No Thanks for Lady Orji

by Odimegwu Onwumere

Everyday, we read in the news that the wife of Governor Theodore
Ahamefule Orji of Abia State, Lady Mercy Odochi Orji, who is also
known as the First Lady of the state, is flagging-off one project or
the other and is making donations of all sorts. It is however not a
bad thing for somebody to be a humanitarian. But what is bad is the
source of funds of such a person who is carrying out the projects.
Therefore, there are no thanks for whatever the beneficiaries of these
seemingly projects are thinking that lady Orji is doing for them.

In what was said that she flagged-off round of maternal, newborn, and
child health week, inflated Lady Orji to look like one who is holding
a public position rather than the simple wife of a governor she is.
This movement was in May, which tended to contradict and demean the
office of the Commissioner of Health of the state. Palpably, it is a
misdirection of norms and ethics for a non-public office holder to be
informing the state about the health situation of such a state. Do
even Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) not have a limit of
operation in their different specialties?

While it is not a sugar-coated story about the plight that pregnant
women face in the cause of child delivery, who is Lady Mercy Odochi
Orji to flag-off the May, 2013 round of maternal, newborn, and child
health week? And who funded the project and to the tune of how much
money? What is the occupation of the wife of the governor that she is
everyday doing one project or the other in the state, according to
what we are fed with, in the media? Is she a medical professional? If
the news from the ‘Lady’ on this project was merely her opinion or she
is a health journalist, it would have been understandable. But she
always speaks in the state like a cabinet member of the Abia State
Government. Nevertheless, this goes a long way to show how democracy
in Abia State has become a government of the T.A Orjis and for the T.A
Orjis and by the T.A Orjis. Should we suffice to say that the
government in Abia State is one of wastefulness?

Like we know, the so-called office of the First Lady is not recognised
in the Constitution; it is purely the creation of the wives of the
military personnel that once held the country down for a period of
many years, over three decades. If at all that there is anything like
a “preventive and health-giving programme” designed by Governor Orji’s
administration, was it supposed to be championed by the wife who is
today crusading that mother and child should thrive and develop
through the existing healthcare system? It is ludicrous when Lady Orji
said that the numbers of children that die before the age of 5 years
are estimated at over one million. Our “medical doctor and
Commissioner for Health” went further to tell us that “5% of these
deaths are due to malnutrition, while 26% is as a result of neo-natal
deaths”. When did Abia State become a state for unnecessary attention

It is not about Lady Orji operating behind the scene or joining the
sinking bandwagon of her husband’s government to tell us that a
“woman’s chance of dying in every pregnancy and child birth is one (1)
in every thirteen (13) births; while the rate of child mortality is 88
per every 1000 births”, but about making sure that a befitting
healthcare system is fad in the state. But regrettably, all that we
have got in the state are distortion of facts by those who feed from
the government, just to hoodwink the general public to believing that
the Gov. Orji’s administration is committed to good governance,
whereas we only know about “good governance” on the pages of the
newspapers. Only!

The self-acclaimed First Lady of Abia State did not give us the data
of pregnant women delivered of their babies in Abia State since the
about six years’ administration of her Ochendo husband and how many
survived. This probably is not good for the public, because the shock
and shuddering about the number will not be favourable. It was
expected of the Abia State Government to make the call which the wife
of the governor called on mothers and caregivers, particularly those
above 12 months, to profit from whatever healthcare (no one has told
us that exists in Abia State), than the Gov. T.A Orjis. She was
talking about pregnant women and nursing mother to visit hospitals and
improve their children’s vitamin A status and general health. Does she
not know that the government of her husband has impoverished the
residents of our state and that the il(legal) taxes imposed on the
residents are also causing many ill-health, because what her husband
has called “legacy projects” are the buying of Keke NAPEP and buses
for the youths and, calls same empowerment?

Lady Orji should have known and understood that it is not everybody in
our state that has money like her family before she called and tasked
on corporate bodies and individuals on philanthropy and support and
assist Hannahmay Foundation. It might be a laudable mission programme
to those in the government when she was said to have distributed “some
empowerment items to 850 beneficiaries at the Umuahia Township
stadium”, but to us not in government, we are not seeing and touching
this nuisance of empowerment with the kid’s glove.

What is the source of Lady Orji’s funds?

It behooves the good people of our state to tell Lady Orji that our
people do not need to be self-reliant through these kinds of
make-belief philanthropy of the Orjis; what we need is that our state
should be self-reliant. When our state is self-reliant, our people
need not be given Keke NAPEP and buses to drive before they could eat.
When the government is functional, the people will be self-reliant,
not these ruses called empowerment. What was expected of Lady Orji is
to utilise her position as a wife and mother and advise the
ill-advised husband properly to hear the cries of our people that the
dividends of democracy are far from being experienced in our state
and, not be playing shamefaced politics with her husband in crassness
called empowerment and donations.

Lady Orji should not misconstrued these donations of theirs that do
not meet the eyes to mean development or a means of empowering our
people, when a place like Aba, people are drinking tears for tea and
ashes for bread. Any doubting Thomases should go round Aba and other
remote areas of our state and be shocked the perilous times that
people have come to endure in the government of Gov. T.A Orji.

Lady Orji should know that individuals do not create limited collar
jobs, but the government.

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