Gentle men of the press, it gives me great pleasure to have you all here today. For all of us members of the State Working Committee of APGA in Anambra ably led by a tested and proven technocrat and politician, Hon. Sir. Norbert Obi, we are delighted to have you here today.
Today marks the beginning of a relationship we intend to nurture and mature for the next four years of our tenure as the pilots in charge of APGA in Anambra State.
As we all know, Anambra is the home State of APGA, not just from the point of party leadership but also in terms of the reference points of the exemplary display of compassionate, committed, consistent and unique approach to capital and human resource administration by our BoT Chairman and Leader of our great party, His Excellency, Chief Dr. Willie Mmaduaburochukwu Obiano, Akpokuodike Ndigbo Global.
Permit me to quickly touch on some key strides Akpokuo has made since he became the Executive Governor of Anambra State. We all are securely settled today in Anambra because of the vision and wisdom of Akpokuo in making sure that the security of life and property is guaranteed as the first requirement of any positive change.
We are free to move around the State at anytime of the day with no concern of attack by the miscreants, Akpokuo has either chased them to their last point of hiding or exiled them completely from our State via his well thought out “Operation Kpochapu”
Today we have clearly defined roles in the administration of our State, if anyone has any business with Anambra State government, we know exactly where to go. This is no more the era of running from one Ministry to the other not sure of which department or Ministry to deal with. In the recent past, investors coming into the State were dealing directly with different Ministries and other government organs, the unpatriotic and greedy ones in service most times built their personal interest into projects, their interests then become burdensome for the investor who consequently lose interest in the entire process, Ndi Anambra then loose. Today we have the ANAMBRA STATE INVESTMENT PROMOTION & PROTECTION AGENCY, (ANSIPPA) that has the singular responsibility of dealing with anything investment. As the name of this agency implies, they do not just sort the due process of investments, they supervise and protect the entire process thereby guaranteeing the expected end benefits for Ndi Anambra and the investors.
I need to remind you that we have the AWKA CAPITAL TERRITORY DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (ACTDA) that has the responsibility of giving Ndi Anambra a comprehensively planned and befitting Capital City. All these systems are put in place by one man that understands what it takes to be a proud Igbo man, a man that has proven his mettle over years in his professional carrier, a man that became our Governor and Leader today through consistent proof of integrity professionally and otherwise. Gentle men of the press, that person is our BoT Chairman, Leader of our great party APGA and Executive Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency Chief Dr. Willie Mmaduaburochukwu Obiano, the Working Willie.
I hope we all remember that Governor Obiano was not actively involved in politics prior to becoming our Governor, he had meritoriously retired from active service and was busy enjoying his wealth and life when Anambra State APGA came calling. As a man that is where he is due to his consistency in positive and innovative services in his professional carriers, he has brought all those experiences to bear in managing our dear State, today the dividends of APGA’s wise decision by luring him back to yet another active service are paying off and we thank our former Governor His Excellency Mr. Peter Obi and our former National Chairman, Chief Sir Victor Umeh for this God inspired decision.
I am sure that most of you are journalists based in Anambra, we cannot tell you guys fibs, you are professional news hunters and possibly know what is happening than most of us, we are here to reaffirm to Nigerians through your professional selves that truly truly, Willie is Working and Ndi Anambra are happy.
This interaction is not meant to bore you with long speech but mainly to tell you that we recognise that you are here, we would be glad to work with you in this already activated journey of progress that APGA is making, we understand and appreciate your role in this project, my office as the State Publicity Secretary of APGA in Anambra is ever open to all of you, it is our office, please feel free to come in at any time. This is not a political statement, it is how it is with the new APGA, the way it has been working with Sir. Norbert Obi our State Chairman and the hierarchy of our party in the State.
This address may be incomplete if I do not say something about the frivolous and ludicrous allegations being concocted and peddled by the opposition elements in the State especially the PDP and Labour Party. Let me be clear in this, the honey moon for these visionless and non directional political parties and their cohorts are over, APGA can no more sit and watch them undermine the office of the Executive Governor of our State via frivolous and unfounded allegations. My office is equipped and ready to return back to them as they dish. He that lives in a glass house should not be throwing stones. Enough of their nonsense, that APGA is a law abiding party does not give anyone the impetus to ride our Leader and BoT Chairman, any negative attack on Akpokuo is an attack on APGA. It is an attack on the general integrity of Ndi Anambra who are predominantly APGANS. Let me remind the dreamers once more that PDP does not exist in Anambra, what they have are bullies and intimidators that have in the past advantaged their control of the centre to defraud us during elections. APGA is fully awake now, be rest assured that such can never happen again in Anambra. Labour party has gone extinct as it is, no need to push it.
