Abia and the Insanity of a Critic, By Madubuko Hart
I was astonished that some persons are still backward in the way they reason and act. Some of them, for the ill-gains they make from their paymasters, especially in politics, are ready to engage in shoddy businesses.
It was to my uttermost disbelief that one Okwadike Ikpeazu could fall into such group of political hooligans regarding his venoms against the person and government of Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State recently.
In a paid advertorial titled, “The Insanity in Abia State – Leadership Vacuum”, published in The Nation, November 19th 2014, pages 46,47,48, Ikpeazu took himself to the cleaners when he expressed in the jaundiced article that there was nothing on ground in Abia State to show that there is a democratically elected government in the state.
Without sounding immodest, the advertiser, without doubts, signed that he wrote in from Abuja. So, I was not surprised when he wrote what he was merely told by the detractors of the government, because if he was on ground in the state, he would have seen the over one thousand and one projects that this government has instituted in the state and was still implementing and executing more.
To confirm the advertiser that he misfired, the government of Governor Orji, according to the information the Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Charles Ajunwa gave me, had done the following projects in the state against the lies of Ikpeazu that there was nothing on the ground in the state to show for seven and half years of this administration.
If the governor was not working, he would not have been awarded the BusinessDay States’ Competitiveness and Good Governance Awards held recently at the EKO Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, where he emerged as the best performing governor in education and youth empowerment in 2014.
According to the statement by the organizers of the award, Abia State Governor, Chief Theodore Orji won the BusinessDay States’ Competitiveness and Good Governance Awards as the best performing Governor in education and youth empowerment in 2014, making it the second time that the Abia State Governor will be winning the high-status awards.
Governor Orji was pronounced as the best performing governor in the country in Security and Health at the maiden edition of the awards in 2013. It was observable that the governor never lobbied for the BusinessDay States’ Competitiveness and Good Governance Awards; states were allocated the right to make entries.
It was after the assessors visited Abia State that they determined that the claims entered for Abia State were all on ground and Governor Orji won the esteemed awards, organized by the foremost business media organization in Nigeria: BusinessDay.
In furtherance, I’m afraid if these projects were done in Abuja instead of in Abia State where the citizens are enjoying them and praising the Governor for the foresighted initiatives, against the aspersion of the advertiser. According to Ajunwa in one of his press briefings, “There is no gainsaying the fact that His Excellency, Chief T. A Orji has laid a solid foundation for the economic and socio-political growth of Abia. Ever since he courageously liberated the state from political bondage and economic stagnation, Abia has witnessed rapid infrastructural transformation.
“It is evident that the array of legacy projects dotting the Abia landscape today is as a result of his prudence in managing scare resources as he has not mortgaged the future of Abia by accessing funds in the bond market as some of his counterparts who make the most of racket have done. Orji has judiciously managed the resources of the state to work for the state without incurring any debt.
“Apart from legacy projects, Governor Orji has also excelled in human capital development and youth empowerment thereby giving hope and future to thousands of Abia youths who were before he came on board willing tools in the crime industry.”
Ajunwa highlighted some of the impacts of the governor in the state that qualifies him for the national honours that was awarded him this year, saying that since the inception of the present government, Abia State has not only become a peaceful and endowed place, but has also become a much-talked about state in terms of good governance. The CPS whispered that Abia is under the leadership of the well-focused administrator, which he said that has evidently shown the world that democracy is working in Abia.
In the words of Ajunwa: “The relocation of Umuahia Main Market is now a reality after 78 years of prevarications by past governments including the colonial administration. In place of the old market, the Ubani Ibeku Modern Market is now a beehive of business activities. The market with over 7, 000 shops is purpose-built with facilities such as motor parks, banks, fire service, adequate water supply, good network of internal roads, among others. Even before the completion of Ubani Ibeku Modern Market, the new Industrial Market had taken off at Ahiaeke Ndume in place of the old Timber Market, which was contributing to congest the capital city. These two modern markets have become reference points in expansion of commerce and job creation.
“In the last one year Ochendo has added more health facilities to the ones he had already built. Dialysis Centre and Eye Centre have been added to the ultra modern Abia Staye Specialist and Diagnostic Hospital thereby creating a full medical complex where citizens can receive quality medical service of international standard. It has always been the dream of Ochendo to make available in Abia State the same medical facilities that Nigerians seek in foreign lands in what has become a phenomenon of medical tourism.
“As he built the well-equipped tertiary health facilities, Governor Orji is equally focused on transforming both the secondary and primary health care system to make quality health care services available to the people at the grassroots. The primary Health Centres have continued to increase in number as quality health care services is being taken to the doorsteps of Abia residents. At the last count the Primary Health Centres have reached over 700 and still counting. Some of the 100-bed hospitals located in the three senatorial districts of the state have been completed and fully equipped while others are nearing completion.
“It was this evidential transformation of the health sector that prompted the Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA) to recognize Governor Orji and honour him with the award of Prime Ambassador of Health at the 37th AGM/Scientific Conference of NOA last July. This group of specialized health practitioners was so much impressed with Ochendo’s achievements in the health sector hence they conferred the award on him to fully capture his “contribution in providing phenomenal leadership for the advancement of health care.”
