? By Eddie Onuzuruike
Gov. Theodore Orji of Abia State (right) being welcomed by his Deputy Sir Emeka Ananaba on his arrival from Canada at Sam Mbakwe Airport Owerri.
Most people in Nigeria wrongly assume that the day, Monday, is the first day of the week. When that decision was taken or the habit and tradition began, we were not there to argue in favour of our favorite Monday as the first son of the week. One thing is certain that Monday is the first working day and to some people, a horrifying day, especially the chief executives, for its numerous hurly burly. From our reckoning, the working week starting from Monday, 15th April, 2013, has been exceptionally busy and fruitful for all in Abia, direct and indirect, manifest and latent.
His Excellency Sir T.A. Orji KSW, though not an engineer by profession has learnt from site and coupled with his bureaucratic experiences that the rainy season is not the best of times for road constructions, consequently in November 2012, launched into massive re-construction of roads in Aba in the bid to answer to the distress calls from Aba residents, principally, on the state of roads. He astutely, masterminded the contract and the construction to start and terminate within the favorable weather of the dry season. This plan went like clockwork as ten out of the sixteen roads were ready for commissioning on Monday 15th, April, 2013.
This involved multiple tape-cutting ceremonies at different spots. These took place in a total of six points, starting with the Geometric Power Plant Road, and in each new location, it was a cocktail of praises, thanksgiving and dancing.
Came Tuesday, many people thought that the superlative activities in Aba the previous day was too colossal and would have weighed down the Governor but they were in for surprises as the manifest for the day proclaimed two major events?meeting with all stakeholders in Agric sector and presentation of service vehicle to judges.
Other ministries may have been sulking at the extra-attention the agricultural ministry was getting. As a voice opined, nothing done for agric may be too much as such patronage would guarantee food security for Abians. The speaker was unaware of what lay ahead as events unfolded. If I should preempt you, Thursday and Friday were to showcase more Agric features.
In legal terms, the bench is seen from all angles as a conservative Job. They are stingy with their smiles and stony with their frowns. Even the modern scientific discoveries which have proven that humans use more energy and muscles when frowning than smiling has not improved their mien. To them, it is an occupational hazard and maintaining stolid faces, even in court dramas that take place in Igbosere Courts in Lagos, most of them in marital issues and divorce pleas are matters of can?t help. Long before our comedians came of age, if you could recall Lagos Weekend, a publication of Daily Times in the 1970s, our judges couldn?t be amused. But the events of Tuesday April 16th 2013 disarmed the judges as they grinned from ear to ear when a total number of six vehicles were presented to them.
Wednesday was another historic development that took historians and journalists to task as for the first time, the South African Superstore Chain, came to Abia. The Abia Government made this possible by making sizeable land available to the extent of bulldozing the existing building of ASUBEB to create enough space for Shoprite.
On the given day, His Excellency declared the construction open amid congenial flourish.
It may not be wrong to say that His Excellency is restless. On Thursday those who were full of envy for the lucky trail of the Agricultural sector were pleasantly surprised. The Governor?s motorcade headed straight to Ukwa where the Agricultural revolution was made more manifest. Many people, including the commissioner for Agriculture Hon. Ike Onyenweaku call it the Ochendo Liberation Farms. The Governor in his speech continuously referred to it as the Abia Liberation Farms.
Be that as it may, the Abia Liberation Farms is an ambitious project. It is encompassing and aimed towards a reconstruction of the mindset of our youths. There are 17 farms set up in the 17 Local Government Areas. 50 youths in each LGA, are to be trained in multi agricultural facets, made appealing by present day technology. It is an agricultural revolution of sorts as the youths, the strong and energetic percentage of the society are integrated into the role to engineer their destiny. They will receive stipends while in training and will get grants after the training to start their own farms. The pilot scheme in Ukwa Okeikpe was what took the Governor to Ukwa and after that, a long lingering error was corrected, injecting new blood in form of investors into Abia Palm as Shanid Agriculture Limited, an international firm, are now in a Public Private Partnership-PPP with the Abia government in Ohambelle, Ukwa East LGA.
Some of the Governor?s aids who got into celebration mood, shouting Thank God it is Friday early in the following day shut up abruptly as the manifest showed otherwise.
?Who is the International Leadership Conference Team?? so many asked with consternation. The International Leadership Conference team is a group involved in medical mission already in Imo and intent on replicating their activities in Abia. They were given audience by the ebullient Governor who reassured them of their request and before long, it may crystallize into signing a memo of understanding-MOU. There after the Governor?s entourage shuttled to Ibeku High School, venue for flagging off of 2013 farming season. Agriculture again? You will ask. After the formalities of Kolanut which is highly revered in Igboland, the Hon. Commissioner for Agric presented his address. The Governor was led round the stands of the 17 LGAs and before he left, declared open the farming season for 2013 with the sale of subsidized fertilizer to farmers.
The following working week took off on Monday April 22nd with more activities but the broadcasting corporation of Abia BCA, FRCN and other networks did ear tingling promotions of Wednesday, April, 24, 2013. This diverted all attention from other activities and had all ears cocked and eyes open, and thus all became highly expectant of the super Wednesday.
It was another of the Governor?s famous agenda ? The AYES- Abia Youth Empowerment Summit featuring the finance impresario of our time, the CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as guest speaker. AYES was a three phased event, starting from the lecture series, aptly titled Ochendo Annual Lecture Series in Michael Okpara Auditorium where the speech was masterly delivered. It delved professionally on how the youth can be made ready for tomorrow. According to Franklin D Roosevelt, 32nd president of United States of America, ?We cannot always build the future for the youth, but we can build our youth for the future.?
The audience did not wait for the standing ovation to die down before they trooped to the next venue, the Umuahia Township Stadium for the awesome unveiling of 200 vehicles, 1000 computers and tricycles, all for our youths. The youths in Abia assembled in unity and celebrated security, stability and prosperity.
These happened in 7 working days and the question on many lips was, ?is T.A Orji going for re-election?? No! But T.A is always -with the electorate and has taken serious inference from his namesake, the former American president, Theodore Roosevelt who said ?Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.