By Oseloka H. Obaze
Often, while the past is fraught with bleak history, the future is poignant with imponderables. That cliché fits well into Anambra States governance narrative and leadership needs. A slew of well known names aspire to lead Anambra come 17 March 2022. The qualifying election is scheduled for 6 November 2021. Everyone in the race is running against a glaringly poor APGA governance record from 2014 to date.
The choice of who leads Anambra state in 2021, is now well beyond debate or academic exercise. It is an existential question for the Anambra population. History should serve as a guide. For the past seven years, Anambra has been a case study on lessons learned and hugely missed opportunities. The only apt word for defining governance in Anambra since 2014, is “mistake”.
The choice in 2014, has been affirmed as utterly mistaken. The incumbent Governor, Willie Obiano wrote his own testimonial. The governance scorecard is most unflattering. The decision to keep him in office in 2017 after the first dismal four years was consequential, negatively speaking. It was a factor of a blinkered choice foisted and fostered by traditional emotionalism. Anambra is worse off for it. While the incumbent will bear the historical burden, vicarious responsibility goes to the supporting cast from all sectors.
Since 2014 good governance has eluded Anambra State, despite cosmetic approaches, sloganeering and governance by billboard and media hype. The concrete results are less tangible and less evident, both in-terms of soft power dividends and hard power accruals. Even the touted security sector has suffered evident severe reverse.
Now for Anambra, another opportunity beckons.
Of the contesting lot, just one person will elected. If the choice is left entirely left to Anambra people, it ought not to be a hard sell or difficult choice. Anambra needs a focus, disciplined, down to earth administrator to guide her henceforth. That person, should not be concerned about politicking, but about good governance, period.
The reality is that Anambra stands broken – in infrastructure, governance, as well as morally and fiscally. The state needs to be fixed, very badly, considering that the governance record of ruling APGA party and incumbent Governor Willie Obiano has been nothing but abysmal. This view is bereft of sentiments and partisan fervor. One must call a spade a spade. Already, erstwhile supporters of the APGA regime are jumping ship or recusing themselves, lest they become guilty by association.
Of all those qualified candidates who hold party governorship tickets, only one person, Valentine Chineto Ozigbo, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) flag-bearer is eminently qualified on all accounts to lead Anambra going forward. The underpinning qualifier, is not just the credentials, it is a mix of experience, credentials, personality, global worldview and the ability to effectively run the state as an enterprise based on global best practices.
For her inscrutable candidate, APC’s record at the Centre is an albatross. Such record will not sell at Nkwo Nnewi, Onitsha or Eke Akwa. It won’t even sell in Chris Ngige’s hood of Allor and Nnobi. Anambra is not an APC State. It has never been and will not be going forward. A Supreme Court reprise of its affront in Imo, is not possible here.
The ruling APGA’s poor governance record rules her out. No one rewards poor leadership. Regardless of who is her eventual candidate, APGA is toast.
Moreover, Prof. Charles Soludo, who seeks the Anambra mandate under APGA, must now deal with the inconvenient truth; when Anambra was going down the road to perdition and prebendal abyss under Obiano in 2017, rather than speak truth to power and to the Anambra people, Soludu engaged in self-serving obfuscation, by claiming that “IF IT AINT BROKEN, WHY FIX IT.” So if Anambra is not broke and broken, rotten, filthy, decrepit deeply indebted and underdeveloped, what is Soludo coming to solve and why does the state need his solution?
The other parties and their hopping, knee-jerk and forum shopping candidates are in the race only to fill up the rest of the racecourse track. Most of the parties are minor leaguers bereft of grassroots support base or fans, albeit with deep pocket maverick candidates. Try as they may, no one will entrust Anambra to another egocentric persona.
Anambra is a hub begging for good governance. The material, human capital, revenue and fiscal resources required to effectively run the state exist, despite its having been recklessly dragged into a debt peonage. What is needed, is a transformative, adaptive, purposeful and caring leader.
