AWKA- CHIEF Peter Obi, former governor of Anambra State for eight years bowed out gloriously Monday, while his successor, Dr. Willie Obiano mounted the saddle at an impressive ceremony witnessed by thousands of people from all parts of the country and Nigerians in Diaspora.Enthusiastic crowd started trouping into the famous Alex Ekwueme Square in Awka as early as 8 am and by the time the ceremony started at about 2 pm, the entire square and its environs were filled by spectators with the attendant traffic gridlock in the city.
Former governor, Obi, after inspecting a guard of honour mounted by the police, made a valedictory speech in which he expressed happiness that Anambra has returned to what it should be.Describing Governor Obiano as lucky, the former governor recalled that after his swearing in 2006, there was no office for him to move into and no official car for him, adding that his successor was lucky to have them in place.
He also said that Obiano assumed office at a time the state is financially stable and appealed to the people of Anambra State to give the new governor their full support.
Special adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on inter party matters, Senator Ndii Obi who represented the president at the ceremony urged the new governor to continue the good works of the former governor.
He also confirmed that former Governor Obi will soon become a member of the Federal Executive Council.Governor Obiano, in his speech thanked the people of Anambra State for voting him and his deputy, Dr. Nkem Okeke in to serve them and promised that they would not disappoint.Part of his eight page speech read: “Beloved Anambrarians, with humility, I stand before you today, to accept this historic responsibility that you have given to me to serve. Our great leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, advised Ndigbo that only wise political choices would ensure their survival as a nation within a nation. I am proof that you heeded that advice.
The Governor Of Anambra Sate, Dr. Willie Obiano (left) flanked by his wife (Ebele) taken oath of office from Justice Peter Umeadi….. today Photo by Obi Ikechukwu
Ndi Anambra, I wish to assure you that you made a wise choice when you voted me and Dr. Nkem Okeke as your governor and deputy governor. Not only that, in voting for our great party, the All Progressive Grand Alliance, you once again listened to the wise advice of the great American Civil Rights leader, Dr Martin Luther King Jnr, that; “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
“Let me quickly say that the occasion we have today is not a celebration of the victory of one party over another but the triumph of the human will over the challenges that make democracy a reluctant seed to grow in Africa. Fellow citizens, barley 10 years ago, the situation in Anambra State was so appalling that Anambra’s famous son and writer, Chinua Achebe referred to it as a place where a small clique of renegades had turned into a “bankrupt and lawless fiefdom.”
“To the glory of God, the tables turned against enemies of Anambra when our great leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu built a new political ark for our people and gave us a fighting chance in the ever-threatening flood of Nigeria’s political climate. Today, our story is different.
“After eight years of a remarkable leadership under the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), our narrative has changed from the story of near-bankruptcy to that of the only state in the federation that hosts Nigeria’s first indigenous automobile manufacturing plant. Yes, it is a thing of pride to know that our brother, Dr Innocent Chukwuma has launched Nigeria into a new industrial orbit by fulfilling the country’s dream of indigenous automobile manufacturing with Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Limited, Nnewi. The story of Innoson is the story of courage and vision. It is the narrative of the new anambra state.