Ikenna Ellis Ezenekwe
“In the abundance of water the fool is thirsty…” “…how many rivers do we have to cross before we can talk to the boss all we have it seems we have lost haven’t we already paid the cost”, wailed an agonized late freedom activist in a musical rhythm to the oppressed people who seemed blindfolded by the illusionary gimmicks of a desperate and defiant captor – symptomatic of today’s potent quagmire the lovely people of Abia find themselves battling under captive grips of the ‘gamji-like’ illusionary distractions of a former governor and/or captor who have refused to leave the stage long after the music had stopped.
The man, Orji Uzor Kalu who governed Abia State for eight years of near rancor free governance, appears unrelenting in disallowing a rancor free governance for the administration which succeeded his administration. Beyond mere attempts at importing noisy distractions to the Ochendo administration, Orji Uzor Kalu has reached for the embarrassing depth of employing literal gangsterisim into the unfolding democratic dividends being experienced presently in Abia State.
In so doing, he has tapped on the Don Normans, Wabaras and the Onwumeres to spew voluminous nothings in the attempts to throw a wrench into the progressive efforts of the Ochendo administration of erecting legacy structures to form the foundation of future developmental efforts by subsequent administration. The Wabaras and Onwumeres, on their part, have gone about their tasks of continually authoring what they refer to as articles on the person of Gov. Theodore Afamefuna Orji on a daily basis – bereft of tangible or factual criticism, but filled with ‘gangster-like’ insults on the governor.
Take for an example one of the many publications titled “Agents Of Satan Now In Abia” by Odimegwu Onwumere written on July 23, 2014 where he utilized 903 words to supposedly narrate how the administration of Ochendo had opened the flood gates to ‘Agents of Satan’. He utilized the 903words to unleash unguarded insults on the person and administration of the Governor. One of the opening paragraphs reads, “Hoodlums could follow you immediately you open your gate and rob you without any fear, because they have seen that Governor Theodore Ahamefule Orji’s government is not serious and is one which has surrounded itself with touts and charlatans. These touts and charlatans are in his media team, retinue of aides and in other paraphernalia. The government is a government of buffoons, charlatans and touts.”
Unknowing to the author, the Ochendo administration has gone beyond what any of his colleagues in the south east geo political region have gone to achieve in the area of security. Particularly, in ensuring that the spat of kidnapping is brought to a near minimum. In his kneejerk attempt to malign the Ochendo administration, he forgets the giant steps taken by the Ochendo administration to bring down the notorious kidnap kingpin ‘Osisikankwu’. He forgets that during the reign of terror in Abia, businesses had left Aba to other calmer and safer climates. He forgets to add that 90% of those businesses have returned to Aba. Such businesses as Nigerian Breweries have returned to invest the sum of N15billion into the Abia State economy, the production of Dubic stout has returned in Aba in full gear through the assistance of Guinness, also the NNPC operations have returned to Aba after having departed following pipeline vandalism.
He certainly may not know of the Major General Sylvester Andrew Audu – led anti-kidnapping unit termed Operation Jubilee – which virtually wiped away the growing threat of kidnapping within the span of one year – through assistance from the Governor. The rehabilitation of the abandoned [abandoned by the OUK administration] Ohafia Barracks, now renamed Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Barracks may also had evaded his knowledge.
For the sake of fairness, his ignorance towards the real goings-on in Abia State can be blamed on his inability to read, comprehend and follow the policies and developmental trends in Abia state but his decision to revert to bold faced and unguarded insults on the governor cannot be excused or blamed on ignorance.
To cap his diatribe on the Ochendo administration, he ends the 903 words article with the following paragraph, “How to make Abia State a non-violent one in earnest, the government has over 70 per cent worth of duty to contribute. But sadly, this is a rotten system that does not welcome brilliant, visionary and optimistic critics. It is sad news in Abia State that truth is wanted not be told. Those who fight for the truth, fighting for the oppressed, are hated. Many people are sending their condolences to the death of Abia State under Gov. Orji. There is no good governance in the state. What is there is a dishonest government”.
In what appears accidental comedy, he refers to his 903 words write up as “…brilliant, visionary and optimistic critics…” and he continued “Those who fight for the truth, fighting for the oppressed, are hated.” But the author failed or forgot to observe that he did not criticize the Ochendo administration rather his article only repeated abuses and insults on the governor and his administrators without pointing to a particular policy of the Governor that aggrieves him. He also failed to point out the truths he claims he is fighting for, or who the oppressed which he claims he is battling for were?
The shameful truth is that the author had nothing substantive to say in his 903 word diatribe.
There is no shame in claiming the efforts of the governor of Abia State. The arguments over his performance has become an overly exhausted exercise – particularly for informed citizens of the State. The governor’s effort against the prevalence of crime has reached beyond arming the security agencies or providing security gadgets – it has reached to the youths of Abia State – through its empowerment program administered through the Ochendo Youth Foundation where thousands of vehicles and tricycles were distributed to unemployed Abia State youths for free. The vehicles included Sienna Toyota vans, Toyota Camry and the-likes including 11 assorted brands of vehicles.
Over 5,000 sewing machines were also distributed to youths who had chosen to be trained in sewing. This effort has considerably aided slowdown the rate at which youths in Aba and other urban centers engage in criminal activities. The erection of skill acquisition center under the administration of Ochendo Youth Foundation have been able to train numerous Abians in computer related skills, fashion and tailoring – along with giving start up grants to start new businesses of their own.
Beyond empowering the youths, the Ochendo administration has embarked of mass housing for the common citizens of the State. The housing scheme launched under the current administration comes as a virgin project to the state – since the OUK administration failed or rather refused to embark on a single housing scheme. Amongst the many housing project launched- are the Amachara Housing Project, New Workers Secretariat, Amokwe Housing Estate, Isieke Housing Estate, Trader’s Housing Estate, Abia State Government House, Ministry of Justice, Planning Commission, International Conference Center, Ultra-Modern Market Umuahia and others.