Anambra Oni Baje!
I owe the title of this piece to Okechukwu Obinwa (Ayola), a classmate at C.I.C Enugu who responded to an entry I made in my Facebook status with the ‘Anambra Oni Baje’ expression. I had jokingly suggested that since Governor Raji Fashola of Lagos state was kind enough to accommodate our brother Ben Akabueze in his cabinet as a commissioner, Anambra people should reciprocate such kindness and ‘borrow’ Governor Fashola as governor in 2010. Though this was meant as a joke, however, the seriousness of the suggestion and the desperateness of the Anambra situation were not lost on many who commented in the Facebook thread. One commentator, Dafe Ivwurie I think it was, wondered if Lagosians will be willing to ‘release’ their hardworking governor for such a rescue mission and went ahead to request that Fashola come to Delta, his home state instead.
It is not difficult to see why Ndi Anambra and others would not mind having a Fashola as governor in Anambra state or in their states. As Ndigbo would say, it is difficult to conceal pregnancy. Majority who commented live in Lagos and are familiar with the efforts of the current administration to create a mega city from a city that was almost grinding to a halt due to decaying infrastructure. Today, there is a new sense of direction and renewed hope in Lagos state. In slightly over two years, Governor Fashola has demonstrated that once there is a will there is a way, as shown by his multi-pronged approach to tackling the issues that Lagosians hold dear to heart such as roads, housing, education, environment, transport etc. These attempts to make Lagos a good place to work, live and play have been hailed by various people and organisations including other state governors who openly confess that Fashola is the best performing governor in Nigeria. A possible candidate for President in 2011 then? Maybe.
A favourite school address for Nigerian public officials is Oxford or Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government which is reputed to be one of the best in the world in terms of teaching, plus the added social and professional networking opportunities for the students. Nuhu Ribadu, ex-corruption Czar and EFCC Chieftain is currently enrolled at Oxford while Nasir El-Rufai, former FCT Minister is pursuing graduate studies at the Kennedy school. Knowing the Oxford and Harvard traditions, one could safely assume that such high quality education does not come cheap meaning that every year, millions of dollars leave the Nigerian economy as tuition fees for public officials wishing to acquire new skills and knowledge in governance.
In an era where adopting global best practices is most desirable, there may be nothing wrong with Nigerian public officials going to Harvard and other top universities to update their skills. This is because of the enriched experiences they may bring back having worked on simulation projects with peers from other countries. However, where the problem may lie is in the outcome of such intellectual pursuits. To what extent are the officials able and willing to practice what they have learnt when they return? Does the system even allow them to put the newly acquired knowledge and skill to best use? Will the opportunities present themselves for the Harvard returnees to take this country forward sector by sector by applying the various models and theories they may have learnt?
Other state governors that have been mentioned as doing well in their respective states are Governors Sullivan Chime of Enugu state, Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers state and Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom state. Those who have visited these states attest to the rekindling of good governance spirit evidenced by the level of planning in the projects being embarked upon by the respective state governors. In Enugu state, Governor Sullivan Chime who shies away from publicity choosing instead to let his government’s good works speak for him has changed the face of Enugu, the capital city through his many infrastructural projects. It is surprising that all these could be achieved in just less than two years with another two years left from his 4-year mandate. Now Enugu citizens are happy again and singing Chime’s praises even as they look forward to his promise to do more in all the local government areas.
Lagos is another example, arguably one of Nigeria’s most complex states to govern but Governor Raji Fashola does not give the impression of a man who could be fazed by daunting challenges. In under two years, he has shown that government can actually be made to work for the citizens. The level of civil and infrastructural works going on in Lagos at the moment is unprecedented, all aimed at improving the quality of life of people living in Lagos. Through some agencies such as LASTMA and LASAA, the Lagos state government is changing the way people behave as Lagosians now say that the fear of LASTMA is the beginning of wisdom.
While other state governments are complaining about dwindling fortunes as a result of the fall in federal allocation, the Lagos state government has through a re-engineered tax system been able to generate the revenue it needs to execute its many projects. It has also set up a PPP office thus ensuring that priority projects are concessioned in the best interest of the tax payers.
