In Emerging Political Realignment, PDP Governors, Ooni of Ife Grace Obiano’s Inauguration

  • Gov pledges better life for the people

David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka

In what appeared an emerging political realignment, five Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors on Saturday graced the inauguration of Chief Willie Obiano, who took office for the second time as governor of Anambra State. Also at the impressive ceremony was the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi Enitan; Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, who represented Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; and all former governors of the state.

The leading opposition party’s governors that marked the register at the event held at state capital, Awka, were Dave Umahi, Ebonyi State; Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Enugu; Ifeanyi Okowa, Delta; Ayodele Fayose, Ekiti; and Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, Abia.

The sole ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) governor in the South-east, Chief Rochas Okorocha, was conspicuously absent from the gathering many political observers suggest signposts the shape of things to come in the region as the nation inches closer to the 2019 general elections.

There were heavy cheers and jubilation as Obiano, who was elected on the platform of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), took his oath of office for a second term. He was sworn in by the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Peter Umeadi, at 1pm amidst jubilation by citizens of the state who thronged the Alex Ekwueme Square venue of the inauguration in their numbers.

Obiano’s deputy, Dr Nkem Okeke, had earlier been sworn in at 12:45pm.

Obiano’s inauguration was heralded by a 21-gun salute and was followed by tumultuous shouts of Akpokuedike, his traditional title.

The venue for the event was packed full with people from all parts of the state, and across Nigeria, with several dignitaries witnessing it.

In his address tagged: “A consolidation of excellence,” Obiano acknowledged that a huge task had been entrusted on him by the people of the state, and promised not to fail the people.

He said: “I am fully aware of the weight of the history you placed on my shoulders with the landslide victory we recorded on November 18, 2017. I understand your hopes and expectations and I will never let you down.

“Our administration has established the basis for hope. We have announced a new season of excellence. We owe it to ourselves to be greater than those who came before us. Ndi Anambra together, we shall carve out a future that posterity will be proud of.”

The governor promised that the next four years would witness a bold effort to lend roots to the great progress his government had made in the past four years.

He said: “We shall tighten the screws on our security architecture to ensure that Anambra remains Nigeria’s safest state. We shall install ultramodern CCTV cameras in strategic locations across the state to give us a new advantage in crime detection.

“We shall drive hard reforms in the education sector to retain our position at the top and make education accessible to everyone to ensure that no child is left behind in our dear state.

“We shall build a state-of-the-art teaching hospital in each of the three senatorial zones to deepen our reforms in the health sector and initiate a medical scheme for people above 75 years of age. Major roads in Onitsha, Nnewi and Awka shall be dualised to ease traffic congestion and boost the aesthetic appeal of our cities.”

Activities marking the inauguration commenced on Friday with a business roundtable convened with business partners and donor agencies of the state. The event continues today with a thanksgiving ceremony, which holds at St Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral, Awka.