The essence of opposition is to have a party that is consistently observant of the policies of government and to detect any type of policy, project or action that will be tantamount to the progress of the State, by detecting and bringing such flaws to the attention of Ndi Anambra and proposing better solutions, Ndi Anambra would then see them as leadership options. In other words, good opposition should proffer superior ways of doing things. What we have today are groups and factions that are directionless in terms of even knowing who they are. Who is the State Chairman of PDP in Anambra? Where is Labour Party in the comity of political parties? How can someone that has not been able to manage his home come to the public to allege unfounded and ridiculous allegations against a working Governor. The position of His Excellency, Governor Willie Obiano as our Leader is that we should not expend energy in replying frivolous allegations, we spend our time in telling Ndi Anambra, Nigeria and the world what Akpokuodike Igbo is doing as a template for leadership based on the people and for the people. This does not imply that we have to let the miscreants in PDP and their disgruntled partners to keep undermining the office of the Governor and the integrity of our BoT Chairman and Leader. Willie is Working, Ndi Anambra are happy and APGA is succeeding, that is their grouse and we shall keep improving, be rest assured.
In terms of performance, we have not called you gentlemen of the press here today to give our report card, we shall do that at the appropriate time, but permit me to state that Anambra State government has taken agriculture to a new level never witnessed in this State. Akpokuo’s government of APGA has taken education to a new level, some teachers were sent overseas for training in vocational and technical skills acquisition. The performance of students of Anambra State origin in WASC, National and International quiz competitions ably testify to these claims. Infrastructural developments are on the increase and I wish to state that there is a great deal of attention to quality and standards, that is to say, things are being built to last and serve Ndi Anambra for some reasonable period, it is called value for money.
Let me quickly reaffirm what we know to Ndi Anambra home and abroad, there is no abandoned project anywhere in the State. APGA government is a continuity government, we only had a change of Management at the top. It is obvious that style of approach to issues will be different but the goals remain constant.
You all are aware of the volume of projects that were initiated by the exited APGA government in the State on their last days, we are aware of the Civil Service recruitments, the Local Government elections and others. The financial demand on the present government was increased tremendously, we are not complaining because they were all initiated for the benefit of Ndi Anambra and we were financially positioned to continue the momentum without much stress. No Civil Servant has been sacked by Akpokuo, the type of thing tenable in most States in this country. Akpokuo has been paying salaries and pensions as at when due. It is on record that Anambra State Government is the only State in Nigeria that paid salaries in the past month, please go and verify. Anambra State increased salaries of Civil Servants by 15% at a time when so many States are owing salaries for up to one year and beyond. Another truth is that the Federal Allocation coming into the State crashed with the drop in the price of crude in the international market. If Anambra was getting N100 a month, we are now getting N48. The drop is huge and this is where the professional background of our Governor and Leader is activated, Akpokuo Global, as a square peg in a square hole, adjusted the speed of development by prioritising. Reduction in speed from 100 miles per hour to 60 or 70 miles per hour does not imply the vehicle has stopped. Anambra is on steady upward movement and we all have to support the Governor, government and our party APGA to do more.
There is an internal focus on revenue drive to improve our income, it has already improved and still improving. Ndi Anambra need to know that this is the period to sacrifice and show commitment and support to a working government by paying their taxes and dues. In this drive, there have been some criminals in the streets of mostly Onitsha and Nnewi impersonating members of revenue team, harassing and intimidating Ndi Anambra to part with their hard earned money.. These criminals have the audacity to brand their vehicles to look official and genuine thereby painting a wrong picture of Anambra State government through their unprofessional and intimidating approach.
The government is working with the security agencies in making sure these heartless criminals are caught and treated accordingly, there is no room in the present Anambra for any type of criminality. Ndi Anambra, please support Governor Willie Obiano to do more, support APGA, please pay your taxes and dues as at when due so that Willie will keep working for us all. Let us all see this as a call to commit and prove that our love for Anambra is not mere lip service, let us see this period as a term to identify and really claim shareholding in this progressive Anambra Project.
Let me conclude by saying that we at the State Working Committee are lucky to have the like of Akpokuo as our Leader, we are lucky to have a proven political strategist as our National Chairman and we are lucky to have Sir. Norbert Obi as our daddy in the State. The political terrain is green, we only have the responsibility to move to the nooks and crannies of our State to reaffirm the good message to Ndi Anambra, we have the responsibility to connect with Ndi Anambra all over the world to proclaim same message, we equally have the responsibility to move away from the safety of our State and get into our neighbouring States especially in the South East and deliver same message.
We all know that Ndigbo have lacked credible leadership in the past, with an ardent, courageous and politically willed Leader like Willie Obiano, who has proven in all ramifications that he is equal to the task, with the creative and focused leadership of our National Chairman, Chief Dr. Victor Ike Oye and the guidance of the experiences of our daddy in the State Sir Norbert Obi, Ndigbo are in for a great rebirth. Nigeria must know that the only viable party with clearly defined vision to chart better tomorrow for us all is APGA, ignore us at your own peril.
Gentlemen of the press, thank you for your time and patience, I am grateful you came.
Hon. Chinedu Nkwonta
State Publicity Secretary, APGA