Fashola may not be coming to Anambra state as governor in 2010 but it will not be out of place to expect some of the cowboys and hopefuls for the Anambra state governor’s seat including the incumbent, Mr. Peter Obi to undertake a one-week internship at Lagos state government house, Alausa - Ikeja for some basic and rudimentary lessons in governance. Other state governors and political aspirants are also welcome. I am sure Governor Fashola will oblige them on pro bono basis. This is more practical and cheaper than going to Harvard or Oxford. The tried and tested successful model of governance by The Fashola School of Government could also be adopted and taught in Nigerian universities, at NIPPS, Kuru – Jos, CMD Shangisha and LBS.
As they say in Lagos, Eko Oni Baje (Lagos will not spoil), Ndi Anambra are also saying Anambra Oni Baje (Anambra will not spoil).
May it be well with Nigeria, and with Anambra state. Ise!
Nworah is the author of Nigeria Confidential.
Re: Anambra Oni Baje
Gbolly posted on 05-27-2009, 23:06:43 PM
I hear you bro. Anambra Oni Baje!!!!
--> Delta o ni Baje..
Auspicious posted on 05-28-2009, 00:32:45 AM
Auspy: No, no way.
Auspy: Mr. Nworah didn't join that Bandwagon, did he?
Suspy: What bandwagon?
Auspy: Maybe he did. Oh yeah wait, I think he just did.
Suspy: Gosh, there he goes soliloquoyzing again..
Auspy: I am solilo-nadaing. I speak of the Ogbonge interpreters out there..
Suspy: Interpreters? What're they interpreting?
Auspy: \"Eko o ni Baje\", they say, means \"Lagos will not Spoil\".
Suspy: Ehn, what's wrong with that? What else could it mean?
Auspy: Aw come oooon, translations don't gotta be so literal.
Suspy: As we Nigerians love to say in similar instances, \"Idea is Need\".
Suspy: As long as folks get the idea, nobody gives a Rabbit's Fart.
Auspy: I daresay \"Lagos will Endure\" makes more sense to my Yoruba Ear.
Suspy: Your \"Yoruba Ear\". You realize not everyone's got one or care to get one either, eh?
Auspy: True, but as a Yoruba, I understand the message better.
Suspy: You think?
Auspy: I know.
Suspy: Spoken like a typical ITK.
Auspy: What's that?
Suspy: \"I too know\" - Mr. Know-All.
Auspy: \"Lagos will Endure\", in my opinion, conveys the message better.
Suspy: Oh Gosh..
Auspy: Seriously Auspy, trust me.
Suspy: This got nothing to do with trust, Mr. Suspy.
Auspy: It's just a figure of speech, ish..
Suspy: Ish at you too. All that is important is for folks to get the message.
Auspy: Ever heard the phrase \"Lost in Translation\"
Suspy: Yeah, that's a movie - a good movie too.
Auspy: That translation diluted the meaning of \"Eko o ni Baje\"
Suspy: Is that so? Lagos will not Spoil, Lagos will Endure - same difference.
Auspy: Not so for someone with a good Yoruba Ear.
Suspy: You and this your ear business. The only Yoruba Ear I know is owned by a hat called Fila Abeti Aja.
Auspy: A traditional Yoruba hat with Dog Ears, yeah. But 'Ears' here is a figure of speech.
Suspy: Figure of Speech, Figure of Speech. Is it Number Two or Three? Abegi!
Auspy: You should be working to sustain the richness of the language.
Suspy: E get value for Bank? Make ah go deposit am..
Auspy: Oh Yoruba, that rich language of our Forebears..
Suspy: Lagos will not Spoil.
Auspy: Ugh, stop it. It's \"Lagos will Endure\".
Suspy: All you're doing is critiquing others' command of the English Language.
Auspy: No, all I am doing is protecting the richness of my Yoruba Language.
Suspy: Uh??? THE BASIC MEANING HAS BEEN COMMUNICATED!!!
Auspy: Yes, in a somewhat distorted form.
Suspy: 99.9 percent of people interprete it as \"Lagos will not Spoil\"!!!
Auspy: So? Does that make it accurate?
Suspy: Wait, how many cups of water does it take to cook two cups of rice?
Auspy: About two..you just have to eye-ball these things.
Suspy: Precisely. Approximations - that's how life is. You can't be exact all the time. People can put 2 and 2 together to make 4.
