By Ikechi C. Elenwoke
“The rot in Abia state is not acceptable, it is man-made, no excuse is justifiable, the people themselves are culpable, across every community and LGA in Abia state, every Church in Abia state is to be blamed, every youth group, every community head should be held responsible”
As news of Nigeria’s troubling security situations and failing infrastructure development continue to take headline news, despite all rhetoric of political leaders and people in authorities that should stand up to their responsibilities and rescue Nigeria from total collapse, more worrisome is Nigeria’s South-East former Industrial hub and center for SME development, Abia State.
One would expect the abysmal images circulating across the social media and traditional media platform, of filth, crass neglect and collapse of South-East center of commerce should disturb the senses of every average indigenes and residents of Abia State, More so, with the emergence of a member of the parliament representing a complete different senatorial region in Kogi state going public, calling on the people of the state to stand up to their leaders rascality and abuse of office, especially the incumbent head, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, Abia state indigenes has every cause to be blamed for their unfortunate environmental and leadership situation.
“This calls to question the conscience of people around Abia state government and the indigenes benefiting from the excesses and neglect, does the deplorable situation in the state evoke in them any sense of shame, guilt and regret. I leave the Abia state indigens to their conscience.
When a set of individuals are celebrated and honored for no particular achievement other than being in public office where it is mandatory and behooves them to use that office to serve the community and their people and bring development in infrastructure and human capacity but they chose to commercialize such an office for self-gratification and greed, building a circle of unfortunate praise singing gangs serving as SA’s and supporters of their lawless behaviors and incompetence.
When in every community across Abia state, young people are raised up sometimes with support by their elders to defend the incompetence and failures of their leaders because he is from their clan, a member of their political party or the individual has been magnanimous enough to create enough loopholes for graft and sharing of largesse of office at the detriment of majority of the indigenes and development of physical infrastructures of their communities.
When at every turn, dissenting voices are shut out, humiliated, sometimes threatened for voicing out the failures of their leaders in office whether elected or appointed with a common lame excuse as ‘If you wish to become a king, honor the king,’ a common adage in Igboland used to maintain reverence to the King.
But Abia state has no king, they do not appear to have one and if they do, the King is not by political appointment or by selection, kingship is divine and do not descend to such low moral conscience to deprive its people and community every sense of development and constructive representation otherwise even the divine will turn against such a king with shameful destruction – it is biblical.
Therefore it is not enough to set up various social media platforms and Non-Political Groups only to advertise the failures of those in government and in position of leadership. Every indigene of Abia state deserve a thorough soul searching including non-political actors, Diaspora members and residents in the State.
On the 4th of December, a Non-Governmental, non-political Pressure Group, named APNET had gathered at the infamous refuse dump at Aba – Port Harcourt road, a major highway linking the commercial city of Port Harcourt with Aba, under the banner, ABIA WOMEN DAY OF MOURNING.
The group had converged to mount a peaceful protest against the crass neglect bedeviling the state, using the gathering to drum support for men and women of conscience to rise up and join forces to demand for constructive change from the sordid manner state actors and its representatives had subjected the state to so much ridicule and promoting the act of non-performance of men in authorities as acceptable way to run public office.
This is no longer acceptable to few men and women of conscience of Abia state indigenes therefore, the Group according to its leader Apostle Reminder Chibuike Gad decided to engage its women wing to voice out their displeasure at the crass neglect of the state in the hands of people who continue to pay careless attention to serious matters of state development.
In his own statement; “We had merely gathered, about to mount our equipment when some group of boys numbering more than 30 arrived the venue and started destroying our equipment. They were asking us, “who are we mourning, who sent us, how much did they pay you etc.?”
“I was trying to speak with them but they descended on me, started beating me, my pastors and some women that arrived for the prayers.”
Apostle Chibuike Gad had passionately pleaded with the state authorities to investigate the matter and bring the perpetrators to book, why should innocent indigenes be molested for observing their civic responsibilities to their state, especially at such a precarious situation Abia state has been subjected to across Nigeria, bringing its deplorable condition to focus while we have a government that is enjoying support by a circle of individuals of questionable characters.
Speaking to a Diaspora leader, Ambassador Njoku Jerry Ajike of the State of African Diaspora, an Abia state indigene. “Abia state continue to parade an array of Phd holders in various professions therefore it continues to amaze me while they don’t put the knowledge of the Phd into human, state and community development, they’re very industrious people, creative and talented, the city of Aba alone can match Lagos state in IGR drive, I have visited the state at several occasions and has been hosted by previous government of the state. I was a guest to the first Economic team set up by the Okezie Ikpeazu administration and I embarked upon further visits all to no avail.
“Why should anybody in the state authority feel guilty or express a sense of shame when at every turn an award is waiting for him for being the Best Representative in government, the best governor in Nigeria from Abia state despite the celebrated shameful sights of filth and crass neglect of infrastructure development
“The rot in Abia state is not acceptable, it is man-made, no excuse is justifiable, the people themselves are culpable, across every community and LGA in Abia state, every Church in Abia state is to be blamed, every youth group, every community head should be held responsible for their own underdevelopment and filth.”
“I know APNET, there are several other groups, some political, some non-political, APNET happens to be in the divide between the two because they’re more of a religious group and soliciting the support of the churches in Abia to rise up and condemn the injustices and poor leadership structure taking foothold in Abia state – this is the difference from others.”
“this is Christmas season, several honorary awards are being organized by Churches, communities and organizations even student groups across Abia state to be given to the same characters you are all crying against.
But it will amaze you that some of these groups are merely existing and branded oppositions as they continue to receive attacks and threats upon threats even by their own people with nobody courageous enough to stand up and question the excesses of those in government.
Till Date, I have not read or heard from anywhere the response of the government to the clash and beating of harmless group of women on the 4th of December at the site of the refuse dump at Port Harcourt Road Aba. Whereas, this is Christmas season, several honorary awards are being organized by Churches, communities and organizations even student groups across Abia state to be given to the same characters you are all crying against.
Why should anybody in the state authority feel guilty or express a sense of shame when at every turn an award is waiting for him for being the Best Representative in government, the best governor in Nigeria from Abia state despite the celebrated shameful sights of filth and crass neglect of infrastructure development , the individual will be awarded the best of everything amidst fanfare and majority dancing and praising him and at the same time crying of crass neglect and underdevelopment – this is classic self-deceit and Abia state indigene are culpable.
Otherwise, How do you explain groups of Abia state indigenes under the guise of party loyalty and clannish leaning, warming up to the state governor in order for him to endorse a replacement of the leadership status quo and threatening everyone who dare voice out opinion against the crass neglect bedeviling the state? This calls to question the conscience of people around Abia state government and the indigenes benefiting from the excesses and neglect, does the deplorable situation in the state evoke in them any sense of shame, guilt and regret. I leave the Abia state indigens to their conscience.