Abia remains a state with huge potentials but has suffered due to poor visionary leadership.We need to rise up and take back our lost glory…
Chinedu O. Nwosu
Abia State is facing hard times. The economy is not doing well. Insecurity is on the rise. Restive activities of the youth have crippled certain segments of the society. There are troubles in the ruling political party. Amid all these, the current and immediate past Governors (Chief Okezie Ikpeazu and Chief T. A. Orji) are not making it any better for the people of the state. Their inadequacies shine through from terrible policies and programmes, insecurity, economic plan and a host of others.
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When one weighs the accomplishments of Governor Orji Uzor Kalu who served as governor from 1999 to 2007, against the current happenings, one would shed tears. Beyond his exemplary leadership style, he enshrined the ethics of a noble statesman as the indigenes enjoyed the dividends of good leadership in all sectors: Education, Sports, Health, Labour, Security, etc. Kalu, popularly called OUK, is a foremost businessman who delved into politics to salvage his people and the fortune of the state from decadence after years of military rule. His success made it easy for the state to truly earn the appellation – God’s own state! But, with the current happenings in the state, one wonders if the title is still justifiable.
Abia State should be one of the best states in Nigeria, in terms of revenue drive/generation and infrastructural growth, taking its proximity to the ports in Rivers State, but currently the reverse is the case. It is one of the poorest states, South of Nigeria. The current governor, Chief Okezie Ikpeazu, does not know what it means to prioritise needs. A governor that once wanted to embark on the construction of an airport in the state without standard markets and commercial activities taking place in it. State and local government workers haven’t been equitably paid, and no viable project has been commissioned in the state for many years. One wonders where all the revenue accruing to the state goes. Ikpeazu is one of the governors that squander federal government allocations on frivolities.
This is not so surprising going by the precedence that ushered in the current administration. The former Governor of Abia State, Chief T.A. Orji, can be said to be the chief architect of the backwardness in the state. The ex-governor turned senator is among the worst performing governors in Nigeria. With all the huge funds accrued to the state, Abia State’s commercial hub (Aba), in terms of infrastructural development, is very backward.
There are no good roads in the town, no drainage, no light and no water. The government has also done nothing in salvaging the precarious security situation of the state. Abia State has been plagued with two consecutive bad leaders. They have not mapped out ways in dealing with the insecurity or embarking on massive infrastructural projects in the state.
The only glimmer of hope remains the next general elections where Abians will rise up to say NO to bad governance. It is in this light that the need to review the scorecard of these administrations remains sacrosanct. Every Abian must note that the forthcoming elections can be our moment of rebirth or it can prove to be our swan song depending on those we choose to lead the state. Abia remains a state with huge potentials but has suffered due to poor visionary leadership. We need to rise up and take back our lost glory by installing leaders who have the expertise to lead the state to the Promised Land.