Editor's note: Igboeli Arinze, the coordinator for media, Senator Andy Uba Governorship Campaign Organisation, and zonal publicity secretary APC Anambra Central Senatorial District, writes on the chances of the APC governorship candidate in the forthcoming governorship election in the state, arguing that the outgoing government if Willie Obiano has failed.
As a number of Ndi Anambra get set to elect a new helmsman come November 6th, 2021, it surely is the intention of the ordinary Anambrarian that whosoever emerges as the winner will lead the state away from the brink it surely has found itself unto the state of promise our founding fathers surely dreamed about when Anambra was created.
Today, Ndi Anambra will surely agree that all is not well within the state, not with the numerous dysfunctions the state seems to be observing despite boasting of the best in terms of its human capacity and resources. The advancements long made by past administrations have been discontinued by this present one, this then should force Ndi Anambra unto the understanding that this election is about the great stakes in the balance.
For Senator Andy Uba it is indeed crunch time as he seeks to occupy a seat he once was an occupant of, having served as a senator for eight years, Uba who is the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) will once again square off with familiar faces in his bid to become governor.
For Uba, the stakes are indeed great, and they border on a number of issues many in Anambra hold dear to their hearts. These issues though they are thorny as well as are knotty in nature, do not seem to come with easy and rocket science-like solutions rather they will require a combination of creative thinking, political will, and a number of institutions to fix such issues.
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So while Anambra is wallowing in its greatest experience of a deficit in infrastructure, with Governor Obiano reversing much the gains of past administrations, while our educational system sits in immense atrophy and as healthcare, the civil service, and unemployment of our youths can all collectively be termed as seriously sick and without any hope for succor, then we can understand the issues. I may double down to commercial activities in the state and burrow into the security morass presently faced within the state or talk about the decay in the transportation sector, summing up with the fact that in Anambra, it is broken!
That is not all, the state has lost all forms of competitiveness which were initially earned by past administrations. In a peer review with a number of sister states across Nigeria, Anambra under Obiano has lagged behind, most alarming is that it has fallen behind states it ought to ordinarily do better than.
Why should Anambra celebrate a poverty level of 14.8% behind states like Oyo and Ogun states? For example, Anambra's debt stock as of 2015 stood at N3.5billion, today it stands at N59.7billion growing by 1,600 percent. Why should Anambra have a higher number of out-of-school children than states like Cross River, Kwara, and Abia despite the acclaimed huge budgeted outlays in education? Something is wrong somewhere!
Why has the state dropped from its sterling performance in national examinations? Why has the budgetary outlay for its state educational institutions dropped by 9 percent consecutively, particularly our state tertiary educational institutions? Why has the budget for Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University dropped despite the institution's improvement in ranking?
Where are the billions of naira allegedly invested in 'security' projects and programmes which came in series; 'Kpochapu I' and 'Kpochapu II.' Likewise, it is alleged that the governor took home a huge chunk of funds running into billions as security votes. Where are those votes or funds?
One then would have expected that with such humongous splurge of funds into security, Anambra would have become a haven for peace and tranquility, but this was not to be as the state has been at the receiving end of a number of crisis fostered by insecurity.
Where are the CCTV cameras purchased with state funds and launched with such opulent fanfare? Why are such cameras not deployed now that the state is immersed in this conundrum? Where are Obiano's bragging rights of Anambra as the safest state under his watch? Where then does the huge security vote go to? Why are states with fewer withdrawals as security votes doing better than Anambra?
Away from insecurity, let us pitch our focus to a number of other issues, pray, tell, where are the numerous Memorandum of Understanding deals signed by our state government in the last eight years? Where are the hard currencies gotten from the Ugwu and Onugbu exports as well as the Anambra rice miracles?
These are the issues Senator Uba will be coming to address, God-willing his election as governor. A glimpse into Senator Uba's manifesto will give a double assurance even to the hard-nosed voter who may ask if there is anything good that can come out of Anambra's politics.
For Senator Andy Uba, the challenges are there but then as someone who has repeatedly interacted with him, he is coming prepared, much more prepared than his critics think or seek to attribute to him, so that in his desire to govern and leave Anambra better than how he met it, it would not be a bridge too far.
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