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Clear Conscience, Good Governance of T.A Orji

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IMAGE: Theodore Ahamefule Orji, the Executive Governor of Abia State »


A billboard on Mission hill in Umuahia, the Abia State capital caught my attention as my cabby drove past Villa Roy Hotel. “God has taken over Umuahia and we are hosting Him,” it declared.  It was one of those shouting billboards often erected by the roadside that I always consider public nuisance or at best a threat to our environment. But the message was too eye-catching for me to ignore it. It turned out to be a church announcing its programmes to the public.

Incidentally, the people of Abia State have been in a celebration mood this week to mark the 23rd anniversary of the creation of the state from the old Imo State. And at the centre of the celebration is God, because the state was cleverly given God’s Own State for an alternative name. I’m not too familiar with the history behind it, but I have a strong feeling that for the fact that Abia is mentioned in the bible, it is too easy to call it God’s Own State.

True, the simple message on that billboard seemingly helped me to look back into the time when the state was always in the news with no other eye-popping headlines than kidnapping and other crimes. Now that is all gone.  I believe the wordings of that billboard that God has truly taken over Abia!

Now, the shadows of fear that once enveloped the state have disappeared and one man at the centre of it all has been the state Governor, Theodore Ahamefule Orji. His quintessential leadership has turned around a place of darkness to a place of light. As I continued my journey inside the state unto my final destination I was surprised by the kind of love that Abians have for their leader. Orji is hero-worshipped in Abia. They treat him with reference and speak well of him. I think it is understandable that when you live in an atmosphere of peace without being afraid of the terror of the night or any arrow at noontime, you’ll be full of praise to anyone who makes that happen, especially if your experience had been a horrible one in the past. That is the situation now in Abia State.

But much more, Orji’s clear conscience and style of governance seemed to be the reason why he’s called amiable by his people. That is evident in the line-up of supporters calling on him to go and represent the state in the Senate during the next cycle of election when he would have successfully finished his two-terms as a governor. When Orji walks pass his kinsmen, he smiles and greets them with love that you’ll almost think that he’s not the governor of the state, given the way the people in the office of the governor in Nigeria like to be deified.

He readily gives that sense of someone with clear conscience as you observe him go into a crowd releasing his hands into theirs for pleasantries or giving them hugs without wear bullet proof jacket. That is hard to come by among those in such offices around the country.

From the backwater of underdevelopment, Orji garnered needed courage to take Abia to where it is today, though I still feel the progress made so far in the state could have been doubled, except that lots of damage have been done to the state before now.
I am glad those things that were not there eight years ago can be seen in the state today. The security and infrastructure building are notable signs of progress in Abia. The priority given to education and medical care are commendable as well. Any governor that places priority on education, security, infrastructure building and medical care will be a ‘sweetheart’ to his people and Orji is a clear example.

The health sector of the state has received tremendous boost with high-capacity specialist hospital and diagnostic centre. In just few months after it commenced operation that centre has become a referral centre for health professionals beyond the state. Patients and specialists from the entire South-east and South-south now access the facility.

More importantly, Governor Orji has constructed and equipped more than 250 primary health centres in the different parts of Abia State under its primary health care services and development programme. Each of these health facilities has, in compliance with the MDG been provided with a bore-hole and a tricycle to convey patients to and from the health centres. That ordinarily looks basics, but that is good governance because several people in the rural areas are forgotten by those who live in the urban cities.

Perhaps it is amazing that in all its years, Abia State didn’t have a single-unit secretariat for its workers, until a few months ago when Orji unveiled complex that could accommodate all its workers that was hitherto scattered across Umuahia in make-shift offices and rented apartments. There are quite many reasons why Orji is admired and called a Legacy governor by his people, who also reverently called him ‘Ochendo,’

In his note of gratitude to Abians as he marked what will be his very last Abia Day celebration as a sitting governor, Orji said: “It hurts to say goodbye, but the expediency of exiting when the ovation is loudest cannot be over-emphasised… The victory in Abia is not that of one party over another, but of freedom of Abians…” Need I say more? For me, that is clear conscience and good governance.

Article Credit: Thisdaylive

Updated 4 Years ago

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Tags:     Theodore Ahamefule Orji     Ochendo     Good Governance