By Ihedigbo Mbaukwu Abia state as I have always maintained is at the verge of collapse. If urgent steps are not put in place to meander or break away from what we have been witnessing since 1999, the state will remain where it has always been-dustbin. Once you drive into Abia State, you will notice without been told that nothing is working in the state. Everybody looks very angry.
If you go to Isi gate in Umuahia for instance, you will strongly have no single reason to disagree with me that Abia State has been laid to rest by her past and present leaders. We now see micro-criminals everywhere around Isi gate Umuahia. Refuse dumps everywhere. Baba Ijebu and Bet9ja shops have taken over the entire state capital and the city of Aba.The only thriving industry in the state is sycophancy and criminality. Abia state by all calculations has no single reason to be compared with states like Ebonyi, Kogi,Borno etc. Today, even the war torned Borno state is doing pretty well for their workers more than Abia State. Then, why do you think Abia state is doing this badly? Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu may not be a bad person personally (I stand to be corrected), his crew may not be all that bad (I also stand to be corrected).But there is this particular cankerworm that has guzzled the entire fabrics of the state.
What is holding Abia state back apart from her leaders are ethnicity, clannishness, favoritism, chauvinism and sectarianism. Dr.Orji Uzor Kalu served as the governor of Abia state for an uninterrupted 8 years. How did that positively affect the people of Igbere, Umuannato, Bende local government area,Abia North senatorial district and old Bende to be precise? How many functional roads were constructed in this area by him? How many schools were built by him? How many hospitals were constructed by him for the people of this area? How many young residents of these areas are on genuine scholarship? I know many Igbere youths who are still walking aimlessly in the street in search of a daily bread. I know many Igbere youths whose parents cannot pay for their school fees. I know many Igbere indigene who can hardly feed well. These people were the very people that were jumping from pillar to post singing and shouting OUK our own brother has come to liberate us. You dare not mention any other person to them then if not OUK. The same thing goes to Theodore Ahamefula Orji who also served the state for uninterrupted 8 years. I was among the very few that jubilated because my fellow Umuahia man has become the general overseer of the state.
The same question should be asked again-how did T.A.O positively affect the people of ibeku,the people of umuahia North, the people of umuahia at whole, the people of Abia Central senatorial district? How did his administration as an Umuahia man affect the development of Umuahia the capital city of the state? What new thing came to Umuahia? How many Umuahians benefitted from his administration? How many schools, Hospitals, Roads etc did he build for his people? Abia State capital under his supervision became the worst state capital in the whole universe. Ethnicity, clannishness and other negative tendencies have diminished our good sense of reasoning. Meritocracy has been relegated to the background. We prefer a round peg in a square hole as long as the peg belongs to us. In the last election year, we saw what happened in Ngwa Land in Abia State. People left the core demands of democracy and were busy promoting ethnicity and other derogatory tendencies. Today, all of us are suffering the same disease in the state.We saw Ngwa indigenes fighting tenaciously for Dr.Ikpeazu Okezie simply because they said he is a core Ngwa man and Dr.Alex Otti is not an Ngwa man(Otti abughi onye obe ka-anyi) without considering their political pronouciamento. Today, every Tom,Dick and Harry are suffering the same affliction of bad governance including the same people who promoted and sold Dr.Okezie Ikpeazu to the gullible Ngwa men and women. We must eschew all these evil tendencies if we want to get to the Promised Land. All we want are credible candidates whether they are from Ukwa Ngwa,Umuahia,Aba Ngwa,Isiukwuato,Arochukwu or Nkpa.
We do not need those people that have rendered the state useless again. We need God fearing leaders who would ensure that the welfare of the entire citizens are considered first. These men must be people who do not have any single trace of corruption in them.We must look beyond “onye obe ka-anyi” going forward. Believe me, if we continue to trust our future on these current leaders in Abia state and their scions, Abia state will never grow beyond the current pitiable level it has always been. By 2023,the faces below must have spent 24 solid years ruling Abia state. What has changed? More youths are now unemployed. Workers have been reduced to mere corporate beggars.Poor and dilapidated states of infrastructure. Poor urban renewal. Wickedness and treacherous behavior every corner. Abia State must be redeemed. Join the campaign. Ihedigbo,Mbaukwu is a public affairs consultant.Writes from Umuahia.