Monday, 8 September 2014

Article: The True Friends Of Abia State

Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State

By Mecha Udo

My state of Abia is in the news and this news is very elating, for so very long we have carried on as if there is no conscience in Abia nay Igbo land.  Recently a section of the press has risen to expose the charade that has been going on in the state in the name of governance. The people of Abia have been living in squalor for the past seven going to eight years, their rights are being trampled, and their collective patrimony being so shamelessly pilfered and frittered by a few equally shameless persons masquerading as operators of government. The rot has been evident all over the state, is it in its decrepit infrastructure; or in the denial of freedom of expression and association; or is it in the destruction of the once vibrant economy of the state; or is it in the dominance of thugs and criminals in affairs of state, Abia, and Abians are being badgered on all sides, and for so long, nobody spoke up.  Today, people are at least speaking about Abia, and it gives me joy.

I salute the Prince from Ukpo. At Umuahia, he did not say what we did not know, but he said what we have been cowed from saying. Equally deserving of respect is Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, who has courageously accepted, but regretfully, his role in encouraging Abians to go with this government.  I salute the courage of Chief Chikwe Udensi, who factually, truthfully and in a most civilized manner exposed the serial failings of the present government. There are others who have also lent their voices to the call for the arrest of the slide to despotism, anarchy, total decay and brigandage that the state is unfortunately slipping into even as at this moment, I salute you all, but it has to go beyond just talking.

There has also been an outpouring of extremely insulting diatribe from the government’s henchmen, under the guise of a defense for the government. Unfortunately in all these ill advised reactions, the crux of the matter is often obfuscated. The government people are unable to explain to us the constitutional position of the son of a governor, or even indeed his wife in the democratic dispensation we claim to be practicing, they have not insulted the huge refuse dumps in Aba away, neither have their thugs in their usually unbridled anger bulldozed their way through all the roads in Abia to make them passable again.

They have neither shown us the new investments that this government has attracted to the state nor have they explained to us why the industries they met on ground all lie comatose. They have been unable to understand that their obscene and insensitive billboards, lying side by side with the total absence of any form of governance in state, deceive no one, but only provoke anger and expose them as men of low self esteem. They fail to understand that the billions they spend to launder self battered images compounds their accountability problems. They have not shown us the true pictures of the following streets in Aba: Ajali Street by Abam street, Dan Fodio Road, Eziukwu Road, Unity street, Obiora street amongst other roads and streets in Aba. They have not accounted for the fish caught from the river on the once very prominent and busy Milverton Avenue. We know that it was the Sun Newspaper’s artist that created the impression of huge refuse on George’s Road Aba, but we expect them to show us the true state of that road.

In their bellicose disposition, they have been unable to explain to us why no new model schools or hospitals are being built in the state, even as that has become the standard practice nationwide. They have been unable to explain to us why Abia seems to have been excluded from Mr. President’s Transformation Agenda. They have not explained to us why, despite Mr. President’s known desire to visit our state, he has been unable to do so. Could it be because Mr. President would have nothing to commission in the state thereby exposing the underbelly of those who fly his party’s flag in the state and by so doing embarrass himself?

If these men are not able to show us substance they should forever remain quite! Insults do not build roads, nor do they establish hospitals, they only expose the mental hollowness of those who throw them. We must bring an end to this rent seeking, deceptive praise singing sycophancy.  The government in Umuahia needs a breath of fresh air, these demented and misguided souls should leave the government to see reason and address the issues being raised, for they are real and they are true. We need to work to correct them, it is time to take the message and leave the messengers.  It is only a true friend that will tell you that your mouth is emitting offensive smells, he will further strengthen that friendship by recommending the right mouth wash and tooth paste for you to use.                       

I have my fears about the presence of hirelings and false prophets in the Abia government. A study of the book of 1st Kings Chapter 22 will reveal the reasons for these fears. Several entreaties have been made and are still being made to this government to turn a new leaf and deliver some semblance of governance in the state, and all these entreaties have been falling on deaf ears. The determination of the government to continue on the part of infamy is simply inexplicable, worrisome and bizarre. I fear that we may just be playing out a King Ahab situation in Abia. It does appear that the government is now prisoner of some false prophets who pretend to be representing it but in deed are only leading it to total self destruction.

Let us get real and ignore the abuse of the word ‘‘Legacy’’ in Abia, what real legacy will this government leave, come May 29, 2015?  What account will it render?  It is simply unimaginable and unbelievable that Abia receives and collects the highest revenue in the South Eastern region, yet we remain grossly under-developed both in structure, people and spirit. While it is quite easy to navigate from Awka in Anambra state, to Umuahia within an hour or an hour thirty minutes, the trip from Umuahia to wherever else in Abia becomes a nightmare to be wished away, yet Abia collects and receives more revenue than Anambra.  It is important to advice those in government that there is life after government house and there is no immunity after government house. While Mr. Peter Obi straddles all over Nigeria a proud man, what will be the fate of those who will leave government house Umuahia in May 2015 (in a few weeks time)?

I plead with those in government that whatever the people may have done that has irked them so very much that they have decided to visit us with such venom they should find a place in their hearts to forgive us. This plea is in the interest of our collective selves (the oppressed and the oppressor), for those who throw water sachets from hiding today, will openly hurl offensive missiles in future.

There is still enough time to clean up the city of Aba, repair the roads by filling up the pot holes, clear the drains and the refuse that deface the city and so very much threaten the health of the people, and at least give some measure of service to the people. The day is already too gone for any major project to be executed, but something can still be done. The challenge thrown by the APGA Youth Leader in paragraph 6 of their advertorial in the Sun Newspaper of 5th September, can still be taken up, though not immediately, but may be, sometime in April or early May 2015. With the right attitude and spirit this can be achieved.

