The Rot In Abia State, Gov. Theodore Orji And The Hero Of Shame


                                         Governor Theodore Orji Of Abia State
When during October 2013 an Aba-based musician Brightman Cletus De Colonel released his music video on the decay of Aba, the commercial capital of Abia State, it was apparent that Governor Theodore Orji consigned the lyrical lamentations of the young musician to the trash can. Otherwise, he would have done something positive to redeem Aba, for the music video, with seductive dance steps of Abia maidens, put a pictorial visage to the rot of the famous Enyimba City. Ironically Aba decayed in tandem with the cocktail of taxes imposed on its inhabitants by the various arms of the Orji administration.
Brightman talked about dog permit, monkey permit and other forms of permits and emblems on sale in Aba all of which, in the face of government’s negligence of the city, amounted to a colossal swindle. If the musician’s powerful message did not as much as stir Governor Orji’s conscience to live up to his constitutional responsibilities, the indigenes of Abia State can only hope that the tick-off recently administered on their governor by Prince Arthur Eze will do the magic.
Governor Orji had gathered the high and the mighty, the low and the disillusioned, to what he conceived as another cavalcade for sycophancy and praise singing. It was actually the 23rd anniversary of the creation of Abia State on September 2, 2014 which took place at the Michael Okpara Auditorium in Umuahia. As these things happen, Prince Eze, popularly known as and called Ozo Igbo Ndu (Saver of Igbo life), was the guest of the governor.
If any diviner had told Governor Orji what awaited him that day from one of his guests, he would have abominated such a hapless fellow. But Prince Eze was in his elements as reported widely in the media. The oil magnate fired a devastating missile on Orji at pointblank range: “Abia State stinks,” he declared. “Right from the Abia Tower in Umuahia, the rot hits you. Abia State is now the dirtiest in the country–garbage everywhere, along with bad roads. The people are really suffering and you see it in their faces. Are there no elders in Abia again? If so, what are they doing? What are the senators, the members of House of Representatives, and other elected people doing? Nothing! Abia State needs help.”
When he had done with the evisceration of Orji, the billionaire prince from Ukpo in Anambra State tossed the microphone to the floor and stormed out of the venue of the lackluster event. We will need to delve a little into the past in order to ventilate this proposition.
Governor Theodore Orji was the Chief of Staff to the former governor Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu who got him elected as his successor. Indeed, it will matter to all to remember that Theodore Orji won his governorship while still in EFCC detention chambers in Lagos where he had been kept on charges of financial impropriety. In what qualified as Rambo theatricals that combined an inattentive judiciary and political permutations, Theodore Orji got sworn-in as Abia Governor inside the state’s liaison office in Lagos. This was done to preclude the contingency of the EFCC re-arresting him.
As it turned out, impunity became Theodore Orji’s middle name the moment he acquired the toga of gubernatorial immunity. In another nine months, Theodore Orji would have done eight years as Abia State Governor. It is disappointing that all he has for legacy after all these years is the damning censure that Prince Arthur Eze publicly administered upon him. Well, it is in his best interest to bear in mind that, once out of power, the warmth of political hirelings and praise singers will melt away like wax in extreme heat.
Then will he realize that the arms of prisons are still wide open for those deserving of its disorienting embrace. As apposite as the points raised by Prince Eze are, many other “sins of Theodore” cry to the heavens for expiation. He has severally been accused of having handed over the state apparatus to his son, a fellow who goes by the sobriquet of Ikuku (Wind!) and who, in league with a battalion of “bodyguards” has allegedly converted Abia State into a frighteningly highhanded political enclave.
A fact that sticks out like a sore thumb is the position of Abia as a crime-infested state, with kidnapping and armed robbery struggling for first place in terms of effrontery of perpetration and regularity. Questions must be asked as to why this negative turn of things was not challenged and reversed by the political authority. For the records, Abia State has the capacity for transcendental developmental strides. The state is oil-producing with its appurtenances and privileges. Commerce happens big time in Abia State, especially with Aba as one of the leading trading centres on the west coast of Africa. Agriculture has a home in the state.
The level of educated human capital of the state is among the highest in the country. With all these, would it be out of place to say that Abia State has no business being in its current state of despair and despicable mess? I must conclude by leaving His Excellency, Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State, with the following lines from Proverbs 6:6-8: “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer and gathereth her food in the harvest.”
It was former Governor Chris Nwabueze Ngige who, realising that his path to Government House, Awka, was paved with undemocratic macadam, wormed his way to the hearts of majority of Ndi Anambra. He provided them leadership and won at the court of public opinion, where it mattered most. Dear Brother Theo, is it in your best interest to use the remainder of your tenure to destroy your tag of the Hero of Shame, and thereby, avert walking the part of perdition?
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