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Peter Obi hands over to Obiano

OBIANO TAKES OVER FROM PETER OBI AS ANAMBRA GOVERNOR

Governor Willie Obiano will today take over from Chief Peter Obi as governor of Anambra State after a week-long activities preparatory to this day.Obi had hitherto been addressed simply as Mr. Peter Obi until Saturday when he, for the first time in his public-office life accepted to be conferred with the chieftaincy title “Okwute” by a conglomerate of traditional rulers in the state.He had vowed not to take any chieftaincy title while in office and kept to that until weekend when the Chairman of the state Council of Traditional Rulers and Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe with the Igwe of Awka, Eze Gibson Nwosu and the other 175 monarchs in the state officially conferred on him a title he already goes by.

Traditional rulers in the state took turns to eulogise Obi at the ceremony held at the Alex Ekwueme Square in Awka and witnessed by the Chairman of the South East Council of Traditional Rulers, Igwe Chris Ilomuanya, the Jaja  of Opobo, King Dandison Jaja and the Attah of Igala, Michael Idoakwu.

The colourful ceremony was among those that were planned to usher out his historic eight-year reign as governor of Anambra State and signal the beginning of that of Mr. Obiano. There had been a service at the St. Faith Anglican Cathedral, a mass at the St. Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral both in Awka; a cultural display and sundry activities.

It would mark the first time Anambra is witnessing a thing as this because Obi is the first man to win a re-election in the state and he has proved his mettle as he held his own and ensured the emergence of his preferred candidate, who also won the governorship election on October 10 last year.

Although the election is still on contention in the courts, the swearing-in of Obiano today marks the beginning of an era for the state. For instance, the emergence of Obi of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), first in 2006, eased the grip and dominance of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state and his reelection in February 2010 against all odds, and against the machinations of all the known political heavyweights in the PDP, told a lot of stories in resilience and determination.

His weathering the storm of politics in a state like Anambra for eight years with the successful installation of a successor has proven Obi as a deft politician and administrator. Sources is the state noted that “it seems the opposition is just sleeping and have abandoned the state to the superior politics of Peter Obi.” The contention, according to the source, was borne out of what he described as “the lull in their camps as PDP has gone to sleep while the only party making some whimper is APC. Even one Chief Chika Obidigbo of the same APGA just came up recently and claimed that he was the winner of the party’s governorship ticket. But I don’t think any of these can hinder the swearing in of Willie Obiano today.”

But what comes next for Anambra under a “completely unknown Willie Obiano” is to be seen in the coming four years.

“Obi too came as a ‘fleeting’ contestant since 2003 and has successfully governed Anambra since 2006. So, there is nothing to fear” has been a refrain in some quarters in the state. They are optimistic that Obiano too would continue in that trend.

Awka is agog for Obiano and Obi and the people are expressing the hope that when Obiano completes his tenure, such things as were said by traditional rulers, religious leaders and many politicians in the state about Obi would be said of him.

Light was thrown on the kind of administration Obi ran in the build up to the October 10 governorship election in the state by the candidate of the APC in the election, Dr. Chris Ngige.

Ngige, who spoke on a live radio programme in Awka said Obi executed some of his programmes and listed some of the programmes to include the handing over of schools to missionaries, the running of hospitals with missions and numerous other programmes.
The people seemed to key into the many programmes and have been reaping the results and are optimistic.

Awka is ready and the people of Anambra are hopeful. The state is peaceful generally and Awka is wearing a new look. “They are painting the road medians and for the first time in a long time, there is street light in Awka,” observed one resident of Awka, the state capital

[Nigeria Tribune]

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