Governor Obiano’s Independence Day Speech.
“Nigeria Needs our Help!”
An Address Presented by the Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency Chief Willie Obiano, to mark the 56th Independence Anniversary on October 1, 2016
Ndi Anambra ekenem unu.
As I stand before you today, on the 56th Independence Anniversary of our country, I feel the weight of history on my shoulders. Brothers and sisters, I feel the agony and pain of our recent history and I want to assure you that everything will be all right!
As most of us already know; our country’s economy is in recession. Recession is what happens when a country records two successive negative growths in its economy. Recession takes food away from the table. It digs deep holes in our pockets. It creates all kinds of anxieties. Perhaps more importantly, Recession creates fear of the unknown! But ladies and gentlemen, I wish to tell you this – Fear no more because everything will be all right!
This year’s Independence Anniversary celebration calls for sober reflection. Fellow compatriots, the time has come for us as citizens to reflect on the dark clouds that hover over our country. And we must look inwards and find the inner strength to ask ourselves with the tremulous voice of former US President John F Kennedy, “What can I do for my country?”
Umu nnem, Nigeria needs our help! Nigeria needs our passion and commitment. Nigeria needs our time and our talent! This is not the time for recriminations. Nor the time to trade blames. This is not the time to widen the natural gulf between us, nor create artificial ones along party lines. Umu nnem, this is not the time for pride either. Or deny our country a healing touch! This is the time for Nigeria! And though the moment may appear bleak, I want to assure you that everything will be all right!
Brothers and sisters, I want to assure you that your leaders are aware of the hardship in the land and efforts are being made to ensure that Nigeria overcomes this difficult period. Barely ten days ago, my administration took bold initiatives to cushion the effect of the recession on Ndi Anambra. We rolled out a carefully thought-out Economic Stimulus Package that addresses the biting effects of recession at various strata of society. The Package outlines a number of actions we have taken, such as tax waivers, loans to small businesses, employment for hundreds of people in strategic sectors and finally, the construction of special projects in different communities in order to create new income streams and place more cash in the hands of more families. Ndi Anambra, these are some of the things we are doing to tackle the effect of the recession in Anambra State. And these things give me the confidence to assure you that everything will be all right!
Ndi b’anyi, as you may be well aware, my administration is doing everything it can to make Anambra State the new postcard for democratic excellence in Nigeria. Our policies were carefully designed to make immediate impact in the society and open a new window of hope for our people. That is why, right from the day I was sworn in as your governor, I have always put the people first in every decision I have made. It was this thinking that informed our all-out crackdown on the criminal elements among us, leading to the cleansing of Anambra State and our emergence as one of the safest states in Nigeria. It was also this that informed our single-minded pursuit of our policy on Agriculture, leading to the Agro-Revolution that is going on in our beloved state today. Indeed, all my policy initiatives are designed to empower the family and rebuild the moral fabric of our society and we shall not relent in our efforts to make our dear state the quintessence of excellence! And though it might look hard to achieve at the moment, I have never been surer that in time, everything will be all right!
Ndi b’anyi, while we continue to give governance a human face in Anambra State in the midst of adversities caused by the current recession, I ask for your support and your prayers. I ask for your support to ensure that the giant strides we have taken so far to develop our State will take firm roots in our soil. And by the grace of God, the wind of positive change that is blowing across our state has come to stay. And I have no doubt whatsoever that everything will be all right!
Ladies and gentlemen, in recent times in Anambra State, our joy is often incomplete when we celebrate our country’s freedom from the colonial masters without giving liberty to some of our brothers and sisters serving different jail terms in our prisons. When we marked our 55th Independent Anniversary last year, I granted amnesty to 25 convicts serving in different prisons across the state. This year again, in exercise of the powers conferred on me by Section 212 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I hereby grant amnesty to 8 convicts and Free Pardon to one prisoner. The instruments of Amnesty for the 8 prisoners and Pardon for one convict have all been duly perfected, signed and delivered to the prison authorities and the lucky beneficiaries have therefore, regained their freedom.
Finally, Ndi Anambra, I wish to remind you that we have slipped into the last quarter of the year. This is usually the time of year when crime wave is at its highest. Please remember to maintain a high level of security consciousness and mental alertness. The security of any human community rests firmly in the hands of the residents. On our part as a government, we shall continue to invest in securing the lives and property of our people. We shall strive to sustain our rating as one of Nigeria’s safest states.
Ndi Anambra, the overall wellbeing of our beloved state is non-negotiable. So, all hands must be on deck to lift Anambra State from the valley of this present recession to the mountaintop of economic growth!
God bless Anambra State
God bless Nigeria