I am scripting this piece, with an over-whelming sense of gratitude to the generality of peace loving Abians. As a matter of fact, the fitting syntax to exhaustively convey how I feel about the awe inspiring love Abians have lavished on me these past years will fail me at this august occasion.
This years Abia Day Celebration is particularly unique, in the sense that it will herald the last I will celebrate with Abians in my capacity as their gubernatorial steward. It hurts to say goodbye, but the expediency of exiting when the ovation is loudest cannot be over-emphasized. The inauguration of any endeavour is as vital as its closing activities.
Today in retrospect evidently brings to life how I was made a trusted instrument to fearlessly drive the much-expected new dawn in Abia, which was desirous of prosperity and a new lease of life.
The responsibility was enormous with the capacity to make ones mind skip a bit, especially in the reconciliatory reality of gaping infrastructural decay and political confinement, which has been the pathetic lot of Abia since creation. Application of the much-expected template however ushered the needed new horizon.
The victory in Abia is not that of one party over another but of freedom of Abians from political hawks that would rather delight in privatizing the State and keeping her perpetually at war with each other and in this melee mindlessly hoard and fritter away common patrimony for personal aggrandizement.
It heralded the much expected and exhilarating new dawn Abians have been yearning for. Regardless of the mind-boggling infrastructural layback, which menacingly starred us in the face, we choose not to sympathize with blame game and we did not disappoint in the vitality of instituting a workable programme for effective take off of the state.
Widening our option was considered a better approach and it earned us the needed merit for streamlining and prioritizing our interventions so as not to shoot ourselves on the foot. We can always rewind our vista to flaunt milestones encompassing every facet of human endeavour; which humbly but steadfastly began with the health sector. Like the Biblical mustard seed, our resilience in this regard grew our health care delivery from 650 health centers located in all the nooks and crannies of the state to the icing of instituting state of the art medical and diagnostic center.
Our medical tourism which is still growing in leaps and bounds will soon celebrate the inauguration of 100 bed modern hospitals in each of the 17 council areas of the state.
The undisputable new dawn we attained in the health care delivery intervention fired us to broaden the laughter on our people’s faces. Thus, the capacity of our mandate to deliver was further proven and driven home, when the gigantic and imposing twin workers secretariat conceived to free us from infrastructural layback sprouted like a mush room and is aesthetically adorning the landscape of Ogurube layout. It has motivationally elicited the right approach to work among the rank and file of Abia civil servants.
The saying: “where there is a will there is a way” practically played out at the positive turn of events, leading to the relocation of Umuahia Market hitherto at isi-gate to the hugely spacious and more modern Ubani neighbourhood where over 6000 shops have been built and occupied. This feat is flamboyantly coloured with other critical necessities of asphalted good network of roads, functioning fire service center, and parking controlled lot. It has rid the capital city of traffic confusion and the embarrassment of filth.
The other eruption of eye wondering and ear tingling legacy, is in the direction of a classical new government house. On completion, it will deservedly reward Abians for believing in us and free the state from a pathetic retrogression of operating from ramshackle buildings. So will state of the art International Conference Center, JAAC and ASUBEB high rise buildings.
Let us recall that some year’s back, Abia was precariously turning into a political Siberia of some sort following from the onslaught of security menace. Businesses nose-dived, as residents fled in droves. Fear took possession of all and sundry, until our security recipe restored the previously unveiled new dawn attained during our inauguration.
With the restoration of tranquility, other blue prints vital to the sustenance and well being of teeming Abians, began to be unveiled. Consequently our avowal to help our people help themselves came alive with the countless distribution of empowerment vehicles to throngs of Abia youths delivered through an on-going window christened; ‘Abia Youth Empowerment Programme”.
The latitude of time and space will fail me to inundate us with other life touching programmes championed in the state for the benefit of our people, but suffice it to say that we are not unmindful of the truth that the totality of our socio-economic challenges may not have been addressed, but the legacies we have established will remain green. As a matter of undisputable truth it will herald a watershed in the socio-economic illumination our state deservedly needs. As somewhere earlier on highlighted, this endeavour, is designed to sincerely express in affectionate manner, my gratitude to Abians for looking beyond my inadequacies when providence partnered with them to elect me their governor.
Perhaps it will be pertinent to overtly acknowledge that we may have ruffled some shoulders knowingly or otherwise in the onerous task of addressing decades of mountainous challenges prevalent in the state. I am also not dismissing the possibility that some political office holders may have become laws to themselves hounding and exploiting innocent and unsuspecting Abians for their selfish interest. Naturally, every angst in this regard is targeted at the Chief Executive, the anchor point of every bulk. Let me without hesitation sincerely apologize on behalf of such individuals, because we laboriously fought hard to institute peace and our persuasion is that the instrumentality of a convivial atmosphere in moving a given society forward cannot be over emphasized.
God delivered peace in Abia State, and every strata is a beneficiary of its positive effect. This mandate will continue to propagate it especially as the countdown to 2015 is cascading.
We can only have one Governor, whose tenure at the expiration of 8 years will cease to be, leaving the choice of provision to another geo-political entity, as it is done in a wider Nigeria. No particular zone is a custodian of knowledge.
I will always posit that if preceding administration had the political will to leave one landmark or the other, available scarce resources channeled towards such necessities would have been deployed to tackle other mounting demands.
As we commemorate the 23rd anniversary of Abia State, we reiterate our avowal to uphold the virtues, which stimulated our founding fathers to collectively work for the creation of God’s Own State.
Being Governor T. A. Orji’s fraternal message on the 23rd Anniversary of the Creation of Abia State