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THE BANKER WHO MURDERED DATA.

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The status of some individuals should guarantee respectability and heighten personality. Conversely, the behavior and utterances of some of our politicians raises a lot of doubt about their claims of the ability to govern and thus sends the wrong signals to our budding youths. Our upcoming generation should in the real sense learn from the older people, especially the so called upper class. Such despicable behaviors in our adults who are expected to leave examples have given politicians dirtier names than was previously ascribed to them.

Should people who aspire to lead the country and the states be a merchant of lies? Should a party flag bearer at the level of governorship blackmail to occupy the topmost seat? Should not his ways and manners, speeches and utterances be a standard which others should emulate? That the wrong people for one reason or the other have found their ways to top political situations where they did not merit to be is no reason that we should continue to lower the average thus spiraling down and down in the scale of honour.

On Sunday February 15, 2015, on page 54 of the Sunday Vanguard, one Charles Uzoukwu wrote in favour of Alex Otti and his gubernatorial quest. I wouldn't have written because a lot of trash keeps dropping on daily bases but this case impugns on data and it is necessary for us to correct lest other unsuspecting members of the public take it as truth.

Oddly enough, this wrong statistics ought not to be bandied by Alex and his group as we assume that they know better. You don't need blackmail as a tool if you have facts. Ordinarily, somebody at the level of Otti who stepped off a high stool in the banking industry where facts and figures are more sacred than other places shouldn't be caught telling blatant lies and feeding the public with faulty data in today's world of data super high way.

According to what Charles heard from Alex Otti, Abia is the least developed of all states with many years of failed promises from PDP, the same PDP that Otti first berthed and ravenously wanted to purchase the guber ticket. According to Otti too, 'statistics show that mortality rate in Abia, particularly at child birth is among the highest in the country.' These are white lies and I am sure that people who follow trends in Nigeria will attest that Abia even in the next two years without a single medical input in the health sector and without a new project be it in road, housing, education, human development that you call empowerment, Abia cannot fall into such degradation. That's due to work already done, by the present administration. Abia cannot he the least developed. I will give instances.

Abia Health is the most robust and has gone through quantum changes. Ask Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, former Minister for health who when in office visited Abia for not less than three times. In these visits, he commissioned one vital project or the other and suggested on areas where urgent attention were necessary. His Excellency Chief T. A. Orji took him seriously and carried out whatever suggestions as if they were laws. The Primary Health Centres have been updated to 710 which at the same time offer maternity services. He has equally updated what he met at the secondary and tertiary health sectors with dialysis machines, 10 new General Hospitals, Eye, Chest Centres and a place for ENT. To enhance healthcare, Abia pays the CONHESS and CONMESS, special salary scales for health staff.

In 2013, at the 37th AGM/Scientific Conference of National Association of Optometrists, [NOA] Chief Orji was awarded Prime Ambassador of the Health Sector. Medical and Dental council of Nigeria has approved Abia state specialist Hospital and Diagnostic centre for medical internship training. Could a state rated this high by a professional organ have high rates of mortality?

Abia State since 2007 has witnessed development in all sectors. More schools have been built, refurbished and re-equipped. More teachers have been promoted and schools enrolments have increased. For the seven years and more, no single student and pupil in primary and secondary has paid a dime in school fees rather the ones in Umuahia and Aba go to school on Government sponsored wheels. Abia could not hold high caliber conferences but now could do so with the multi-floored and multi-roomed International Conference Center accredited to rub shoulders with the ones in the top cities of South Africa. Abia has an 90% completed Government House, functional E-Library, new Civil Service Secretariat, new business Malls in Umuahia and Aba, power evacuated from the Ohiya power station which has improved energy supply in Umuahia, and neighboring towns like, Oboro, Obowo, Uzoakoli, Bende etc. Our youths have been empowered beyond expectations in all the LGAs.

The security situation that frightened the brave and lion hearted were handled with utmost dexterity making a police boss to admit that Abia is a case study.

There is gender sensitivity with more women appointed and elevated. There are policy overhauls that ensures the continuous existence of interventionist agencies like ASOPADEC, CSDP, ADP, ABIA LIBERATION FARM, ABROMA, that are concurrently carrying out projects in different parts of the state. Are these components of underdevelopment? That shows how ignorant and poorly equipped a man who vaunts to govern a state is. It practically means that if Otti is elected, he would invest public fund in the wrong sector as he does not know where the shoe pinches.

