Dr. Willie Obiano and Dr. Nkamakonam Okeke were yesterday, sworn in as governor and deputy governor of Anambra State respectively with a pledge to tackle headlong the perennial problems of power failure and insecurity which they identified as the biggest constraints to the full manifestation of the ingenuity for which Anambra people were known.
This was even as the state Chief Judge, Justice Peter Umeadi, denied ever flouting any court order by swearing them into office.
However, the Special Adviser to the President on Inter-Party Matters, Chief Ben Obihas announced the appointment of former Governor Obi, as the honourary Adviser on Finance to President Goodluck Jonathan and would soon become a member of the Federal Executive Council, FEC.
Society’s enduring virtues of love, unity and brotherhood were some of the central themes that dominated the inaugural address of the new Governor, Obiano after taking the oath of office, in an elaborate ceremony in Awka, the Anambra State capital.
At the colourful ceremony held at Dr. Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka and attended by eminent personalities from Anambra and beyond, Obiano said that the realisation of his dreams for Anambra State depends on how well these two challenges were tackled.
He said: “The good news is that there is hope for Anambra State. We shall aggressively address the challenge of power supply with the proposed citing of ultra-modern Independent Power Plants, IPP, in the three industrial hubs in the state, especially, in Onitsha, Nnewi and Awka. When fully operational, these plants will generate enough electricity to power the entrepreneurial dreams of our people.”
In the area of security, he said: “Anambra will be different under my watch. Not only shall we redraft the operational manual of the entire security apparatchik to ensure a lightening-quick response, we shall also re-orientate our people to see that every citizen has a role to play in the security of our communities. The concept of community policing or what is better known as the Vigilante Groups, has worked well in Anambra State.
“The next challenge however is to re-train, re-equip and refocus them to meet the dynamics of our time. Along the same line, we will strengthen the police and other law enforcement agencies in the state to enhance their efficiency and response rate to distress calls.”
Obiano also said that his government would address the long clamour by Anambra people for a capital city “that fully reflects the essence of our people,” adding that Awka would be re-designed and remodeled to meet the structural and aesthetic requirements of a 21st Century city that the people would be proud off.
Apart from these, he also said that his government would faithfully implement the master plans of Onitsha and Nnewi.
He listed other priorities of his government to include aggressive mechanised agriculture, oil and gas development, trade and commerce and industrialisation.
While paying a glowing tribute to the late APGA leader and Ikemba Nnewi, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu for building a new political ark for Ndigbo, Obiano also expressed gratitude to the people of Anmabra for the overwhelming support they gave to him during the last gubernatorial poll.
President Jonathan, who was represented at the occasion by his Adviser on inter party matters, Chief Obi, said he had enjoyed the support of the former governor and assured that “he remains my honourary adviser on Finance.
“Sooner or later Peter Obi will be a member of the Federal Executive Council,” the president said.
Earlier in his valedictory speech, former governor Obi had described the transition as historic pointing out that since the creation of both old and new Anambra State, “no governor has handed over to anybody.”
His words: “Chief Jim Nwobodo did not hand over to Chief Christian Onoh (in the Second Republic); Chukwuemeka Ezeife did not hand over to Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju; Mbadinuju did not hand over to Dr. Chris Ngige and Ngige was not available the day I took my oath of office.’’
He also claimed that when he ‘’was sworn in, Anambra did not have the Governor’s Office, there was no Governor’s Lodge. When I was sworn in, I came with my car but today as we leave here after the new Governor has been sworn in, he will move in a brand new Governor’s car and he will move into a Governor’s Lodge.
Anambra State has returned to the path of peace and progress because when we started the journey all of us knew what it was but today, we can say we have a state.”
He denied entering into any pact with Obiano, advising his successor to give priority attention to the future of the youths in the state.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by eminent personalities including former Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Azubuike Ihejirila, rtd, Gov. Theodore Orji of Abia State, Special Adviser to the President on Inter-Party Affairs, Sen. Ben Obi, GOC 82 Div, Major Gen. S. Yusuf, APGA National Chairman, Chief Victor Umeh, Business mogul, Prince Arthur Eze, Sir Emeka Offor, wives of Delta and Cross River State Governors, Roli Uduaghan and Obioma Imoke, Nigerian Ambassador to Spain, Mrs. Bianca Ojukwu and APC Chieftain, Chief Annie Okonkwo.
Meanwhile, the state Chief Judge, Justice Umeadi, has denied ever flouting an alleged court order restraining him from swearing in Obiano as governor of the state.
In a statement signed on his behalf by the Chief Registrar, N. D. Ezeani, yesterday, after the swearing in ceremony, Justice Umeadi noted that there was a suit seeking a mandatory injunction to stop him from swearing in Obiano and Okeke yesterday, but that the suit had not yet been determined.
He noted that from the numerous legal authorities listed in the publications, wondering whether the plaintiff would still achieve the purport of his reliefs if he continued with his suit.
Dr. Chike Obidigbo had in a suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/118/2014, asked the Federal High Court, Abuja for an injunction restraining the swearing in of Obiano and his deputy yesterday.
Joined in the suit were the factional Chairman of APGA, Chief Maxi Okwu, APGA, INEC and Chief Judge of Anambra State.
Umeadi, however, observed that he would obey all orders of court on matters which come to his notice, even as he would not evade service of any court process.
He said he would equally allow access even where it is to be served on him personally, adding that even where he is absent and the court process is received in his chambers, it would certainly come to his notice and he would abide by same.
Umeadi further said that there was nothing to show that injunction was granted against him on the matter as none was served on him, adding that he was a nominal party in the said suit.
Chief Obiano, ex-banker and technocrat who won the November 16, and run off election on November 30, 2014 on the platform of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, took over from the immediate past governor, Mr. Peter Obi whose two tenures of eights were been largely described as successful
In a highly inspiring address titled, Expanding the Frontiers of Excellence; Obiano who is the fourth democratically elected governor of Anambra State sought to rouse the consciousness of Ndi Anambra by reminding them of the Igbo industry and ingenuity when he said: “A people who astonished the world with their ingenuity and resourcefulness during wartime can lend a weighty hand to efforts to re-make our world in peace-time.” – Vanguard.