Friday, 30 May 2014

The copy of Governor Obiano's democracy speech

Fifteen years ago when democracy took roots in our shores,
Nigeria was a wasteland of dead and dying dreams. Like the Biblical Israelites,
we had wandered in the wilderness of dictatorship for many years with only
occasional glimpses of democracy. Our youths fled Nigeria in droves to known
and unknown places across the globe in pursuit of a better future.
Unemployment raged like a harmattan wind and all over the country,
there was fear and uncertainty.
But all that changed on May 29, 1999. That was the day the seed of the
present democratic tree whose fruits we have enjoyed in the last 15
years, was sown. That was also the day the seed of our tree of liberty
was planted.
Ndi Anambra, as we commemorate that day today, we stand under the
soothing protective shadow of that tree. We raise our heads together as
one beyond the present dark clouds that gather in the horizon of our
collective freedom and affirm our faith in a united and free Nigeria.
Ndi Anambra and fellow Nigerians, in the last five years we have watched
in utter horror as the dark designs of the merchants of terror eat away at
the very foundations of our liberty. We are astonished at their wanton
violation of the age-old respect for the sanctity of human life as well as
their brazen disregard of all civilized conventions of armed conflict that
emphasize the protection of women and children at all times and in all
situations. With every new act of terror, it becomes clearer to us that a
season of anomie has set upon us and we need faith in each other to see
the next day. Every new bomb that explodes in the streets is a huge test
to our democracy and the freedom it brings.
But let me assure Ndi Anambra that we shall survive this hurricane!
Fellow Nigerians, we shall win this war! When we look around and see
how the rest of humanity has reacted to every bomb that has exploded in
Nigeria, we are assured of our eventual triumph over these turbulent
When we stand still and listen to the chant of school children across the
world imploring these terrorists in the Sambisa Forest to Bring Back our
Girls, we find courage in the kinship of the human community.
When we pause and ponder over the great efforts and commitment of the
federal government to this struggle, when we hear the soothing
assurances of the United States of America, the UK, France, China and all
of Nigeria’s friends and allies, we become more certain that eventually,
the light of liberty shall fall on this present darkness.
We are reminded that we are not alone; and that a threat to human
freedom somewhere is a threat to human dignity everywhere. We are
assured that one day; HOPE will rise once again from the present
Our belief is reinforced by the fact that almost every known climate of
oppression in human history has eventually given way to the bright
sunlight of freedom. I remember Apartheid, I remember Iraq under
Saddam Hussein, I remember Libya under Ghadaffi and a many other
cases of man’s inhumanity to his kind that seemed like they would never
pass away at some point. Boko Haram and its sponsors and promoters
shall eventually pass away and Nigeria shall be free again!
Coming back home, my beloved Anambra cuts the picture of a peculiar
case study. Our experience is not unlike the general anomie that has
beset the country in recent times. For several unbroken years, Ndi
Anambra were victims of organized crime. Daredevil Criminal gangs
prowled our streets and communities, robbing us blind and holding their
fellow human beings in captivity in exchange for ransom. For years, my
people lived in fear – not fear of the unknown or the fear of strangers but
the fear of our own brothers and sisters who for the love of hot cash and
instant gratification have decided to point their guns backwards. While
the climate of fear they unleashed on us prevailed, our freedom died. It
died hard!
Ndi Anambra, our situation is different today. When you look
heavenwards, you will see that the sky over Anambra is blue. The people
who once denied Ndi Anambra a peaceful sleep are either on the run or in
captivity. Those who denied us freedom are presently having a taste of
their own medicine because as Abraham Lincoln once said “those who
deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves, and under a just
God, cannot long retain it.”
We have launched a long term offensive against their command and
control centers, against their warehouses and hideouts and against the
obscene proceeds of their business of blood. We are rooting out drug
dealers from their secret cells and cutting off their supply lines, and we
are making life miserable for armed robbers, car snatchers, human
traffickers and gang-leaders in Onitsha and Nnewi that extort money
from innocent people.
We have recorded huge victories against the forces that ate away the
margins of our freedom. In all of this, we are making a loud statement;
that crime does not give anyone a long term benefit! At the same time,
we are also working at replacing the guns in the hands of our youths
with offer letters for jobs and seed monies for small scale business. We
have commenced a data capturing exercise that will provide us a rich
statistics on our youths with a view to matching their skills to job
openings. I urge the idle youths among us to turn around today and head
to their local government headquarters and participate in this
registration exercise.
Ndi b’anyi, let me re-assure you today that there is hope for Anambra
State! My team and I are resolved to ensure that you get the full benefits
of democracy and justify the confidence you reposed in me when you
cast your votes for APGA in November last year.
After chasing away kidnappers and armed robbers from our midst to
create a conducive environment for progress, we have begun to
implement my Economic Blueprint for Anambra State. We have opened
up access roads to the agricultural belt and launched an agricultural
revolution with the provision of seedlings and mechanized farming
We have flagged off the construction of a bridge across Omambala River
to the oil field of Anambra State. We are lining up incentives that will
attract more investments to our emerging Oil and Gas sector. We have
concluded plans to remodel our markets and transform Onitsha into a
leading industrial center. We have perfected plans to build a tourist hotel
near the famous Ogbunike cave and to develop the cave into a major
tourist attraction and relaxation spot.
Ndi Anambra we have also inaugurated a Board for the development of
Awka into a modern city that will be the envy of all progressive people.
We have set up an investment promotions and development board to
harness the entrepreneurial drive of our people. We have held fruitful
deliberations with our numerous industrialists and extracted vital
commitments from them to invest in the state. We have launched
Operation Keep Anambra Clean as well as Operation Zero Potholes to
reclaim our environment from immediate decline. We have also obtained
a licence to build a cargo airport in Nsugbe to meet the growing needs of
our business communities.
Ndi Anambra, my administration has done so many other things that
time would not permit me to tell you at this moment but I have no doubt
that in the coming days, the picture will become clearer to everyone.
Ndi b’anyi, this democracy has given us so much that we now have a
historical responsibility to preserve it for our children and their own
children after them. I implore you to report any suspicious movement in
your community and neighbourhood to the police. In doing this, let us be
reminded that according to Wendell Phillips, famous American
abolitionist, “the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.”
At this juncture, I wish to commend President Goodluck Jonathan for
attracting the sympathy and support of Nigeria’s many friends to the
current efforts to bring back our girls. Once again, I appeal to Ndi
Anambra to remain steadfast in our prayers for the peaceful reuniting of
the Chibok girls to their parents and loved ones.
We are in a delicate situation that makes an extra-ordinary demand on
our patience and faith. Let us avoid all actions and utterances that will
unwittingly hand victory or a sense of fulfilment over to terrorists.
God bless Anambra State
God bless Nigeria
Chief Willie Obiano
Executive Governor



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