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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Abia: When evidence marks the end of argument

THERE is a passage very common among the Ibeku people in the present-day Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State. It is a passage used to draw home a conviction over an issue in dispute.

It is put thus: “Lekwa onye ohii, lekwa ihe ozuru’’, grammatically interpreted as: “Behold the thief as well as his loot”, while in the literary term it connotes that evidence will surely mark the end of an argument or doubt over any issue. For some inexplicable reasons, many unscrupulous characters have sprouted within the past few years and assumed commentators on a catalogue of issues comprising both the serious and mundane with Abia in focus.

There has been a contraption of intellectually bankrupt pessimists who have wished that the stagnation that was Abia remained the lot of the state. Fortunately, Governor Theodore Orji, being conscious of history, has already chosen his part, while posterity will be his judge. Then their usual mantra was the swan-song of non-performance.

Notwithstanding all, Governor Orji left no one in doubt of his determination to turn around a state which administration he inherited when the state in all ramifications and rating was lying prostrate. His attempt at the inception of his government left no one in doubt that the man was in a hurry to transform his state. But little did he know that what he thought was a patriotic agenda would earn him umbrage and calculated sabotage from those who ran with the hare in the day, and at the same hunted with the hound.
However, with hindsight, the Governor had to take his political destiny into his own hands since “he that wears the shoe knows where it pinches”. Since then, Governor Orji has known no political peace as every arsenal at the disposal of his traducers have been deployed to tarnish and rubbish his efforts.
One thing though is that the Governor himself was not oblivious of the onslaught expected from these reactionary agents who would have given anything to remain as devourers of the people’s commonwealth.
It is then no surprise that for daring to leave a once prostrate state better than the comatose condition he met it, he has become the target of politically-instigated campaign of calumny. Nothing would placate the gladiators unless the treasury of the state is handed over to them. They engage the services of their Internet rats to publicly masturbate about morals and service delivery in their own understanding.

The Orji administration, within the period of its liberation from the stranglehold of now expired political buccaneers, has shown determination to turn around the fortunes of an ordinarily promising state which suffered initial still-birth owing to the incompetent political midwives. But thank God as Ochendo has been able to restore the years eaten by the locust. From education to agriculture and power. From security to health, commerce and industry, judiciary and infrastructure, the government has left its marks as depicted by the legacy projects to its credit.
Did it not take the withdrawal of the accreditation of the law programme of a neighboring state university headed by the immediate past president of ASUU for the people of Abia to appreciate that the commitment of their governor to elevate the standard of education in his state was beyond the rhetorics of a political campaign rally. If it was Abia State University that lost that accreditation,  hell would have known less fury than the government of Ochendo.

The taste of the pudding, they say, is in the eating. While others revel in dancing to the gallery, Abia operates with the Latin legal maxim: “res ipso loquitur”, meaning that the facts will always speak for themselves. And as we say in our local parlance, the self-glorifying story of “Dee John’s exploits in the war will only be believed when we see his military boots”. Apart from the tertiary institutions, there has been silent upgrade of facilities and infrastructure in the public schools in Abia courtesy of the present administration. The feats are only made known through the awards given to the state by policy makers and regulators in the sector.

Also, power has greatly improved in the entire state that residents in the state now enjoy steady electricity supply. In Abia today, people can predict the period and time of supply from energy source. The ripple effect is economically felt as small and medium scale enterprises rekindled the economy, ending crime.

Governor Orji came into office when no single industry in the state was operating. While  the privately-owned ones like International Equitable Association, Nigerian Breweries and Dubic Breweries had closed shop, government-owned industries, especially in the hospitality sector, were sold to the cronies of the then Lords of the Manor. That was how Abia Hotel Aba and Umuahia went on economic sabbatical.

That was also the case of Golden Guinea Breweries, Modern Ceramics, Ogwe Golden Chicken and Abia Rubber. Even state-owned corporations like Abia Marketing Company, Abia Newspaper Publishing Company became ghost corporations. Ochendo got some of the industries back to their tracks.

Today Dubic Breweries is back to the shelf with its products, Nigerian Breweries has returned to Abia while the reactivation of the both the Golden Chicken and Abia Rubber has long commenced.

Mr.  KINGSLEY EMEREUWA, a commentator  on national issues, wrote from Umuahia, Abia State.