From a policy and governance perspective, Valentine Chineto Ozigbo (VCO) of PDP offers the best possible platform and grand strategy for rejuvenating Anambra and setting her on the part of sustainable development.
From the hard copy and televised defense of his Manifesto, it can be gleaned that Ozigbo is on his marks, set and ready to hit the ground running, in governing Anambra. Indeed, a glimpse into his mindset and template of the policies and programmes he plans to execute in his first 100 days is quite revelatory.
With Valentine C. Ozigbo, Anambra and her progressive future and development will become fungible as well as inextricable. And that is why I have endorsed Ozigbo for Governor. The campaign and race for Agu Awka 2021 is that simple.
Obaze, the PDP 2017 Governorship Candidate, wrote from Awka
Eminent Personalities Present As Barr Ubani Gives Dad Befitting Burial in Abia
All roads led to Abia state last weekend in celebration of the life and times of Pa Ubani Egbedubi Nwokocha, the late father of respected lawyer, Dr. Monday Onyekachi Ubani who had passed away aged 101 on 3rd January, 2022. It was a carnival-like event for the entire Ikwuano community which trooped out to welcome the hundreds of eminent personalities who visited the town from different parts of the country.
The Christian Wake, Funeral Service, Thanksgiving service and interment turned out to be a massive celebration for the Chairman of Nigeria Bar Association Section on Public Interest and Development Law (NBA-SPIDEL), Dr. Monday Onyekachi Ubani.
He was pleasantly amazed and elated by the huge number of personalities that despised the distance and road network to celebrate with him.
In his letter of condolence earlier, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR extolled the late father, Pa Ubani Egbedubi Nwokocha and prayed for the entire family.
The Senate Chief Whip and former governor of Abia State, Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu; Honourable Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Hon. Uche Samson Ogah; Speaker, Abia State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Engr. Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji; Ebonyi Guber aspirant, Dr. Ifeanyi Odii; Sen. Nkechi Nwogu; Dr. Chima Anyaso led other politicians to the funeral ceremony.
Also present at the ceremony were clergymen, traditional rulers, and community leaders. Being a member of the Bar himself, Dr. Ubani had Barr. Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau, SAN, among other SANs and many other advocates including Barr. Charles Ajiboye in attendance. Members of the 4th estate and delegate members of the National Association of Online Security News Publishers, NAOSNP led by the National President and Publisher of Trek Africa Newspaper, Comrade Oki Samson also graced the event. Popular gospel artiste, Buchi and other Christian bands were also present to thrill the audience to worship songs in honor of the Giver of Life, Almighty God.
Being an only son, Dr. Monday Ubani could not hide his joy for God giving him life to succeed his father. He reveled with delight, jumped for joy, sang happily, danced freely, and beamed with smiles throughout the celebration. The teeming personalities present also joined him to make merry. It was indeed a life well lived.
Speaking with Members of the National Association of Online Security News Publishers, NAOSNP during the celebration, Honourable Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Hon. Dr. Uchechukwu Samson Ogah said that Barrister Monday Ubani is a brother to him and not just a friend. ‘We have come of age together. The death of his father is like the death of my own father, so we are here to give our father a befitting burial. Ubani is affected directly but we that are by the side are equally affected. Anybody consoling Ubani should also console us. We are all connected. I want to ask that as a Christian, Ubani should always believe that on the last day, he will meet again his father because a Christian does not die; a Christian sleeps waiting for the last day when the Lord will come. So we believe Pa Ubani has slept waiting on the arrival of the Lord.’
In the light of the degrading societal values, the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development advised parents, ‘People tend to leave their responsibility to government. The integral part of society is family but overtime family values have gone. People are no longer having the values that are expected. We knew the do’s and don’ts when we were growing but it seems over familiarity with Western societies has made us to lose values but we have values and those values must be trained right from the family, church before the general society. We need to look at what we can do to improve the society. We need to go back to the drawing board.
The elites in the society have a role to play, Paul in the Bible said all things are lawful but not all are expedient. There are things you don’t do because you know younger ones are looking at you. I believe everyone has a part to play. We need to talk to our younger ones about a better way to live in the society.’
The Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Engr Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji, during his condolence visit, described the deceased as a man who was reputed for his philanthropy, integrity, peaceful disposition and stellar achievements.
“Pa Egbedubi Nwokocha was an honorable man; his dedication and contribution to the service of humanity was remarkable, and his meekness, calm demeanor and benevolence have left an indelible mark in the sands of time. I urge you to take heart and be consoled by the fact that he lived a long and productive life”, the Speaker said.
He prayed God to give the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss and grant the soul of the deceased eternal rest.
Felicitating with the family, Dr. Anthony Ewelike noted: ‘There is nothing that anyone can desire than to have a son that can give you a befitting burial like this at 101. The son ensured that, the father found Christ before he found death. I have known his son, Barr. Ubani himself for more than 40 years.
He is my personal lawyer. He is my friend. He is like a son to me. More importantly, he is a committed, thoroughbred, born again child of God. He is a deacon in the Assemblies of God Church, Ikeja where I worship. We are all here, Pastors and deacons.’
On her part, Sen. Nkechi Nwogu shared: ‘My advice to the family especially Dr. Ubani is for him to take heart. Death is an inevitable end. Papa got up to 101. I want to age healthily and gracefully like him. I want to advice that the thing that had always kept unity, they must not deviate from it and from what Papa has done. My advice to other parents is that we are custodians to our children. We didn’t bring them to earth. The Lord asked us to take care of these children. We will give account.’
Also in attendance, the clergyman in the church that Barr. Ubani attends in Lagos, Rev. Uche Godswill affirmed: ‘Barr. Ubani is a wonderful person. He is my member, friend, brother, and adviser. From all indications, Pa Nwokocha has lived a good life. God has blessed the family. He is the only son but he has given birth to many sons. We pray that God will give them the grace to keep the legacy of goodness and goodwill that the father left.’
A learned colleague, Barr. Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau, SAN prayed for the soul of the departed, ‘May the blessed soul of Pa Ubani rest in peace. He lived an exemplary life, a life that sought after God and I think that is one of the most important aspects of the life that he lived that we should emulate.’
‘We are not here to mourn but to celebrate his life. We are also comforted by the Scripture that says pleasing is the death of the saint. We are commanded by the Scripture that we should not mourn like others. Together with Papa, we will live together in eternity. I condole with the family. There is enough comfort in the Scripture’, he told the family.
Royal fathers present at the ceremony also prayed for the family. HRH Eze Dr. Ndimene remarked: ‘The loss of one person will definitely affect a community, especially an elderly. The most important thing is peace. The family should make sure the peace is kept – the peace that their father left behind.’
HRH Eze Ben from the Ikwuano Council of Traditional Rulers commented: ‘Pa Ubani must have lived a good and decent life. I didn’t know him very well but for the display here, I can say he lived a good life. My advice to the son who is my legal adviser is to be strong and courageous. When Moses died, Joshua was afraid but God came to Joshua in Joshua 1:5,7,9 telling him to be strong and courageous. That is my message to him.’
HRH Eze C. E. Ironsi, Awom II of Umuokoro noted: ‘I don’t know him in person but we have come to condole with the son. We ask the Holy Spirit to take control.’ HRH Eze Engr. Obiziala said: ‘we have come to associate with the family from under the umbrella of Ikwuano traditional rulers. May they enjoy peace.’ Another Eze also at the reception added: ‘I have come here with my friends who know the family. May the Almighty be with his soul’.
Earlier, President of the National Association of Online Security News Publishers, NAOSNP, Comrade Oki Samson, who spoke on behalf of the members of the association during the burial reception, commended Dr. Monday Ubani for his selfless service and contribution to the Nation, philanthropic gestures to the less privileges and giving his father a befitting carnival like burial.
In his appreciation to all present at the funeral ceremony of his father, Dr. Monday Onyekachi Ubani indicated: ‘I must tell you that I am amazed by the large turnout of Nigerians from all walks of life, we have politicians, religious leaders, lawyers, traditional rulers, who have come to commiserate with the family. I am so grateful to God for the number of Nigerians, it was so big.’
