The trio of the late Chief Sam Onunaka Mbakwe (from Avutu-Obowo, Imo State), Chief Jim Ifeanyichukwu Nwobodo (Nkanu, Enugu State) and Chief Peter Gregory Onwubuashi Obi (Agulu, Anambra State) have been voted the greatest Southeast state governors of all time by Southeast pro-democracy and civil rights activists.
The Southeast Based Coalition of Human Rights & Good Governance Organizations (SBCHROs) disclosed this at a media briefing held on Sunday at Sharom Hall of the All Saints Anglican Cathedral, Onitsha.
“If it is to be in other social climes, these great leaders and achievers (noted are minuses in Chief Jim Nwobodo’s present reputation and integrity) will eternally be celebrated and immortalized. University faculties, research centres, care or charity foundations and public monuments will be named after them. Their achievements in office would also have been theorized and developed into courses of study in the tertiary institutions.
“Those of them still living would have been made visiting or guest lecturers and professors in some reputable universities particularly those in their localities. They would also have been invited to chair or sit in the boards of regional and int’l multibillion dollar companies and highly respected and influential foundations and bodies,” SBCHROs said.
In attendance at the briefing were the following leaders of coalition group members of SBCHROs: Emeka Umeagbalasi, Umeh MaryRose N., PhD, and Barr Jacinta Ezinwanne for Intersociety; Aloysius Emeka Attah, Chairman, CLO, Southeast Zone; Peter Onyegiri of Centre for Human Rights & Peace Advocacy; Michael Ifeabunuke, representing Human Rights Organization of Nigeria; Chike Umeosonwunne for Society Watch & Advocacy Project of Intersociety; Alex C. Olisa of Anambra Human Rights Forum; Barr Obianuju Joy Igboeli of Intersociety and Southeast Good Governance Forum; Jerry Chidozie Chukwuokoro, PhD for Int’l Solidarity for Peace & Human Rights Initiative; Charles Ogbuu representing Igbo Ekunie Initiative; Comrade Vincent Ezekwueme, Chairman, Civil Liberties Organization, Anambra State Branch; Nelson Nnana Nwafor for Foundation for Environmental Rights Advocacy & Dev; Orji Andy Ndukwe for Society for Economic Rights & Social Justice; Comrade Nwokocha Anozie Innocent Initiative for Ideal Dev & Emancipatory Leadership in Nigeria; Comrade Chilos A.C. Godsent, President Igbo National Council; Forum for Promotion of National Ethos & Values participated but not represented; Emeku Uche of Easy Life Initiative for Rural Youths; and Barr Violet Chekwube Umenwofor-Ezekwike, Founder Voice of the Voiceless Int’l.
SBCHROs said about the honourees:
LATE CHIEF SAM MBAKWE (Posthumous Greater Personality of the Southeast Zone)
For his outstanding governance achievements and charismatic leadership as the democratically elected Governor of old Imo State-1979-1983.
His achievements were striking in: education, health, agriculture and poultry, water, environment, tourism, industry and creation of employment opportunities through then direct industrialization policy of the government; public decency, fiscal responsibility, massive infrastructural developments and provision and delivery of social services.
CHIEF JIM NWOBODO (Great Personality of the Southeast Zone)
For his outstanding governance achievements and charismatic leadership strictly during his days as the democratically elected Governor of old Anambra State-1979-1983.
His achievements were striking in: education, health, agriculture, water, environment, tourism, industry and creation of employment opportunities through then direct industrialization policy of the government; massive infrastructural developments and provision and delivery of social services
CHIEF PETER GREGORY OBI (Greatest Personality of the Southeast Zone & Executive Leadership Man of the Year since the Fourth Republic or 1999)
For his multi-sectoral approaches to governance and outstanding achievements in office during his days as the democratically elected Governor of Anambra State- 2006-2014.
His achievements were strikingly anchored on Human Security by way of provision of quality education and health; agriculture, tourism, industry and creation of employment opportunities through PPP and private sector involvement or indirect industrialization policy of the government; FDI inflows and provision of industrial incentives; massive infrastructural development including massive road construction and bridges; social development and provision and delivery of social services.
Included in his achievement list are civil service productivity including liquidation of LGA and State civil service arrears of over N35 billion accumulated since 1992, mobilization of huge non-loan resources for multi-sectoral development of his State of Anambra, fiscal responsibility including minimization of governance costs, security votes, cabinet size and use of public funds for public good; and zero borrowing and low debts overhang of less than N12 billion; savings in government coffers amounting to billions of naira (first of its kind in any public governance in Nigeria).
The rest are future savings through procurement of shares and investments worth billions of naira. The era of former Governor Peter Obi as chairman of the Southeast Governors’ Forum served as a strong driving force for the unity and security of the Zone.