Come October 2013, the south eastern Nigerian state of Anambra will be all in the news again. As the states moves to choose a new governor for itself. A governor who'll be expected to improve on the present governor Peter Obi's achievements.
There's definitely going to be a lot of media coverage on the individuals who are preparing for this gubernatorial race. But I will like to shift the idea a little and talk on Anambra state under Governor Peter Obi. It's achievements and shortcoming and the huge shoes his successor is expected to fill.
A lengthy appeal to the 2003 gubernatorial election in which Chris Ngige was declared winner finally ended in 2006; 3 years after the said election and Peter Obi was declared the winner of the 2003 elections. But 3 years of his mandate have been stolen and with election scheduled to come up again in 2007, Peter Obi was in court seeking a landmark judgement that will empower him to complete his 4 years term. Effectively making anambra state the first state to conduct its gubernatorial election on a date different from other states of the federation.
Whenever rule of law and judiciary as the hope for the common man in Nigeria, Peter Obi's name must always come up. As he has benefitted from court judgements on many occasions to win back his mandate twice and foil impeachment attempts on him.
But what's the state of Anambra after 8 years of his governance. Anambra is certainly better than he met it. Peter Obi has proven to be a very good manager of men and resources judging from how he has piloted the affairs of state with the little resources at his disposal.
His opposition and detractors might point out his failure to conduct local government elections and being an errand boy of the president as his faults. Well, his failure to conduct local government election is really a very bad thing. But one can argue that the local government is an avenue to waste the lean resources at the government disposal as the local government have not made any meaningful contribution to the development of Anambra state. I belong to that school of thought. But that does not justify the governors failure to conduct the elections.
An errand boy to the president? Governor Peter Obi does not look like an errand boy to me. I believe he understood that a good relationship with the central government will interpreted into good things for Anambra state. Things like the second Niger bridge and the elevation of the state to an oil producing state. Moreover, being one amongst the two governors that are members of the economic team goes to prove that his management skills have been noticed by the presidency.
A lot of posters are already littered everywhere in the capital city Awka, the market city of Onitsha and the industrial city of Nnewi. The question is will all these politicians currently declaring their intentions to be Peter Obi's successor be able to keep anambra state on the upward direction the incumbent governor has given to it. Or are we going back to the pre 2003 darkness?
Only time will tell. And your votes will decide.