Abia: Yesterday, Today, TomorrowArticles/Opinion Tuesday, August 27th, 2013
By T. A. Orji
Having attained the adolescent age of 22, the history making founding fathers of Abia State, will at the prevailing positive turn of events, begin to bask in a deserved sense of fulfillment, on account of the reality that the much desired steady progress they patriotically wished for the State has been ubiquitously stimulated.
Let me pre-empt and adventurously probe into our minds to disabuse same of any untoward & irrelevant assumption that may want to diminish the awe-inspiring camaraderie I have always consummated with our esteemed readers, given that this endeavor is dispassionately intended to celebrate the path finders of Abia State and, overtly highlight how we were conscripted into the cherished values that drove them.
On the strength of that understanding, encomiums will also be lavished on our retired but not tired General, Ibrahim Babangida for heralding the birth of todays adolescent Abia.
As our effervescent General acknowledges the flight of time, he will agree as well as we do, that he appended his signature to a document that was neatly & meticulously promoted by assemblage of Abia eggheads, some legendry & some of blessed memory.
This divine stewardship, celebrates with a depth of gratitude the tripod of equity, justice and fair play, which they bequeathed the State.
It is instructive however to retrospectively reveal that the on going new vista in Abia State has had its fair share of challenges occasioned by past pitfalls of elevating ineptitude, favoritism, apostasy and unbridled god-fatherism, which like a dark cloud, over-shadowed the State.
Our subscription to the vitality of stocktaking is what has thrown up events of yester-years, & its importance will further illuminate our understanding of todays Abia and its precarious state, before the gubernatorial change of baton.
Without mincing words, the administrative compass instituted by successive governments in Abia State, were not particularly broad and expectantly ambitious. The young Abia whose frame was weak & frail on account of that, tumbled & fumbled in the challenge of establishing a virile identity road map. Consequently, Abia was left hollow and malnourished.
But on assumption of office, this government chose not to sympathize with blame game & bulk passing, irrespective of the enormous infrastructural layback, which in quick succession starred it in the face.
But it has been tortuous in the sense that when you juxtapose the grossly inadequate resources available on offer with the countless tasks to address, your mind will always skip a bit.
The inevitable option of widening our approach to governance, earned us the merit of streamlining & prioritizing activities so we can look before we leap.
A sectorial x-ray, for which preponderance of opinion favored injecting life into the strategic & vital health care sector, motivated us to tackle its unfortunate absence in the State.
Today, we can rewind to proudly flaunt our health delivery blaze captured in a humble beginning which like the biblical mustard seed, began with an initial 65 health centers & latter grew to 250 evenly distributed health centers. Contrary to the medical gloom, which in the past cascaded over the State, Abians are now exposed to the relief of choosing from vast spectrum of medical facilities available in the State. Nothing could have been more enthralling than to celebrate the medical icing of realizing Abia State Specialist Hospital & Diagnostic Center, built in synergy with Me-Cure Health Services of India. The Abia of yesterday which medically groped in the dark has today earned her self a deserving pride of place in medical tourism.
Time was, when disillusionment reigned in the air following from the brazen confiscation of values meant for public good. Abians could sadly not spot a crane in any construction site any where near the State. At best, we could only pride in the conversion of primary school halls to government offices. Typical of man, the story has changed & the laughable poser agitating the minds of the people is anchored on the illusion that this mandate will not deliver on the numerous construction works it has occupied itself with.
Without wanting to despicably dismiss our fears, the submission in this regard will always be that the application of Gods divine initiative, which earned us the victory we are consummating, will graciously see to their completion. We have
Positioned our hands on the plough to collectively drive home the sense of belonging we pledged to give Abians & the expectations of our people on the capacity of this mandate to deliver will always be revered & respected. This inspiration will constantly feature in our genuine desire to deliver the gigantic & imposing twin workers secretariat, to free us from the nightmare & unacceptable layback of operating from old & antiquated classroom blocks. On another note, it will engender the requisite motivation critical for effective work delivery in our civil service system.
One of our very critical targets is to relocate the chaotic Umuahia main Market to the vastly spacious & serene Ubani neighborhood. Having attained the construction of over 4000 shops, asphalting the major network of roads, & hooking the market to national grid, government will in a matter of very few months relocate the main market to Ubani. This inevitable measure will clinically rid the Capital City of confusion & reduce the volume of filth. The necessity of this approach is that it will synchronize with the vision behind the already relocated Umuahia Timber Market, where sanity has since returned to the neighborhood of World Bank & Low Cost Housing Estates.
The other huge eruption of eye wondering legacy is in the direction of a classical new government house. This fast sprouting edifice will be delivered to the good people of Abia State in record time. It will deservedly reward their persevering wait for a government House of such magnitude, & free Abia from the retrogressive past of operating in a rented building.
So also will the almost completed International Conference Center, JAAC & ASUBEB high rise buildings be completed & credited to our eventful mandate.
Let me observe with a note of appreciation, the amazing harmony in government-labor relations, which follows from several trade off of interest. Consequently, every payment regime from NLC’S minimum wage, CONMESS, CONHESS & USS has been fully implemented.
In the face of obvious scarce resources, & against the backdrop of inherited debt burden, government has not given a thought to borrowing, bond market or other wise. Having delivered on the necessity of prudent management, people oriented projects and elimination of irrelevancies, our shrewd & coat cutting style of governance, earned us the endorsement of Nigerian Senate as a financial healthy State.
With out meaning to say that I am saving the best for last, our security scorecard is positively reflecting in throngs of investors who desire to display their wares in the State. To conscientiously design a lasting investment framework, a bill seeking to establish a Public-Private-Partnership Agency has been sponsored in the State House of Assembly.
As we commemorate the 22nd anniversary of Abia State, let us for the umpteenth time pledge our commitment to upholding the virtues which stimulated our founding fathers to collectively work for the creation of Gods own State.
Being Governor T. A. Orji’s fraternal message, marking the 22nd anniversary of the creation of Abia State
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