WRITTEN BY EGBUNA AMUTA
Since the creation of Anambra state on August 27, 1991, she has been governed by several helmsmen, either as military administrators or democratically elected governors.
They include Navy Captain Joseph Abulu, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Police Commissioner Dabor Aliyu, Colonel Mike Attah, Group Captain Rufai Garba, Wing Commander Emmanuel Ukaegbu, Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju, Dr. Chris Ngige, Sir Peter Obi and now, Chief Willie Obiano.
A former deputy governor of the state, Dame Virgie Etiaba, was sworn-in as a substantive governor of the state when her principal, Sir Peter, was illegally impeached in November 2016. Emmanuel Nnamdi Uba (Andy Uba) was elected and sworn in as a governor on May 27, 2007.
He was however removed by a Supreme Court decision on June 14, after governing the state for fourteen days.
As Anambra is marking her silver Jubilee this year, it is expected that the former chief executives would join Governor Obiano to celebrate the grand finale of the anniversary of the state. Happily, Obiano has sustained very respectful and cordial relationship with all his predecessors, former deputy governors and other eminent citizens as well as elder statesmen of the state.
Little wonder virtually all of them are speaking eloquently about the good qualities of the governor and the achievements of his administration. As a matter of fact, a former Vice President of Nigeria, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, a foremost Nigerian constitutional lawyer, Professor Ben Nwabueze, a former Vice president of the World Bank and ex education minister, Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili and the incumbent national secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Ben Ndii-Obi in addition to Senator Annie Okonkwo among others, have publicly acknowledged the outstanding accomplishments of Chief Obiano.
It is worthy of note that in spite of the recent attempts by certain political jobbers to generate bad blood between Governor Obiano and his predecessor, Sir Peter, Governor Obiano has always praised the excellent performance of ex-Governor Obi and the commendable role he played in ensuring that he succeeded him as the governor of the state on March 17, 2014.
It would be recalled that on the 3rd of August this year, Obiano, in an event witnessed by hundreds of old boys of Christ the King College, CKC, Onitsha, in a rare display of humility and sublime courage, pleaded with former Governor Obi to forgive him, if he had, in any way unknowingly, offended him. Again, on November 3, 2016, Obiano told a high powered Agulu delegation, led by Igwe Innocent Obodoakor, who paid him a courtesy visit at the Governor's Lodge, Amawbia, that, their son was a great governor, a remarkable achiever and his bosom friend, who he would ever remain eternally grateful to.
Also, immediately after his election as the governor of the state, Obiano and his wife, Chief Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano (Osodieme), took their Aguleri kinsmen, including Igwe Christopher Idigo to ex-governor Obi to express gratitude for his invaluable roles in making him his successor. Indeed, Governor Obiano is a man of peace, gratitude, humility, compassion and deep respect.
This obviously explains why his relationship with former Governors Ezeife, Mbadinuju, Ngige, Etiaba and former deputy governor, Emeka Sibeudu, is very chummy. These ex-governors and deputy governor have, more or less, on different occasions publicly mobilized support for Obiano and even endorsed him for a second term in office.
It is worthy of note that the full entitlements of ex-governors Mbadinuju and Ngige, which for inexplicable reasons were withheld by previous administrations, have been restored by Governor Obiano, who also ordered the reinstatement of Dr. Ngige's portraits on the walls for former and incumbent governors of Anambra state at the Government House and Governor's Lodge, Awka and Amawbia respectively. No doubt, Akpokuedike has made more friends than enemies as the governor of the state since he came on board.