Auspy: True. But this is puting 2 and 3 together to make 4.
Auspy: \"Lagos will not spoil\" sounds so..pedestrian..
Suspy: And you, you sound so...uppity. And nerdier than NextLevel.
Auspy: Seriously, Suspy..
Suspy: What? I know, I am serious too Auspy.
Auspy: You are just impossible - so impossible.
Suspy: Yeah I know, I got that from hanging around you so much.
Auspy: Anyway what's new around here?
Suspy: Nothing much - the Delta is burning.
Auspy: Yeah, reminds me of that song by Asa.
Auspy: The Nigerian girl with the husky Bob Marley-like voice?
Suspy: Yup - and the song is \"Fire on the Mountain\".
Auspy: The Delta..poor Folks..
Suspy: Now i'm going to be humming that song all day.
Auspy: \"There's a Fire on the Mountain..\"
Suspy: Abi. Na real fire o'jare. Sigh. Hmph!
Auspy: I find that girl somewhat attractive.
Suspy: Who? Asa?
Auspy: Yeah, don't know why. Maybe it's her voice, or rastaness..dont know..
Suspy: Oh please you like anyone with boobies.
This is Auspicious; the Jamisi Alabashe (III) of NVS.
Re: Anambra Oni Baje
Felix posted on 05-28-2009, 04:37:27 AM
Obi’s era of reconstruction
By ignatius Nnabuike
Monday, December 22, 2008
One negative feature of an average politician is that he has many words but very little action. He is wont to take glory for what he intends to do even when he has no immediate plan to concretize it and where he does a little, he spends triple of the cost of a project to celebrate it both in the media and at the opening ceremony. I must say that Governor Peter Obi is different from the average Nigerian politician in this regard.
The man has changed the face of Anambra State for good without him making noise about it. He believes that the amount he would have spent in making propaganda over what is actually the responsibility of the Government to the people, should be meaningfully spent in another few kilometers of roads.
As a legal practitioner practising in Anambra State, I have traversed the whole ends of the state and I must testify that whereas Dr Chris Ngige made a mark in the state in terms of roads construction for which the citizens of Anambra State will always remember him, from what I have seen in recent times, Governor Peter Obi’s administration can aptly be described as the golden era.
It must be stressed that the Governor is a man with a large heart. One major usual reason for the litany of abandoned projects all over the country, is that political actors seem not to appreciate that government is a continuum and so successors in office would not want to have anything to do with any project, the contract for which was awarded by their predecessors. This again is where Governor Peter Obi differs from politicians of little minds. Many roads the contract for which the former Governor of the State, Dr Chris Ngige, awarded but could not commence, have now been completed and are serving the interest of the people. The truth is that in the final analysis, it is not who awarded the contract for a project that matters, what counts is who actually executed it.
The place of good road network in the economic development of a nation needs not be overstressed. No economy can grow without a good road network. Thus, in places where you have bad roads, as has been the unlucky lot of Anambra State, the consequences are: unsafe, inefficient and uneconomical movement of goods and services as well as loss of productive man-hours and high rate of accidents. Indeed, a good road network opens up communities, facilitates social intercourse and should be the starting point of any poverty alleviation programme.
For example, where the farmers have toiled all year round but could not evacuate their produce to urban markets, where they could be sold, they would have laboured in vain.
Just like the Scripture says that man cannot live by bread alone, Integrated Development Strategy of Peter Obi’s administration entails deliberate focus on all sectors of the economy including roads, housing, health and education. This appreciation of the holistic approach to development is Governor Peter Obi’s strength and edge over all his predecessors and for which he deserves encomiums.
A few weeks ago, I was at the High Court Complex, Otuocha in Anambra State. The Court Complex has been reconstructed and given a deserved uplifting to the admiration of the Bar and the Bench. The roads around the Umueri – Aguleri axis – the theatre of unfortunate communal warfare, are over 95 percent completed. The men are still at work. The General Hospital at Umueri has also been completed.
