Fr Pat Amobi ChukwumaSaturday, March 15, 2014
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empus fugite" says the Latin. The English would say "How time flies! The Germans would say, "Die Zeit fliegt." My own Igbo people say, "O biara ije nwe ula." The race began by Mr Peter Obi on 17 March 2006 comes to an end on Monday 17 March 2014. Indeed Obi fought like a gallant soldier.

First, when the Anambra State Gubernatorial Election of 2003 was conducted, Anambrarians voted massively for him as the candidate of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) whose National Chairman was Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu of blessed memory. When the cock was about to crow, to announce the result of the election, the powers that be held the cock by the throat and tied it in a cage. An unknown voice from the then INEC announced Dr Chris Ngige of Peoples Democratic Party as the winner. Immediately there was a loud thunder from Heaven protesting against the political robbery. Obi's mandate was stolen and given to Ngige as a surprise gift by his godfathers.

The cloud thickened in the face of injustice. Ngige was then sworn into office while Obi went to court to recover his stolen mandate. But Dr Chris Ngige, even though he did not win, opened the eyes of Anambrarians in realising that the State was rich but the godfathers then pocketed everything and left Anambrarians hungry and angry. Having exposed those evil deeds of his godfathers, Nigige paid the prize by being kidnapped. If a Governor can be kidnapped, what happens to the vulnerable citizens? Ngige saw his grave, but was lucky that he escaped being buried alive. The devil's gift is never without dangerous conditions.

Meanwhile Mr Peter Obi was busy at the court. The judicial fight lasted for three years. God looked down from Heaven and said, "Enough is enough!" God detached his Angels to the High Court sitting at Awka in 2006. The judge has no choice but to declare Mr Peter Obi the rightful winner of the 2003 gubernatorial race. The caged cock escaped and flew up the Arroma roundabout mast and crew to the hearing of all Anambrarians that justice has been done. However, Ngige appealed the verdict at Appeal Court sitting at Enugu. The court upheld Obi's victory and he was sworn in on 17 March 2006. Ngige vacated the Government House at Awka immediately and went home through the bush path.

Barely few months into his leadership, the devil struck again. Obi was unjustly impeached at dark hours of the night by the then Anambra State House of Assembly led by Hon. Balonwu. Heaven wept. Obi's deputy Dame Virgy Etiaba was sworn in as the interim governor. Obi went back to court. After three month's strenuous judicial tussle, the Appeal Court sitting at Enugu quashed the impeachment and restored Obi's mandate.Mr Peter Obi continued where he stopped with almost empty purse. Mama squandered all he saved.

As if the devil lives in Anambra State by then, the demonic dragon inspired INEC to conduct an arranged gubernatorial election in April 2007, when the seat was not vacant. Consequently, Governor Obi was shelved aside again. Anambrarians went into the desert to seek for divine intervention as Dr Andy Uba of PDP was sworn in as Governor after a pseudo election. He occupied the Government House at Awka for 16 days only. The Supreme Court rose and sacked him, ordering him "to vacate the Government House immediately!" Andy hurriedly he left through a hole at the back of the Government House, in order to avert the wrath of the Law. Obi bounced back.

Indeed, Mr Peter Obi was born a bouncing baby boy (BBB). If not, he would not have survived the political shipwreck and injustice that starred him at the face for three good times. His mother's umbilical cord nourished him enough with vitamins and prepared him for the impending battles outside the womb. Hence, he fought with vitality, being Peter the Rock! Mr Peter Obi is neither an angel nor a saint but he is God-sent, to redeem Anambra State from the political dungeon in which it has been into since creation in 1991. He is an exemplary leader. He understands that leadership is service to God and the people. He inherited Anambra State as "A Home For All" (including good and evil). But Obi said that that cannot be. He drove out the bad elements holding the State to ransom over the years and transformed Anambra State as the "Light of the Nation." He introduced the Anambra State Integrated Development Strategy (ANIDS). By this he developed all sectors of the State's economy simultaneously. Our hospitals have been upgraded, such that soonest Anambrarians will stop travelling abroad for medical attention. He handed over Mission Schools back to the owners. Our schools (mission, private and government) are now beaming with life, academically, structurally and humanly. By good road networks, Obi has connected the towns in the State, including neglected ones. He has equally made the dividends of democracy reach the poor and rich alike. The State is not owing internally and externally.

It has been eight turbulent political years of Mr Peter Obi's quality leadership in Anambra State. The Nigerian Constitution says it is time to leave. Thank you Obi, as you vacate the Government House in Awka honourably this week. With St Paul you can boldly assert: "I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to finish; I have kept the faith; all there is to come for me now is the crown of uprightness which the Lord, the upright judge, will give to me on that Day" (2 Tim.4:7 - 8). Goodbye, the amiable Governor! Please, remember that your service is still need in many other ways in Anambra State in particular and in Nigeria in general.

As Obi descends, Obiano ascends. All Anambrarians, living and dead, heartily says, "Welcome the new Governor, Chief Dr Willie Maduabuchi Obiano!" You did not choose yourself; Anambrarians chose you to render selfless service to God and humanity. I hope you have been strengthened by divine grace as you have gone into the desert to pray, to be able to confront the human and spiritual powers that be in Anambra State. You are beginning where Obi stopped. Continuity is demanded of you. Obi worked hard. You will work harder. Obi has sown; Obiano should now water. Obi from Agulu is handing over to Obiano from Aguleri. After Obiano, Obieli from my town Aguluezechukwu will appear to harvest and feed every mouth in Anambra State. Lastly, Obianokwara from Aguluzigbo will take over to finish what will remain undone by then in Anambra State. Igbo kweenu!!!

Obiano, as you take oath of office on Monday, 17 March 2014, Anambrarians expect that you lead them into the Promised Land from where our Moses, Mr Peter Obi stopped. The teaming graduates in the State are looking up to you for employment. Some wealthy Anambrarians, who no longer come home for fear of being kidnapped, are looking unto you to provide a safe haven, devoid of kidnappers, so that they can come home to invest, thereby enriching the State. Some communities still need to be linked with good road network, so that they can transport their farm produce to urban markets in the State. By so doing, the Angels from Heaven will come down on earth to buy food for the elect in heaven. Continuity is expected from you to sustain our schools resurrecting from the dead as a result of negligence over the past years before Peter Obi's arrival. Obi broke a record. You will break the transformer. Obi has left big shoes for you to wear. May God give you longer feet to size the shoes, so that you can march forward with jubilant Anambrarians to the Promised Land, where milk and honey flow in abundance.