Chief Jude Emecheta, a chieftain of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), has identified people’s strong attachment to their ancestral lands as a major challenge to industrialisation potential of the state.
Emecheta said this while speaking to newsmen in Awka on Wednesday on the journey so far of Anambra statehood in 28 years.
He said though the ideals of the founding fathers of the present Anambra had yet to be fully actualised, the state was on the right track towards achieving them.
“But looking back to the former Anambra State and now, there has been a great difference, however, some of us are still emotionally attached to Enugu because it is still the heart of the South-East.
“So far, it has been so good, the state is still relatively young but is still waxing stronger, though it is not yet `Eldorado’, I must say that the goals of the founding fathers are being realised gradually.
“A major challenge to the pace of industrialisation is the strong attachment our people have to land. Acquiring land now is much difficult unlike when we were together with Enugu that government could easily map out land for development.
“Government now gets land for industrial cluster and agriculture with serious difficulty, so the pace is not as fast as it should be, you cannot develop an industry with this type of mindset.
“There was a time government wanted to open Awka but the people resisted, saying it is their ancestral home, tell them to provide land, they begin to ask for outrageous compensation,” he said.
Emecheta, also the Managing Director of Anambra Signage and Advertising Agency (ANSAA), described Gov. Willie Obiano as a man with lofty vision, adding that Anambra needed leaders like him to take it to the “Promised Land”.
He also blamed the observed lapses on bad macro-economic situation of the country.
“I cannot compare Anambra with any other state because the demography, the landscape, the topology, general environment and even leadership is different.
“Gov. Obiano is man a with great vision for Anambra, he has ensured conducive environment for economic prosperity for the state by ensuring that there is security for residents to carry out their lawful businesses.
“Anambra is an emerging industrial state and the government is leveraging on its commercial status.
“The Anambra of my dream is that the vision of Obiano comes to fruition with a cargo airport, a number of industrial clusters, gas from Orient Petroleum for industrial and domestic energy,” he said.