It is nothing new, especially to discerning eyes and minds what the Sun Newspaper opinion would be on Abia. T.A bashing has long become their favorite pastime. Obviously they have their reasons and one doesn’t need a soothsayer to tell why. The protest by Abia people in PDP against the reentry recently of the publisher of the Sun Newspapers, rabidly enraged the columnists, ranging from Adesina to Onuoha Ukeh. They, like a cobra trampled upon, bared their venomous fangs, rattling with untold fury.
Ukeh, who would not be impressed even if Sir T A Orji split his kingdom into two, leaving a half for him as was traditional with ancient kings, claims to be an Abian. I do not know exactly where but he wrote like the proverbial absentee in a burial who started his exhumation of the dead from the foot, a taboo in Igbo tradition and culture. It is certain that if he would be home for Christmas, he would not know the road to his village as a lot has changed. His claim in paragraph three of his ill motivated and baseless treatise in the Sun of Friday 7th December 2012 that Abia has degenerated from God’s own state to a land of thorns and thistles is not only full of mendacity but aimed at denying Nigerians and Abians of the true situation in Abia. This is highly regrettable because he is embarking on the negative. An unsuspecting mind should under normal circumstances rely on information from a newspaper no matter their political hue, religious and cultural coloration, but this not the case with Ukeh.
Let me take a rhetoric course-
Has Abia degenerated when we have peace and tranquility?
Has it changed from God’s own state when T.A. Orji has drastically reduced crime and kidnapping to the barest minimum?
Is Abia not the land of promise when new buildings are dotting the landscape, which Ukeh cannot deny as these are physical in geographical locations and serially chronicled by numerous newspapers who are custodians of facts and figures?
Projects which nobody has thought of previously like the towering international conference center, the commodous workers secretariat, the judiciary complex in Umuahia and Aba, built to aid administrative confidence and hasten the dispensation of justice.
The renovated magistrate courts in Umuahia and Aba, that have maintained their colonial status now wear new looks. The newly built high court and administrative buildings, the refurbish customary court head quarters and re-roofed House of Assembly and other buildings may not hold any attraction for Onuoha Ukeh. Do we start from the BCA new building and the improved aesthetics of most Local Government Areas headquarters? May be he has not heard about the new Government House new site at Ogurube layout, intent on redefining the makeshift look of governance in Abia.
If these gargantuan steps exists, what else should Abians expect?
Is it degenerated when there is a serious health update in terms of facilities where Abians have over 250 health centers to cater for their health needs? Or the first-of-its-kind diagnostic centers in Aba and Umuahia with dialysis centers thrown in?
May be the road networks and new ones flagged off in Aba with terminal dates.
Ukeh was stunned silly in paragraph five where he loudly lamented against the protest by Abia people in Abuja over Orji’s re-entry.
He rightly captured that Orji has a fundamental right to associate with any and went further to profile decampees and returnees and I will go rhetoric again-
When Senator Abaribe returned were there protest?
When Senator Nkechi found her way back was she not received with open arms?
Was it not with fanfare that Vincent Ogbulafor came back even becoming secretary and chairman of the PDP?
Did chief Nwodo not lead a powerful delegation to Abia, urging Ochendo to come back to PDP, employing figures of speech Like recovering the lost ribs and T.A being a strong striker to make up a perfect eleven- an analogy of soccer that appeals to a cross section of Nigerians.
So why these avalanche of protests against Orji Uzor Kalu? If OUK has a fundamental right to associate with Abians and other people of his choice, Abia people equally have rights to protest a leprous association that can infect all, leading to political viral infection.
Orji Uzor Kalu as we know him may be testing the waters, after all, he boasted of being nonpartisan and party-less in Guinea where he was guest to the number one citizen there, “I am not playing partisan politics, and thus do not have presidential ambition for now, I am not a member of any party. Name it, PDP, PPA, APGA, UPP, or what have you,” said Ouk.
Talking about the non-payment of salaries and pensions of workers in Abia, all should know that the governor is more pain-stricken when such occurs. If you take a survey, nobody has treated the workers better than T.A Orji. He has done much promoting them a level ahead, clearing arrears of pensions he inherited from previous administration and instituted the new minimum wage higher than other states. The present delay may have been caused by the moves to sanitize the payment system through the data capture and biometric system. Some years ago, federal workers had the same problem when they started the e-payment system.
Notably, Ochendo throughout his first term did not owe workers, no wonder the mammoth turnout for his reelection.
Ukeh should do more researches on facts. That he has a column is not enough reason to be careless with facts and throw pebbles recklessly. Among other things, he should visit his home more regularly.
Kalu should have some introspection, maybe some self purging. Ethelbert Okere left a template that should not be ignored on page 64 of same paper. Those who have eyes, let them see, those with ears, let them hear.