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Orji And Abia Revenue Robbers

It Is Pretentiousness When The Governor Is A Critic
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Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State has a pass in speechifying. He is talented in holding his audience for hours in praise of himself and miserable minutes used in talking about where Abia State is heading to under his administration. Steering to six years he has been in saddle, he has always talked about his dedication to reinstate the state, but especially, Aba. Rather than accomplish what he preaches, what he has succeeded in achieving this while is the pretentiousness of good governance that he lacks the restoration dexterity in all angles. Today, Orji who is known for speaking from both sides of his mouth is accusing Civil Servants of stealing the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) accruing to the state. See ThisDay, 05 Aug 2012, with the caption: “N3bn Target: Orji Battles Revenue Thieves in Abia”. Did you hear thieves?

In the news reports of Friday, August 24th, 2012, precisely in the Daily Independent, Orji through Ben Onyechere, his Special Adviser on Media and Communication, also went as far as swearing that he is committed to the enhancement of development, perhaps for the Abia people who have totally lost hope of any dividends of democracy from him to show him pity. And while observers thought that Orji had turned a new leaf of his old inefficient person with the reinvigoration of promises and was about to give hope to the people of Abia State his mis-governance had subjected to a luckless people, he bored observers once again with the declaration that among all the steps that would make the state work again, the issue of dealing with security situation was paramount.

While he was using security challenges as excuse why the state was not working, it is the height of ruse the swagger that the state has achieved fast transformation of infrastructures. The in-thing is that Aba, for example, he has always boasted of transforming, is inhabitable. There is no single road in Aba that has seen rehabilitation that lasted. The city is like a war-ragged area. Not only the major roads, but also the streets in Aba are in tatters. The annoying aspect of Orji is that he always makes his predecessor look like a failure and a common immoralist before the Abia people, for himself to be taken as a saint. But, however, the people know that Orji has won the trophy for failure if there is anything like that. This is not only in Abia State, but indeed in Nigeria, when it comes to the business of governance.

Getting bashing from all angles of the Nigerian specter does not anymore mean anything to Orji because his foot soldiers are ever ready to give him misleading reports that he acts upon. A critic thus asked: “Doesn't that say something about his administration? There's no development in any part of the state, even in the state capital Umuahia, nothing to show, besides the estates he is building for himself, nothing else. How come no one has anything to say in his favour besides his aides and cronies? Food for thought!”

Orji can say that the barrage of mirage of decisions he has told the public of his government's preparedness towards the rehabilitation of Aba were neither pressure from people. This is the same way he told his listeners that his government was about to build billions of naira monorail. But where is the project today? Orji is just in a deliberate campaign of misleading the world about the state-of-affairs in Abia State through his equivocal aides who have gone as far as writing their usual lies unethical of constructive critiques they circulated on the social media that this writer is an ex-convict of libelous essays (against who they know). Hogwash!

Stemmed from the fact that Orji and his aides can go as far as pressurising those they know that are telling the world the truth about Abia State contrary to the setback approach fermented in lies oozing out from the Orji-led government, they can go as far as cowing the spineless with fake and malicious stories, just as they labeled this writer ex-convict and nonsense sundry. This is even micro compared to the cowardly ways the government in Abia State has gone to taint its image, thinking that it is doing observers of the on-goings in the state. The other time it was the management of an online media – pointblanknews.com – raising alarm about the asserted threat to their lives from the Orjis. This is well circulated. The Orjis were purportedly threatening, because they perceived that the online media was exposing the ills of Orji-led government. Who knows how many editors/reporters in the print media in Nigeria that did not inform the threats to their lives from the Orjis? It happens that anybody that says that Orji-led Abia is not working is hounded. They did to this writer with their devilish reports!

Orji knew that his government has sank in the mud he built for himself with lies, therefore he threatened “his revenue thieves” with sack if they fail to generate at least N3 billion by the end of August. The failed-Orji held series of in-house meetings with the heads of those he threatened burning rage of sack to diagram ways of meeting with his financial expectations in order to stay in job. According to the news report as told by a top civil servant, who attended the meeting with Orji said: “The no nonsense mood displayed by the governor during the meeting we had with him was enough signal that he meant every word of his threat and you can only ignore it to your peril”.

This is a man who was boasting with promises to Abia people, when he obviously knew about the dwindling fortunes of the state in spite of its huge IGR base; hence he could no longer bear the shame. Who else is he going to summon after he had summoned commissioners and permanent secretaries and sternly warned them about the sunken ship called Orji-led Government of Abia State? It is something to applaud that Orji has just woken-up from sleep to notice that the state's coffer is dry. This is against his well make-belief story that his distanced predecessor was it who never allowed him utilised the resources of the state. Hear this: “He also threatened to dismiss and prosecute those hell-bent on milking the state dry,” the ThisDay paper reported. Is his predecessor responsible for this financial recklessness? Hooey!

Orji and his aides can do anything to hide whatever they are doing with the resources of Abia State but keen observers can never be deceived or cowed. Whether they tell the world that Abia earns 2 naira monthly, the truth will always float like a cork on the sea. What Orji is after are Civil Servants who may not be responsible for the alleged dryness of the state's money, he won't tell us about others. Hear this observer's palpable view: “Anybody that says Abia generates two hundred million monthly is economical with the truth. Keke in Aba alone is about 16, 000. Assuming that 12, 000 Keke are on the road daily with 100 naira each Keke pays to purchase the government-sold ticket, it amounts to One Million Two Hundred Thousand Naira only. Multiply that by 25 days; is it not thirty million naira? This amount is from Keke that plies in Aba alone. We are not talking about others in other places and other areas the state government generates revenue from. So, it's laziness to say that IGR in Abia is 200 million naira only. It simply portrays Orji and his aides as a people that are satisfied with Federal Allocation, and perhaps, use the internal generated resources to settle their cronies”.

While anybody may pity Orji about his outcry that the state is defrauded by the Civil Servants because he is a human being, can he also tell the people whether he has estates, lands and houses in parts of Abia State? Is this new thing added to Abia State revenue generation or degeneration? It is very unfortunate that Orji happens to be a governor in a state as Abia that boasts of renowned intellectuals. It is only in the failed government of Orji that Abia people are clamouring for the dissolution of the state and possible merging it with other states in the South-East or South-South for the sake of having a touch of development. Was Abia just created to make money for the Orjis? The governor would not tell the world that for many months workers in Abia have not been paid their salaries, not to talk of paying pensioners. Are other state governors that are not in Oil Producing States not doing far better than Orji? It is a pity that the only hope the people of Abia State have in Orji is in 2015 when his tenure will come to an end and the EFCC that has been warming up for him will pick him back to the gulag where he belongs.

It is very sad that the world is hearing about mis-governance and official criminality in the supposed 'God's Own State'. It is very sad that the good story that anyone can read about Abia State is how Orji will reconstruct Aba, whereas he has not been able to manage the resources in the state judiciously. It is also very sad that those who were supposed to tell the governor the truth are those who are in cahoots with the widely baptised worst governor since the beginning of Nigeria. Does Orji-led government operate with an auditor and the governor turned a critic of Civil Servants in the state? How was he sure that money were missing? Suffice it to say that he likes speech-making.

Odimegwu Onwumere,

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Articles by Odimegwu Onwumere