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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

There Is Good Governance In Abia – By Madubuko Hart



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Abia state governor, Theodore Orji presenting cheques to some of the beneficiaries as part of their empowerment during the 2014 youth empowerment programme for Arochukwu, Ohafia and Bende at Bende Local Government headquaters in Bende LGA
Abia state governor, Theodore Orji presenting
cheques to some of the beneficiaries as part of their empowerment
during the 2014 youth empowerment programme for Arochukwu, Ohafia and
Bende at Bende Local Government headquaters in Bende LGA

Many critics of the Governor Theodore Orji-led government of Abia State perhaps think that by lying against the governor and his government they could gain something out of their lies. They have done it again in an article published in the businessworldng.com with the title, “Young Igbo, Nigerian-American lady Ogba Petitions Jonathan Over Abia Governor’s Extravagance (part 1)”.

The lies that were contained in the article were glaring with many avoidable errors here and there in the syntax structure by the petitioner, something that has made the article null and void. The petitioner jettisoned decency on the altar of lies and jam-packed everything, hearsay, and makes them to be swallowed as truth, just to please her masterminds of that article against the governor.

She wrote about the governor’s wife and the tales by moonlight that she was nursing House of Representatives ambition for the 2015 era to represent Umuahia/Ikwuano Federal Constituency, when Madam Odochi through her aides had debunked such claim as the make-belief story of detractors. Madam Odochi Orji had even made a press conference debunking the news making the rounds that she was contesting, let alone, any elective position in the 2015 election year. Yet, people continue to post malicious stories against her.

To clear the air surrounding the much hyped political ambition of the wife of the governor, one of the aides had earlier written thus: “The attention of the wife of the Abia State Governor has been drawn to a false report circulating in social media to the effect that her Excellency, Mrs. Odochi Orji, is running for a House of Representatives seat under the platform of People’s Democratic Party, PDP.

“The purveyors of this falsehood also circulated a purported campaign poster, apparently manipulated with Photoshop as evidence of her participation in the 2015 electoral process. We wish to state categorically that the Governor’s wife is not interested in any political office including a House of Representatives seat.

“At no time did she indicate any interest in elective political office and a cursory check at PDP secretariat Abuja will confirm that she did not at any time purchase expression of interest or nomination form to contest for any position. However, she appreciates the overwhelming support of well-meaning Abians and residents to her husband and family through the years.”

But assuming the woman has such an ambition, why must she be chastised? Was there no time in the recent past that an ex-governor’s younger brother in Abia State was House of Representatives member in which other constituency’s slot, which was Ngwa, was occupied by the man who was from Abia North District? Ordinarily, such letter by the petitioner should not be attended to but for posterity. The letter was the semblance of the image or poster of Odochi that traducers have been circulating for the fun to please their paymasters, when in the actual sense the woman was peaceful and occupied with the service to her immediate family and her pet project to leverage the fates of the downtrodden in Abia State.

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An observer once wrote that Governor Orji’s “Legacy Projects” cut across every sectors of Abia State, which include Education, Agriculture, Infrastructure, Health etc. According to the examiner: “The philanthropic and kind gestures of his son should not be relegated or neglected because this is a man who has personally done tremendous things to shelf off the burdens of Abia citizens even though that he was not in any position of authority. The Ochendo-led administration and its goods works towards the transformation of a new a New Abia state will never be forgotten so soon by Abians.”

However, it is obvious that the office of the president is much occupied to attend to such thoughtless thought by the petitioner called petition against Governor Orji. This is not how to garner publicity. The petitioner cannot put asunder to the peaceful relationship that exists between President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Theodore Orji. Mr. President knew that the governor is doing his best. Remember that January 16th, through 19th 2013 the Federal Government through the now ex-Minister Labaran Maku led a Good Governance Media Tour to states across the country and Abia State was not exempted.

Quoting Eddie Onuzuruike verbatim who captured the event: On Saturday January 19, 2013, the National Committee on Good Governance, led by the Hon Minister for Information, a man who has gone through the mill of governance and service to humanity, Mr. Labaran Maku, after their rigorous four day tour of project sites in Abia State, assembled at the Michael Okpara Auditorium, the biggest indoor gathering space, in an uncommon aggregation of two ministers, His Excellency Sir T.A.Orji the host, national President of Nigeria Union of Journalists, Abia Leaders of thought like Gen Ike Nwachukwu, who has meandered from dictatorship to democracy, Dee Bob Ogbuagu, one of our living legends whom the Minister publicly acknowledged as his general manager, when he was a mere reporter for Champion Newspapers.

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Onuzuruike continued, equally present were the ex officio member of the PDP, Mao Ohuabunwa, Rep. Arua Arunsi, Prof. Chibuzor Ogbuagu, vice chancellor of Abia State University and a cross section of Abia people who interacted cohesively…. According to Maku: “I was impressed with what I saw in Abia State; I had said previously that Abia was grossly under reported.” Onuzuruike had written that the leader of the National Council of Women Societies NCWS, Mrs. Mba Okemiri, a member of the Good Governance team, spoke freely and impressively, extolling the degree of governance in Abia and the enormous impact of the skill acquisition center.

She ended with a fiat that women should not be discriminated against and should be given their fair share of governance. The Minister of Finance who doubles as the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, an Abia wife and outstanding woman, an occupant of a high seat in Nigeria due to her cerebral capacity, conveyed felicitations from the presidency and hinted on her efforts at releasing a whopping amount of 49 billion for palliative repairs of the South-East roads to ease the movement during the yuletide season. She equally promised further facilitation of infrastructural works in the Southeast geopolitical zone. The Hon minister for information took the lectern, and like the teacher he was, graphically elucidated what he saw. According to him, it was a discovery for him to realize again that Abia is studded with national heroes past and present. For emphasis, he mentioned Michael Okpara, JTU Aguiyi Ironsi, Ebitu Ikiwe and many others. He vehemently acknowledged that there is good governance in Abia.

He reeled out projects visited like: the diagnostic centre, the new Secretariat touted to have the first elevator in Abia State, the International Conference Centre, Ultra-modern high court in Umuahia and the gigantic 48 room BCA complex. Others are Amachara General Hospital in Umuahia South LGA.  In Aba the Geometric Power Station and the IPP at Alaoji which will make Abia a UPS- uninterrupted power supply and the rail line repairs in Eziama Aba to mention a few. He talked about the Joint Account Committee and ASUBEB complexes where he laid foundation stones. As he said, Abia of 2013 is far ahead of Abia of 1999 when he last visited… Mr. Maku quipped that Abia people are lucky and should compare what is happening in other states especially the security situation in the North.

.Hart writes from Lagos

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