New Abia Cabinet; withdrawal from the old order
By Jaja Martins
Just very recently the Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu made some thought-provoking pronouncements on a radio program jointly aired by radio stations in Abia State. Two of these pronouncements reverberated in my mind; ‘I want my name to be written where those of Sam Mbakwe, Michael Okpara and other great leaders of the past were written’, ‘I’m a legacy-pursuing Governor’. These aspirations have everything good in them.
Abians and numerous observers of political events in the state have long expected such spirit- lifting and hope-alive statements. It could have gathered wider acclaim and commendation had it come times prior to Aba North/South Federal Constituency bye election. This is untimely, such that people saw it as having the coloration of electioneering campaigns.
Beyond the bye election that has generated much heat, expectations are so high vis-a-vis the resolve of the Governor. Everyone would want to see a radical step up of the implementation speed of the much-touted Abia kinetic projects. If the Governor’s recent statements were not campaign-induced, he would have to seek supplementary budget approval to enable him scale up activities for the remaining part of the year, and where he would have to present the broadest of appropriation bills in subsequent years, so as to measure up or come close to the legacies of his models in governance, whose names are etched on the solid wall of time.
Many, nay, preponderance of Abians and non Abians alike maintain that the present administration has not done enough to change the lot of the people. Abia State is seen as the most unfortunate and underdeveloped state east/across the Niger. All these observations are nothing but the truth, especially when you place Abia State side by side with neighbouring states of Ebonyi, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Anambra and others. The socioeconomic indices of growth and development in the state are regrettable pointers to the woes and miseries of Abia people. The people cannot continue like this!
Now that the state is set for cabinet reshuffling, what are the thoughts of the Governor? Is he considering reappointing the same old people who have held the state down from inception or the cronies of emperors of gate of hell? Has he appraised the performance of his past Commissioners and Aids? Did they contribute anything to changing the narrative and negative perception people have about Abia State? What individual and collective innovations did they bring on board? What competence do I need in my next appointees to achieve my lofty dreams for the state? What is the missing link? The Governor should by now have an intensive introspection as to the direction to move.
Recourse to partisanship where competence is needed is the reason why Abia is first from behind. In the reconstitution of the Executive Cabinet, the Governor should jettison political patronage and sentiment. His appointment should base on resourcefulness, competence and past record of making something out of nothing. If the Governor must optimise the balance of time in his reign, then he must close his eyes to political brigandage. He must go and look for Abians with zeal to entrench professionalism and performance. He must not continue to work with these fair weather political prostitutes whose only professionalism and competence is psychophancy of damage.
Mr. Governor, posterity beckons on you to give good account of the trust of people you enjoy. You have not been told the truth. Those frolicking around you are on a mission to put you in the dustbin of history. You have not done enough. Even the few roads you are constructing, though some of them are solid enough, are mere scratch on the surface of network of dilapidated and killer roads in Aba, Umuahia, Ohafia and other parts of the state.
You cannot continue to recycle the same set of people who have failed in performance and expect to get a different result. These people do not have the requisite technical know-how to occupy sensitive public offices. My dear Governor, partisan politics is not practical performance. Let me me remind you that after 2023, the tone will change to – during Okezie Ikpeazu’s government. These bunch of deceits around you may not even remember, then, to add Dr. to your name. You can never hear – during Commissioner’s or Special Adviser’s government. All will desert you and switch loyalty. Only you and you alone will face the people.
A stitch in time saves nine. This note cannot come at a better time than this. As you are set constitute your new cabinet, Abia people are eager to see how you march it with your recent radio lofty pronouncements. Assume another dimension of resoluteness and appoint people with previous visible successes in their respective areas of human endeavors. You can never again afford to appoint opportunists whose only political philosophy is – food is ready.
To say the least, Abia State is trailing behind. Go and check the fact files. If the remaining part of this government slips off your hand, history will forget you, sooner than later. Then, your cherished dream of joining the league of your models will prove elusive. Bye and bye, you will look for your legacies only to wish the hand of clock could turn.