Anambra State government yesterday held a valedictory event for the outgoing governor of the state, Chief Willie Obiano, even though his tenure ends on March 17.
Prominent individuals who gathered at the International Convention Centre, Awka took time to praise Obiano over what they termed his glowing achievements in the last eight years in the state.
The event also featured award presentation, unveiling of a biography on the governor and the official inauguration of the 13,000 seater International Convention Centre, Awka.
Newsmen gathered that the reason for the event was the insistence of the governor-elect, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo to hold a low-key swearing-in ceremony, as he would spend eight hours working at Okpoko Slum, near Onitsha on March 17, after being sworn in.
During the valedictory event, a book written by investment banker, Ike Chioke with the title – Akpokuedike, Duty Call in Anambra, was also unveiled.
Chioke, who spoke at the event said: “I set out to write this book to immortalize Chief Willie Obiano and his performance in the eight years that he served as governor.
“I met him in 2004 during the banking sector consolidation, when the governor-elect was the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, and Chief Obiano was the Executive Director of Fidelity Bank, and as an investment banker, I was to work with the bank in the acquisition of another bank.
“Since then, we had been close, and later I was to work with him when he became governor, and later he appointed me as the Managing Director of Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA) where I serve today.
This book is my attempt to document the achievements of the governor for posterity. He is a man who has a strong conviction about what he wanted to achieve in Anambra, and he came to power fully prepared for the task, and is today leaving the state with a lot of legacy projects.”
Former Commonwealth Secretary General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe are among dignitaries who eulogized the governor for his achievements in the last eight years.
Meanwhile, Governor Obiano used the opportunity of the event to award deserving sons and daughters of the state.
The governor said: “By the powers conferred on me as the Governor of Anambra State, in the Anambra State Honours Laws of 1995, I want to award some deserving personalities in the state.
“This is an authentic award, and we will be awarding recipients in categories, including Commanders, grand commanders and merit award. You must feel free to affix it to your name anywhere in the world as it is very recognised.”
The recipients included: Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, former Commonwealth Secretary General, Chief
Emeka Anyaoku, first republic minister of Aviation, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, former governors, Mr. Peter Obi and Dr Chris Ngige, former deputy governors, Mr Emeka Sibeudu and Virgy Etiaba, Chief Emeka Offor.
Others who received posthumous awards are: Former minister of information, Prof. Dora Akunyili, former Senate President, Dr. Chuba Okadigbo, former president of Nigeria, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Emeka Ojukwu and many others.