‘To God be the glory. it is a lesson to me that whatever you are doing, people are watching. My desire is that I leave a lasting legacy. It is a privilege to do this. I am very grateful’, he concluded.
CSP Adejobi Confirmed As Substantive Force PRO
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, has confirmed the appointment of CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi as the 25th indigenous Force Public Relations Officer.
A statement by the Admin Officer, Force Headquarters, SP Anjuguri Jesse Manzah, noted that CSP Adejobi was appointed in acting capacity on 16th February, 2022 after taking over from CP Frank Mba who was nominated by the Inspector-General of Police for the Senior Executive Course at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Jos.
CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi studied Archeology and Geography (Combined Honours) from the Premier University in Nigeria, University of Ibadan. He holds a master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from the same University. He had a long stint as Police Public Relations Officer in Ogun State Police Command from 2008 -2016. He also served as PPRO Zone 2 Headquarters, Onikan, Lagos, in 2016 and PPRO, Lagos State Police Command between September, 2020 and August, 2021, when he was posted to deputize the former Force PRO, CP Frank Mba. CSP Adejobi has carved a niche for himself in Police Public Relations Management with the experience he has gained serving as PPRO in different Police Commands and Zone for more than a decade.
He has also served as Operations Officer, OC Anti Bank Robbery and Anti Pipeline Vandalization, Sagamu Division from 2006 to 2008; Admin Officer, Department of Operations, Police Headquarters, Ogun State in 2008; Operations Officer, Department of Operations, Lagos State Command Ikeja in 2017; Directing Staff, Police College Ikeja; and as Personal Assistant to The Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Department of Operations, Force Headquarters, Abuja.
He is a member of several professional bodies and associations, which include: Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR); International Public Relations Association (IPRA); Point Man Leadership Institute, USA; International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), USA; Society for Peace Studies and Practice (SPSP); Boys Brigade Nigeria; and the Institute of Corporate Administration, Nigeria.
Executive Order 11: IFMA Boss Hails Buhari
The President of the International Facility Management Association Nigeria Chapter, Mr. Segun Adebayo, has commended the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR on his assent to Executive Order 11 on National Public Buildings Maintenance Policy.
While expressing his delight on the assent, Mr. Adebayo noted that the Executive Order is long overdue and with this action, the professional management and maintenance of the Federal assets is assured and guaranteed.
According to the President, “as we earnestly looking forward to the implementation of the provisions of the new order, through the setting up of maintenance department in MDAs, our Association is committed to collaborating with Federal Government through relevant Ministry to provide required capacity building and knowledge development”
“As an association, we have been advocating the integration of sustainable practices into the built environment and this has started yielding the desired results”
We would also want to appreciate the Honorable Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN for this feat because his efforts in the ministry have yielded phenomenal results and it would positively impacts the various projects that this administration has embarked upon.”
The Executive Order states that the Federal Government of Nigeria is committed to establishing a sustained maintenance programme to optimize the enormous investment in public infrastructure. The Government is determined to provide sustainable employment, job opportunities for large, small, and medium-sized businesses, artisans, and persons with vocational skills. Equally, the public assets would be maintained at a minimal cost.
The Department of Federal Public Assets Maintenance will oversee the coordination, implementation, management, and maintenance of federal public assets, facilities, and premises across Nigeria. The agency will conduct maintenance needs assessment, development of maintenance plan, and the necessary procurement.
The agency will monitor the outsourced facility management services of all public buildings and likewise, establish a comprehensive database of all public buildings and facilities. Public buildings will also be modified to accommodate the special needs of persons living with disabilities while ensuring that all buildings would be able to operate at optimal capacity.
IFMA Nigeria is set to celebrate 25 years of impacting the built environment in Nigeria. The Association has always strategically aligned with other institutions in the areas of capacity building; research and development; mentorship and partnership. The current council has engaged both the private and public sector stakeholders to play up the relevance of the profession in the built environment in a complementary way.