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Peter Obi: The Man that changed the face of Anambra

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It is amazing that he ended his tenure on a note never witnessed in Nigeria – leaving in State coffers/custody N75b. What manner of man is Mr Peter Obi?

In Remembrance and in Appreciation of his unprecedented record as Governor of Anambra State (2006-2014)

Peter Obi is a native of Agulu in Aniocha Local Government Area of Anambra State. He had his Secondary Education at Christ the King College, Onitsha and bagged a degree in Philosophy in 1984 at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

Peter Obi is a businessman to the core; he has held several managerial positions in different firms and companies. 

Chief amongst these companies are Next International Nigeria Limited, Guardian Express Bank Plc, Future View Securities, etc. and he was notably the youngest Chairman of Fidelity Bank Plc.

Peter Obi is happily married to Margaret Brownson Usen and their union is blessed with two children, Gabriella Nwamaka Frances Obi and Gregory Peter Oseloka Obi.

Peter Obi with a noble intention of making his State, Anambra one of the best in the country entered into politics in 2003 under the All Progressive Grand Alliance  (APGA) and vied for the position of Governor. 

He ran the race with Chris Ngige of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Chris Ngige was however declared winner of this election and Peter Obi had recourse to the court.

After three years of litigation, Ngige’s election as Governor was overturned by the Court of Appeal on March 15, 2006 and Peter Obi was sworn in as Governor on March 17, 2006.

However, on November 2, 2006, he was impeached and his deputy, Virginia Etiaba took over as the Governor thus becoming the first female Governor in Nigeria.

Peter Obi was further reinstated by the Court of Appeal on February 9, 2007 and he again took over the reins of power.

It is worthy to note that Peter Obi’s political journey is one that is propelled by his belief in the rule of law and justice according to the law.

In 2007, there was a general election in the country which brought in Andy Uba of the People’s Democratic Party as Governor. 

Peter Obi again went to court and after a heated legal battle, the highest court of Nigeria, the Supreme Court upheld the contention of Peter Obi that the election he won in 2003 only started to run when he took over in March 2006 after the legal battle with Chris Ngige.

This landmark decision of the Supreme Court thereby set the precedence of making Anambra State the First State in the country to run a different political calendar.

Peter Obi was returned to office and the April 14, 2007 election which brought in Andy Uba was nullified on the ground that Peter Obi’s Four-Year Tenure was still running till March 2010.

Peter Obi won a second tenure in office as Governor in the Anambra State Gubernatorial election of 2010 thereby defeating the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo of the People’s Democratic Party.(PDP).

Peter Obi till date is seen as a hero in Anambra State as his period as the Governor of Anambra State brought out the State as really being the light of the nation.

There was tremendous growth in general basic infrastructure and a growth in all the sectors of the economy. 

We can recall his persistent admonition that we were the custodians of public resources and must ensure their judicious utilisation in the interest of the people.

He emphasised the essence of savings, reminding us that “the resources we are enjoying today (oil inclusive) are diminishing assets, hence the need to save at least 10% for future generations.”

He followed the admonition up by sending a Bill to the State House of Assembly, which was signed into law, that the state should save till the year 2050.

Mr. Obi also insisted on the imperatives of clear planning as a solid basis for delivery of good governance to the people, often reiterating the maxim: “If you have not planned, you have planned to fail.” 

A man of clear vision, his maxim was always: “If you don’t know where you are going, every road will lead you there – confusion,” as we have in Muhammadu Buhari administration.

To actualise his vision for Anambra State, his administration adopted a programme of action incorporating the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

This unique approach is to development what was tagged “Anambra Integrated Development Strategy (ANIDS)”, which enabled him to focus simultaneously on several target sectors.

From all indications, Anambra was the only state that adopted the achievement of the MDGs as its vision at sub-national level. 

Having aimed at several targets and scored many direct hits, it was hardly surprising that for several years, Mr. Peter Obi emerged as the Best Governor in the implementation of the MDGs.

As a matter of fact, he was invited to speak on the MDGs at the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in 2014.

Well, after he left Government House, the achievements of his administration continue to speak volumes for him and Anambra State.

Continues…

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