1st February, 2014.
AS SCRIPTED BY CHIEF (SIR) DON UBANI; KSC, JP
(OKWUBUNKA OF ASA)
It is with joy that knows no bounds that we; the entire people of Abia-South Senatorial Zone of our God’s Own State of Abia, do welcome you, Sir and your very dear wife, Her Excellency, Lady Mercy Odochi Orji (Osinulo) to this grand civic reception holding in this very serene academic environment of Abia State Polytechnic, Aba.
For any genuine group of people to roll out drums to celebrate a personality, that person must be, indeed, a leader that is worth being honoured. The people of Abia-South primarily came into contact with you as early as 1996 when you were the Administrative Secretary of National Electoral Commission of Nigeria; NECON, in Abia State. As that position was strategic, it became inevitable that political actors from the zone would have one or two or even more things to do with you in that capacity. The story our people heard each time our political participants came back from Umuahia was that ‘there is a gentle-man at NECON Office at Adelabu Street whose yes is his yes and who would always offer the best piece of advice without any selfish motive’. They would conclude by saying that ‘his name is Chief T. A. Orjil; the Administrative Secretary.’ The name ‘Chief T. A. Orji, therefore, became a household name without many of our people coming into direct contact with you.
Being a man whose destiny has been divinely tailored towards greatness, many more of our people were to have either personal or group encounter with you in your capacity as Chief of Staff at the Government House for eight consecutive years. The more our people met you, the more your good news spread.
Your pedigree and antecedents which had been made manifest during your tenures as Administrative Secretary of NECON and Chief of Staff, therefore, fascinated the generality of Abia-South people of Aba-North, Aba-South, Obingwa, Ugwunagbo, Ukwa-East and Ukwa-West to rally round you in your quest to become the Chief Executive Officer of God’s Own State in 2007.
To buttress the confidence the people of Abia-South have in you, they were doggedly unanimous in your return election in 2011. In the same vein, Abia-South was overwhelmingly supportive of the Governor’s party and our people’s party; the People’s Democratic Party, P.D.P in all the elections in 2011.
There is no gain saying that all the support and loyalty the people of Abia-South have been giving and showing to Your Excellency’s administration is simply a reflection of the fact that Ochendo is the leader they can trust and have trusted.
The good people of Abia-South, being the only geo-political zone where the nomenclature ‘Ukwa na Ngwa’ fits in, have the following quantifiable reasons to justify their support for Your Excellency and their continuous confidence in your administration;
(1) Choice of Gubernatorial Running Mates: The people of Abia-South would gladly want to recollect that since 2007 when Your Excellency emerged as a democratically elected governor, you have always chosen indigenes of Abia-South as your Deputies. We want to say that we are happy that you had and still have very cordial relationship with our son and brother; His Excellency, Rt. (Hon.) Erich Acho Nwakanma, who had meritoriously, loyally and efficiently served as your Deputy. His Excellency, Col. Emeka Ananaba (Rtd.) is an illustrious son of Abia-South. Your Excellency chose him out of your own volition. This is a gesture the people of Abia-South appreciate immensely and are happy that our son is discharging his responsibilities very loyally and creditably.
(2) Appointments in the State Executive Council: The State Executive Council is the highest policy-making and policy-implementation organ of government. This accounts for why a group of people usually feel uncomfortable and even agitated when they do not have one of their own in their State’s Executive Council. The people of Abia-South are comfortable that each of the six local government council areas of the zone has a commissioner of cabinet ranking in the State Executive Council. Your Excellency, Sir, we are grateful and would wish to assure you that Chief (Sir) Don Ubani, Chief Chisom Nwanmuo, Chief Chinwe Nwanganga, Mrs. Florence Nwogu, Chief David Chigbu and Elder Godwin Nna would not only serve loyally, but will equally serve diligently and transparently.
(3) Cordiality of Relationship with our Representatives: We want to commend Your Excellency for creating the enabling condition that has encouraged and sustained a harmonious bilateral relationship between your administration and our sons, daughter and residents who represent Abia-South at the State House of Assembly, the House of Representatives and the Senate. This cordial relationship has been affecting our people in a very positive way.
