on Saturday November 18, 2017. They are watching to see whether we shall keep what we have created for ourselves or throw it all away. Ndi Anambra we must not disappoint those who look up to us for leadership. We must not disappoint ourselves. We must take charge of our tomorrow from today. We must cast our votes for APGA this Saturday!
Umu nnem, casting our votes for APGA is important, but protecting our votes to make sure that they count is even more important. So, I urge you to show some commitment to this cause. Devote some time to vote and a little more time to ensure that your votes count.
Fellow citizens, I will not fail to use this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari for reacting swiftly to order the reinstatement of my Security Details that were whimsically withdrawn from me two days ago. Mr President has indeed shown that certain excesses do not go unchecked under his watch. I must also thank the honourable members of the National Assembly, especially the distinguished senators who firmly insisted that my security details are a part of the statutory provisions for my office and should be respected by all. Indeed, I must thank the leadership of the PDP and APC who also stood up in my defence because they considered that incident an affront on democracy. My sincerest gratitude also goes to the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris for his swift reaction in reinstating my security aides. I must observe that the overwhelming support that we received over this incident has shown me that the ties that bind us as a country are stronger than the forces that separate us. I thank you all for your kind words and your support.
I will not conclude this address without a word to my fellow contestants. Oseloka, Tony, Osita, Godwin and the other fellow candidates, I address you as the Governor of Anambra State today. Unu ma na Anambra bu nke anyi nine. This great state belongs to all of us.
The beauty of democracy is that it allows every candidate a chance to pursue their own vision of society but it also places the power of choice in the hands of the people. Democracy never ceases to remind us that Power belongs to the people. So, my brothers, I plead with you today to let the choice of the people prevail in this election.
My fellow candidates, our people are inundated with the rumours of violence and war over this election. But I have always believed that none of our gubernatorial ambitions is worth the blood of our people.
Bikonu, let us all caution our supporters and followers to maintain the peace in our dear state. We all have a responsibility to prove to the world that Anambra State is truly the Light of the Nation. We must make this election a victory for democracy…a victory for Ndi Anambra!
Umu nnem, ka udo na ndu dili anyi taa na echi!
Ka Chukwu gozie Anambra State!
Ka Chukwu gozie Nigeria!