My attention was drawn to an online bundle of lies been peddled by a mumbo jumbo political jobber who in trying hard to seek relevance thinks that promoting falsehood is the only path to tread.
My name is Chinenye Nwaogu, I serve as State Focal Person for Social Investment and by assignment coordinated some of the Federal government relationship with Abia State. I write not as a staff of Abia State Government, but as an active participant in most of the issues referred to by the embryonic political misfit.
ARIARIA POWER PROJECT
Few weeks to the general elections a major misfortune hit the Abia APC when the President, Gen Mohammed Buhari decided to visit Abia for the first time to commission the Ariaria Independent Electricity Distribution Network facility, the IPP project coordinated by the Rural Electrification Agency. During that visit the President and the Minister Power, Works and Housing Mr. Fashola poured encomiums on the person of the Governor of Abia State for pioneering a very constructive and impactful bi-partisan relationship that delivered the first of such project east of the Niger. One would wonder why the APC in Abia bellyaches instead of joining their national leadership to commend a smart and wise leader who thinks more about development and impacting positively on the lives of his people instead of playing crude politics. The Ariaria power project is an offshoot of the Made in Aba project initiated and championed by the Governor of the State, which caught the attention of the Federal Government leading to the launching of Project MINE, I’m sure the APC goons in Abia are oblivious of this project. Mr. “Made in Aba”, got the attention of the national and international stakeholders leading to the hosting of the maiden edition of the Nationwide MSME Clinic in Aba. It was in that event that the issue of power was brought to the fore and the Governor working with key stakeholders including REA designed a sustainable solution to provide uninterruptable power supply to centres of commerce and production in the re-energized MSME capital east of the Niger. The fuss being made about this successful partnership by the Abia APC will certainly receive condemnation from their leadership at the national level including the federal government, hence it defeats the purpose of the project initiators. Today the project which is wholly a PPP project of the traders, Abia State government and the Federal Government have been delivered and its being paid for by the traders in Aba. It was during this event that the President and the Minister commended the Governor for reconstructing the Faulks road, which had hitherto defied all previous efforts to get it motorable sustainably. In fact at the Palace of Eze Isaac Ikonne one of the traditional rulers voiced their appreciation to the Governor for the beautiful work of completely changing the narrative on Faulks Road. He opined that prior to that event, it was a night mare attempting to visit the palace of Eze Isaac Ikonne.
SOCIAL INVESTMENT PROGRAMME
Much have been said about Soicial Investment Programmes in Abia nay Nigeria that one may begin to think that Social Investment is one very new novel programme that came from the skies. Social Investment is nothing other than rebranded Social Inclusion programmes which had been in existence prior the advent of this administration. Granted like any other government before it in nigeria had done, some flavours were added, but nobody should harrass Nigerians about a programme that some of us have kept quite to allow the sleeping dogs lie instead of critiquing the programme which in turn will expose its inadequecies and shortcomings. Having said that. Have the APC Abia asked why is the Social Investment Programme in Abia reverbrating so well nationally, is Abia the only State where the programme is being implemented? Why is the success of the programme so well appreciated, why has the programme in Abia become the only thing APC Abia has clinched in mounting their blackmail kind of campaign, acting like like a newly weaned baby. The answer may not be far fetched. Imo State until recently was an APC governed state, if Social Investment was just about APC why is it that these programmes are not well grounded in Imo State. The key is in what the APC will never admit, Okezie Ikpeazu’s style of leadership is rare. For Social investment Programme to succeed like it has in Abia, you must have a social investment or pro poor oriented leader. Ever before the Federal government launched its school feeding programmes, Abia State through the Office of the Wife of the Governor and some key partners had lanched ASPLUS, a free lunch initiative for pupils in public primary schools. It was one of the major programmes the Wife of the Govenror through her pet project, Vicar Hope Foundation had promised to deliver to the poor in Abia State. That speaks to the success of the programme in the state, the federal government home grown school feeding programme ran smoothly because their was an already existing template and platform for implmentation, it became a plug and play kind of thing. Today Abia a PDP state is the only state in the federation feeding from primary 1 -6. APC Abia will never let the world know this. Before the Federal government launched the N Power programme or any of its components, Abia had launched some youth job creation programmes like E4E, the CBN/SEEDC and other similar platforms to create opportunities for the youths in the state. Whilst we acknowledge the impact of the stipends paid to N Power beneficiaries no one should hold the state at the jugular for embracing and painstakingly implementing to the admiration of all and sundry a programme funded by the federal budget in a fedration which we all belong to. Such is similar with the other components of the programmes. In a nutshell the success of these initiatives and programmes in Abia is not rocket science, just that a passionate and visonary leader took hold of the saddle to take Abia to the next level and drive programmes, policies and projects that will impact positively the lives of the citizenry leveraging on all available platforms. The new word in the leadership lexicon today is Leverage. Smart leaders pull all opportunities and fire from all cylinders to enhance the living standard of their people by creating templates that allow such programmes to succeed easily in their domains. I do not think that the Wolrd Bank or any of the global institutions that aid national governments will hold them to ransome or consistnetly blackmail them into submission all because help came their way. Abia is a success story because of the kind of Governor that is at the helm of Affairs. Abia APC should rather commend the Governor for his stateman-like attitude and style of leadership. He doesn’t not play unnecessary partisan and crude politics like some of their leaders played in the past while at the helm of affairs when they denied Abia juicy opportunties coming from the Federal government just to massage their overbloated egos. It is on record that the state lost many privileges because a certain Chief executive at a time fell out with the then President and Abia paid darely for it. The approach Governor Ikpeazu took to constructively engage the Federal Government has continue to receive the applause of some of the leaders of the APC at the Federal level. No wonder sound minds like Dr Enelamah who cannot sacrifice dividens of democarcy on the alter of political rascality and innordinate ambition, never took them serious.
Enyimba Economic City
I am sure at some point, the APC in Abia will be called up for questioning on their stand on this most ambitious and audacious project, one of the best thought out and incubated programmes ever implemented in Nigeria. During the definitive agreement signing ceremony, an elated President Buhari praised the Governor of Abia for coordinated a very robust and technicallly intricate project, midwiving the activities of several parties including attracting the attention and participation of key global financial institution to partner with the private sector, federal and state government to deliver a solid project like EEC. Everywhere the federal government has gone to seek foreign investments, the EEC has been the catcher. Today it’s the most promoted investment opportunity in Nigeria. If it was not so well incubated, would it have attracted such commedable attention. In far away China during one of its investment outings the President was confronted with the issue of providing the needed support for the success of the project, unlike the APC goons in Abia, it is on record that thhe Governor has continued to express appreciation to the federal government especially the Minister Industry, Trade and Investment and Mr. President for their efforts to see to the realization of the project.
In a federation like ours, no tier of government runs an island-like programmes and plans and expect monumental success. It begs the question, whether the leadership of the APC in Abia is in politics just for the sake of it or they enjoy opposing everything that will lead to the development of the state. One will not be in doubt why Abians decide to reject them glaringly at the polls because they saw through their pretentions. Every right thinking Abian should be busy exploring opportunities that will enahnce the living standard of the citzens of the state, rather this lack lustre campaign of calunmy embarked upon by these meddlesome interloppers who have nothing to offer to the citizens of the state. It is unfortunate that the Abia APC will deny the state governor his due accolades for projects initiated and implemented here in Abia including obvious road projects everyone knows is a state project. Tufiakwa!
For me patriotism should be at the apex of consideration while aspiring for political positions and participation and its so obvious that it is one virtue lacking within the ranks of the APC in Abia state.