ObiAnambra: A Season of Greatness!
By James Eze
There comes a time when everything falls in place; when even angry winds lend a voice to silence. It is a season when a people finally step out to claim their rightful spot. Anambra State is in that time and that season at the moment.
From the usual pockets of individual excellence, we are beginning to see solid goals achieved as groups. We are beginning to see the people cast aside their differences and establish a common ground. We saw this in its rarest occurrence in November last year when Ndi Anambra came together to make the electoral history known as 21/21. It had never been done anywhere; a candidate sweeping the majority of votes cast in every electoral district. Historic! It could only be Anambra! And now, Nigeria knows that it can be done; that you can achieve a perfect electoral victory if you try hard enough.
The moment came again soon afterwards. This time, it is something extra-special; something out of the common fare. And it put Anambra on a different stratosphere. Five Anambra school girls who were neither weighed down by the stifling assumptions of race nor the paralyzing stupor of their political environment, made a history in the world of technology and innovation. Like a rose that grew from concrete, they forced the world to acknowledge and accept their extraordinary zeal to live, to breathe and to excel. It is something for an African team to win medals in sports and the arts, but it is something extraordinary for a group of girls from Nigeria (not South Africa, mark you) to defeat the USA, China, Spain and Turkey in a science and innovation contest. Adaeze Onuigbo, Vivian Okoye, Promise Nnalue, Nwabuaku Ossai and Jessica Osita have shown that it can be done; that greatness is not thrust upon people but can be attained by those who thirst for it hard enough.
Beside the Golden Girls, we have also had a few statements of intent at the global stage. We saw that in 2015 when a group of five students that were handpicked from some public schools across Anambra State won the Bronze Medal at the World Schools Debate Championship in Singapore. Another set of five school children followed suit in 2016 and would probably have won Gold in the same competition which held in Germany but for the bungling of the visa arrangements by the organizers. The team had already shown its battle-readiness by defeating the debate team of Katong Convent School in Singapore in a mock debate that was organized to prepare the teams that would compete in the World Championship in Germany. Talk about cutting short the aspirations of the young!
We have also had a string of individual brilliance. Like 16-year old Tochukwu Anyigbo who was in the Bronze-winning Nigerian team at the first Global Robotics Challenge in Mexico that had participants from 161 countries. We have had exceptional performances in almost all the external examinations that give weight to the assertion that Anambra is in a season of greatness.
However, what is most heartening about this impressive scenario is that these achievements were attained by young people from public schools across Anambra State. What this tells me is that Anambra has sired a generation that does not know fear; a generation that is not intimidated by the weight of the Biafran War or discouraged by the invisible ceiling of racism. And these children have struck out to patches of unaccustomed earth and put the world on notice with their exceptional brilliance!
Behind it all is Governor Willie Obiano. Akpokuedike Aguleri!