Igboeli Arinze Napoleon, Convener Horizon Group opens up on Anambra Airport

The State Of Anambra And The Need For Change.

Good afternoon gentlemen of the press. Let me first of all thank you for honouring this invitation of ours.

At this point in time it is most critical for young men like us desirous of a better today and promising future to come together under the aegis of the Horizon Group to address Ndi Anambra at home and abroad and Nigerians on the real state of affairs in Anambra and the need for change.

Gentlemen of the fourth estate, the subject this morning is on the non performance of Governor Willie Maduabuchi Obiano as Governor of Anambra State and the need to alert and inform Anambra of such failings as well as the inherent dangers should citizens of our dear state fall for the high jinks of the continuity mantra.

When Governor Obiano was elected, Ndi Anambra hoped that he would continue on the progressive paths mapped out for him by the previous administrations of Dr. Chris Nwabueze Ngige and Mr. Peter Obi. Both leaders we will recall transformed Anambra from the unmitigated disaster it was becoming into a blooming state well placed on all development indicators leaving many to predict that Anambra in a couple of years more would compete with the likes of Lagos, Kano, Rivers and perhaps the FCT.

Sadly, this administration elected to deliver the democratic dividends to our people has largely failed and we will give you the reasons why we very much believe so.

First of all, when the Obiano administration came into power, it harped on the message of continuity. He said he would complete all projects left behind by the Obi administration; develop all sectors of Anambra simultaneously; improve on the quality of life in Anambra through governance; continue on the state of low indebtedness; run government with a great sense or degree of inclusiveness and run a prudent and lean government. These were the promises made by the Obiano administration.

Sadly, Ndi Anambra have long discovered that what our governor said about ‘continuity’ is indeed different from what the word ordinarily should mean.

This administration began with a poor start, mismanagement of our state’s resources. Daily, we were inundated on the high level of profligacy crassly exhibited by the Obiano administration. At first we thought these were merely tell-tales meant to discredit his administration. However, we were forced to begin to see such tales as truth when the government made a volte face on the 75 Bn Naira left for it by the Obi administration, denying the existence of such an amount. At this point we confirmed that we are been governed by a super hedonist. Even the rising debt status of the state stands as another testament to the accusation above. Recently, BudgitNigeria, published a report which clearly showed that Anambra state has fallen of the ladder of states with healthy fiscal responsibility-a thing we were previously the cynosure of. The document clearly showed that Anambra is been run on deficit spending. The overhead and recurrent spending of the Willy Obiano’s government exceeds our total state revenue. A closer look at this document clearly showed that our overhead spending has tripled within the last 3 years. Documents from the DMO’s office also show that the state’s internal and external debt has risen more than 45% in the last 3 years. How  Anambra  moved from being a debt free state to incurring such a debt is indeed a marvel but largely points to the poor fiscal management of our resources.

This is a man who takes a whooping N1.2b monthly on security votes, employs over 600 aides all having ridiculous portfolios.

Last month, the government announced that it was going to construct an Airport project at Umueri with N900bn. N900b! where in the world is an airport of this kind constructed with such an amount? N900b can construct 3 new airports. A primary search of the partners for the project shows fictitious companies; we are therefore convinced that despite the project being necessary in the state, this is another attempt to fleece the state- . The governor has utilized the same skill in distributing the wealth of the state to cronies and has magnified nepotism through the use of ambiguous MOU- the state sponsored form of corruption. Contract inflation has now reached an unprecedented level in the state.  Previous contracts are now cancelled and are re-awarded to cronies at more than 300% of the original cost. The three poorly designed and constructed bridges at Awka had it cost increased from N5b to 18b within a space of a month yet the bridges are presently being supported to stop it collapsing within less than a year of it being operational. This same attitude sums up this government approach towards infrastructural projects. Poor design, poor construction. The few roads that were done were washed up by the rain immediately after construction. The street lights stopped working a day after a ‘massive’ government sponsored launching estimated to cost more than the street lights.

Ndi Anambra, the roads left by Dr. Ngige were completed by Peter Obi, though they were of different political allegiances. Thus, we expected Obiano having come from the same political party with his predecessor would strive to complete all infrastructural projects left by the Obi administration . Now, had former governor Obi not kept funds for these projects, one would have sympathized with Obiano and attempt to understand why the state is sadly littered with a number of abandoned projects. Sadly, this is not the case and the people of Anambra are left to bear the consequences of such neglect.

Worse of all is the fact that Obiano as governor in the past three years has put a sword to the kinship that has bound the people of this state long before the coming of the white man. Under Obiano’s watch we have seen how government appointments and contracts have been given to his fellow family members and kinsmen rather than use merit and the need for inclusiveness as yardsticks for such. Today the people of Anyamelum are wondering whether they are a part of Anambra of Kogi State. The people of Njikoka, Nnewi, Ihiala, Aguata, Dunukofia, Orumba North and South, Awka North and South, Idemili North and South, Onitsha North and South, Ogbaru and Anambra West are indeed wondering whther they have been excised out of Anambra State by Obiano.

Ndi Anambra it is suffice to say that under governor Obiano, Anambra’s development which leapfrogged a number of her sister states with a burst of energy, strategic thinking and good leadership in the past two administrations has sadly been arrested. Is it healthcare, education, employment, infrastructure and even investments in the state have witnessed dismal performances since this administration took off. As we speak, this administration has not paid one kobo of gratuity to ex civil servants in the last three years.

After 3 years in office, the Obiano led government cannot show any project of note she has completed. While we kept faithful to the search of Anambra rice across all the markets in the state the government sent us on another wild geese chase on Ugu farm. None of the items have been found. It is important that we state clearly that the FG has been responsible for all the agricultural activities in the state. The Willy Obiano’s government has not invested a dime in Agriculture yet spends huge money to claim  FG’s investment.  A larger percentage of farmers, across the state groan due to the huge apathy shown towards agriculture by this government. Its purported agricultural revolution lives only on billboards.



What Then Must We Do?

We do not want to sound like prophets of doom, but we have come to the correct decision that Governor Obiano following his dismal failure as governor should not seek, accept nor run again for the office of governor as another term for an Obiano will surely cast the state further deep down the doldrums.

We have come to this conclusion as true sons of the state, driven by passion for this state that has the likes of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Emeka Ojukwu, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Dr. Chris Ngige, Peter Obi, Chinua Achebe, Emeka Anyaoku and co cannot afford four more years of this hapless   administration. To do so is to openly court disaster.

We therefore call on our great party, the All Progressives Congress to put their acts together and give the people of Anambra a candidate that will be able to galvanise and unite the people . A candidate who will seek to lift the people and reverse the decline we are starkly experiencing. Such a candidate must be willing to use his experience garnered all these years for the development of our people.

We also call on civil society, the Church and our traditional institutions to put the interest of our dear state above any pecuniary gains they may seek to make should they lend their support to this drowning administration.

Finally as we round up this briefing I will leave you with this.

The Horizon Group seeks an Anambra where development, progress and peace is the attainment of all her people, where justice, freedom and economic prosperity is not the exclusive preserve of a select few but for all her citizens. We will not rest on our oars till this becomes a reality.

Thank you and may God bless us all!



Signed





 Igboeli Arinze Napoleon

Convener Horizon Group
Igboeli Arinze Napoleon, Convener Horizon Group opens up on Anambra Airport Igboeli Arinze Napoleon, Convener Horizon Group opens up on Anambra Airport Reviewed by Odogwu Emeka Odogwu on Thursday, May 11, 2017 Rating: 5

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