It was Abia State at 21. August 27, precisely was the date of celebration.
Expectations were very high. Many were bemoaning that what was there to
celebrate. Others were very worried of why Governor Theodore Orji of the
state had not returned from his journey to the United States. “Prolonged
overseas trip of Abia Governor,” they characterised it. This was causing
tension among stakeholders if the governor had abandoned the state owing to
the widely known fact that he had failed in the leadership of the state.
Orji was not yet back to the Government House, Umuahia, the seat of power
for Abia State, as the state marked its 21st anniversary which held on
Monday, August 27, 2012. The number one man of the state was yet to be
back. The aides continued to give hope upon hope that he was going to be
the Chief Guest at the imposing anniversary celebration. Through Abia
state-owned Television and Radio station, BCA, jingles of this were
deafening, yet the governor was yet to make it.
He had gone to the United States to visit his daughter, Nneoma who put to
bed. In the rumour mills, Nigerians heard that what might be holding the
governor back in the United States was a secret deal he allegedly entered
to purchase a vessel overseas for personal use but was swindled.
Nonetheless, in a statement of September 2, 2012 it was a different song.
In its headline, Vanguard Newspapers reported, “I was not swindled, says
The news reports was that he made the statement on Sunday in what was
characterised as “on arrival from his annual vacation in the United States
of America”. The unique thing about his return was that there was no denial
that his subjects swarmed the Banquet Hall of Government House, Umuahia to
welcome him. The people were looking at him like a lost but found person.
Orji was away to the United States where leaders know their onus to
statesmanship enjoying and left his state in outmoded situation. How many
American governors would come for vacation in Abia State?
Instead Orji would plead for the people for embarrassing them with his
overstayed trip to the United States, he rather waved shame with the back
of his hand, and said: “While we were away, we heard both the good and bad
things that were happening at home. I also heard that I went to buy a ship.
I laughed my head off when I heard that story and I knew that some people
were still suffering from hallucination. If you buy a ship and give it to
me free of charge, I will reject it. I am not a business man and can never
be. That I am a governor cannot intoxicate me. I am not here (in
government) to acquire the whole world. The world is a stage. You come and
play your part and you are judged by the role you played. Whatever they are
saying does not mean anything to us provided our conscience is guiding us.”
Many Abia people who listened to him were very disappointed. They could not
make head or tail of this. It was very confusing. He said that the
allegation that he was swindled was provocative, why was his abandonment of
the state for that long period not giving him bellyache? The insinuations
were that he was not ashamed of boasting about his trip to the organized
United States whereas Abia people at home and in the Diaspora are not happy
with him over the deplorable situation of their state and no one could
believe that Abia State is one of the oil rich states in Nigeria that was
supposed to be overdeveloped.
Abia is one of the states in Nigeria that lays the golden eggs for Nigeria.
However, it has become a state where the qualities of roads being
constructed are mostly done with head pans and shovels, whereas in the
United States Orji had gone and enjoyed himself, sophisticated machines are
used in the construction of roads. Everything is done orderly in America.
At the Banquet Hall of Government House, Umuahia where people had swarmed
to welcome him, it’s obvious the people present were hired praise singers.
No sensible Abia person would be there because he disappointed them as once
a civil servant, political appointee, and now a governor. This is a man who
cannot list any meaningful accomplishment in any Local Government Areas
(LGAs) in Abia State, but had gone to the United States for extravaganza.
What is his consolation? Orji thinks that governance is shadow boxing
himself and not delivery of service to all and sundry.
In America does their governors not read newspapers, pick calls from the
citizens and reply e-mails to understand the plight of their people? But in
Abia State lawyers protested on 18th September over one of their own who
was allegedly arrested by this government because of an article the lawyer
wrote addressing the government of the necessity to put the roads and other
decayed infrastructures to order. America means well for her people, how
about Abia State under Orji? There is no superior distractor than the
promise and fail behavior of Orji government. Is the governor not at war
with Abia people? Does Orji not deserve to be insulted?
Whether he was swindled in the United States or not the fact remains that
Orji has swindled the people of Abia State of good governance. Without
communications how does he expect the individual’s economy to grow? Orji
cannot always be calling on the people of the state to trust him when they
cannot see reason for that. The fear now is that by when Abia State will be
22, who knows the country he would run to and keep his people of Abia State
is a condition of despair?