|A Street In Aba; Abia State|
Civil Society activists and non state actors under the umbrella of Save Abia Now Group met at Freedom Park, along Park Road Aba, Abia State, on the 26th of August 2013 to take stock of major human rights and governance issues as they affect Abia State on the occasion of her 22nd Anniversary. The occasion also provided a platform for the group to articulate an independent alternative view and assessment of the development in the state and the much touted legacy Project of the present Administration.
The group after due considerations and resolutions of all facts came to the following conclusions:.
1. That Abia state has come a long way as state in Nigeria after its creation in 1991 by the
2. Government of Gen. Ibrahim Babanigida.
3.That the state has had several military and civilian led government with the current occupier being Chief T.A.Orji (2007-till date)
4. That the state has produced many personalities that have served and serving the nation in various capacities and has made meaningful contributions to the socio-economic growth of the country.
5. That Abia state is also among the oil producing states of the Niger Delta as well as beneficiary of derivation accruing there from.
6.The group further stated that Abia State has two Major cities of Umuahia and Abia: the former being the capital city while the latter is the commercial nerve centre of the state and indeed south east of Nigeria, Despite the High federal Allocation and Internally Revenue accruing to the state it lends credence to the appalling lack of federal presence and infrastructures decay which signifies the failure of the PDP led Government in the State.
Save Abia Now Group held that in spite of the relative age of the state and resources available to it both material and financial she has been adjudged as one of the least developing state in terms of human capital development and infrastructure like debilitating states of roads at Aba and other parts of the state
The state with the high record of human rights violations in terms of social, economic and political rights typified by the sacking of non-indigenes from the state civil service, backlog of unpaid salaries of the civil servants, non payment of pensions and gratuities of retired senior citizens of the state.
The state with very high level of fiscal indiscipline and non-implementation of budgetary provision.
State with notorious use of the state apparatus in exploiting the already inflicted citizenry through illegal taxation especially the suffering Aba traders. A state known to have low tolerance for opposition and a high record of scuttling the freedom of information and independence of the media which is the beauty of Democracy
Save Abia Now state that the government in Abia has nothing to show for six years of its Administration, except a verbal report of the state brand of youth empowerment of Tri – cycles, the much touted Legacy Projects and avalange of electronic media footage in NTA and AIT, bill boards of works not done and Sponsored Advertisements in National Dailies with the Tax payers Money.
Save Abia Now of the opinion that any conclusions reached without objective assessments based on real appraisals of existing democratic structures that promotes and sustains popular participation, accountability, and good standard of living for the populace is dubious and criminal. The case of Abia State is a clear example. A state which has refused to domesticate FOI law, Fiscal Responsibility Law, Public Procurement law and other instruments that uphold human rights and respect for rule of law, siphoning of the SURE-P Funds meant for safety nets and Youth Empowerment, Lack of Job opportunities for teeming unemployed youths of the state, Diverting of the local councils funds through the caretaker committees , non conduct of Local Government Election, disdain for civil society and opposition, Such Government can be scored high in good governance rating by low rate personalities and sycophants’. Save Abia Now called on Abians to take their destiny in the hands by choosing wisely in the forth coming 2015 General Election and protect their votes to bring the desired change the state is clamouring for.
The Group further advised the Governor to immediately resign for his inability to perform the functions of his office in accordance with section 17 sub sections 3, and section 20 and 21 of the 1999 constitution as Amended or mass action.
Barr. Slyvanus Alex-Igwe -Chairman
Human Rights lawyer
Save Abia Now