Ogbuefi Harris Chuma-Odili, PhD
His Excellency, Chief Willie Obiano is the governor, the head of Anambra State Government. He leads the executive branch of the Anambra State Government. This position places him in leadership of the state with command authority over the state affairs. A governor is frequently described to be the number one citizen of the state. A governor of a state is the point person for all state matters. Elected by the people, the main role of the governor is to protect and serve.
Chief Willie Obiano’s duties in the past six years includes but not limited to oversight of the state executive leaders, policy review, as well as budget management. He serves as the main spokesperson for the Anambra state, the governor provides information to citizens and direction. His main duty as a governor is to work with the legislature to ensure that the needs of the state are met through oversight hearings, new laws and the establishment of long-term goals and priorities.
In a time when we might hope that the wave of extremists in elected office has peaked, it is disappointing to see a governor who has moved into the ‘anti-democracy’ camp of politicians. Such seems to be the case with Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra.
We live in a democracy, with multiple and overlapping layers of elected government – no one of which could – or should – trump the others. And, more importantly, we live by the vote – which in an ideal democracy, means that selection, instead of election, and handpicking of individuals to occupy elective positions in the state have been seriously frowned at by the citizens.
Since the inception of Willie Obiano’s administration in 2014, leadership at various levels had been on “Caretaker mode”, from local governments to town union government, even state associations, government organisations are perennially on “Caretaker mode”. Just recently, the Anambra Football Association after the general elections, was switched on to “Caretaker mode”. Under the watchful eyes of Willie Obiano, everything about leadership in the state has been switched on to “Caretaker Mode”; every three months, the “Caretaker Mode” is reactivated. According to reports, the so called “Caretakers” had been the “Undertakers” of illegalities for years running. Democracy is about the peoples choice, their inalienable rights to choose their leaders, and this is a basic civics lesson that the governor has apparently forgotten.
In Anambra, no elections anymore to produce local government chairmen; the town union Presidential elections have been taken over by the proponents of “Caretakers”. Even the traditional stool is not speared in the Willie Obiano’s fiefdom. The government simply, disrupts the electioneering process, deploys sponsored agents, and consequently, installs the government’s preferred/ choice candidate with the “Caretaker” toga, and no one dared questioned, or changed the status quo. When it comes to grassroot governance, local government administration, there seems to be a governor who is at best politically tone-deaf, and who at worst does not believe in democracy.