So many questions for Alex Otti. Outside his misinformation, there are many issues on integrity. He consolidated his Aro personality by building in Arochukwu. When the present policy insisted in zoning, he changed nativity with the speed of lightening. These are certainly no marks of greatness. Alex refused to respect equity. His ancestral home of Arochukwu, land of great men and his adopted home of Nvosi in Isiala Ngwa North are all not in Abia South which probably was the reason he skedaddled from PDP in a feat of desperation.

As a successful citizen from the banking industry, we expect more good examples from Alex on decorum not marginality. Let him too be careful of what he says today for these may come back to haunt him or his offspring tomorrow.

Eddie Onuzuruike
A modern Day Covenant
A covenant is a mutual promise or a solemn agreement binding on all the parties. Covenant in the Bible is a mutual promise of God and the Israelites, who promised to worship no other god and aptly defined in ecumenism as monotheism. There are the Noachic, Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants. These are detailed in Genesis, Exodus and Samuel. Alongside, without much distinction is vow which is another solemn promise.

Covenants and vows go on daily, every minute and hour. People in all parts of the world go into covenants. In all buildings, public and private, most times in our minds with God.

The few cases cited above happened between individuals, groups and God. It is a promissory note of sorts.Covenants like promises are easily made but not easily kept or fulfilled. Most of the time, it is to God for the benefit of mankind but it is unfortunate today that some clergies force it out of people when they teach and insist that when you need elevation of redemption from some situations, that you should sow seed or pay tithe which rather than God, lead to immediate satisfaction of the clergies or the church.

We remember the case of Hannah in the bible. She was barren or said to be so and taunted by her co wife, Peninnah who was envious of how their husband,Elkanah, doted Hannah. Hannah took her case to God and vowed that if God gave her a child, that she will dedicate the child to the service of God. God took her seriously and granted her prayers. This did not come easy, because at some point,she was troubled that her mode of prayers made her to be mistaken for a drunk, but when the high priest, Eli, realized that she acted from the pains of her condition, he endorsed her prayers.

Covenants and vows did not end in Bible times and stories. There is a modern day covenant that is a living testimony of prayers answered. Many erroneously believe that situations that demand prayers and answers happen only to the poor. Do not be surprised that the excellently rich, highly powerful and mighty sometimes become helpless as money is not everything. There is this popular saying that the rich also cry. Yes, they do cry, even gnash their teeth and roll on the wet ground in anguish.

St Aquinas Catholic Church, in Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike is a present case and evidence of the efficacy of prayers and a covenant fulfilled.

Chief T.A. Orji (Ochendo) Governor of Abia State had his troubling times. For a man who believed in God, he went to MOUAU to seek spiritual connection through Rev. Father Ukah who happened to be in charge of the Catholic worship center in the populous University. He was yet to know that great troubles loomed ahead. What he saw reminded him of the times when pupils surrounded the teacher under a mango tree in the nature of teaching and learning. On inquiry, the makeshift condition he saw Father Mike and his flock turned out to be their church. Ochendo there and then, in his mind,vowed to God that he will build a church for the school if he becomes Governor. Nobody except Ochendo, and probably his wife knew about this promise.

He became governor but with many trying times which did not make him to forget his vow and was on demand shown a place to build a church.

Since he has been in office, he has steadily though slowly worked on the project to the extent that people started insinuating if he could not handle it like he does to other projects of government.

Unknown to them, Gov. T.A Orji vowed to build the church from his pockets, his personal earnings and support from his friends and familyand not from the budget and abundance of the State Government. This is actually why it was slow but as God will have it, the church has been built and dedicated by the Bishop of Umuahia Diocese, Rev. Father Lucius Ugorji.

Chief Orji could be rightly described as a church builder. The singular act of breaking from the past where idolatry nearly was institutionalized but eliminated and now turned the people of Abia and Government back to the face of God is religiously strategic and foundational. He has physically supported churches irrespective of denominations. When the Catholic Church in Ugba na Nkata got stuck in their building, he came to their rescue by funding the roofing and urging his Exco members and appointees to donate generously. The St Michaels Church at Mgboko Isiala Ngwa South, and other churches in Arochukwu, Nkporo, Aba, all over Abia and beyond have gotten one help or another from Chief T.A. Orji. Just recently, he made a whopping donation of Five Million Naira to the Cathedral of Epiphany at Lodu on Sunday February 8, 2015.

People should emulate Chief T.A. Orji, make covenants and keep them. As somebody said, the greatest investment is the one made in the vine yard of God. The Bible equally states in Corinthians that if you sow sparingly you will reap sparingly. May God forbid that we reap sparingly in Abia!

Eddie Onuzuruike.

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Eddie Onuzuruike and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

Articles by Eddie Onuzuruike