(4) Appointment of a Minister in the Federal Cabinet: The people of Abia-South would recall that apart from the brief stint Chief Emmanuel C. Adiele had as a Federal Minister of Communication under President Shehu Shagari in 1983, no indigene of Abia-South had been privileged to serve as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. But to the glory of God, Your Excellency’s era as Governor of Abia State brought about a change that made one of our dynamic sons, Chief Emeka Wogu, a Federal Minister of cabinet ranking; Hon. Minister of Labour and Productivity. The people of Abia-South are grateful and would pray that you may convey our gratitude to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
(5) Appointment of Chairman of Traditional Rulers’ Council: We are inclined to note with satisfaction that Your Excellency’s administration has always accorded maximum respect to the traditional institution in the state. The people of Abia-South, therefore, feel excited and grateful that Your Excellency recently appointed a Traditional Ruler from Abia-South, His Royal Majesty, Eze Eberechi Dick, as the Chairman of the State’s Council of Traditional Rulers. We want to assure Your Excellency that His Majesty will be upright in the discharge of his royal functions.
(6) Infrastructural Turn-Around of Abia-South: Quantifiable history has it that apart from the Late Governor of the Old Imo State, Chief Sam Mbakwe; Ph.D, you are the only Governor that has taken up the problem of infrastructural decay of Aba and its environs. In this regards, the people of Abia-South would want to appreciate your efforts in rehabilitating such roads in Aba as; (i) Brass, (ii) Milverton, (iii) Ube, (iv) Omoba, (v) Obikabia, (vi) Aba-Owerri (vii) Azikiwe and (viii) Faulks.
(7) Youth Empowerment: It is an indisputable fact that since the creation of Abia State in 1991, no administration except yours has addressed the economic problems of the youths of Abia-South. What your administration has done in this respect is, for all intents and purposes, reflective of the genuineness of a leader that cares for his people.
(8) Giving A Face-Lift to the State Capital – Umuahia: The stark reality that Umuahia is the state capital of God’s Own State has always been appreciated by the people of Abia-South. As lovers of good things, the people of Abia-South are pleased to commend you for transforming Umuahia into the status of a befitting state capital that all Abians can be proud of. The legacy projects that are evident in all the nooks and crannies of the capital city are surely good architectural and infrastructural edifices to behold.
(9) Development of a Sea-Port at Obuaku-Ndoki: Long before your administration, many Nigerians, even including many enlightened sons and daughters of Nd’igbo, had, out of geographical ignorance, borne the impression that the South-East of Nigeria is land-locked. But being a visionary leader, the truth is now being made manifest that the Blue River/Imo River confluence at Obuaku-Ndoki is only twenty-five nautical miles to the Atlantic Ocean. We are thankful that your administration is working committedly to establishing a sea-port at the confluence town of Obuaku.
(10) Plan to Establish a Refinery in Ukwa-West: The untiring effort of Your Excellency to bring in investors that will build a refinery in Ukwa-West has not, in any way, gone unnoticed by the people of Abia-South. We are satisfied by your zeal towards achieving this set-goal, which, when achieved, would drastically address our present problem of youth unemployment and its attendant restiveness.
(11) Infrastructural Cum Academic Transformation of Abia State Polytechnic, Aba: Before the emergence of Your Excellency as Governor of God’s Own State, the Abia State Polytechnic, was like a glorified monotechnic. The people of Aba-South are, therefore, elated to observe that Your Excellency have impacted very significantly positively on the Institution both in terms of infrastructural development and academic upgrading.
(12) Plans to Relocate Ahia-Udele At Waterside, Aba: The people of Abia-South would want to show solidarity with the drive of Your Excellency’s administration to relocate the ugly-sited Ahia-Udele at Waterside, Aba. The presence of that market as presently located, constitutes a gory tale on the aesthetics of the commercial city of Enyimba.
(13) Co-ordinated Onslaught on Baby Factory and Child-Trafficking: As Nd’igbo and practicing Christians, the people of Abia-South appreciate children as precious gifts from God and treat them as such. We were, however, shocked to the marrow when we realized that some persons have developed a different attitude towards children by setting up baby factories within the zone and trafficking on children. We, therefore, want to salute Your Excellency’s unprecedented courage in fighting this menace and more particularly, the recent demolition of a five-storey baby factory at Okigwe Road, Aba. Ogbughereuzor, bravo and well done, Sir!
