Posted by News Express | 14 January 2014 | 4,979 times
At his first major public policy event since his election and affirmation as the duly-elected Governor of Anambra State of Nigeria, Chief Willie Obiano has drawn the commendation of an influential member of the United States Congress, Hon. Al Green of Texas, a Democrat.
Hon. Green told Obiano at the well-attended USAfrica interactive forum in collaboration with the Anambra communities in the Diaspora on Saturday (January 11, 2014) in Houston, that he has a challenge as an incoming governor to foster the business and relationships of African-Americans and continental Africans “because we’re all Africans.” Hon. Green opened his brief comments – to the delight of guests at the event at the Hilton Hotel Towers at Westchase – with the words “Igbo kwenu!”
In his speech, Chief Obiano who was accompanied by his wife Osodieme E.V. Obiano, set forth to hundreds of Diasporans from different parts of the United States of America, Ireland, Canada, Europe and Nigeria his agenda for Anambra when he assumes office in March 2014.
Nigeria’s immediate past Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili, was among the many dignitaries who witnessed and/or spoke at the event. Others include Anambra State Information Commissioner Joe Martins Uzodike (representative of Governor Peter Obi); Owelle Pius Idigo; Prof. Joseph Asike; first Chairman of the World Igbo Congress Dr. J.O.S Okeke; Igwe Nteje Rowland Odegbo; Prof. Michael Obiefune; Dr. Chudi Egbunike; APGA USA chairman Kpajie Onochie; APGA USA Women leader Mrs. Kate Okosi-Ofodile, and several others.
Opening his speech, Obiano said: “I feel particularly delighted to be in your midst tonight. I have always believed that there is no greater honour than the one conferred by one’s own people. I see many familiar faces as I recall that it was at this venue in 2012 that I was given the prestigious award of the USAfrica Best of Africa Banker of the Year. Again, I’m in the company of friends.”
According to Obiano, “My Plan for Anambra State is quite simple. It is grounded on what I call the Anambra Wheel of Development which revolves on Four Pillars – Agriculture, Oil and Gas, Trade and Commerce and Industrialization. These are the core areas of focus for my administration.”
Continuing, he said: “In Nigeria today as in the Diaspora, there is an erroneous belief that Igbos are never united in pursuit of any common purpose and that we cannot work together. Some people have even said that Igbos do not love one another. But that is not true. Once in every while, something happens to expose that notion as a lie. This gathering is one such instance.
“Another is the gubernatorial elections in Anambra State that took place on the 16th and 30th November last year. Ndi Anambra, the overwhelming support I received from you all here in the Diaspora and in Nigeria that ensured my emergence as the Governor-elect of Anambra State, is proof that our people can act together as one in pursuit of a common goal. I must crave your understanding at this juncture to ask you to put your hands together for yourselves for remembering Anambra in your prayers all through the heady days of the campaign.
“On behalf of my family, I thank you for your kind support and prayers. Let me also assure you that with your continued support and prayers, we shall lift Anambra State up to its deserved place as a frontline state in Nigeria.
“It is respect of those vital contributions of the Diaspora that I am here to interact with you. The world is familiar with the many great stories of the Diaspora influence on some of the leading economies of our time. The heroic tales of the impact of the Jewish and Indian Diaspora are ready examples. Ndi Anambra, I am extending an invitation to you here to come home and invest in Anambra State. Bring home your talent, your expertise and your dollars and let us make Anambra State the reference point in contemporary times. I know that we can do it! Ndi Anambra, we have a collective responsibility to build the Anambra State of our dream. We must all get involved. We must remember that according to the Anglo-Irish political philosopher, Edmund Burke, ‘the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.’ Ndi Anambra; that is why I am involved.”
A technocrat and accomplished banker, Obiano, of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), won the Anambra State Governorship Election held on November 16, 17 and 30, 2013.
He polled 180,178 votes as against 97,700 votes by second-placed Comrade Tony Nwoye of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), while Senator Chris Ngige of the All Progressive Congress (APC) came third with 95,953 votes.
•Photo shows Anambra State Governor-Elect, Chief Willie Obiano (L) being received on arrival for the event by the organiser, Chido Nwangwu, publisher of USAfrica and associated titles.
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