30th October, 2013
By Joe Igbokwe
As the moment of decision for who will preside over the affairs in Anambra State draws near, I feel the compelling need to speak to my people and respectfully offer some advice on how to go about it and get the man Anambra needs. I am sticking my neck out because Anambra is too important to be left in the hands of mediocre for four or eight years. I feel the compelling need to speak to Anambra leaders to rise up to the occasion to get the best for the most strategic state in Igboland. I feel the need to speak to my people because evil triumphs in any society simply because good people do nothing. In writing this open letter to Ndi Anambra, I take solace in the late Professor Chinua Achebe’s words of wisdom that “No one can do much about the weather: we must accept it and live with or under it. But national bad habits are a different matter; we resign to them at our peril”. I am persuaded to cry out because a people deserve the kind of leaders they get.
All things considered, Anambra is a strong, viable and a very important state in Nigeria and therefore anybody that aspires to rule this state must be cerebral, strong and experienced. Anambra people cannot go for less in the midst of gifted leaders that can hold their own anywhere in the world. We cannot go to where we have sea of birds and begin to hunt for nwanza (the smallest bird). Dante Algheri says the hottest places in hell will be reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in the face of grave national crisis. It is going to be a disservice to Ndi Anambra if our well to-do leaders sit on the fence as we elect a governor in November 16 2013.
Every prominent person in Anambra, every prominent son or daughter in Anambra, every intellectual, every high profile person, every successful business man or woman, every professor, every teacher, every professional, every actor or actress, every comedian etc. must lend a voice to decide who governs Anambra in 2014. They may be 20 governorship aspirants but I know about only three of them namely Chris Ngige, Willie Obiano and Ifeanyi Ubah. We are to pick from any of these three. Now if experience counts, if courage counts, if antecedents count, if training counts, if education counts, if track record of achievements counts then Senator Chris Ngige is the man. I say this because of a strong sense of patriotism. I say this because of strong love for the land of my birth. I say this because I have witnessed leadership and I know that not everybody is a leader.
Governor Peter Obi has done his best for Anambra and we thank God for his life. But he must give us the chance to elect a leader Anambra deserves. Yes, Governor Peter Obi we know but Willie Obiano, we do not know. I come from Nnewi and Ifeanyi Ubah, my own brother comes from Nnewi also but I do not think he has the capacity to rule a vibrant and well-endowed state like Anambra. Without sounding immodest and with every sense of responsibility I think Ifeanyi Ubah needs some more ten years to prepare himself for leadership. Now with all due respect, I humbly present Senator Ngige for our people to consider. He has been tried, tested, and therefore can be trusted. His landmark and monumental achievements in Anambra still stand tall today. The foundation he laid is still standing in Anambra today. His indelible marks in all nooks and crannies of the State speak for itself anywhere you go.
I am therefore pleading with Anambra leaders to give my suggestion a thought. It is not because this writer is an APC supporter. It is not because I want to gain anything. It is not because one is being brazenly partisan. It is simply because I want the best for my State. I want a strong personality as our leader. I want a tested, competent and a bold person as my Governor. I want a performer as my Governor. As a cash-driven state I want strong security for our state. I want Awka to look like a befitting capital for Anambra. I want jobs to be created for the teeming graduates of Anambra State. I want the State to look beautiful.
Like hundreds of thousands of Anambra indigenes, I can attest that Ngige showed leadership and performance for the three years he was Anambra governor. I can attest that Ngige knows the problems of Anambra more than any of the candidates on display. I can attest that Ngige knows the problems of Anambra more than any other candidate on display in Anambra today. I can attest that he poses the greatest personal attributes among the candidates to lead Anambra to the very next level and he should be given the chance to complete the good works he started in 2003.
In giving the testimonies above, I am not talking of intent. I am not talking of promise. I am not talking of hoping. I am talking of a reality which every Anambra citizen, no matter the political interest he or she holds today, can attest, the golden era of Ngige’s first coming positively impacted on every Anambra man and saw the great recovery of Anambra from the politics of the stomach and godfatherism which Anambra suffered from before Ngige came. I therefore make this passionate appeal to every Anambra man and woman to ensure that our votes are put to valuable use on 16 November. A vote for Ngige remains a guaranteed return to our efforts and we hope to make it a day on November 16.
•Igbokwe wrote from Lagos