Gov. Theodore Orji at 62: Delivering Good Governace With Humility, A Birthday TributeArticles/Opinion Tuesday, November 12th, 2013
By Ugochukwu Emezue
CHIEF Theodore Ahamefule Orji, the governor of Abia State is by all standards a man born with silver spoon in his mouth. His late father, Chief Tom Orji Ikoro, a man of value, was a Warrant Chief, an equivalent of modern day first class traditional ruler. Chief Theodore Orji is therefore of royal blood. Born on November 11, 1950, into the Tom Ikoro Orji royal family, however, Theodore never allowed the royalty to enter his head. Rather, he trudged on along with his peers from less privileged family to struggle for success in life.
Governor T.A. Orji can conveniently be described as a leader, family man, humanitarian, courageous, peaceful, accommodating and above all, God fearing. These attributes he has no doubt perfectly exhibited in the course of his governance of Abia state in the past six years plus.
As an accommodating leader, Chief Orji has effectively mobilized and carried along all Abians with their varied sheds of opinions and beliefs and harnessed them into instruments for the positive development of the state and this, from available records has greatly paid off and impacting positively on the people and the state’s development.
Governor Theodore Orji’s leadership quality best manifested when on assumption of officer as the governor of Abia state undertook to reconcile the political leaders in the state who until then were at war with each other, deep-rooted acrimony which greatly affected the development of the state negatively. He deployed his wisdom and humility, stooped to the lowest level and reached out to all aggrieved politicians in the state and brought them together. Today, that singular action is working wonders for the state and his administration as virtually all the major political stakeholders in the state are working on the same page.
This leadership attribute of Chief Orji worked wonder for him, when in 2010; he confronted head-on the ugly security problem in the state. Before then, the state, particularly Aba the commercial capital of the state was virtually in the hands of criminals, especially kidnappers who besieged and almost took over the city. In conjunction with the Federal Government, he courageously combated the criminals and chased them out of the state. Today, Abia is one of the safest states in Nigeria.
The safety has created good environment for development with the result that legacy projects such as state-of-the-art workers secretariat, 5000 capacity international conference centre, new judiciary blocks in Umuahia and Aba, new Government House, modern Dialysis Centre and Specialist Hospital, several kilometers of roads across the state have sprung up and are springing up in all parts of the state, a pointer that a solid foundation has been laid for sustainable development of Abia state.
As a family man, Governor Orji, in spite of his daily tight schedule, still makes out time for his family of his wife of over three decades, Lady Mercy Odochi Orji and four children of four men and a woman. Interestingly, at any little spare time, Chief Orji gathers his grand children and play with them, making sure that his official job never denies the kids of the grand fatherly love. Besides his immediate family, he gets fully involved all the activities of the larger Ikoro Orji extended family, ensuring that peace and harmony reign in the family.
The governor summed up his family life in a book on him entitled, “On the Wings of Fate”. “Just like every other family’s life, ours has been challenging and quite wonderful and interesting; and I add that the promising nature of my family is rooted in their love, tolerance and encouragement so much so that I can very strongly say that my nucleus family was created for me”.
And for all his staff, Chief Orji sees them as his family member, extending the same affection to them with all the positive encouragement and advice. For all these attributes, one can only but pray God to grant Chief T.A. Orji more years of good health to continue his good deeds to mankind. Happy birth day, Your Excellency!
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