AS Anambra State marks its 29th anniversary, a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant, Dr. Obiora Okonkwo has bemoaned the state of development since 1991 and pledged to amend things.
In a speech in his countryside residence on Thursday, in Ogidi to mark the anniversary, Okonwko told associates and friends that he plans to present himself for the governorship race in the 2021 polls.
He noted that “the pervasiveness of poor governance over several decades has given politics and politicians a very bad name and we cannot continue to stay on the side lines and complain, otherwise, it will remain business as usual.
“It is time for decent people with vision and a strong moral compass to get into public office and help change the governance trajectory of not just Anambra, but Nigeria.”
Recounting the trajectory of the state since 1991, he paid tribute to those who at the inception of the state “literally had to build everything from the scratch, sacrificing so much in the process, to ensure the smooth take off of the new state.”
Obiora Okonkwo singled out “Justice Uyanna, the Administrative Judge for Awka Zone, at the creation of the new state, who gave up his official residence so it could serve as Government House, as no better befitting structure was on the ground.
“Similarly, the Enugu-Ukwu community, between 1992 and 1993, offered their town hall to serve as temporary State House of Assembly Complex.”
He said that despite the passage of time, development in the state had remained fragmented and “many key government institutions continue to operate from the same makeshift structures they have been using since 1991.
“Very little exists even in the state capital Awka by way of critical public infrastructure, even our Governor’s Lodge.
“One can only visit other state capitals around the country, many of which were created several years after Anambra, to better appreciate the very poor physical condition of our state capital, with respect to basic infrastructure.”
He recognized that Anambra was acclaimed as having the best intra-state network of roads in the country 10 years ago, “but today, most of those roads have fallen into major disrepair due to abandonment and poor maintenance culture.”
With the collapse of critical infrastructure like public hospitals, lack of pipe-borne water, good public transportation in the state, Okonkwo condemned the fall in performance from governments, “where payment of salaries is now considered an achievement, despite the enormous amount of resources at their disposal.
“We can complain all we want about the Federal Government, but the South East, in particular Anambra, has all it takes to make her great.”
He asked for Anambra politicians to focus on self-development and transformation and let the country see the state as a model.
Obiora Okonkwo added, “all it requires is just great leadership with its key attributes of a clear vision and a tenacious spirit.
“In the past 29 years, we have seen the best and the worst of our political leaders in Anambra and as her 30th anniversary in 2021 coincides with governorship election, we should all rise and join hands together to reinvent her.
“If it is the will of God, and should my party, the PDP, find me worthy when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) drops the writ, I plan to present myself to do the good work of rebuilding our dear state.”