Chioke said this at the launch of his new book, Akpokuedike – Duty Call in Anambra, where he chronicles the achievements of Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State.
The launch, which was held on Wednesday, March 9, at the International Conference Centre, Anambra State, coincided with a valedictory ceremony marking the end of Obiano’s tenure after eight years as governor.
According to Chioke, the first thing Obiano did when he took office as governor was to put in place not just physical but institutional infrastructure.
“It goes without saying that you cannot run a government without the appropriate institutions,” he said, adding that the Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency was the first institution the governor set up.
Through ANSIPPA, a lot of investments came to the state in various sectors: agriculture, tourism and hospitality, and aviation, Chioke disclosed.
On why he wrote the book, he said, “I think I have learned a lot of practical experience on how to translate ideas into action. In my business, we talk about public-private partnership, raising capital and attracting investors. But when you come on ground, we then meet what they call quicksand. You could easily be swallowed by the challenges on the ground for you to implement your vision.
“But working with Obiano, I learnt valuable lessons of how you take an idea, translate it into actionable steps, then execute with diligence until the idea becomes reality. That was what led me to writing the book.”
In his review of the book, professor of Economics and Director, Institute for Development Studies, University of Nigeria Nsukka, Osita Ogbu, submitted that Akpokuedike would serve as a reference material in years to come.
According to Prof Ogbu, Akpokuedike is not just an ordinary biography of Obiano, but also of his leadership in the past eight years.
His words, “I am certain that the author did not realise that the book he has authored about Obiano will be a reference book on political recruitment, inclusive governance, loyalty and political fidelity, empathic and result-oriented leadership as well as talent hunt for political positions.
“The author has painstakingly painted a balanced portrait of the man. His antecedents, character, professionalism, devotion to family and church, achievements left us with utter admiration of Obiano. It is also a story about love, triumph over adversity and God’s faithfulness to those that wholeheartedly trust in him.”
Chioke, he observed, did not rely on Obiano to tell his story, nor did he sit alone to make up an entertaining story.
“He and a handful of talented researchers tracked down those that knew Chief Obiano before being governor and when he became governor to piece together an account that is diagnosed diverse, logical and authentic.
“This is, therefore, a well-researched book of 184 pages, 15 chapters and with fully documented bibliography and sources,” he said.
According to the don, the first and most important lesson, and why people should read the book, is that it teaches that political recruitment requires a thorough background check.
“Our decisions and choices are a product of our culture and biology. An individual’s moral philosophy in personal life and in governance is shaped by the same culture and biology. A person is who he is because of his parental upbringing, home, church and schools he attended.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I highly recommend it,” Ogbu added.
On his part, former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, noted that the synopsis of the book he read confirmed his best knowledge about Obiano.
Anyaoku added, “Willie Obiano must be one of the most prepared leaders that our country has ever had. There is very little doubt that his administration has transformed Anambra. Obiano is leaving a legacy that will serve this state many years to come.”
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