..explains why he’s close to President
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – GOVERNOR Willy Obiano of Anambra State on Monday met behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, where he lobbied for federal appointments for indigenes of the state.
Governor Obiano also explained that his much touted closeness to President Buhari was a result of their shared commitment to honesty and passion for infrastructure development.
Speaking with State House correspondents after meeting with the President, the governor said that he came to congratulate the President on his election victory and to brief him on the level of work and state of some federal projects in Anambra.
According to him, “If you get closer to what the President is doing. Like me, I am a hands-all governor and I don’t treat federal government projects as if they are in Abuja, no. I go there and supervise the projects as if there are my own projects initiated by Anambra state government.
“I know he is doing a great work. I told my people to know where we headed, that this man keeps his words just like me and he is doing a great work. He is honest, straight forward, his yes is yes, his no is no. So why can’t I like such a fellow? He is a very good friend of mine and that friendship exists.”
On his mission to the State House, he said, “I called the President real time when he won the election and this is the first time I am seeing him physically since after that election. So I came to congratulate him on his well deserved victory.
“That is one, then I gave him update on the federal government projects that are going on in Anambra. For example, Second Niger Bridge, which is going according to plan, work is going on there very well. The minister of Power, Works and Housing and myself were at the sites recently and I came to brief him fully how that work is going as planned.
“Secondly, the road they are doing between Onitsha and Awka -17.5km – is going on very well, they have stone-patched about eight kilometers of that road already and they have asphalted four kilometers already.
“Again, I commended him for that initiative. Initially, people thought it was election fluke but you can see long after the elections those works are still going on very well.”
The governor said he was however, asking for more support concerning social programs and other federal roads in Anambra State.
“They have concentrated majorly on the main one now which is Onitsha-Enugu Express Way. But we have over seven more dilapidated federal roads in Anambra that have not been touched for over twenty years. Quite honestly, it was under his tenure – under Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) that those roads were made and now he is the fellow fixing them many years after.
“So we did ask for favour in that area, we did ask for increase in the social programs that the federal government is handling; more support for school feeding. Now we are feeding 126,000 pupils every day.
“So far about N2.3 billion has been spent by the federal government in school feeding in Anambra State – a very good program. Also, on the NPower program, we have over 8000 youth are already employed.
“Youth that ordinarily would have been doing some other things, are gainfully employed by the Federal government and of course, I did ask for support in appointments: ministerial, ambassadorial, parastatals and so on so that all of us can move to the Next Level.”