Dr. Willie Obiano has been sworn in as Governor of Anambra State, effectively ending the seesaw eight-year governorship reign of Peter Obi dominated by impeachment, election losses and court reinstatements.
At a grand ceremony held at the Alex Ekwueme Square in Awka, outgoing Governor Obi inspected a guard of honour mounted by the Police, before delivering a valedictory speech chronicling his works in the state.
Obi described his successor as lucky, recalling that he had no office to resume to, upon his swearing-in in 2006, neither did he have an official car, all of which Obiano now has in place. He also urged citizens of the state to fully support the new governor.
President Goodluck Jonathan, who was represented by his special adviser on inter-party matters, Senator Ndii Obi, urged the Obiano to make the state better than Obi was leaving it. He also hinted at Obi’s prospective ascendancy to President Jonathan’s Federal Executive Council.
In his inaugural speech, Obiano thanked the people of the state for voting him and his deputy, Dr. Nkem Okeke, and promised to repay the trust of the electorate.
“Beloved Anambrarians, with humility, I stand before you today, to accept this historic responsibility that you have given to me to serve. Our great leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, advised Ndigbo that only wise political choices would ensure their survival as a nation within a nation. I am proof that you heeded that advice”, he said.
“Ndi Anambra, I wish to assure you that you made a wise choice when you voted me and Dr. Nkem Okeke as your governor and deputy governor. Not only that, in voting for our great party, the All Progressive Grand Alliance, you once again listened to the wise advice of the great American Civil Rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr that ‘We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools’”.
Obiano said the ceremony was no celebration of the victory of one party over another, rather a celebration of the triumph of the human will over the challenges impeding the growth of democracy on the continent.
He also recalled that less than 10 years ago, Anambra State was in such shambolic state that late legendary writer and son of the state, Chinua Achebe described it as a place where a small clique of renegades had turned into a bankrupt and lawless fiefdom.
“To the glory of God, the tables turned against enemies of Anambra when our great leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu built a new political ark for our people and gave us a fighting chance in the ever-threatening flood of Nigeria’s political climate. Today, our story is different”, he said.
“After eight years of a remarkable leadership under the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), our narrative has changed from the story of near-bankruptcy to that of the only state in the federation that hosts Nigeria’s first indigenous automobile manufacturing plant”.
Obiano, candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), was declared winner of last year’s governorship election in the state after polling 180,178 to fend off competition from candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Comrade Tony Nwoye who polled 97,700 votes, and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Chris Ngige who secured 95,963 votes.