Securing Abia's Future
By T. A. Orji
ON the strength of the above headline, I wish to re-launch this column and express my sincere apologies to my teeming readers for the break in communication. The task of securing Abia's future occasionally gets so overwhelming that you scale your routines and jettison your hobbies. Yes, I find pleasure in writing.
Today's endeavour is a retrospective voyage, expediently designed to attempt an unbiased appreciation of our celebrated exodus from a dark past to a secured land with new songs.
Details on suggested modus operandi and yardstick for attaining them, will however be interrupted to enable me strongly lend my voice to sue for the inevitability of peace and condemn in its entirety the on-going bestiality and atrocious indulgences of Boko Haram whose operational contradictions in condemning western education would have compelled to agitate against everything but western innovations.
I sympathise deeply with parents and wards of the abducted Chibok girls and align with the global 'Bring back our girls' campaign but not without condemning the bandwagon charade going on in Nigeria. My angst is anchored on the reality that no group has vented its anger on Boko Haram. I am yet to see a placard courageous enough to say, 'Boko Haram, you are evil, we condemn you'. It has been misplaced anger and insult on Mr. President who as it were should transform into a thousand soldiers and invade the Sambisa forest, in search of the insurgents.
As a common enemy, we must congregate to wage war concertedly against destructive sects like Boko Haram, irrespective of our ethnic, political or religious leanings.
The Abia of yester years as I re-capture the subject of this endeavour was incapacitated by infrastructural backwardness. In fact, my heart will always skip a beat each time I attempt a mental stock-taking of what needed to be done against the financial famine which boisterously stared us in the face.
Scarcely had we settled down to work, when the menace of security jolted the tranquility of our mandate.
A properly applied venomous anger was unleashed to comprehensively overwhelm evil-mongers and to attain a resurgence of enabling environment necessary for the institution of developmental templates.
I will always rewind to vividly capture and express in manifold measures our gratitude to Abians, whose huge expectations on the capacity of our stewardship to deliver never waivered even when history and precedence may have given them valid reason not to believe in us.
Our understanding of the people's initial criticisms was the stimulant that drove us to establish new grounds and inaugurate projects many never imagined would adorn our landscape. The projects liberated us from infrastructural doom.
Abians would not have spared us the luxury of finding solace in scarcity of funds as a reason for non-performance, when their persuasion is that we can find a way around every challenge to give them the much-expected new dawn. The practical expediency of streamlining and prioritising activities paid off.
As we play back commitments, we grin and gratefully adore the Almighty God who inspired and prompted us to believe in the amazement of small beginnings. In our own case, they began with the emergency declared on the health sector of Abia State as a priority.
What seemed like an insignificant beginning, started from the building of 250 functional health centres in neighbourhoods located in all parts of the State, miraculously blossomed into the institution of a specialist hospital in the State optimally functioning to earn Abia a place in medical tourism.
It may not yet be Uhuru, because of the heart-rending infinitesimal financial accruals at our disposal, but milestone and landmark changes have taken place in Abia State. The stage has been set and there is no looking back.
A new Umuahia Capital Territory was created courtesy of the magnanimity of the Ogurube extraction of Ibeku Kingdom. Administration has been redefined through the magnificent Workers' Secretariat, which sprouted from there, closely followed by the 5,000-capacity International Conference Centre. Others in quick succession include the new Government House, new JAAC Building, new ASUBEB Building, new 22-room office complex for House of Assembly members, new and magnificent e-Library complex and additional buildings at the Commissioners' Quarters. The re-location of Umuahia Main Market to Ubani has brought more sanity to the city.
Our attention to justice is evidently located in the new High Court Complexes in Umuahia and Aba. We have attended to the welfare of judges and judicial workers. Our persuasion is that the significant shifts we have made will powerfully lift the state from the clutches of backwardness and socio-economic amnesia. As they say, 'it is easier to build than to destroy'. Improving on the gains of what we have achieved will always cause the centre to hold.
Our liberation from apostasy and every vestige of idol worshipping illuminated our path to eventful greatness. It will remain the road map in our march to the Promised Land. Pilots of the Abia Project must continue to tap and leverage on the classical inputs of her abundantly blessed high flyers in all critical strata of the society.
Constant extension of friendly and team spirit disposition to political gladiators in the State will elicit the necessary support and co-operation a governor needs to administer Abia State. We can always recall the past to remember the near Somali past, when each political warlord maintained one sphere of political influence or the other giving rise to labels like, 'Talibans' and 'Abuja Politicians'
We look forward to a secured future, purged of unbridled financial leakages for the attainment of harmonised and innovative revenue generating system that would adequately complement the State's statutory federation allocation.
Our sweeping liberation from insensible godfathers will not be compromised, to avoid encouraging fratricidal political war.
Perhaps, this time may be golden to reiterate my vow not to encourage meddlesomeness. Consequently, the people's choice as we countdown to 2015 will be maximally encouraged to work without interference.
Abia has found it bearing and God willing, we will not go back to Egypt.
T. A. Orji is Governor of Abia State