Unnecessary fuss over Nkpor-Amawbia commissioned road By Ifeanyi Afuba

www.odogwublog.com brings you this piece by one of former Governor Peter Obi’s aide Ifeanyi Afuba ,
have an interesting read…………..
The shrill claim by Mr Valentine Obienyem in several weekend newspapers [June 13 – 14, 2015] that the Nkpor – Amawbia old road recently commissioned by Governor Willie Obiano was started and completed by Mr Peter Obi is incorrect and an unnecessary venture in controversy.
 Obi’s credentials as a former governor of Anambra State are not under any danger of assault. His report card is out in the public domain and as a public figure, no one individual or institution has copyright on his record of service.  On the basis of verifiable accounts of his stewardship, leadership, social and philosophical leanings, varying perceptions of his reputation have [naturally] emerged.
Shortly on completion of his second term of office in 2014, the hierarchy of the Catholic Church found him worthy and conferred him with the honour of papal knighthood.  While he reigned as Governor, a few of his appointees viewed some of his policies and practices as flawed; so much so that they resigned from the Government.
The former Governor’s nomination for ministerial appointment in the twilight of Goodluck Jonathan’s regime was greeted with protests within and beyond the PDP and the nomination had to be withdrawn.
There are no grounds on which to suggest that Governor Willie Obiano is interested in denying his predecessor the due credit of his stewardship. At every opportune forum, the Governor has not failed to admit the integral contributions of Ob’s regime to the developmental strides of the present government. In the very second paragraph of his one year anniversary address, Governor Obiano stated: ‘365 days ago, we all gathered in this place to begin a journey of colourful dreams.
But we have travelled through the stony path of reality. We have experienced a tremendous leap of the imagination. We have gazed into the eyes of tomorrow and we have returned to this great place, after 365 days with a great harvest and a bouquet of new dreams! Now, before I go any further, I would like to acknowledge the good foundation laid by my brother and predecessor, Chief Peter Obi…’ In the month of May 2015, Obiano was at the SabMiller complex Onitsha for the launch of the $150m expansion of the brewery’s facilities at which occasion he duly recognized the leverage achieved by Obi’s administration in the project.
The implied message in the protest over the commissioning of the Nkpor road by Governor Obiano is that the regime lacks projects ‘of its own.’ This suggestion would seem to gain plausibility on the consideration that the regime is just fifteen months old. But beyond the illusions of rhetoric, the evidence of our very eyes is that the Obiano administration has been making phenomenal progress in the state’s development; one that does not require appropriating anybody’s credit in order to be reckoned with. Whereas most new governments in Nigeria spend the first six to twelve months learning the ropes and readjusting their programmes based on reality on the ground, here was a regime clear – sighted and mobilized at inception; and engrossed with economic reconstruction as early as the third month. That was when the first in the series of over $1.9 b investment inflow to the state economy achieved by the regime to date was sealed.
Thus, the sprawling Coched Farm located at Anaku, alongside at least a dozen other agro – allied enterprises in varying stages of operation, are emerging landscapes of the regime’s agrarian revolution. The industrial scene is made richer with Falcon Corporation Limited’s $100m natural gas distribution project and Richborn Nig Ltd’s $50m automobile assembly plant at Ozubulu. Awesome in scope and invaluable in services, the three flyovers nearing completion in Awka, stand out as alluring landmarks of a long – neglected capital city. Transformation of the desolate Ogbunike cave into a world class tourist resort is underway. And on the much vaunted subject of road construction, the present Anambra state government has set a record unrivalled by any previous regime – military or civilian – with the award of contracts for no less than 250 kilometres of roads in just one year.  Prominent among these roads, some of which are at advanced state of construction , are the 27kilometre Amansea – Ndukwuenu road; Aguleri Uno – Oil Rig 42 kilometre road; Anambra boundary – Agu Awka 12 kilometre road and the 14 kilometre Umunankwo – Mputa – Ogwuaniocha project. A Governor with such range of endeavours cannot be said to be in search of recognition.    
It is possible that the assertion about former Governor Obi’s title to the fixer of the said Amawbia – Nkpor road is hinged on the presumption that some funds were set aside for the project by the past administration.  Making funds available is however only half of the picture. The spectre of abandoned projects in the country is in part about contractors absconding from site after collecting hefty payment sums.  Without monitoring and supervision, government contracts would not be done or executed shabbily to the detriment of society. Government is a continuum and any government worth its mandate, will not hesitate to live up to the responsibility of ensuring good value for public money. Accordingly, the resolve of the Obiano administration to complete the said road, among many others inherited from the Obi administration, is commendable. It is a verifiable fact that the road under reference was only completed early this 2015.
There is a fundamental statement in the fact that few days after the misguided criticism of road commissioning, Governor Obiano also went ahead to declare open the   Awkuzu – Igbariam – Achalla road begun by the Obi administration but completed by the present state government.  The 10 kilometre road had progressed to a distance of 5.5 kilometres at the termination of Obi’s tenure. By going ahead with the commissioning of another completed road in the prevailing circumstances, the Obiano administration effectively and rightly put the issues in perspective.    
Project commissioning is not about political capital.  In the realm of accountable governance, it serves as formal presentation of what is available for public use.  Governor Willie Obiano struck this chord when at the unveiling of the Awkuzu – Igbariam – Achalla road, he invited the people to take ‘ownership’ of the project and ensure its good use; cautioning against the counter effect of practices such as burning tires on asphalt and blocking drain channels with refuse.  
Obiano deserves compliments for his rare policy of continuity. It is in accord with progressive political thought which regards the welfare of the people as the highest law. As someone rightly said, politicians think of the next elections but statesmen think of the next generation.

Unnecessary fuss over Nkpor-Amawbia commissioned road By Ifeanyi Afuba Unnecessary fuss over Nkpor-Amawbia commissioned road By Ifeanyi Afuba Reviewed by Unknown on Saturday, July 04, 2015 Rating: 5

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