Governor T.A. Orji and the National Honour
The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State, Mr. Charles Ajunwa a fortnight informed that his boss has been named for the prestigious National Honours Award as Commander Order of the Niger (CON).
It was learned that the award tagged award of excellence for distinction, would be conferred on the governor along with other well-known Nigerians by President Goodluck Jonathan on September 29, 2014, at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
In the camp of the governor, it is an honour well deserved. To Ajunwa, the award was a memorial of the governor's talented and farsighted leadership. Ajunwa believed that the governor has tailored Abia on the road of greatness.
Ajunwa's press briefing partly reads: "There is no gainsaying the fact that His Excellency, Chief T. A Orji has laid a solid foundation for the economic and socio-political growth of Abia. Ever since he courageously liberated the state from political bondage and economic stagnation, Abia has witnessed rapid infrastructural transformation.
"He has also democratised Abia's political space such that even the opposition today criticise government without fear of intimidation or molestation unlike what previously obtained when the opposition went on self exile during the years of ruin and locust.
"It is evident that the array of legacy projects dotting the Abia landscape today is as a result of his prudence in managing scare resources as he has not mortgaged the future of Abia by accessing funds in the bond market as some of his counterparts who make the most of racket have done. Orji has judiciously managed the resources of the state to work for the state without incurring any debt.
"Apart from legacy projects, Governor Orji has also excelled in human capital development and youth empowerment thereby giving hope and future to thousands of Abia youths who were before he came on board willing tools in the crime industry."
Ajunwa highlighted some of the impacts of the governor in the state that qualifies him for the national honours, saying that since the inception of the present government, Abia State has not only become a peaceful and endowed place, but has also become a much-talked about state in term of good governance. The CPS whispered that Abia is under the leadership of the well-focused administrator, which he said that has evidently shown the world that democracy is working in Abia.
In the words of Ajunwa: “The relocation of Umuahia Main Market is now a reality after 78 years of prevarications by past governments including the colonial administration. In place of the old market, the Umuahia Modern Market at Ubani Ibeku, is now a beehive of business activities. The market with over 7, 000 shops is purpose-built with facilities such as motor parks, banks, fire service, adequate water supply, good network of internal roads, among others. Even before the completion of Umuahia Modern Market, the new Industrial Market had taken off at Ahiaeke Ndume in place of the old Timber Market, which was contributing to congest the capital city. These two modern markets have become reference points in expansion of commerce and job creation.
“In the last one year Ochendo has added more health facilities to the ones he had already built. Dialysis Centre and Eye centre have been added to the ultra modern Specialist Hospital thereby creating a full medical complex where citizens can receive quality medical service of international standard. It has always been the dream of Ochendo to make available in Abia State the same medical facilities that Nigerians seek in foreign lands in what has become a phenomenon of medical tourism.
“As he built the well equipped tertiary health facilities, Governor Orji is equally focused on transforming both the secondary and primary health care system to make quality health care services available to the people at the grassroots. The primary Health Centres have continued to increase in number as quality health care services is being taken to the doorsteps of Abia residents. At the last count the Primary Health Centres have reached over 300 and still counting. Some of the 100-bed hospitals located in the three senatorial districts of the state have been completed and fully equipped while others are nearing completion.
“It was this evidential transformation of the health sector that prompted the Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA) to recognize Governor Orji and honour him with the award of Prime Ambassador of Health at the 37th AGM/Scientific Conference of NOA last July. This group of specialized health practitioners was so much impressed with Ochendo's achievements in the health sector hence they conferred the award on him to fully capture his “contribution in providing phenomenal leadership for the advancement of health care.”
“Over the last one year of democracy Day celebration Abians must also count their blessings for what their governor, who presides over a knowledge-driven administration, has done in the education sector. The primary and secondary school system have witnessed massive transformation with the hitherto dilapidated classroom blocks giving way to modern facilities conducive for teaching and learning. The model schools springing up across the state are designed to lay a solid foundation for the education of Abia children. It is the belief of Ochendo that if we get it right at the first two level of education the problem of falling standard of education would be taken care of.”
Ajunwa said that his boss is the best governor in Nigeria, because he has kept his promise of giving Abia State a facelift with his 'legacy projects' aimed at laying a solid foundation for the economic growth of the state. Ajunwa added that his boss has done well on road infrastructure. And this has continued to receive adequate attention in the governor's development agenda. So, he was not in doubt when Governor Orji was named as a recipient of the national award.
Madubuko Hart writes from Lagos