The Cost of Governance – a template for rebuilding Abia

“it behooves on every residents and citizens of Abia state to join hands with virtually every arm of the government to establish their dream future in the state”

By Njoku SaintJerry A.

In the early days of His Excellency the Governor Alex Otti administration, he led a cleaning up exercise of heaps of garbage that has constituted into a menace in the city of Aba and Umuahia town. Barely a week after the governor had embarked on this exercise, I have seen the same people complaining of stench and health hazards of the garbage heaps dumping refuse back at the same spot the governor in company of his team, cleared by himself.

Governance is not a one man enterprise, virtually everyone is involved. Previous administration of Abia state government may have laid a bad precedence of the luxury and perks of power which had portrayed governance as an entitlement of a few selected elites so much that you have to fawn and lap around this group in every sense of sycophancy to get into the circle or gain a benefit. 

This is a wrong perception. Good or bad governance costs a collective effort of the elites and non elites, the teachers, farmers, artisans and the unskilled workers.
I have seen civil servants who do not go to any office from month to month, yet they keep crying of no salaries, so I asked what work have you done to earn a salary

When the brother or friend of an appointee in government induced him to manipulate the responsibility of his office for an undue advantage, whatever adverse outcome from that office will be blamed on the government but the people will suffer a collective consequences because government is a collective will of the people to build their community, create wealth, provide food and safety for residents of their communities 

It is on record that previous administrations that have ruled Abia for over 2 decades laid a bad precedence, of abuse of public office and the responsibilities attached to it.
There is this viral news of an incidence involving about 152 staff of Abia State government liaison offices in Abuja and Lagos whom were summoned for self appraisal in the capital city of Umuahia before getting paid their wages for the month.
It is alleged, Only 15 showed up while the remaining 137 disappeared into thin air.

While the citizens groan of the burden of unemployment, these 137 ‘dead men walking’ were deliberately contributing in the failures of their own government, the increase in debt profile of the state and abuse of genuine workers right to earn a living.
In some other instances, it was discovered that those collecting salaries of dead pensioners and civil servants as ghosts were either acquaintances, friends or family members of the dead old man who has suffered and died miserably because some group of individuals including members of his family were collecting his entitlement through the backdoor until he suffered and died miserably.

Now the most troubling situations is when the same people all turned around and cry blue murder, they blame the government for their predicament, they blame the government for not building the city and improving infrastructures in the health sector, education, physical amenities and more.
As it was with ghost workers, so it was with ASEPA, the Sports Ministry, Transport, the State Orientation Agency and the citizenry, virtually the same people that were crying of bad governance were all culpable of the rot in the government, the decrepit Umuahia Township stadium, the mountain of garbage in Aba and Umuahia etc, were all self made afflictions by residents despite the presence of garbage dump buckets.

In the city of Umuahia at the popular boisterous Gate across the rail line, the people creating the nuisance and chaos at the entrance of the city are motorists, keke drivers, many whom are residents of Umuahia, while authorities in the Ministry of Transport struggles on how to manage the lawlessness of motorists.
The Labour Party government in power in Abia state is a government of the people, it is on record, there was no godfather behind the scene during the elections that brought Labour party into power, no influence of any political bloc but the collective will of the people prevailed.  This is a classic example of government of the people and by the people, therefore it behooves on every residents and citizens of Abia state to join hands with virtually every arm of the government to establish their dream future in the state.
More so it is a call to responsibility in governance for appointees of government to be open and create access to their offices for a mutual cooperation between the government and the people – this is where our collective will and support to the government is called to action and not in mouthing rhetoric of support and allegiance to the ruling party while everyone pursues its own selfish interest.

If there was any time the government needed the goodwill of the people of Abia state, it is now and if there was any time the people needed the government most, it is now.
It costs the collective will of the people to build any community on earth but the presence of one Achan (Josh.6-7) may send entire nation back to the Pharaohs of Egypt we have all broken away from and When the average citizenry cannot take the suffering and neglect anymore, it is certain they will take their frustration on the ruling system, no matter how privileged and powerful they are, they must crumble, that was the main reason the people of Abia state embarked on a protest vote and kicked PDP out of the seat of authority in Abia state. Let all join hands to make the Labour Party led government of His Excellency Dr. Alex Otti a success by contributing our little quota in every aspect of governance and we will achieve the dream future for our state.

Njoku SaintJerry A is the State Publicity Secretary of Labour Party, Abia State

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