By Collins Agbo
To write is to start an argument. This argument is that ideas rule the world. It is also true that these ideas do not come ordinarily. They are divine. They are divine. They come from God Almighty. And they impact positively and permanently on the affairs of ever-needy humanity.
Hegel might have alluded no less to the above scenario when he opined in his famous book, Philosophy of Rights (English Translation, 1945, p. 2950) as follows: “The great man of age is the one who puts into words the will of his age, tells his age what its will is and accomplishes it. What he does is the heart and essence of his age; he actualizes his age.”
Granted that no human is adjudged perfect, and perfection only exists in the realm of the spirit supra, it is worthy to recognize and appreciate the fruitful efforts of the human population geared at attaining the glorious status of divine approval unto perfection. This, of course, does not come anyhow. Its source and course is selfless and sacrificial service to mankind. Without any fear of contradiction, this writer makes bold to state that H.E. Engr. David Umahi, the executive governor of Ebonyi State, roundly fits into this category of persons that eminently qualify for superlative mention here for his uncommon and glorious landmark achievements in the Salt of the Nation state, since assuming office on May 29, 2015. He has done much and needs to be appreciated at all material times in the history of Ebonyi State.
Much like Edmund Burke (1729-1797), Engr. David Umahi, FNSE, FNATE, believes that good order is the foundation of all good things. Accordingly, he instituted a system of administration that ensured that democracy dividend are delivered at all levels of the state, community, local government areas, state and federal agencies in the state. This is awesome and unprecedented in the history of the state.
True to his “Akubaraoha” title, Gov. Umahi empowered the various communities and town unions and integrated them into the administrative architecture of the state to ensure seamless and timely delivery of democracy dividends to the people at the grassroots. Projects and government largesse meant for the people are tracked by the town union presidents and made available to the target population. Aside from this, the passionate and visionary governor frowned at the low status of most traditional rulers of the communities and vowed to change the ugly trend. Today, all the recognized royal fathers are not only promptly paid their monthly stipend but also provided with SUVs to ensure that they are effectively mobile.
They never had it so glorious!
Also, the local governments in the state have been stirred to work by the burdened, visionary and action-packed workaholic governor of the state, Engr. Umahi. All the council secretariats are tarred. The presence of the state government is ubiquitously felt by the myriads of life-impacting projects, completed or on-going in them. In Ohaukwu LGA, my hometown, the renovation of Ezzangbo General Hospital and construction of a state-of-the art overhead bridge at Ezzangbo Junction are eloquent testimonies to the governor’s forthrightness and commitment to good governance. These projects will definitely speak at the appropriate time. For now, Ohaukwu people say a thunderous thank you to His Excellency, Engr. David Umahi.
At the state level, the governor’s landmark achievements are awesome and intimidating. Much has been written about these in the past by many patriotic citizens and friends of the state. Suffice it to mention just a few of them in this writeup. They include, the Ebonyi shopping mall, Ecumenical Centre, New Government House, plethora of overhead bridges spread across the three senatorial zones of the state, Ebonyi International Airport, Ebonyi State University Medical College at Uburu, and a network of concrete roads, even in the rural areas of the state. It is heartwarming to state that these projects are quite solid and aesthetic by all known international standards. This explains why Ebonyi State is popularly referred to as the Dubai of Nigeria and tourist detination today.
Aside from the above, Gov. Umahi’s administrative ingenuity and tentacles also span other spheres of social life. For instance, it is a tradition of his government to frequent the various hospitals across the state to bankroll the medical bills of less priviledged patients and provide succour for them. Oftentimes, many who have visual challenges are mobilized, taken to eye specialist doctors and their problems treated on government account. It is also on record that, since assuming office in 2015, the Umahi led-administration has never relented in putting smiles on the faces of civil and public servants in the state by providing Christmas largesse to them. Rice and money are provided to enable them celebrate with their families. Even staffers with federal establishments get their fair share from the largesse.
This accounts for the goodwill and massive solidarity he enjoys at the grassroots. How else can the people appreciate a man that sacrifices so much to enhance their status?
The governor’s penchant for peace and security notwithstanding, this has become a serious threat to the glorious landmark achievements of his administration. This is not peculiar to Ebonyi State anywhere. However, the governor is not leaving any stone unturned to combant the hydra-headed monster. Just recently, he donated to operational vehicles to the various security outfits in the state to scale-up their combant readiness and return the state to its quite and peaceful status.
But those who are sponsoring crisis across the state with a view to vitiating the glorious landmark achievements of the Umahi Administration and gain some political points, come 2023 General Elections are advised to desist from the unpatriotic act. Instead, they should join hands with the governor to fix the state. Let them also remember Prof. Chinua Achebe’s timeless statement that “if a man pays respect to the great, he paves the way to his own greatness” whatever aman sows, he will reap (Gal 6:7). Falsehood, hate-speech and cheap blackmail will not win election in Ebonyi State come 2023! Loyalty to the ideals of the state will do!
Yes, times are tough! But the David of our time has taken a tougher stand to manipulate them and change the negative narrative for Ebonyi people. This is the path of burdened and visionary leadership. Change and transformation are the watch words. Most great leaders took their subjects through this rough, chequered and painful path. They obliged them and letter rejoiced that they did. Think of Moses and the Isrealites, Queen Elizabeth I (1558), George Washington and the Americans (1696)., Wistin Churchhill and the Bristons (1940), Mohandah Gandhi and Indians (1916), to mention a few. The feats of these great leaders linger till date. Their people celebrate and enjoy their legacies of sacrificial and visionary leaderships. This is the road, Gov. Umahi is taking Ebonyians through. And our experience shall not be different. We must be better for it.
The truth is that change is a costly venture. Great changes are costlier and needs collective efforts. Hear Edward Beecher loud and clear:
“Great changes do not begin on the surface
of the society, but in prepared hearts;
in men who, by communion with God, rise
above the apathy of the age, and speak
with living vital energy, and give life to the
community and tone to the public mind”
Ebonyians, this is where we are. And we should appreciate the governor for bringing us here. The inconviences are worth taken (Richard Hooker, 1554-1600). Apostle Paul may also be addressing us as he encouraged the Roman believers in the following scriptures:
for I reckon that the sufferings of the present
time are not worthy to be compared with
the glory which will be revealed in us (Rom 8:18).
This calls for sacrifice, resilience and work. Let us cooperate with the government of the day in fixing our dear state on solid ground for posterity. All hands should be on deck to achieve this. Gov. Umahi knows the way. He has taken the lead. Let us queue behind him; political leaders and civil servants alike. This is our opportunity to write our names in gold. Our Lord, Jesus Christ enjoins us no less:
“As long as it is day, we must do the
Work of who sent me. Night is coming
When no one can work (John 9:4).
All, work. H.E. Engr. David Umahi is working .
Let’s appreciate him by cooperating with him.
No sacrifice is too small.
Thank you, Chief David Umahi for taking Ebonyi
to greater height.
God bless, the Akubaraoha 1 of Nigeria.
•Hon. Agbo is SA to the Ebonyi State Governor on Ease of Doing Business and Diaspora Matters