Former governor of Anambra State Peter Obi trended almost all day on Social Media on Saturday, for all the good reasons.
He was one of the speakers in this year’s edition of The Platform, an annual programme of a Lagos-based church, Covenant Christian Centre, which focuses on public policy debates and proffering practical solutions to the challenges faced by the nation. This year’s edition attracted the likes of Olisa Agbakoba, eminent lawyer and human rights activist and Bishop Matthew Kukah, the vocal arch-bishop of Sokoto Diocese of the Catholic Church.
Obi was to discussed a topic titled ”Cutting Cost in Government” in time of recession, a topic that took him into the nitty gritty of the depth and volume of waste in government. He declared that Nigeria can still survive under its current earnings if it could cut down the waste it drags along in government offices nationwide.
Drawing examples from his own time as governor, Obi questioned why there should be ‘’presidential lodge’’ in every state in Nigeria, maintained by the state governors with public funds, when in truth, the president only lives in Abuja. He equally questioned the wisdom in state governors maintaining ‘’governor’s lodges’’ in Lagos and Abuja, with employees who practically do nothing, but who are paid from the coffers of the states every month.
Speaking about how his thriftiness angered people in his state while he was a governor, Obi said he told his wife to not bother about people being angry, explaining that his job was not to make people happy as a governor since there were already many people in the entertainment industry whose jobs were to make people happy. Obi said his job as a governor was to take decisions on behalf of the people.
The former governor, who also was a former chairman of Fidelity Bank, said he kicked against bailing out states because he saw no wisdom in footing the bill of a drunk when the drunk was still inside the bar gulping more alcohol. He said the drunk must be first allowed to get out of the bar before his bills can be cleared.
Obi equally told governors to cut down on the food consumed in governors’ lodges, insisting that the governor’s house was not a restaurant where anybody will walk into for food. He said to avoid waste from cooking for the public, he devised a way of meeting with the Anambra rich men: meeting with them in their own homes.
On the office of First Lady, he said it was a wasteful venture that costs governors at least N2 billion naira, money that can be directed into critical investment for the states.
His personal examples ultimately led him into achieving feats previously thought impossible, such as pushing Anambra into the top spot in WAEC and NECO results for three straight years, from an initial position of 26 out of the 36 states. He achieved that by returning secondary schools in the state to the missionaries that owned them originally, and giving money to them directly, instead of channelling the funds through the Ministry of Education whose bureaucracy was sure to starve the schools of the funds meant to enhance teaching and learning.
He also cleared up arrears of salaries owed before his time and left the state without borrowing a dime for all the projects executed. Actually, he left the state financially stable, with total savings of about N75b.
Obi, whose speech roused the audience multiple times, said he left Anambra with the best intra-state road networks in the country, and lived up to his commitments on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a feat that earned him international awards.
The speech was very well received on Social Media, with the governor trending nearly all day on Twitter.
Below are some of the tweets we captured to convey how much Mr Obi got viewers excited.
Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, celebrity compere, could relate:
Hahahaha! Gotta love Peter Obi. Anyone who traveled in a local airport when he was governor definitely understands this story he’s telling.
— Ebuka Obi-Uchendu (@Ebuka) October 1, 2016
Jason Okafor, a twitter user, called the former governor ”daring”:
“Daring” is what #PeterObi said on #ThePlatform ! How many past leaders or even present can bodly say same? “BestSpeech for the Year<img src="http://breaking.com.ng/nigeria/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2016/10/1f44d.png" alt="” class=”wp-smiley” style=”height: 1em; max-height: 1em;” /><img src="http://breaking.com.ng/nigeria/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2016/10/1f44d.png" alt="” class=”wp-smiley” style=”height: 1em; max-height: 1em;” />
— Ceejay Jason Okafor (@IAmCeeJaYJason) October 1, 2016
Another user, Toyin Raheem, called him a ‘revelation’,
— Toyin Raheem. (@mrtwhy) October 1, 2016
And more praises pour:
#PeterObi is actually one of the best governors this country has had in a while. He managed Anambra’s lean resources excellently.
— Ijoma (@ij26b) October 1, 2016
— CeeJayy (@ceejayesq) October 1, 2016
— Helen Oyibo (@HelenOoyibo) October 1, 2016
How many former governors can come out and speak like Peter Obi did without getting showers of curses? INTEGRITY does not need PROPAGANDA o!
— Juliet ‘Kego (@julietkego) October 1, 2016
Cutting cost of governance requires no theory or rocket science, its just practical accountability as demonstrated by Peter Obi #ThePlatform
— Ekene Ikeakanam (@ekecy) October 1, 2016
— Nnamdi Abana (@talktonnamdi) October 1, 2016
— Omoniyi T. Mayowa (@ohteehem) October 1, 2016
Watching Peter Obi and what hits you is the wastage that goes on in government at all tiers. Galling! #ThePlatform
— JustJude (@egbas) October 1, 2016
Peter Obi is revealing some hard truths about the wastage in Governance in Nigeria. This is why Governors can’t pay salaries #Theplatform
— T. A (@tope414) October 1, 2016
I’m listening to Gov. Peter Obi talking about d excesses of government officials & how we can cut cost.
I could weep right now!#ThePlatform
— phantom (@osaigunma) October 1, 2016
Former Gov. Peter Obi spitting some deep truth on cost-cutting governance!! #ThePlatform
— Outlier (@Igabs_chuks) October 1, 2016
— Linda (@lindakilson) October 1, 2016
My brother . .
The anambra state Peter Obi gave us is not the mate of any state in Nigeria.
But that will be a topic for another day https://t.co/FkPSc8RVSL
— Graham of H.N.C (@graham_TeleNoza) September 21, 2016
Editor’s Note: If you missed it yesterday, you can post your one comment on the comment section of this
The post All the twitter reactions when Peter Obi wowed in Abuja, and trended all day (READ) appeared first on Ekekeee.