Former Gov.Peter Obi has shown in Anambra the type of change Nigeria needs (1 of 7) – Tola Adenle

October 4, 2016


Reducing the cost of governance in Nigeria – Peter Obi, Anambra State’s former governor


I first heard about the simplicity and let’s-roll-our-sleeves-up and cut-off-unnecessary-spending-fats of Peter Obi when he was governor of Anambra through a friend who was involved in a foreign donor program in some Nigerian states.

He and others involved in the project had gone to Awka, the state’s capital for a 2-day program, and all of them – as he narrated his first experience of Obi’s un-Nigerian leadership style – were shocked when the governor walked in a little ahead of the scheduled starting time unannounced and without the usual fanfare: policemen and aides blocking the paths or pushing people … a governor walking in, definitely late but without a care – as if he owns the state, or more!

And in most cases, Nigerian governors own states they govern.

In fact, he told me, no aides accompanied Peter Obi to the opening of that Program, and the friend told me that before the end of their stay, all his colleagues, especially those from the North were so impressed that one of them said: this is the type of man that should rule Nigeria”!

That was about five or six years ago.

The same friend would later inform me that of all the states that the donor program benefitted, Peter Obi’s Anambra was always the first to respond to the financial requirements of states counterpart funding.

Now that I, like millions of Nigerians are aware of a governor who not only left infrastructure that sets a laudable standard that Nigerians in other states can see as a world apart from what their states can point to, we all must marvel at the selflessness, ingenuity and sacrifice of a governor who achieved the following:

  • left billions of Naira when he left governance;
  • left $150 million-plus in named accounts at Nigerian banks, a kingly sum that has grown to $180 million-plus as of the present time;
  • not only did he return all schools to the missions that once owned them, he ensured that subventions were given the missions rather than allowing “ministry people” handle finances meant for schools;
  • ALL secondary (high) schools in Anambra got a school bus, vehicles that he bought without the corrupt supply route,
  • All head boys or head girls of schools in Anambra State – wait for this – had Peter Obi’s phone number when he was governor!
  • among many revolutionary achievements unheard of in the annals of Nigeria’s governance history.

Nigerians, used to whining from governors, as in –

  • we did not expect oil prices would fall and allocations to states would dwindle;
  • we are not in OMPADEC (oil producing states), even though oil-producing states are among the poorest in Nigeria because those who govern them since Obasanjo era have proven to be among the greatest robbers of their people’s wealth;
  • et cetera, et cetera, et cetera,

can watch this video as well as check out the next six posts from today to next Monday and decide if the change we need is the one that President Buhari failed to put forth clearly – I’m not referring to the plagiarizing of Obama’s words.

The disaster that the present “Change” represents to Nigeria has been written about here multiple times in the last two to three weeks, and suffice it is to mention that even right now, Nigerians do not really understand what is the path to economic recovery within that “Change” agenda. Here are a few questions that most Nigerians cannot understand:

  • has the country not been in recession for a while?
  • is it possible – as claimed by the Central Bank’s governor that the recession will be over by December?
  • whatever happened to the “special economic powers” the out-of-her-depth finance minister, Adeosun, put out to the National Assembly for ratification?
  • is Dangote as well as other predators still buying the family-jewels (national assets) or have parts already been “sold” to them as asked in an earlier post?

There are many other questions but one that must not be omitted is this:

  • what does it say of a government that flip flops as in the handling of the economic situation –

– oh, we need to sell all assets/4 major assets … to raise $15 billion?, then

– no, we said we only want to sell 10% or some assets with buy-back option? …

To the President, I say, this one-time strong believer in his ability to move Nigeria forward must repeat what has already been posted here: he’s shown by the disregard for national character enshrined in Nigeria’s constitution the way his key appointees were selected: family, kinsmen and core North Islamic faith people – that his, will be a tenure that will leave Nigeria worse than his predecessors whom he never stops talking about, left it.

I’m sure the president is aware of Obi’s achievements which are there for all to verify. He also knows the promises he made, not what clueless Jonathan, who put a railroad between Kaduna & Abuja (not down in Bayelsa), or what His Imperial Majesty retd. General Obasanjo did not do …

Olisa Agbakoba’s suggestion from before May 29, 2015 remains one of the steps that would show Nigeria that the present administration believes in Buhari’s “change begins with me” by selling off most of the array of planes  to revive Nigeria Airways. Chief Agbakoba showed how the airlines can become immediately viable: all government staff MUST fly the airline.

President Buhari knows what to do.

Go you and do like Obi, or least, fulfill your campaign promises: free the states from the shackles that hold them back (unitary govt masquerading as a federation) so that more Peter Obis can surface.



TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2016. 9:45 a.m. [GMT]












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5 Comments on “Former Gov.Peter Obi has shown in Anambra the type of change Nigeria needs (1 of 7) – Tola Adenle”

  1. Adegoke G. Falade Says:

    Dear aunty,
    What I saw and heard governor Peter  Obi say is stranger than fiction!
    Perhaps it’s the vibration of his name: PETER!
    Now, I know that the beginning of re-birth of Nigeria is at hand.



    • emotan77 Says:

      Dear Prof.,

      And we do not have a moment to waste. And as for the reference to the Christian “Peter” upon whom He said He would build His Church, and on which no evil shall prevail …, how sweet the poetic metaphor – I’m sure though that Christian faith was more on your mind as you wrote!




  2. F Bakare Says:

    I am not privy to the claims of former Gov Obi of Anambra Stare. At the same time, I am aware of the performance of the State in WAEC examinations in the last five years which I think the foundation of these achievements were laid during his regime.

    However, a coin has two sides. Obi’s speech are all full of assets and his achievements. But, I am sure there must be liabilities he must have left. We need to know these and be able to compare and contrast. Thanks.



    • emotan77 Says:

      Dear Fatai,

      Thanks for weighing in.

      I have no first-hand knowledge of Peter Obi’s work or approach to governance beyond what I learnt through the source referred to in the post, information that I had over five years ago. After that,I had picked up bits and pieces of info on him, especially when Anambra “lawmakers” decided to impeach him, a controversial step that a court reversed.

      His successor has not refuted the claims of bank balances nor have his state indigenes disputed claims of school vehicles, et cetera. It is also on record he did not purchase 4-wheel vehicles and other luxury transportation items like jets which very poor states are saddled with by their governors.

      I understand your point but when facts are not disputed by those in his state, and I was told – as long ago as 5 years – how he was “always the first” to pay all the counterpart funding required and paid everything as opposed to other states by a top administrator of the donor program, all I’ve done is piece the past with the current information circulating.

      It’s wise to be cynical about Nigerian matters but none has come forward to say he’s lying as present rulers always do about past ones: he left an empty treasury …

      Sincere regards,

      I watched the video, too which was shown on a tv station in Nigeria.




  1. Peter Obi(3): “I was impeached for cutting waste …” | - October 6, 2016

    […] Former Gov.Peter Obi has shown in Anambra the type of change Nigeria needs (1 of 7) – Tola&nbs… […]


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