By Zechariah Idigo
Anambra State among all other political units in the Nigerian Federation called states is in a class of its own. Created in 1991 by the Military administration of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida by splitting Old Anambra State into Enugu and Anambra State, the state became a component part of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with its capital situated in Awka. Since then, the state has always drawn, sorry, commandeered the attention of onlookers particularly, its political affairs.
Right from the days when the likes of Chukwuemeka Ezeife governed the state in between 1991 and then to the emergence of Chinwoke Mbadinuju in 1999, Ngige, Obi and now Obiano, the politics in Anambra has always been boisterous and colorful, a mixture of the mundane as well as ethereal, it is a theatre of high drama politics, electrified by the high display of intellectualism on one hand with a touch of brinkmanship on the other hand. Its gladiators too are household names all over the Federation and from the late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, to General Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Alex Ekwueme, Chuba Okadigbo, Ume Ezeoke, Ngige and Peter Obi, the state’s politics is indeed a reflection of its people who are basically industrious with an appeal to a mercantilist form of politicking.
However, one thing the state has somewhat lacked is basic leadership, which has denied its people her place under the Nigerian sun. Asides the twin eras of Chris Ngige and Peter Obi, leadership in the state has been more of uninspiring despite the rich array of human capital the state seems to possess. For example, the 1999 administration of Chinwoke Mbadinuju despite its initial appeal to the citizens soon became one of the worst forms of leadership the state ever witnessed. Ngige, perhaps would have salvaged the situation but for time which was not on his side as the Appeal Court declares that Peter Obi and not Ngige had been the rightful winner of the April 2003 elections. Peter Obi then went on to continue on the trajectory his predecessor had left behind but then failed to give Anambra the successor the state then did seriously need, as today, Anambra under Peter Obi’s successor, Willie Obiano, is again very much close to the Mbadinuju era, having now saddled the state under the huge debt portfolio of over 200 billion Naira with little or nothing to show in terms of development. This is a burden that he Peter Obi must come to bear.
Whereas states like Kaduna, Lagos and Ogun are expanding their industrial capacities on a daily basis and the likes of Ebonyi and Kano are meeting their basic infrastructural needs, Anambra is in neither categories, save you mention that of huge debts, poor infrastructural settings and governors who have bungled on governance!
Thus it is important that the state gets its priorities right in 2021, and leadership should be one of them without the biased distinction of birth, Faith or fortune. Otherwise the state may continue to dawdle while its counterparts as mentioned above are taking giant leaps forward.
Enter Dr. Chidozie Nwankwo, CEO of Wichtech Group, a rising African if not global conglomerate which has over 200 offices and operations in a number of countries in the American continents, Europe and Asia. Born to the family of Chief Joseph Nwankwo in Onitsha, Chidozie Nwankwo began his sojourn as a businessman with just the sum of ten thousand Naira from which he then branched into Construction, building materials, shipping, oil and gas, manufacturing and real estate, creating thousands of jobs as well as contributing his quota into building the Nigerian economy particularly that of NdiIgbo.
Dr. Nwankwo represents the grass to grace story that ought to be emulated by millions of youths. As a brilliant industrialist, Dr. Nwankwo stands as Anambra’s best chance to rekindle its leadership experience for good as well as provide the state with the much needed repositioning that can catapult it from its present position as 16th in terms of its Gross Domestic Product, GDP and 14th in terms of its Internally Generated Revenue to within the first four states in the Federation.
Development economists argue that you cannot talk about growth and development or improving the potential for the mass of the population without focusing on infrastructure, creation of jobs, education, healthcare and adapting to new technologies. This is true and is befitting of what Dr. Nwankwo wants to help Ndi Anambra achieve.
Dr. Nwankwo argues that it is possible to pivot the Anambra Economy on a model that targets Agriculture, Infrastructure, Industrialization, technology and education.
For Agriculture, he much intends to reintroduce the Israeli Kibbutz system similar to what the former Premier of the old Eastern Region, MI Okpara brought into his administration’s agricultural policy which propelled the Eastern Region into becoming the fourth fastest growing economy then. Dr. Nwankwo wants to take it a notch higher, creating jobs for our teeming youths and building an agro based industry that will harness the agricultural potentials of the state for the much needed foreign exchange.
Dr. Nwankwo understands that commerce and industry are the lifeblood of the Anambra Economy, he intends to restore the state to that path where the likes of Sir Joe Nwankwu and others were leading industrial giants of the nation. Dr. Nwankwo is talking about building industrial parks all over the state, making it the hub of industrialization, and this is not just talk, with Dr. Nwankwo, it is doable seeing him achieve such In states like Ogun as a private investor.
In terms of infrastructure, Dr. Nwankwo as Governor will eat, sleep, walk and talk big on infrastructure, he will ask the questions and allow his business insight to do the rest! Understanding that business and transportation ought to be in sync for commercial activities to flow unhindered, Infrastructure is key!
Lastly, education will attract Dr. Nwankwo’s interest as other mentioned sectors already, Dr. Nwankwo will pursue quality education as well as make it affordable in order to enable the state produce the brightest brains as we used to in the not too far past. From primary to tertiary and post tertiary, state run schools and institutions will receive the immediate attention of Dr. Nwankwo; teacher remuneration and welfare will play a key role in his plans for education while learning under a very conducive environment will serve as his road map.
Come Election Day, it is pertinent that Anambra get it right and they can only do so by electing Dr. Chidozie Nwankwo!