By Boniface Enekwechi
ANAMBRA State, the self- acclaimed “Light of the Nation”, is on the verge of another round of elections to choose the leader who will steer her ship for another four years. It is gratifying that with each cycle of election, the state throws up more and better prepared men and women for the topmost job.
As it stands today, the political firmament is being bestrode by personages who perhaps aspire to replicate the vision of past Igbo and Nigerian leaders such as Dr. Alex Ekwueme, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Dr. Michael Okpara, Dim Emeka Ojukwu and a host of others who through dint of hard work, knowledge, and altruism crystallised the people’s aspirations in infrastructural development, educational excellence, and business enterprise.
In the face of many daunting challenges Anambra needs a leader who will motivate the citizens to repose faith in their government and institutions, and not people who seek power for personal aggrandisement and ego. Therefore, the 2021 governorship election will afford the people of the state an opportunity to raise the bar by choosing from among them a youthful, vibrant and visionary leader who can transform the state and bring prosperity to the remotest parts.
As endowed as Anambra State is in terms of human capital, it is astonishing that many years after its creation by the General Ibrahim Babangida regime, there is no befitting state capital and other key infrastructural development that can place it as a state of reckoning in Africa.
Now that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has fixed a date for the governorship election in the state, it is expected that aspirants will think of new ways of doing things and ensure that the quality of life of the citizens is changed for the better. Though this may appear impossible to negative thinkers but I know for sure that with the right leadership the state can actually be the “envy of other states”. It only requires the determination, political will and requisite knowledge which he possesses in abundance to bring this about.
Perhaps, what is of utmost importance in the quest for the governor of the prime state is the ability to identify and escalate the vision of those aspiring to lead. Anambra needs a man whose vision resonates and that can truly elevate and set the state apart in all sectors of human capital and infrastructural development.
A cursory look at the aspirants and their vision for the state instantly throws up Mr. Valentine Ozigbo, who by stroke of fate hails from Anambra South Senatorial zone where the pendulum will swing in the choice of the next governor.
Born in 1970 to a father who was a headmaster and a mother who thrived in petty trading, Ozigbo started early to gain attention as a brilliant student since he usually excelled among his peers throughout his academic pursuits. His vision is encapsulated in advocacy for peace and cohesion among the people of the state.
This advocacy is apt in the sense that it is at the core of all other factors necessary to spur and motivate the full participation of all the citizens, mostly those with investment prowess to explore the available opportunities in the state and commit their resources for the common good.
His advocacy for unity among the people will act as a boost for investors both from within and outside the state to consider Anambra State favorably in their investment decisions.
What I also find most laudable in his vision and plans for the state is the will to create synergy between Anambra and its neighbouring states like Delta, Imo and Enugu, whereby joint development agencies will be set up for their mutual benefits. This is not only laudable and long-overdue but it speaks to the innovative acumen of a man who sees beyond his immediate environment.
He has, through his accomplishments and pedigree in the private sector, demonstrated that he has the capacity, willingness, and ability to lead Anambra State to the Promised Land after Governor Willie Obiano.
Time has come for all Anambrarians to leave their comfort zones and work for the greater good of the people of Anambra State and this will require that the people see beyond the ephemeral postures of opportunists who may use guile to find their way to the topmost position.
If opportunists are allowed, Anambrarians shall all be losers for their indiscretion.
They cannot continue to play to the gallery in terms of choosing the right leaders and hope that manna will fall from heaven. These expectations can only materialise and come into fruition when the people choose a good leader and refuse to accede to the ambition of politicians who want to use the office to massage their bruised egos or siphon the public treasury.
Enekwechi, a social commentator, wrote from Lagos
Vanguard News Nigeria