(14) Upgrading of College of Health, Aba to a Polytechnic: The news of elevation of College of Health, Aba which had been a monotechnic to the status of a Polytechnic is very cheering and we strongly believe that Your Excellency deserve to be applauded.
(15) Reconnecting Abia State to Nigeria’s Mainstream Politics: In Nigeria’s brand of federalism, any State governor that declares a self-imposed antagonism against the central government would rightly be adjudged a political lunatic and one who has no love and consideration for his people. Abia State, having gone through this self-imposed madness in the past, the people of Abia-South would want to hail you for reconnecting the State to Nigeria’s mainstream politics and we believe that every well-meaning Abian would agree with us that this decision is one of the best things that have happened to the State.
(16) Restoration of Security and Safety in Abia-South: Of all that man needs on planet earth, security ranks next to none. When man’s security is guaranteed, he could ask government for water, light, roads, schools, hospitals, markets, employment, contracts, etc. but as soon as security of his life and property is threatened, every other thing automatically becomes immaterial. At the backdrop of this reality, the people of Abia-South are humbly excited to thank Your Excellency for the extra-ordinary and unrivaled courage you put up in confronting the hydra-headed menace of kidnapping and general insecurity that engulfed Abia-South between 2009 and 2010 when our people were forced to desert their homes and became emergency refugees.
(17) Open Declaration of Commitment to Equity on Power Rotation: This grand reception for Your Excellency by we; the people of Abia-South, offers us a golden opportunity to celebrate you as a quintessential leader that thrives on equity, justice and fairness. We acknowledge you as the only sitting Governor that has had the sincerity and courage to say that since Abia-North had produced a Governor for eight years and Abia-Central, as symbolized by you, sir has produced a Governor that is in his second tenure that equity naturally demands that next Governor of Abia State, come 2015, by God’s grace, shall be of Abia-South extraction. It is our belief that no right-thinking person in Abia State, Nigeria or any part of the globe can fault your assertion. Come to think of it and constitutionally-speaking, there are only three zones in Abia State; (1) Abia-North, (2) Abia-Central and (3) Abia-South. What Your Excellency have simply said is that what is sauce for the goose is equally sauce for the gander. This philosophy was long propounded by a famous orator from Abia-South, the late former Deputy Governor of Old Imo State, Chief Isaac Uzoigwe, when he said; ‘e mere nwogwugwu, e mere nwanosike, echetakwa da nnedie nno l’ulo’. For making this pronouncement of equity, our Almighty God will continue to bless and will plant in your household equity, justice and fairness. We, hereby, assure you, Sir, that the six local government areas of Abia-South parade indigenes from whom a capable successor could be had. Our people feel so excited that our Royal Fathers have resolved to confer on Your Excellency the very unique title of ‘Ogbughere Uzor Abia-South’. You have, by this singular expression of commitment to equity, bulldozed our road to democratic partnership, collectivism and brotherhood. We salute you, the first lady and all Abians.
As developed as the United States of America are today, if the Governor of any of the States should visit any part thereof, the residents of that State would still present some demands. This is justified by the simple fact that as long as a society grows, the needs of its inhabitants would also grow. Sequel to this, the people of Abia-South wish to make the following requests:
(1) Further Infrastructural Rehabilitation of Aba: As we had earlier stated, Your Excellency have done a lot in order to give the commercial city of Aba an infrastructural uplift. We know that the more roads are rehabilitated in Aba the more the internally-generated revenue of the State would grow. We, therefore, pray that Your Excellency would cause to be rehabilitated such strategic roads as Port-Harcourt, Uratta, Obohia and Ohanku.
(2) Employment of Abia-South Youths: We may not overemphasize this request as Your Excellency know that once the youths are meaningfully engaged, they would be very law-abiding and productive.
The people of Abia-South would, for the umpteenth time, assure Your Excellency of our unalloyed loyalty and support. We also wish to join millions of Abians who have been urging Your Excellency to make up your mind to serve Abians in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We make bold to say that the people of Abia-South, just to express how dear Your Excellency are to us, would be very happy to have Your Excellency as the Distinguished Senator representing Abia-South in the Senate come 2015.
Once again, we thank Your Excellency and your dear wife for making out time to respond to our desire that we accord you a befitting grand civic reception.