A PERFORMING GOVERNMENT DESERVES TO BE RETURNED â€“ MAZI DONATUS OKORIE (SSG)
Abia is known as 'God's own state'. Are there things or constraints militating against its growth?
WELl, when you talk about constraints, it depends on how somebody tries to look at what constraints are. In the context of what you are asking for. You see, if wishes were horses, beggars will ride. There are so many demands competing for the limited resources of government.
First and foremost, the major constraint is inadequate funds or financial constraints. As a government, even for an individual who is in business, no amount of funding will be considered enough. But be that as it may, the government of Abia State, ably led by Dr.T.A.Orji has been on top of the situation.
Let's look at the politics of the state. Do you think the present government is in a good stead to be returned to office next year?
I agree with you that a performing government deserves to be returned. In the past three years of this administration, I will say without any fear of contradiction that it has been three years of non-stop action. He has been able and will continue to deliver on his divine mandate to the people of the state.
This administration has been described as all sector-friendly administration; without discrimination whatsoever. Every sector of the nation's economy is very important for the progress and development of 'God's own state.'
Abia State is volatile politically, in the sense that it is ruled by PPA, and not the big PDP. How do you look at the scenario?
I beg to differ. Abia State is not in any way volatile. The governor, T.A.Orji, got the overwhelming mandate of the people on the 14th of April 2007, and since then, he has been managing the affairs of the state to the best of his ability, and to the admiration of all, including the opposition. Abia remains the most peaceful state in the nation. There is nothing like being volatile.
Yes, the opposition is there and it is important that the opposition should be there. A virile opposition makes for sustainable and vibrant democracy. But, it should be opposition, whose contributions are constructive and not destructive. The governor did not mince words when he assumed office by extending the olive branch to all and sundry in Abia State, having been elected overwhelmingly. Party politics aside, he is the governor of Abia State, even though constitutionally he came to power on the platform of Progressive Peoples Alliance(PPA).
Do you think good governance and performance alone can make him to be returned to power in 2011?
Good governance remains very fundamental in what we are doing as a government, even as a nation. If there is good governance as already being experienced and witnessed in Abia State, all other things will fall in line. If there is good governance in Abia State, it will facilitate and enhance peaceful co-existence. It will reduce restiveness, it will reduce tension. It will reduce unnecessary bickering among the citizenry. So, to say whether good governance can guarantee his coming back to power in 2011, God willing, is to state the obvious. He is coming back because he has kept faith with the people of Abia State and not with individuals.
Now what advice do you have for the opposition, based on these facts you have reeled out?
My candid advice is that Abia is God's own state. It belongs to all of us, irrespective of party affiliation. Like I said earlier, the governor on assumption of office, extended the olive branch to all and sundry to join hands with him, to make life better for the people of Abia State. Politics is not a do or die affair. I recall the late Chairman of GNPP, the apostle of politics without bitterness, Alhaji Ibrahim Waziri. And that is what I encourage every one of us to imbibe, the spirit of sportsmanship. The most important thing is going to the Olympics and not necessarily to win. If God says it is not your turn, there is nothing you can do about it.
So, nobody should lose sleep on whether he will be there or not. All should join hands with the good government of Chief Dr. T.A.Orji. He has done well and will continue to do well, even beyond 2011.