By Godwin Obi
I Amidst pomp and pageantry, Eminent sons and daughters of Anambra state, described as a state, of traders, rolled out drums in their respective places of work to celebrate the state at 28 . The Celebration was unique in Lagos, as all the state born notable importers and agents eulogised the state to high havens , describing the meteoric rise of the state to compete with the older states as unbelievable.
Boniface Aniebonam , a renowned Freight Forwarder and Founder of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, NAGAFF, who has carved a niche for himself , in the nation’s maritime industry, may have set the stage when the advised the state government to take advantage of the unique endowments given to the people of the state to make them occupy strategic positions in the country in order to transform the state.’ I expect the state government to put in place ta machinery in motion for transforming the people from being dominantly in commerce into industrialization.
Aniebonam believes that if Willie Obiano, the present governor of the state could do it , in the next 10 years, the story of Anambra state will be different from other states of the Federation.. The renowned Freight Fowarder , who could not hide his feelings, is optimistic that if the governor could effectively galvanise all the resource persons of the state extraction for the purpose of initiating the industrial revolution in the state, it would ginger the people , both within and outside the country to invest in the real sector in the state, noting that it would force people in other countries in the West Africa sub-region to buy industrial goods from the state as they are buying from Lagos and Ogun states, in south west geo-political region. Aniebonam’s dream is to see state become the ‘Dubai of Africa ‘In the interim, he wants the state government to embark on massive investment in technical education which will produce qualitative labour that will be so attractive to employers of labour all over the country.
According to him, the people of the state need motivation by the government which provide the enabling environment by giving generous incentives to investors.
In an interview with The Value News, he made it clear that the people of the state who have the resources stashed outside the country are ready to finance Industrial establishments and even attract more investments to the state.
He disclosed that the ground to achieve these developments could not take place in a environment where there is no peace and security that will be coordinated with the traditional rulers to be able to identify and eliminate kidnappers in the state.
Uche Ejesieme, a Superintendent of Customs and an indigene of the state , who is excited that the state created in 1991, by Ibrahim Babangida, a retired Army General and a former Head of State has turned 28 , believes that there are monumental development, socio- political and economic achievements that had grown in leaps and bounds. In the state.
This trajectory, he said is reinforced by the quality of the elected governors of the state since the return of Democracy in 1999.
Note that Joseph Abulu, the first military Administrator of the state has set the stage for its development, which believe had become very rapid.. Abulu had handed over to Chukwuemeka Ezeife, who was democratically elected on the platform of the Social Democratic Party, SDP during the Babangida era. The return of Democracy in 199, saw the emergence of Chinwoke Mbadinuju, Chris Ngige, Peter Obi and the current governor, Obiano.
Ejieseme, who could not hide his feelings described Obi as one who brought light to the state as employed uncommon ingenuity in harnessing both human and natural resources of the state to the extent that the it became an epitome of infrastructural development.
According to him, Obiano’s regime has sustained the tempo of massive infrastructural development of the state over the last four years.
Tony Iju Nwabuke, a Politician, who contested for the House Representatives, on the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party, in the last general election and , who incidentally is President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, established by an Act of Parliament in 194, said the creation creation of the state 28 years ago is worth celebration . Given reasons on why the indigenes of the state should roll out the drums to Celebrate state, he noted that before its creation people from that axis in old the old south east were referred to as people who were predominantly traders, where male drop out from schools was the bane of the people.
He noted that there have been remarkable revolution n the area of education and political awareness in the state by the various regimes .He revealed that between the regimes of Obi and Chief Obiano, the state had produced the best in both JAMB and WAEC, several times. ‘’Such uncommon fete was possible due to the concerted commitment to massive investment in education by Obi , a former governor of the state and Obiano, his successor.
Moreso, he said, there is need to roll out the drums to Celebrate a state which was known for kidnapping when criminals took over Onitsha the Commercial nerve center of the state and its suburbs, forcing the people to keep all night vigils across the communities to flush out the hoodlums.in the state
An elated Nwabunike expects the state government to study the comparative advantage of the people, which is highly exemplified in their productive capability, and bring the relevant resource persons together with a view to empowering them to go into full manufacturing.
“Anambra people have all it takes to premise agenda for industrial revolution in the South east’’, he said.
He insists that what they require is for the government to empower them by way of providing a level playing ground, and the other south east governors will then join in galvanizing their people to make the entire Igbo land a manufacturing hub in Nigeria and indeed, the West Africa sub-region.
Jude Anyigbo, a businessman who is from Ihiala in Ihiala local government area ,recalled that it has been a turbulent journey since the creation of the state was derided by people from other parts of the country. It became so violent many indigenes of the state emigrated to other parts of the country in search of greener pastures. Those outside could not visit their villages. Traditional wedding ceremonies were conducted outside the state for fear of been embarrass by kidnappers..
Obi , a former governor of the state was said to have brought relief to the people when he pursued the Criminals to hideouts and forced them out of the state. Many were said to have relocated to the north, where kidnapping has become the major the major pre-occupation of the Insurgents in the south eastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states. The Bandits in the north western states of Zamfara, Katsina, President Muhammadu Buhari home state and Sokoto, the home of the Caliphate, appears to found kidnapping a lucrative business in the region..
There is is no gain saying the fact that in the last 28, years, Anambra state, which was carved out from the old Enugu state, has grown phenomenally and otherwise, no thanks, to Obi, a former governor of the state, who set the stage for its development.
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