At Awka, in many parts of the city, there are sounds of bulldozers heralding a new age of reconstruction. Roads, streets, by-pass are benefiting from Peter Obi’s giant strides. The Akwuzu-Igbarian Road, with a spur to Achalla is over 80 percent completed. This road, apart from passing through the State University at Igborian, also transverses through the food producing chain of the state. The Ogbunike-Nkwelle-Ezunaka road with gutter-to-gutter asphalting and well laid culverts has been completed. Construction is going on at the inner Awka and outer Awka Ring roads linking communities as Nibo, Nise and Enugu-Ukwu. Court road and Zik Avenue are also being given a facelift. The long abandoned Old-Awka-Onitsha Road is being reconstructed.
At Nnewi, similar massive construction of roads is going on. Some of these roads are Nkwor Nnewi to Nkwor Oraifite, Nnamidi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital Road, St. Cletus, Amichi/Igwe road, Mmili Ele, Eme Court roads and they are at various stages of completion. Also under construction are the Nnobi Ring road, Laselle-Afor Nkpor and Cuit Roads..
In Onitsha, Habour Industrial Layout, Ogharu-Atani-Ogwuikpele, Ugwuagilya-Isiagu-Umuawulu-Awgbu, Omor Junction-Igbakwu-Ifite-Ogwari roads that are roads of strategic importance are undergoing a facelift.
Prior to Governor Obi’s administration, it is a common knowledge that the GRA Onitsha had no good roads at all but today, the story is different. For the the purpose of roads construction, Peter Obi divided Onitsha into three lots. Lot A encompasses such roads as old Enugu, New Nkisi, Egerton, park, Bent Lane, Niger Drive, New Cemetery, Ogbatuluenyi Roads. All these roads have been completely re-constructed.
Lot B categories of roads covers Akwa Road, Old Market, New Market, Ugwunabankpa and Living Christ’ Mission Roads and they have all been rehabilitated. Under lot C, we have Menax, Sokoto, Creek roads, Nottige Oraifite, Haruna, Niger, Uga Streets; Modebe and Ogbu Avenue and these roads are 90 percent completed.
The happy effect is that transversing Onitsha is no longer nightmare it used to be, as there is a remarkable improvement in both vehicular and human traffic.
Beyond the happy development in roads construction, are massive judges quarters, business village at Onitsha, housing a cluster of giant edifices; the new State –of- Art Secretariat at Awka and the Head Office of Anambra State Housing Corporation. Governor Obi has also completed the renovation of all the structures burnt down during the Chris Uba-led mayhem in 2004, except the Ikenga Hotel and these are in addition to securing accreditation of the State’s Onitsha General Hospital after a massive reconstruction of the health institution.
Arguably, Anambra State is now one of the states in Nigeria with best intra land, inter-community and state roads. Peter Obi is doing well and needs to be encouraged. All men of goodwill must commend him for his giant strides in the reconstruction of the state. I, however, hasten to advise that while we appreciate his spirit of prudence, he needs to publicize his projects so that the citizens could be better informed on how and where their resources are being utilized. In a democratic dispensation, people should know about their leaders, their activities and the progress of their state. We are all going to the Awka Federal High Court, but how many of us know that he was instrumental to the berth of the Federal High Court in the State?
Re: Anambra Oni Baje
Anioma777 posted on 05-28-2009, 04:51:30 AM
Uche nice article, but I believe every Governor should be able to have their own plan for their state and ofcourse look to gain knowledge from other state Governors to further their efforts. But and this is a BIG BUT, do most Nigerian politicians CARE ABOUT LEAVING A LEGACY OR CARE FOR THEIR STATE OR PEOPLE?
Once politicians start caring even just a little you will see a vast improvement across Nigeria.
I must come to the defence of Governor Peter Obi or Anambra state as I think he gets unfair press coverage. I was in Awka in February for 4 days, now whilst I understand 4 days is not enough to see the entire state or city, compared to the previous 2 years when I stayed with my aunty for 1 week, the state looks very much improved. The current state or lawlessness I have a hunch is politically motivated.
Re: Anambra Oni Baje
Aguabata posted on 05-28-2009, 13:11:53 PM
Uche nwora is again displaying poor judgement, Lagos state and a few of the oil producing states are the only states that can survive without money from the centre. Chime and fashola are mostly doing existing infrastructure rehabilitation, chime is concentrating only in Enugu. both of them have done brilliantly well relative to past Govts, however Since we do not love statistics in nigeria you can ask one of those experienced old engineers in any works ministry to quickly give a rough cost of projects undertaken in say Enugu, juxtapose with state revenue and do the same for Lagos and Anambra, that way you've gone one step in being a credible critic. As someone who roams both Enugu city and Anambra state I can confidently bet my bottom dollar that obi's administration has committed more money on Infrastructures than Enugu, whether he is getting the results is another issue.
