Okey Sampson, Umuahia
Former Governor of Abia State and Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Kalu has commended the people of the state for their steadfastness, selflessness and patriotism.
According to Kalu, the political class must place the collective interests of Abians above personal ambitions in a bid to improve the common lot of the people.
Describing Abia as the commercial hub of the South East, the former governor called on government at all levels, to support the business acumen of Abians.
He stated this in his goodwill message to mark the 29th anniversary of the creation of the state.
Said Kalu: “As we mark the 29th anniversary of the creation of Abia State, we must join hands with government in the development of the state. As peace loving people, we must continue to work harmoniously and collectively, to improve the well being of Abia State.
“Abians are hardworking, patriotic and compassionate and as such, we must shun violence and other social vices in a bid to take our state to greater heights. As elected leaders, regardless of party affiliation, we must make the welfare of Abians a top priority in our agenda.”
The former governor while urging Abians to remain peaceful and law-abiding, called on the political class to embrace constructive criticisms.
Meanwhile, Dike Nwankwo, leader in Ukwa land, has said Senator Kalu, did more for Ukwa people than any other administration.
He said after the administration of Kalu, the people of the area have been sidelined in the scheme of things by subsequent governments.
“Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu is the only Abia governor who did something tangible for Ukwa people,”he said.
Speaking in Umuahia, Nwankwo said it would be an understatement to say Ukwa people were currently being marginalised, adding that the right word to use was that the people have been sidelined and abandoned.
He said but for Ukwaland, Abia State wouldn’t have been getting a share of the 13 per cent oil derivation, but regretted that there was no investment in Ukwa from a government that is benefiting much from resources endowed in their land.
“We have no presence of government in Ukwa land over the years due to neglect and abandonment. The old infrastructural facilities have all failed. Our road is impassable and yet Ukwa land is the place where the oil Abia State lives on is coming from. It is unfortunate that the Obehie -Owaza- Azumuri road is in critical state right now. It was the administration of Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu that last did something on that road because of his love for Ukwa people. We were using it before it became bad, yet no other government has considered it essential to fix it, or at least provide palliative work to make it usable for our people,” he said.