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Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Type Of Governor Ndi Anambra Need

It is a matter of  a few days and the issue of the Anambra State gubernatorial  election will be an event in the annals of history. 

Political parties have been positing candidates for the contest but some crucial questions that stare  us in the face are: How many of these candidates have the good of the masses at heart?  What are their manifestoes, vision and mission and how committed are they to put these into practice in case any of them emerges successful?

I feel obliged to remind these numerous contestants that the issue of being the Governor of a state goes beyond political parties to embrace the social, economic, educational, religious and indeed the over-all good of the state irrespective of whose ox is gored. Most past administrators at international, federal, state, local and even family government levels have made indelible names and are cited as role models  while other  leaders have ruined  their names and careers to the extent that anyone who answers such a name appears to incur curses on himself.

In the scripture, we have leaders and kings like Moses, Aaron, Joshua, David, Solomon etc who, though were not perfect, but pleased both God and majority of their subjects. Leaders in Christendom are equally there for us to emulate. Ancient history had people like Ceasar, Pompey etc.

On the negative side of governance, we have leaders like Nebuchadnezzar, Jehoshephat who vowed to chastise  his subjects with scorpion since his father governed them with whip, king  Ahab and Jezebel, the wife who vowed to kill the prophets for telling them bitter truths. We also read of Herod who beheaded John the Baptist for the nasty request of the daughter through her mother after the dance in the feast at the palace. Countries in modern and contemporary era have risen from third to first world countries in the hands of eminent Leaders, Governors and Presidents.

Down home in our continent, Africa we have the likes of Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, Jomoh Kenyatta of Kenya, Kwame Nkrumah of  Ghana, Gen. Murtala Muhamad  and of course Alhaji Shehu Shagari of Nigeria’s Second  Republic, Dr. Michael  Okpara, Chief Orji Uzo Kanu, Chief Sam Mbakwe, Dr. Chris Ngige, Mr. Peter Obi and a host of others who tried to leave indelible foot-prints in the sands of time and their subjects are  ever proud  of them. These are the type of leaders that Anambra State needs. We ought to keep abreast  the fact that any mistake in making a right choice must pounce back on the masses.

The 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria constituted and empowered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)  to organize, undertake and supervise the conduct of elections  from the  federal to state levels, demarcate electoral constituencies, register political parties as well as to declare the winner of the election, issues certificate of returns and to provide  electoral  guide line.  

The origin of the electoral bodies from  pre-independence  era of  Electoral  Commission of Nigeria (ECN) in 1959, through the Federal Electoral Commission (FEC) in 1960 which conducted immediate post-independence federal and regional elections in 1964 and 1965 respectively. In 1978 a new electoral body known as Federal Electoral Commission (FEDECO)  was constituted to organize  the  election  which was to usher in the Second Republic.  It also organized 1983 election. In 1995 Gen. Sani Abacha established National Electoral Commission of Nigeria (NECON). In 1998 Gen.  Abdulsalami Abubakar established Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that ushered in  the 4th Republic on May, 29 1999.

The current electoral body which has her mission as to conduct free, fair and credible election for  sustainable democracy and the vision of autonomy, transparency, integrity, credibility, impartiality, dedication, equity, excellence and team work is faced with a myriad of challenges ranging from political interference in the affairs of electoral body, problem of logistics, financial problems, corrupt staff and poor security which hinder the attainment of their set goals.

On their parts, the citizens should not allow themselves to be deceived by pea-nuts which elapse in a matter of hours and then put the  state  in perpetual agony. The antecedents of the candidates should be studied, and considered for elections or re-elections as the case  may be. The amount of money a candidate shares should not be a criterion for election not to talk of re-elections. We are all indigenes of the state and we can assert  who is who in our state.

Moreover, we should not allow greedy politicians to lure the state into bondage. The most important measure of a Governor’s success is the welfare of the workforce or civil servants. No pranks should be played with the  settlement of the labour force which is the life- wire of the state. In a word, their salaries and allowances should accommodate the economy reality of the country. Prompt payment is another important factor but a promptly paid staff who can never even feed his family with his official pay not to talk of building his own house or paying for a house rent, catering for the educational needs of his siblings and providing other health and social needs should not count himself blessed. A senior staff who goes home monthly with N30,000.00  can never meet his basic needs with this paltry sum.  Our state needs a sincere government and not adherents  of Nicollo  Machievelli, an Italian States man (1469-1527) who explained that it was  often necessary for a Prince/Leader to use immoral methods in order to achieve power or success.  Machievellianism  simply means using clever plan to achieve what one wants without people understanding what he is doing.

My emphasis is more on the welfare of the workforce because money circulates to market women and traders through them. Almost 85% of the populace – children, pupils, students, the aged, the sick depend on them. Pay them a living wage and the society  will  have  course to rejoice.

Next Anambrarians need right people in right positions  irrespective of any form of affiliation, in-laws, local government or community and friends. The state can boast of men and  women  of integrity who can efficiently and effectively man the Ministries, Commissions, Agencies, etc for maximum yield. Such people are needed in vital positions. 

Quality education should also be made affordable for the poor by making school fees at all levels affordable.

Food is the most basic necessity of life. The state needs a governor who can practically and pragmatically boost agriculture by  encouraging real farmers for maximum production.

The state also needs a security – conscious governor like the incumbent Governor of the State.

A Governorship candidate must be ready to equip our hospitals and health centres so that medical services may also be to the reach of the poor masses.

 He should be able to remit a little authority to the local government for even grassroots development.

Indeed Anambra State does not need a grand child its polity.  Governorship of this state surpasses party affiliations. This write up is objective and apolitical but aims at suggesting the type of governor that will make Anambra State a real light of the Nation, a state that others will  like to emulate and pace-setter state.

Happy elections, vote wisely.

Okonkwo  John
Anambra East L.G.A


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