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• Anthony Eze
Meaningful development can only thrive in an atmosphere devoid of rancour. Sir Anthony Obinwa Eze believes that the Abia people should be patient with Governor Theodore Orji and give him a chance to fulfill his promises, which he made following the mandate, they gave to him.

He claimed that the booing of the governor at Aba during the burial of the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu was politically motivated.

According to him, by bringing peace and security to Abia after the governor successfully put kidnappers and armed robbers at bay, Orji has laid solid foundation for development in the state and should be given a chance to build on the gains so far made.

He said that what the governor needs was total co-operation, support and understanding of the people to make good things happen in the state.

Relationship between Abians and the governor
The governor and the people of Abia State have very cordial relationship. But I cannot deny the fact that there are few discordant voices, which is not unusual because even among the twelve disciples of Jesus, there was a Judas. Jesus Christ in all his mightiness could not rule out such people. If that was the case, then how much more a mere mortal like you and I. Since the emergence of the governor in 2007, I will say without any fear of contradiction that the state is moving forward. It is only a blind man that can doubt this. There are visible signs of improvement here and there. All that is required is patience, support and understanding. The governor really means well for all Abians.

In the area of infrastructure, he has not done badly. If you come to the state capital and other parts of the state today and see the road networks, you would be impressed. Several new roads have been constructed. There are new linkages here and there. The few discordant voices you are hearing in Abia are nothing but political mudslinging. They base their judgment on hear say and negative newspaper reports. Abia is today one of the cleanest in the country. The sanitation system is going on very well so do many other things. There is water everywhere. Can we talk about the security issue? Aba and other parts of the state were completely shut down for a whole year. It is to his credit that the issue of kidnapping, armed robbery and other vicious crimes have been reduced to the barest minimum. You can today go to bed in every part of Abia state and sleep with your two eyes closed.

The booing at Aba
What happened at Aba was a very big shame to the people of Abia in particular and Ndigbo in general. The action I must tell you was a political vendetta. It has nothing to do with performance or no performance. Some disgruntled political elements hired touts and came there to demean the person occupying the office of the governor of Abia State. One thing they did not know is that the office is not the representation of Governor Theodore Orji; it is the representation of every son and daughter of Abia State. Another thing you will know is that on that day, it was not only Abians that were in the stadium, political opportunists from different parts of the country and their hirelings were there. Therefore, we cannot even use that as criteria to judge the popularity of the governor among his people. So many of those touts were not from Abia State. Another thing we must not forget is the callousness of the people that perpetrated the act.

Choosing that occasion to do that showed in clear terms how wicked they are. It showed they did not have an iota of respect for Ikemba Nnewi, Dim Emeka Ojukwu who was lying in state. If they have respect for Ojukwu, they would not have done what they did. They were nothing, but a bunch that has sold their hearts to the devil. Again, when you talk about Abia State, it does not comprise Aba alone. There are three senatorial zones in the state and the governor has been visiting them to do one thing or the other without incidents. I want to say that a lot of goods are coming from the  governors not minding the fact that some people for political reasons have decided to go blind on his giant strides in the state .As far as I am concerned, Chief Orji is doing well in the state and can still do better. People should give him a chance and pray for him. Leadership is not easy anywhere in the world.

Leadership is not only about those who are leading. Those who are being led should show support, understanding and help in their own little ways. It is a fact that government cannot do everything for the people. The led should try to be creative and innovative. They can also try to help themselves instead of becoming ready-made tools in the hands of some disgruntled elements that do nothing but crave for opportunities to destroy instead of to build. The electricity project that is going on in Ohiya, is one that can give Abians steady power supply. People should learn to respect their leaders. How many of those touts that booed the governor pay their taxes? If you go to Aba today, you would see importers bringing in heavy duty vehicles to remote areas where those vehicles are not supposed to apply and destroying the roads in the process. Another thing is that some of these people don't know the roads that are for the Federal Government, state government and local government. They even complain that the expressway in Aba is in bad shape without knowing that they are Federal roads..

Comparing Abia with Lagos state
The truth is that if you want to compare the revenue that Lagos State government is generating and want to equate it with the rate of development in Abia and Lagos, you would be shocked to discover that Lagos State is not doing anything. But I want to appreciate the fact that Governor Babatunde Fashola is doing his best to carry his people along .You cannot compare development in Abia with that of Lagos. Lagos State is still enjoying the status of a federal capital. Federal government is still showing a lot of interest in Lagos State as the commercial hub of the country.

Advice to Abians
The advice I have for Abians is that they should be patient with the governor. They should also begin to think of what they could do to help the state instead of thinking only of what the state should do for them. Abians should begin to think about how they can build Abia State and not just criticizing. We have first class entrepreneurs scattered all over the world. Abians should learn how to support and pray for their leaders instead of disparaging him. Today, it is T.A.Orji, from 2015, it would be another person and no matter the leader that comes in, if he fails to get the support of the people, there is nothing much he can do. Abians should learn to pay their taxes.

A lot of people in Abia are running away from paying their taxes in Abia. In Lagos State, most of the revenue are being generated from taxes. But here in Abia, it is a different ballgame. So, how can you compare the development in the two states? Let Abians not allow themselves to be deceived by those who have decided to make themselves enemies of the government. Let Abians don't allow themselves to be misguided by this few that have decided not to see anything good in the governor. Let them not allow themselves to be misled or miss-informed by these haters of democracy.