By Henry Umahi
THOSE who call Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State a miracle worker could be on point. Also, you can hardly fault those who dress him in the admirable robe of a road-master. Whether you love or despise his politics or administration, you cannot but recognise his footprints in the state.
In the beginning, Abakaliki, the capital of Ebonyi State, was a glorified village. The state, in general, was obscure, rural. It had little to offer in terms of modern or state-of-the-art facilities.
But things have changed. Coming into Abakaliki now, you behold a beautiful city, a city with an enchanting road network, alluring lawns and trees. It is a patch of Eden.
Indigenes of Ebony State, who had been away for a while get a pleasant surprise when they come home. They are usually amazed by the developmental strides of the Umahi administration across the state.
Umahi has transformed the state, particularly Abakaliki, which is fast turning to a smart city. It is one of the fastest developing cities in the country. If you visit Abakaliki at night, when the overhead bridge lights and streetlights are on, you will be reminded of Shanghai.
Driving round most of the towns is now a pleasure. Motorists and other road users are having fun while entrepreneurs are taking full advantage of the facilities by opening business concerns across the state.
Some of the flagship projects eliciting excitement are the three completed flyovers in Abakaliki and the glass tunnel nearing completion. The glass tunnel is one of its kind in this clime. .
Umahi’s robust approach and unique governance style are his selling points. The governor hit the ground running immediately after his first inauguration. He has performed brilliantly in infrastructural development, agriculture and other areas.
Before now, Ebonyi was the backwaters of the South East. But not anymore. Interestingly, Ebonyi is one of the poorest states in the country in terms of revenue allocation from the Federal Government. But without doubt, Umahi is a good manager of men and resources. The state government has also reconstructed federal roads.
Ebonyi State under Umahi as governor has witnessed unprecedented progress in the history of the state. His administration so far has washed off the age-long stigma of backwardness associated with the state. Ebonyi people are now very proud of who they are. This has been achieved by the physical development in the nooks and crannies of the state as evidenced by massive infrastructural projects, with emphasis on township and rural roads, drainage projects and many more. There is urban renewal even as the rural areas are being opened up.
Furthermore, he introduced a variety of agricultural initiatives and the result is that the state has become the food basket of Eastern Nigeria. Ebonyi rice is hot cake in the country today. Of course, he has won many awards for revolutionising agriculture in the state, among other things.
He has also delivered democracy dividend to the people in terms of availability of quality health facilities, prompt payment of workers’ salaries and in other areas of governance.