Two years of Obiano’s success in fighting crime with jobs, Okechukwu Anarado

Governor Willie Obiano
Governor Willie Obiano

At the creation of Anambra State on 27th August, 1991, there were great expectations of awaited accelerated development. The home state of the greats such as Zik, Okadigbo, the Okigbos, Chike Obi, Achebe, the Ojukwus, Power Mike Okpala and majority of front­line Igbos in diverse notable fields, would produce no less hope in a country adrift.

The hope and opti­mism faltered however, as the state got entrapped in fifteen long years of political quandary. Governance de­clined to nothingness; and with it, the people’s ethos. But the All Pro­gressives Grand Alliance’s momen­tous electoral defeat of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the gubernatorial poll of 2003 (which was belatedly actualized in 2006 by judicial sanction) provid­ed the elixir that illuminated a true search for viable statehood. Since then, the leadership of All Progres­sives Grand Alliance, APGA, in An­ambra State has thrived in provid­ing good governance for the people of the state.

But the notoriety of the state con­sequent upon the endemic crime wave remained. The palpable ex­pressions of insecurity and fear seemed to overwhelm the state and its citizens with the mutation of criminality culminating in kidnap­ping. True, the vast economic activ­ities in Anambra State predispose it to the challenges of crime, but the burden was becoming increasing­ly difficult for the people to live with.

That skewed past is now safely confined to history following the unprecedented success Gov. Wil­lie Obiano has recorded in crime fighting. One of the cardinal point­ers to a civilised polity is its ability to persuade or compel its citizens to be compliant to universal indices of ethical practices. Two years ago, when Chief Obiano boldly professed absolute commitment to the securi­ty of lives and property of the people, there were doubts about his capaci­ty for adequate action; but the novel promptness as well as the effective­ness of his actions would soon trans­late his passion to reality to the admi­ration of all.

Barely one week in office, the Governor constituted an effective Joint Task Force on security com­prising the Police, different arms of the Nigerian Military and the para­military groups. In furtherance of his impatience with crime in the State, an unprecedented Security Summit was quickly convoked on the 10th and 11th of April, 2014 – less than one month in the life of Chief Obi­ano’s Administration. The confer­ence informed the template for ef­fective crime control in the state.

The Governor does not mere­ly glory in tough talks against de­linquent persons, he encourages them to leverage on his many em­ployment schemes to wean them off crime, hence his contention that, ‘if we replace the guns in the hands of our youths with employment let­ters and seed monies for small-scale businesses, Anambra would be fre­er from the criminals and social mis­creants that have denied us peace of mind.’ The Governor is equally ex­ploring many avenues of getting no­table entrepreneurs who are indige­nous to Anambra State to repatriate their investments home in order to provide employment for the youths. This innovative and reformatory scheme in crime-fighting has proved invaluable in containing the wildness that unemployment portends.

Chief Willie Obiano’s actions bespeak volumes of his determi­nation to improve the lives of An­ambra youths. His administration, more than any other in the history of the state, recognizes the resource­fulness of youths in his assignments and appointments. Obiano provides the youths vital mentorship by lib­erally challenging them with criti­cal responsibilities and celebrating the successes they make of such en­gagements. He has deployed huge sums of money and energy towards empowering the youths financial­ly. He does this by providing oppor­tunities for their training in various skills. He provides seed money and job opportunities for large number of young people.

Given the potentials in gainful en­gagement in agriculture, Chief Obi­ano has trained hundreds of youths in modern farming techniques at Anambra State College of Agricul­ture, Mgbakwu. Equally, aware of the high technical consciousness among Anambra youths, the governor has provided sponsorship for hundreds of talented Anambra youths at Nne­wi Technology Incubation Centre. He funds the centre for enhanced training.

Through the Ministry of Youths Entrepreneurship and Sports De­velopment, the governor explores every available opportunity in re­alizing his dream of engaging the youths meaningfully. The Minis­try is concluding plans to optimal­ly deploy the Federal Government owned Youth Centre at Mgbakwu in furtherance of youth training on skill acquisition and entrepreneur­ship breath.

The governor does not respond to sports as merely helping the youth to keep strong, he sees it as a poten­tial means of livelihood. He there­fore encourages sporting activities in schools and among youth groups as means of grooming sports peo­ple who would not only make quali­ty living from sporting activities but would bring laurels and good name to the state.

The administration uses agencies and the traditional institutions to re­invent the chains of values that con­stitute the heritage of the state and earned Ndi-Anambra enviable po­sitions in the gathering of the tribes and among the peoples of the world.

In two long years of lean means, the yield of these efforts in enhanc­ing sanity in Anambra State is ev­idenced in the minimal cases of criminality now reported in the state. The wholesome sense of free­dom which Ndi-Anambra now feel as they go about their daily engage­ments is unarguably the best gift any government can offer the people.

* Anarado writes from Adazi-Nnukwu, Anambra State

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