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Is Abia Truly God’s Own State?

Titus Eleweke

Abia State was one of the few states created on August 27, 1991 by then Military Head of State, General Ibrahim Babagida. The state was created from the old Imo State. The founding fathers of the state decided in their wisdom to anchor the young state on the principles of Godliness and fairness, and christened it “God’s Own State”. They wished that the state would be administered with the fear of God and service to humanity. Unfortunately, the state is continuously drifting towards ungodliness, without any fear of God.

Human dignity is debased and neglected. The recent developments in the state raise serious questions on its status as God’s Own State. The state had been ruled by the following persons: Frank Ajobena – Military Administrator, August 28, 1991 to January, 1992; Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu – elected , Executive Governor January, 1992 to November, 1993; Chinyere Ike Nwosu – Military Administrator, December 9, 1993 to September 14, 1994; Temi Ejoor – Military Administrator, September 14, 1994 to August 22, 1996; Moses Fasanya – Military Administrator, August 22, 1996 to August, 1998; Anthony Obi – Military Administrator, August, 1998 to May 29, 1999. Dr Orji Uzor Kalu took over the mantle of leadership with the return of democracy in 1999. After two terms, he was succeeded by the present government of Theodore Orji. People work in the state but they don’t get their pay.

Children are out of schools because their parents are not are paid to send them to school. Since 1999, Abia State has been battling with one self-inflicted pain or the other orchestrated by governmental maladministration. Due to the ocultic style of the leadership the state has refused to develop. It can be argued that the state is the least developed state in the country, the only state without any meaningful development. Abia State appears to be the only state in the country that its landscape has remained unchanged in the last 16 years. The infrastructural and human capital developments are retrogressive. It is the only state in the country that cannot boast of any purpose   Inful and standard development in the education sector. Virtually all the state schools are in sorry state and they are being powered by the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) teachers. PTA teachers are teachers recruited and paid by PTA and not the government. All the schools in the state are faced with serious challenges of lack of learning and instructional materials. Abia State is always mentioned in various national newspapers for negative reasons.

There was a time in the state that it was alleged that there existed the tradition for anybody wanting to get any political position must take an oath in one shrine or the other. The contenders insist that the trend has continued till today. The emergence of the former Deputy General Manager of the Abia State Environment Protection Agency, ASEPA, Okezie Ikpeazu as governor may prove to be a divine favour given his speech after being declared the winner of the gubernatorial election. Dr. Ikpeazu by every standard of human endeavour is sound and developed, not a pushover. Ngwa people are principled and proud people. We are hopeful that he will bring all these characteristics of true Ngwa people to bear and stand himself as a man of honour. He has built his reputation in both the academic and political terrains. We are also hoping that he will not be a “toy” in the hands of the gladiators. Apart from being a former transition committee chairman of Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia State in 2002, Ikpeazu, who holds a doctorate degree, served as the special adviser to the governor on the environment. He was appointed the General Manager, Abia State Passengers Integrated Manifest and Safety Scheme, ASPIMSS, in 2007.

In 2010, he was named the Chairman, Governing Council of Abia State College of Health Technology, Aba. In 2011, he was reappointed General Manager of ASPIMSS. He held that position until     2013 when he was redeployed to ASEPA. The major problem Abians have with him is the process that threw him up as a governor. In an effort to douse tension in the state, Governor-elect Ikpeazu promised to run an inclusive government where every Abian with “positive ideas” would be given opportunity to contribute to the development of the state. He said that his commitment to Abia people is to work very hard for the unity and development of the state. According to him, he is desirous of sustaining the unity and development of God’s Own State; hence he would catalyze every idea that would lead to the achievement of the stated goal.

He has therefore called on any person that has positive ideas that would promote unity and development of Abia State to come forward and present such. He described his victory as “the handwork of God”. Recently, the Abia Youths Assembly, a coalition of several youth organizations working to truly liberate Abia, said they will expose the evil that has been going on in Abia State. According to the group, evil men had formed themselves into a Secret Cult in the state in order to hold Abia State hostage and to perpetually exploit the people by sharing the resources accruing to the state amongst themselves. The body stated, inter alia:

“We have witnessed this for the past seven and half years. They control all political appointments in the state, they are responsible for the non-payment of workers’ salaries, lack of meaningful projects being executed in the state except those through which they siphoned state funds. They are permanent planning committee members in all state events in Abia including naming ceremony of any of their members; they initiate avenues through which state funds are being siphoned.” According to the group , the occult group started as Abia Reunion and latter metamorphosed into Abia Patriots in order to accommodate new members from the then PDP who were opposed to the re-election bid of Governor T. A Orji. The Governor-elect must battle this group to be able to provide good governance to the people of Abia State and thus turn things around to truly merit the title of “God’s Own State”.

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