Anambra Economy: Oil At Last!
By Ugo Okeke
At last, the ‘sealed’ strategic oil reserves found in Anambra State before the Civil War is ‘unsealed’ and Anambra State has become the tenth member of the coveted and envied Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). It was with fanfare that the good people of Anambra State rolled out the drums to welcome the indefatigable President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Dr. Goodluck Ebere Jonathan (former) to the commissioning ceremonies of the Orient Oil Refinery at Aguleri where a group of front-line individuals from Anambra State got the approval from the Federal Government to set up the first private refinery in Nigeria. Another first for Anambra!
The smiles on the faces of Anambrarians on this day especially the one on the face of the workaholic State Executive Governor, Mr. Peter Obi was yet to wear-off when fifth columnists went to town to pull the rug from underneath the feet of the joyful Anambra indigenes. Suddenly the oil wells found within the territory of Anambra State found themselves not only in Enugu State but also in Kogi State. These used to be the good neighbours of Anambra State and Ndi Anambra. The media has been awash with the ‘mistakes’ of our heroes past which made it possible for other neighbouring states’ oil wells to end up in the belly of ‘suddenly favoured’ Anambra State.
A state that has been so deprived for decades has suddenly become the beautiful bride even the Federal Government is courting and other neighbouring states are growing green with envy by the day as the status of an industrial/commerce-oriented state has changed to that of an oil-producing state. Nothing could be more annoying for these bellyaching neighbours than a state growing to have ‘it all’ under the watch of a ‘taciturn hurricane’ man who is more interested in setting targets and achieving the goals he set for a dear state aptly tagged ‘the light of the nation.’
Mr. Peter Obi it is who changed the course of history when his tenacity and trust in the Nigerian judiciary yielded him fruits that has made it possible for anyone who found himself/herself an aspirant to an elective public position to seek a redress when his mandate is ‘stolen’ and ‘dashed’ an establishment-friendlier face.
When his administration which is in its second term came on-board, many had feared that the big shoes left behind by his predecessor Dr. Chris Ngige in the execution of good road network would be too much for him to fit into. But today, he has surpassed everyone’s expectations and fears as his administration has constructed more roads, schools, court houses, hospitals (equipped too), and brought the Nigerian Stock Exchange a more befitting edifice, more than previous administrations put together.
A man whom many have derisively tagged ‘non-performing’ perhaps by his insistence on being lenient with his own people has become a high-achiever hence the President of Nigeria could feel at home carrying out the commissioning of the port at Onitsha without a threat to him simply because someone has removed the kids gloves and have gone after social miscreants of all shades. In this regard, in the month of September, the print and electronic media was awash with his precedence in physically going after the ubiquitous kidnappers by taking the ‘war’ to their hideouts and enclaves. Today, Anambra people are yearning to come home for Christmas fun now there is security at last.
I have always believed that it is success that has many relations but in the case of Anambra’s newfound success, everybody is unhappy that Anambra economy has taken-off at last. What with this and that close neighbour claiming to be the rightful owner of Anambra oil wells?
But the antics of Anambra-haters are on the front seat working hard to take their joy away from them simply because Anambra state is deemed unqualified to enjoy her new-found status as an oil-producing state. Unfortunately for them, the song in the hearts of every Anambra indigene is ‘oil at last!’
Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the defunct NaijaPeeps Magazine. It appears here for record purposes and love for my state.