Written by Odimegwu Onwumere
The Abia State Government recently said that its tribal work policy was not intended for Rivers State indigenes. This was after it banned the civil servants who are not from the state to look for the route of their states of origin in what it termed incapability of paying the rattled N18, 000 minimum wage to those who are not paternally indigenes of the state.
The sudden review of the sack of non-indigenes from the state’s civil service must have brought to the state unavoidable shoddy traits. A cross-section of Nigerians has not taken it lightly with Abia since the government loquaciously made the ugly policy public. Even though the disengaged workers are allowed to come back to the state, Abia will never remain the same in the eyes of the discerning public as a ‘human rights’ state. It is still amazing why the state government in its circular issued to recalling the sacked non-indigenes, those from the South-east is exempted.
The move by the government to appeal and appease the Rivers State Government that its indigenes are not vulnerable to the economic tribal war is a welcomed development. However, the Abia State’s act in the first place will leave any observer, biting his or her finger of what the fate of other Nigerians who were forced to leave the state are. This act of sending people to their states of origin is not in any way how to take Abia State to the next level. There is no point in distracting those whose state is not Abia State that are living and working in the state.
Abia State Government has wasted energy in the wrong direction by that behaviour. If it had channeled its energy to eradicate the bedeviling poverty that has characterised the entire state, it would have been very appealing and people would see development in the state. We didn’t see that. Whoever that sold the idea to the Abia State Government to have a case against non-indigenes, sold an unsalable item. Governor Theodore Orji is just generating a bad case. This looks like he is giving reasons for failing in governance.
We don’t see any benefit in sending non-indigenes in any state packing. This is not making Nigeria comfortable for us and does not show or translate that such state is on ground and that it is in charge and that Abia State is a truly a homogenous state. We will accept that it is a PDP state. But come to think of it, some of those who were forced to pack from Abia State could be PDP stalwarts who laboured for Orji’s re-election. He didn’t even consider them based on party fraternity.
Orji should not be boastful that PDP in the state won the three Senate seats and all the eight House of Representatives seats and the House of Assembly 24 over 24, when he could not accommodate his fellow Nigerians in his state. This single act has disqualified him as a patriot, father and what have we. His act is unconvincingly bestiality. He has failed, judging by his shear discrimination. People are not proud of him, and have never been. PDP may be regretting his act, as many Nigerians have condemned him.
He is no doubt proud as a governor and proud of PDP, but how many people are truly proud of him and his shenanigan government? Now is the time he should repent and apologize to Nigerians, having gone that far by sacking Nigerians in his state and shown us that he is truly PDP.
What he has done will never be beneficial to Abia State. This is not the way to canvass for the people on the basis that a state belongs to the central government. This is not the way to give concessions in the government to people who voted for him. He chased them away when they have voted for him. Orji’s act is a criterion for disqualifying him in any future political engagements. Abia State has competent people, but Orji seems not to be one, because his single act against the non-indigenes in his state has shown that he lacks diplomacy and idea for a better Nigeria. It does not project him and his government in good light.
This is a man who cannot attract the federal presence in Abia State to work the hell called federal roads in the state, being so tribalistic and biased. His inept judgment on the roads has always been, “Most of the roads that are bad here are federal roads.” This brings to fore what he is doing with Abia State money if the roads there are federal roads. Is this the way how the Federal Government can come and take up responsibility in the state when people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria are hounded out of Abia State?
Orji may not be a very happy man for treating fellow Nigerians the way he has done by what Nigerians have told him on the media. Abia will never benefit from it. This is manmade imposed brain drain on a people. This is not the way to commence. Energy will never come from division in Abia’s small-scale government activities. There are many things the non-indigenes can do for Abia, whereas Orji is looking for federal might to develop the areas of Agriculture – cocoa and cashew.
Orji has brought shame to the South-East that was recently crying that it did not get a fair treatment from President Goodluck Jonathan and PDP in the sharing of the pickings of the last general election, with the view that the performance of the president and the party in the zone, either the Senate president or the Speaker of the House of Representatives slot should have been zoned to the area as their right. Such act of Orji against the non-indigenes in his state has made people to cover their faces in shame, whether he likes it or not. Nigerians can’t remember how this thing started with Abia State. Rivers State Government should watch Orji and his Abia State for the waver they gave to Rivers indigenes, because a government that cannot accommodate everybody irrespective of tribe or creed cannot be trusted.
Odimegwu Onwumere is the Coordinator, Concerned Non-Indigenes In Rivers State (CONIRIV). Mobile: +2348032552855 (or) +2348057778358. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org