• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Abia: The real beginning


Not even a newborn whose brain is still a tabula rasa will disagree that today’s Abia State has witnessed a new dawn, especially when compared with the jokes and caricatures of yesteryears. That is why I cannot help but laugh out loud when I read publications stating otherwise. The worrisome trend is that promoters of these falsehoods are proxies and hirelings who for a morsel of bread have despised professionalism in a bid to satisfy their master’s desperation. But it was Uthman Danfodio who left mankind with the undisputable truth: “Conscience is an open wound, only truth can heal it”.

In light of the above, we cannot wish away the glaring reality that successive military and civilian governments in Abia State at one time or the other mindlessly ignored the place and importance of history. But given that Abia was destined to find its bearing, God bestowed on the state a governor who knows the importance of stocktaking.

As the Igbo say, after the race, the miles will be counted. Today, the inevitable demands of history are beginning to put every administration in Abia State on the balance. As this happens, it becomes clear that this distractive charade of hauling insults at Governor T. A. Orji for putting Abia on the path of socio-economic growth will only fling open long-forgotten wounds and earn its authors the wrath of Abians.

Take it or leave it, no trumped-up allegations will be meaningful enough to diminish the matchless milestones that Governor Orji has instituted in Abia State. Posterity will ceaselessly commend him for saving residents of Umuahia from the nightmare of having to cluster daily at Isi-gate all in the name of buying and selling. The certainty is that old Umuahia market has moved to the spacious Ubani neighbourhood where over 4,000 shops have been fully occupied by traders.

The essential values that former administrators of Abia State could not allocate when they had a chance to make history cannot be wished away in one idle statement. Consequently, no syntax will be cogent and rational enough to bamboozle Abians into justifying the absence of a permanent Government House, until Governor T. A. Orji came and inaugurated one. I would rather that people hold their peace and free themselves from the ignorance of casting aspersions without making verifications. Umuahia which was a glorified village before Governor Orji’s eventful tenure has been duplicated in the new Ogurube Layout which is being modernised on a daily basis.

The reality of Abia’s new beginning is firmly anchored on the truth that the governor is growing the state afresh. The creation of a matching identity has evidently eluded Abia until now. Civil servants in Abia are gleefully partaking in this re-branding given their recent occupation of a brand new and imposing workers’ secretariat. This vista is indeed a triumphant victory over 20 years of having to operate from schools, antiquated buildings and rented apartments.

The Ogurube neighbourhoods, which metamorphosed into the new half of Umuahia, had earlier celebrated the erection of an International Conference Centre large enough to comfortably seat over 3,500 guests in one event. Expectedly, hotels of different stars, size and shapes are springing up and strategically waiting in the wings to consummate the regular business windfall that is bound to come from the use of the International Conference Centre.

Contrary to what obtained before now, Governor T. A. Orji’s constant propagation of unity and harmony has left in its wake unprecedented sense of belonging, making every geo-political enclave in Abia State a proud partner in project Abia.

Having literally begun from zero, Governor Orji was confronted with the monumental challenge of tackling decades of negligence inherited from past administrations. In its place, he has made the state structurally receptive. The glaring truth is that when stocks will be taken, you rarely can talk about legacies in whatsoever facet of human endeavour without acknowledging the ubiquitous exploits of T. A. Orji.

Today’s medical tourism for which Abia is featuring prominently is an undisputable function of the governor’s synergy with Me-Cure Health Services, which produced Abia Specialist Hospital and Diagnostic Centre. Just as Abians were getting done with that achievement, the governor followed suit with the inauguration of Dialysis Centre and Eye Clinic.

Not even the blaze of locating over 600 health centres in all the nooks and crannies of our rural areas could assuage Governor Orji’s taste for more medical milestones. Consequently, he has inaugurated 100-bed hospitals in each of the 17 LGAs of the state, and which he has sworn to deliver to Abians before the expiration of his tenure.

Adjudication of justice in Abia State High Court will henceforth be carried out in an tranquil atmosphere under a cosy office complex located in Umuahia and Aba. To ice it up, Abia State Ministry of Justice currently boasts of one of the most modern structures in the state, aside from the ongoing high-rise JAAC and ASUBEB buildings.

It is not my stock-in-trade to dissipate energy with critics whose aimless line of thought has turned them into tingling cymbals. But it is imperative to remind them that since August 1991 when Abia was created, the state Government House has operated from a private property. But all that will soon be in the past following Governor Orji’s avowal to spend some nights at the new Government House, which is being rapidly constructed at Ogurube Layout, before he leaves office in 2015.

Government-labour relations has become a reference point that even in the face of obvious scarce resources and next-to-nothing streams of income, the T. A. Orji administration has complied with every payment regime in the state, ranging from CONMESS, CONHESS, USS, TSS and the new minimum wage. In addition, Golden Guinea Breweries plc is being rejuvenated to help put food on the tables of teeming Abians and Nigerians.

Indeed, T. A. Orji’s gubernatorial stewardship is associated with innumerable new vistas never known since the creation of Abia State that space and time will always restrict us the luxury of accommodating all. Let us always spare a thought to consider that if past administrators had given us the head-start we craved for, the headache of doing it now would have been channelled to other critical sectors.

Iyke Ogbonnaya