Re: Anambra Oni Baje
Zuma posted on 05-28-2009, 13:37:03 PM
Please we want pictures and proof. Lagos has been featured on you tube by foreign media to evaluate what kind of 'reforms' are being carried out by Governor Fashola.
Before and after 'progressive movement' like the governor of Lagos state has been dazzling the world with. Or do we embark on a 'travel and see' adventure?
Or do we rely on 'word of mouth' in this case?
This is a boost for the transportation sector in Lagos State for one. The average citizen can at least utilize decent vehicles around Lagos state.
Re: Anambra Oni Baje
Zuma posted on 05-28-2009, 18:50:42 PM
Oyo o ni baje o.
Same story for many cities around Nigeria. More reports to come.
Re: Anambra Oni Baje
Zuma posted on 05-28-2009, 19:04:22 PM
Re: Anambra Oni Baje
Zuma posted on 05-28-2009, 19:27:02 PM
Re: Anambra Oni Baje
Theman posted on 06-14-2009, 15:20:23 PM
Gov. Obi impresses me
By Rev. Fr John-Paul Ezeoyido, USA.
Monday, May 26, 2008 Editorial Index
I am a Nigerian Catholic priest based in the United States of America. I just came back from home two weeks ago after spending five weeks vacation in Anambra State.
I am impressed about what I saw in Anambra State. I was privileged to drive along Zik's Avenue in Awka and visited Nkwere Awka and the environs.
| The dualization of Zik's Avenue was seriously going on as at two weeks ago when I left home. The work started from Ugwuoba side and was approaching Eke Awka. Did you visit Ikenga Hotel area in Awka? Did you not see what was going on there and the level of work? I so much appreciated and still appreciate especially the nicely constructed gutters on both sides of the road and the space created for streetlights at the center. I also went to Nkwere Awka and could not believe the level of road constructed there by Obi's administration.
I also boycotted Amawbia Road on one occasion and went to Ekwulobia via Mbaukwu-Nise- Nibo Road connecting that road all the way from Ikenga Hotels area in Awka. That road was good and well constructed.
In addition, I was able to visit a friend at Awba-Ofemili. That road that connects Ebenebe, Ugbenu, Ugbene and Awba-Ofemili is also under construction. In fact, a Mack truck carrying some of the construction materials was too heavy for the Ebenebe-Ugbene bridge that it collapsed and the truck fell into the river. As of now, people use ferry to cross over to Ugbene from Ebenebe. I used the ferry too. Gov. Obi, however, mandated the construction company handling the work to clear Mgbakwu-Ebenebe Road for temporary use. That was going on before I left.
Again, I was really appreciative of Obi's government when I drove from Onitsha-Nkpor-Nnobi-Awka Etiti-Ichida-IgboUkwu Road. That road is also under construction and almost completed with work going on up to Nkpor IgboUkwu Market while the construction of gutter is almost completed at Ekwulobia. I spent sometime at Onitsha too. I was amazed at how Obi's government was able make most urban roads in Onitsha motorable. I was able to notice all these differences because I was home last year, the year before and twice in 2004.
Gov. Obi is doing his best and I really appreciate his efforts. What we need as Anambrarians is to support this saintly man with good intentions for the people of Anambra and stop distracting him or denying his good intentions and marvelous works. I quite agree that Obi has achieved a lot and will still do more if we stop distracting him and keep praying for him.
This is an independent view. As for me,as someone that travels around Nigeria a lot, bar Abuja, I dont think theres ANY state in Nigeria, that presently has the kind of Network of roads as in Anambra. Forget the Urban and state capital magic in most states, you can move from one village to another in anambra state without Wrecking your car. I regret travelling to Nenwe in Enugu for a wedding last week. Almost wrecked my car. Did i hear someone say Chime as an example? Enugu state has more than 20 local governments, so rebuilding already built roads in enugu city is political magic