Joe C Anatune
Thirteen years ago, I was handed the task ‘to get’ Chief Emeka Anyaoku to Chair the ground-breaking ceremony of a client’s ambitious housing estate project in Abuja which he had undertaken with some foreign investors. Let me however, spare us the details of how I succeeded in ‘getting’ him as directed. Fact was that Anyaoku’s presence made that event tick to the delight of the foreign investors. I later had dinner with him in his hotel and he was fascinated to know that I am his in-law and that my late father in-law was his childhood friend.
Thirteen years after and in his mid-eighties, Anyaoku has neither lost his agility nor elocution. A global citizen, he carries on like a man in his middle age and one who is contented and at peace with his world, perhaps, because he has attained heights many only dream of. He has, as they say, seen it all and has nothing to prove to anyone. Nevertheless, beneath his flawless and impeccable English language, Anyaoku is a true Igbo man to the core. He speaks flawless Igbo, with his trademark sharp mind and great recollections.
When last week in Awka, Anyaoku led the cream of the Anambra Elders Council to give His Excellency, Governor Willie Obiano thumbs up for his flagship projects, it has become apparent that the governor is poised to finish strong. Anyaoku has a reputation for speaking truth to power globally, and if we can’t trust him on this score, we probably won’t trust anyone. We trust him. Ndi Anambra are excitedly looking forward to landing by air on their own soil, and that will be historic.
Significantly, the Anyaoku-led Elders’ Council also identified with Obiano and Ndi Anambra on the imperative to have a mental picture of where the state will be in the next 50 years and the pathways to get there. They lauded the governor on his foresight and commended the presentation of the work plan of the committee by its Chairman, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo.
Now, pause for a moment and think of the cost of inaction in a situation where Governor Obiano might have been swayed by the cynicism and pessimism of some vocal few, who are consumed by the challenges of today to the detriment of thinking about the opportunities that tomorrow brings by keeping on hold, the action he has taken in this regard.
Yes, while the long term is made of series of short terms, it is important that there is cohesion in the short term trajectories to reach the desired long term goals. This is key for a state like Anambra that has a preponderance of seemingly ordinary people that possess great inner strengths that are not easily visible and who, given the proper clue, guidance and enabling environment, will accomplish extra ordinary things. No doubt, Anambra state promises to be one place where the much celebrated private sector has the potentials to be the most powerful source of prosperity. The V-2070 is intended to galvanise the people in pursuance of the foregoing for a safe, prosperous and happy Anambra state.
As earlier stated, imagine the cost of inaction, where Anambra fails to key into the global development plans such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and AU Agenda 2063 (The Africa we want). The SDG for instance, which is the shared vision to end poverty, rescue the planet and build a peaceful world has 10 years left to deliver on its 2030 promise, and has launched its ‘A Decade of Action’ to spike things up through three pillars – goal action, local action and people action. It is all about revving momentums for sustainable solutions to the world’s biggest challenges of poverty, gender issues, climate change, inequality and closing finance gaps by mobilising governments, civil societies, businesses, and all people to make the goals their own and work towards their attainment.
In our well considered opinion, the Anambra V-2070 is both a tactical and strategic tool to get into the global loop and aspirations in a world where changes happen in split seconds. Obiano has chosen Anambra’s first 11 and even recruited from outside the state for this important assignment, with a team player/coach and captain – Prof Chukwuma Soludo, who has won medals in familiar turfs and who needs no introduction in development-related matters. The composition of the membership of the committee cuts across party divides and that speaks volumes.
And now, taking a cue from the endorsement of the Elders’ Council, Anambra is looking up to the committee to, like the slogan of the AU Agenda 2063, ‘envision the Anambra we want’, although Soludo and his crack team would rather prefer we think together and secure our future.
So everyone is invited and will be involved. It is therefore a win-win for all as policy triumphs over politics or is it a return of politics of Development, which Ndi Anambra have been yearning for?
- Anatune writes from Awa, Orumba North LGA, Anambra State.