The friends of this government are those who are pointing out its failings, because they do so out of love for the fatherland. How can it be said that a government came, promised nothing, did nothing but destroyed everything it met?  This will not be a fair testimonial for this government except it wants it to be so.  Those who ate out of the hands of the predecessors of this government; who today castigate and hurl insults at players in that government; and are shouting themselves hoarse in defense of the present government, will also lead those who will march against incumbents of today, when they leave the stage tomorrow, for tomorrow will surely come. It is in their character for they represent nobody; they stand for nothing and believe in nothing. These are people that must be avoided.

It is time to dismantle the government’s propaganda machinery, as it serves no purpose what so ever anymore. The people are no longer sucked in by the deceptive materials that this set up churns out. The wind has blown and the rectum of the chicken has been revealed; exposing extremely ugly and disgusting sights that needs very urgent clean up. Whoever imagines that these campaigns of falsehood are making any impact must be suffering from an acute case of schizophrenia. Funds saved from the cessation of these senseless campaigns should be applied to delivering real service to the people  

This government should be thankful to organizations like the Sun Newspaper for providing them materials with which to storm Abuja. I second the Prince’s recommendation that help be sought from the Federal Government. To give effect to this, it is hereby suggested that the pictures of Aba, that left my eight year old son’s mouth agape, be forwarded to the Presidency by the Abia state Government. Those images are an embarrassment to the Government of Abia, to President Goodluck Jonathan, to the Federal Government of Nigeria, to the people of Nigeria as a whole and an insult to Africa. Even pigs will reject such squalid environment. Would the PDP led Federal Government go to campaign in Aba in its present state? God forbid.

Furthermore, the high handedness of the the government must be jettisoned for a more conciliatory stance with the people, (politicians and non politicians). Abia is for all Abians, and not for a few, our choices and preferences may differ, but we are all duty bound to allow the full expression of these divergent choices and preference, that is why we are in a democracy, or are we not?.

Genuine efforts must be made to reign in thuggery in the state. A situation where a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is openly harassed by thugs with guns and other dangerous weapons on a Federal highway in broad day light, portend very grave danger to the state and the nation at large. No one should be so deceived that he/she has the sole right to determine who contests an election in the state. Citizens of the country are free to engage in very free and fair electoral contests, it behooves the electorate to either elect or reject them. Contestants must be allowed to have their day in the field. Alhaji Fintiri of Adamawa state recently won the PDP primaries in the state despite the obvious preference for other candidates by the party at the national level. This is the new trend in the nation’s political space. The demagogues in Abia should wake up and smell the coffee.    

It is important that the security agencies deal with the incident of the harassment of Senator Nkechi Nwogu decisively. There are on-going claims and counter claims on the evolution and sustenance of the Boko Haram sect in Northern Nigeria. The menace, losses and embarrassment that this sect has caused the nation can only be imagined. In the Niger Delta region, it has also been suggested that the militants that terrorized the whole region and the nation for years were products of political thuggery. We create another army in the South Eastern region at our own peril. We must all be reminded about the fallout of Dr. Frankenstein’s experiment with human creation, further it is common knowledge that a bullet has no name on it. Those who harassed the Senator must be exposed and shamed, so as to deter others from toeing this path of evil.

It is instructive to note that just over 100 days after the coming into power of His Excellency Mr. Willie Obiano, all the thugs in Anambra have been chased away.  While this evil culture of thuggery is being rejected in climes so very near to us, our politicians are falling over themselves to entrench this practice. The politics of Nigeria is changing for the better, governments are responding to the needs of its people, societies are being modernized, improved and better catered for, and elections are now fairer and better organized.  The governed now have some say in the affairs of most states. It cannot be different in Abia, after all we are part of Nigeria and refuse to be left in Egypt while others move to the promised land.     

The outgoing administration should indeed focus on making efforts to deliver something positive to the people before it leaves office, to do otherwise will be a calamity. It should refocus on service delivery and abandon its present attempt at installing a government, as this is an exercise in futility. It is sheer hubris for them to imagine that they have what is takes to provide a successor government to them after their abysmal failure. In fact it will be extremely unwise to align with any person or persons who have any linkages with this visionless government. We do not need their recommendations nor do we need their guidance.  Let the people chose those that will govern them.   

Let the contestants engage us and communicate their programs to us, so that we may choose right. We will elect the best to fix Abia and not nuisance that cannot fix their kitchens. There will be no wuruwuru to the answer, Abians cannot be fooled by anyone any more. Even the attempt at seeking a representative position at the National Assembly by some key players in this administration is extremely ill- advised. It begs reason to imagine that a dancer who had the stage to himself and controlled the music and the instrumentalists, having failed to take a single correct dance step, can now move on to dance at a bigger stage with another 105 dancers from different backgrounds, none of whom control the music nor the players of instrument. Whoever sends such a dancer as a representative has opted wholly for non representation.

When King Ahab hardened his heart against God’s advice, God did the unusual by allowing a lying spirit to enter into the prophets that ministered to Ahab and they all ministered false hood to him. Despite this the Lord God in his infinite Mercy gave Ahab a second chance and allowed Micaiah a true prophet to reveal the truth to him, Ahab still refused sound counsel. The end of King Ahab is well documented in the Bible. It is time to resist the false prophets for they prophesy nothing but lies and falsehood that only lead to spiritual, political, social and other forms of destruction.

A call is again made today that the state must return to the path of righteousness for “righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people”. Abia must be wrested from the clutches of gross incompetence, and from those who are so drunken by power that reason has been blighted from their consciousness.

This humiliation of our father land must be stopped as we have nowhere else to call our own.Stand up for Abia that Abia may not die but live to attain its God destined position and glory.

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