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Inexorable Momentum of Development in Abia State

Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State

By Chief (Sir) Don Ubani

Political economists have always propounded that the quantum of development of any segment of the human society cannot be divorced from the quality of its leadership. Leadership quality, in this context, encompasses vision, mission, self discipline, transparency and, of course, personal commitment to leaving legacies for which one would be remembered.

Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State

Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State

It, therefore, follows that even at the lowest rung of the human society, which is the family, the growth of its members hinges mainly on the father of the house. That children in a family attend school and eventually end up as notable personalities in the society while some in other families do not is a manifestation of the differences between the leadership quality inherent in the respective families.

The volume of quantifiable and substantiable successes of any leadership may not necessarily be determined by the enormity of resources availableto it at any given time. If a society is led by a group that is morallybankrupt and deficient in management of resources, no matter the abundance of her resources, such a society is bound to suffer from a jaundiced socio-economic growth.

On the other hand, a disciplined, transparent, visionary and determined leader can create resources and wealth from nothing by being proactively and mentally articulate and resourceful.

It is only a leadership that is bereft of vision and developmental objectives that would take solace in being satisfied with non-performance only on the flimsy excuse of paucity of resources. A determined leader would always create resources and wealth where indolent and mentally castrated leaders would only resort to complaint.

Every well meaning and enlightened indigene of Abia State, who is broad-minded and sees issues from the angle of truth, would attest to the fact that the state is among the states in the Nigerian Federation that receive the least allocation from the Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC). If the current leadership of the state had been one that is devoid of vision and mission, what the administration of Governor T.A. Orji could have been managing to accomplish would have been to pay the emolument of the work force of the state and nothing more.

Rather, due to leadership focus that is characteristic of the state Governor, the state has continued to churn out series of developmental strides. Starting from road infrastructure to civil service secretariat, International Conference Centre, State of the art school and court buildings, New markets, E-library, Modern motor-parks, Youth empowerment and initiating to build a government house for the first time in the twenty-two years of the state’s existence, the list is inexhaustible.

With only seventeen months to constitutionally bow out of Abia State Government House, not a few observers and critics would conclude that the Governor would only be concerned with the natural desire to round off on-going projects.

But alas,’ the Governor has proved every economic pundit wrong. On Thursday 31st October, 2013 Ochegburugburu led the State Executive Council to resolve that the State Government would commence arrangements for the construction of an air-port in Abia State.

Without mincing words, this resolve by the State Executive Council is justifiable for many reasons. Nobody would contradict the assertion that Abia people are among the most ubiquitous and mobile among Nigerians.

The economic significance and benefits derivable from the establishment of an air-port in Abia State need not be over-emphasized.

As Abians applaud Ochegburugburu for the inexorable momentum of development in the state, especially with the latest being the Abia Air-port, His Excellency; the Governor, in his characteristic spirit of “Ochendo cannot be tried” may look further inward by thinking of laying a bigger foundation of economy for not only Abia State but the whole of the South-East geo-political zone by formally conceptualizing the establishment of a sea-port at Obeaku-Ndoki, in Ukwa-East Local Government Area.

Embarking on a road map that will ginger his successor to see to the realization of a sea-port in Abia State, would correct the erroneous impression widely held by uninformed Nigerians that the South-East zone of Nigeria is land-locked. This is very far from the truth.

The Imo River, which originates from Umuaku in Isuochi of Umunneochi Local Government Area meandered its way up to Obeaku-Ndoki, from where it emptied itself into the Atlantic Ocean. It is very strategic to mention that the distance between Obeaku-Ndoki and the Atlantic Ocean, which commences not far from Igwenga in Ikot Abasi Local Government Area of Akwa-Ibom State, is only twenty-five nautical miles.

For the avoidance of doubt, any zone that enjoys a proximity of even thirty nautical miles to a maritime endowment such as the Atlantic Ocean, should not in any way categorize itself as being land-locked. For the benefit of those who do not know, Port-Harcourt wharf is about fortynautical miles to the Atlantic Ocean. It was dredged and scooped during the Premiership of Dr. M.I. Okpara during the defunct Eastern Region for ships to berth therein. If Port-Harcourt wharf could be made accessible to ships despite its fourty-nautical-mile distance to the Atlantic Ocean, it justifiably stands to reason that Obeaku-Ndoki Wharf, which is only twenty-five nautical miles to the Atlantic Ocean, could be more readily and profitably accessed by ships. Since Nigeria parades a galaxy of consultants in marine engineering, obtaining professional advice in this regards may not be far from reach.

Chief (Sir) Don Ubani; ksc, JP
(Okwubunka of Asa)
Ukwa-West L.G.A.
P.M.B 7048 Aba


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