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ABIA APARTHEID: LIARS TAKE OVER FROM ORJI

By NBF News
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The drama in Abia, God's Own State, gets lucrative and livelier. Yes, it has provided us the usual platform Nigerians always crave to exhibit their adroitness in lies, fabrications, facts manufacture, manipulation and display of shamelessness.

I have always maintained that the right to free expression is that right that affords on platter of gold, every man the latitude to exhibit how sane or otherwise he is. That is exactly the situation in Abia today.

The drama started simply by the governor of the state, Chief Theodore Orji, declaring the incapacity of the state, by reason of financial shortcomings to pick the wage bill of the workers if he should adopt the N18, 000 minimum wage. One saw reason with Governor Orji's explanation, though not believing his approach was the best given the situation at hand and the bad outcome of the move. But the jobbers have latched unto it to do their business. They pull out lies and fabrications, lump them together and buy media space to feed the public with poison. All these are afterthoughts.

If we had some sense of shame, I mean even a little, some people called traditional rulers in the state should know they have no business in this matter, and it is totally out of place for them to log unto this dirty side of politicking to champion a cause so base and inane as this discriminatory policy of a state against its own blood. If indeed, this list of traditional rulers - about 10 of them and some others in the list is real, I really sympathize with the communities they rule. But I know it is not beyond Nigerians hired muscles to do that list and push it out, and the names there when real could be people conscripted to have their names there or have their staff of office withdrawn. How come in that list of 10 traditional rulers only the designation and communities of four were indicated. And of course,s there were some other names there - one form of chief or the other. What does that show?

In a second advertorial, the harbingers in the sixth paragraph mentioned numbers of Abia civil servants that were returned home by the four other South East states. That was a good piece of jaundiced research and data juggling. With such fine scripted piece, those three signatories decided to be smart in fractional quantum. Pray, since these workers were returned to Abia by the state, why on earth didn't you indicate the dates these things happened? This must never be an oversight. It was deliberate because they believe the people to read them are dummies who don't decipher lies from facts. How did it happen that these states threw out Abia workers only and not those from the sister states. If they did the same, that means Imo, Enugu, Ebonyi and Anambra have involved in it. So in which country or planet did we live when they happened? We are from these states, and we neither heard from individuals nor read them in the media. There is no further verification to prove that these are lies embarked upon by hired hands.

In the days of the late Chief Christian Onoh as old Anambra State governor, he did the same. It attracted the same angst, and if Onoh had any reputation, he grounded it with that unpardonable wrong policy. Onoh never took into consideration that those he threw out were Igbo who lived in Enugu as their capital prior to 1976 when East Central State was split in two. I am, indeed, appalled that these harbingers of bad advocacy would pick on a wrong model as instance to justify what Governor Orji did. Onoh's move against workers from Imo State and others then was his undoing. It haunted him to his grave and the damage was never mitigated.

Well, since Orji's defenders have chosen to equate him with people at the wrong side of history, so his lot is the negative side of memory. Governor Orji did the absurd, no doubt, and he has exposed himself like so many others who parade as leaders with empty heads bereft of ideas on how to manage the constituency in their care.

That state ruled by Orji that is so cash strapped is the same domain where the late good man, Michael Okpara built the Golden Guinea, the Ceramic Industry, and there are also factories in Aba we heard of as primary school kids, like the glass factory that have gone into limbo. The hired half-baked liars championing his defence overlooked the exploits of Okpara, Zik, Ibiam and some others the party used to display on campaign billboards in drawing standards for him and decided to equate him with a man who acquired infamy by sacking his brothers and sisters. What a shameless generation. I bet you that Orji must have boasted when he sought the votes of the people of Abia State that he would revive the revenue generation capacity of the state. So when will he do that?

Governor Orji, for your information, you are the lucky administrator who is so fortunate to have Aba, that giant gold pool in your domain. If your Aba were given to men with creative ability, they would bring down Eldorado and not keep living like Elijah in the cave waiting for the raven to bring him daily supply of meal. The reason Orji can't pay the workers he seeks to lay off is that he relies only on Abuja for monthly stipend. If he were creative, he would have harnessed the potentialities of Aba and soared to the high heavens in affluent economy for the state. But he lacks the acumen. I know of what is called beggar-my-neighbour policy in international economics, where a poor nation borrows in bulk to shore up its economy and shift the burden to his neighbour who lent money to him. It is not a way of solving the problem but shifting it next door. That is what Orji did. I bet you, if the governor of my state or any other governor in any state in Nigeria had done this, I would still say the same as here that he goofed.

Every Nigerian knows that Aba has all it takes to be a great economy. I once interacted with the UNIDO country representative in Nnewi some years ago, who told me that UNIDO recommends Aba as an industrial cluster belt for leather and textile works. He said the major problem with Aba is support especially in power availability to do their work. That is the same city Orji has in his state and he could not fix a street there or lift the people to generate money with which he can run the state, and his liars are making noise all over town to justify a wrong move. Shame, once again.

Ironically, a good percentage of those Orji threw away like a piece of refuse are mainly teacher wives of businessmen in Aba who Orji still retains in his state and collects revenue from. Orji takes the benefits from those Igbo from other states who generate revenue for him in the state and throws away their family members who his state employed. So what kind of leader is he? If care is not taken, soon, he will declare all the assets of Igbo of non-Abia origin in Aba expropriated by state and his noisemakers will still pull some advertorial to justify it. The entire Igbo built and still build Aba; it falls within Abia domain, and today, Orji is busy alienating these same people from their own place. What his noisemakers find as excuse is that if they were bad they would not have employed some individuals like Kingsley Emeruwa in the state. Is Kingsley not that a man of Imo parents born in Umuahia and has lived there till today? So that Abia man who lived all his life in Kaduna is more Abian than Kingsley because his parents come from there?

We are just arguing the matter for records' sake because the governor, lacking in ideas, has already implemented his apartheid, but some clowns should not infuriate us the more by pushing forward these silly campaigns. We are no fools not to see the gaps in the shabby stunts. If Rev. Ogu campaigned that Orji be banned from using airports in Igboland, that was very ok because the statement can never be worse than Orji's action.