“Over the last one year of democracy Day celebration Abians must also count their blessings for what their governor, who presides over a knowledge-driven administration, has done in the education sector. The primary and secondary school system have witnessed massive transformation with the hitherto dilapidated classroom blocks giving way to modern facilities conducive for teaching and learning. The model schools springing up across the state are designed to lay a solid foundation for the education of Abia children. It is the belief of Ochendo that if we get it right at the first two level of education the problem of falling standard of education would be taken care of.”
The advertiser has indeed lost sight with events at home in the manner he wrote that since 23 years ago when Abia State was created that there is no government presence there. I challenge Ikpeazu that he was viewing and seeing Abia State through the primordial lense. I say this because some of us who are always at home, at least, once a week, would say that Governor Orji, through the information from the office of the Chief Press Secretary, is doing his best to influence the state from the shackles it has experienced in the past.
The advertiser again wanted to mislead the entire world when he wrote that “Abians have seen the worst type of leadership in the last 8 years”. What I understood from this phrase is that the advertiser has lost touch with truth. I must say that he was the one who had lost touch with the happenings in the state, because he is in faraway Abuja.
To be frank, a lot has changed for the better and is still changing for the best. There was no correlation between the announcements by INEC that Governor Orji had won the 2007 elections with his stool as a serving governor. Ikpeazu in his error made comments that were laughable as he pointed fingers at the governor as if he was the one who declared himself governor in the 2007 elections and, not INEC. Yes, he was in detention then, and so what! Who will not be detained in Nigeria? Mind you that detention does not amount to that the detainee is a culprit.
You cannot say that infrastructure has collapsed in a city like Aba, when people still inhabit the areas: cars are plying in the city, banks are operating, schools are functioning, etc. I’m sure the advertiser didn’t know that people from other states of the federation still troop into Aba to buy one item or the other and also seek for services in Aba to their automobile gadgets and other accessories. The truth is that Abia State is not in a competition with any state in the country as against what the advertiser was writing about that some states that were created alongside Abia State have all ‘developed.’ Whatever the advertiser meant by “development”, the in-thing was that the state was developing with the dictates of its development Master Plan and will never develop with the Master Plan of other states.
If I must say and if what the advertiser wrote was anything to go by that the governor changes local government chairman in the state every three months, then he’s practicing the best form of democracy unlike some who would have loved sit-tight government or perpetuate themselves in power. However, transition chairman in the local government is fad across the country and the governor shouldn’t be smacked for such, because he was following procedures to doing things.
It’s merely hearsay by the advertiser that government owed workers. It is not gain saying the fact that in the light of good government in Abia State, people from other states want to work in Abia State, because of the improvement on their salaries and yearly incentives. That the posters of the governor adorn his state, what is wrong with that? Could it have been better if the posters adorn the neighbouring states of Abia? I’m tired of how some people’s acumen work: very negative.
Today, the traducers of Governor Orji are bringing the picture of President Goodluck Jonathan in the polities of the state perhaps to cause disaffection between the president and the governor. Let me say that the rumbling politics in a state was like Rivers State; the same people now asking Jonathan to “kill” Governor Orji are the same people mouthing the president that he’s playing kangarooed politics against Ameachi and that he should leave him alone. You can now see how far yes men could go for the purpose of their “Stomach Infrastructure”.
President Jonathan will not wade into the Abia politics, because he’s wiser than the traitors calling for him to put his head in the state’s politics. These traitors forget that the governor is a democratically elected governor and has certain powers in the Constitution that define his statutory role, boundary of operation and the immunity he enjoys. What these traitors want to cause is to bring the president into the politics of the state and would by tomorrow be calling him a tyrant or despot, whereas they were the same people that lured him into trouble.
I must say that the advertiser was jealous of the first families of Abia State, when he wrote that the governor was “celebrating himself and his children”. I couldn’t stop laughing against this thoughtless comment. Should the governor have been celebrating Okwadike Ikpeazu and leave his immediate family? That the governor celebrates his family members buttressed that he is a proud father, husband, and family man. The irony is that the advertiser wants people to be condemning the governor and his administration, but the people have always said that they love their governor.
So, for the advertiser to list twenty-five names of people he felt should be scolding the governor for who knows what, has exposed the advertiser as a troublemaker who wants troubles and problems exist, where there shouldn’t be any. Just 25 names in a state with some millions of populations, has told the world that idiocy predates the destiny of some persons before they are given birth. The advertiser showcased his disappointment that there is no opposition to the government in Abia. I was shocked of what reason was that statement for; the people have welcomed their governor and have nothing against him, hence there is no opposition, except those like the advertiser who are still opposed to the truth and reality that have become of the government in Abia State under the government of Chief Theodore Orji (Ochendo Global).
I’m still laughing after reading the concluding part of that advertorial. If not that newspapers establishments are for profit making, especially through advertorials, I wonder why such garbage should be published for public consummation. The truth is that Abia State is working and Governor Orji is doing his best with his lieutenants. Anything contrary to this is the orchestration of ill-fated critics of the government.
Hart writes from Lagos
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