BreakingNews 10/10/14 - Governor T. A. Orji's Magic Wand of Educational Transformation in AbiaState

[ Masterweb Reports: From Abia State ] -As Governor Theodore Ahamefule Orji mounted the podium at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, on September 29, 2014, to receive the National Honours award of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) from President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, for his contributions to the development of Abia State and his purpose-driven leadership as a first class, and well-polished politician; any reasonable person who has been following the developments would certainly know that such honour was long overdue. 
 


For a start, only very few governors were selected for the highly coveted medal and although many pundits would count Governor T. A. Orji lucky to have been so selected despite the deliberate attempts by some forces to paint his government black; an objective scrutiny of Orji’s numerous good works, humility and humaneness would show the “Ochendo of Africa” deserved the national encomiums.


It is a known fact that a number of noteworthy events and developments have pushed the government’s image and reputations higher. For many people, the goodwill might not be unconnected to the massive investments in, and transformation of, the educational sector of the state by the present administration. The proponents of this conspicuous reality, perhaps mostly Orji’s admirers and the teeming good people of Abia State, at home and in Diaspora, would applaud the state of education in God’s Own State.


Truth is, even the fiercest critics of his administration cannot but acknowledge his uncommon innovations and initiatives aimed at favourably positioning the next coming generations of Abians on a higher and better pedestal; as the growing youth population in Umuaha and Aba and its environs today surely have a greater edge than their contemporaries in other geo-political zones of the country. In many ways, it is evident that Orji’s efforts at developing the youngsters are yielding results –
results that will outlive Orji himself.


Many are the scenarios that have given credence to Orji’s lasting legacies. For the first time in many years a cheerful announcement that Abia is ranked among the top five states in Nigeria with exceptional results of her students at the 2014 West African Examination Council (WAEC) graced the Nigerian media landscape. While this was surprising to many, those who had been paying meticulous attention to the words and actions of the Governor agreed the academic success was no fluke. Thanks to the Governor’s clear vision and strategic moves, the students’
exceptional performances, which were even ahead of notable educationally
developed states in Nigeria’s South-West, have opened a new vista in the state annals. Abia residents, who have been basking in euphoria concerning this development are also commending the gradual transformation of Abia State University, Uturu, and other tertiary institutions in the state. Many people are optimistic that their workaholic government would not rest on its oars in positioning the institution as truly world-class. Many students were so thrilled they went on social media to proclaim that their schools are far better than they used to be.


Today, it is clear the Governor and his indefatigable commissioners have resolved to explore more and more innovative ways of sustaining the transformation in the educational sector of the state. With the inventiveness into education, the future of the people of the state as a whole is secured; and the people would forever be grateful. But beyond education, Orji’s uncommon transformation is evident in many
sectors within the state as manifested by his ubiquitous legacy projects. Perhaps that is why he is the envy of many political neophytes in Nigeria who seize every opportunity to cast baseless aspersions on his work for the sheer sake of garnering cheap political visibility. Albeit, the legacy projects are now very undeniable as they now dot the hitherto barren Abia infrastructural landscape. A first time visitor to
Abia State would possibly giggle and bask in the additional works Orji would do if he had the kind of internally generated revenue (IGR) of Lagos State or that of Akwa Ibom. Despite the fact that Abia is among the state receiving the least in the country, the administration has put the resources to effective use. Even with the little available resources, it is evident that the government is working.
 

Recently, the Chief Press Secretary to the Abia State Governor, Mr. Charles Ajunwa, said in an interview published in a national daily that “only the blind would not see transformation in Abia”. He is right in many ways. 


Ajunwa asserted further that “the governor is not a man who will be at a place and you will not see any change”. This may be why people are talking about his growing list of uncommon transformations in the educational sector of the state. He has touched literally every Local Government Area. Orji has achieved so much that the next class of Abia politicians only need to sustain his projects and ensure the sustenance of all the infrastructures to be deemed successful.


The public is wiser and Abians are speaking with one voice. All the real and perceived political Lilliputians in the state have been silenced. Truth and facts can speak for themselves in Abia. Orji is working! The legacy projects of the administration are increasing on a daily basis despite the meager resources available. Abia stands out as one of the strongest states in terms of infrastructure development, youth
empowerment and protection of lives and property. The menace of kidnapping that plagued the government of his predecessor has become a thing of the past. Perhaps the panacea was the Governor’s resolve to putting the state resources into proper use in conjunction with the security agencies, and thorough and judicious engagement of the unemployed youths, or even a sagacious combination of both. The point is, peace and tranquility was restored under Orji’s meticulous watch. One can only hope that the political gladiators aspiring to take over the rein of leadership in the state are taking valuable lessons from Orji’s sagacious moves.


The new dawn in Abia has not emerged in obscurity. The reality is obvious on the streets. Civil servants have continued to enjoy the new minimum wage even when other states are yet to commence implementation. In fact, a number of governors in the South-West and the North-East need to consult Orji as soon as possible. His colleagues in power have many things to learn from him. 


Recently, the untiring and unrelenting Governor, in an apparent move to lift the image and reputation of his state, called on President Goodluck Jonathan to ensure the establishment of a federal-owned Polytechnic in Abia State. It was a passionate and timely appeal. He is well aware that with functional and quality education, business activities and life would be better.  Orji made the appeal in his address at the inauguration of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) office in Mgbarakma, Ubakala in Umuahia South Local Government Area of the state. Truthfully, the man who has done so much and spent so much to educate his people deserved the backing of Nigeria’s federal might. The Governor commended President Goodluck Jonathan for his transformation agenda especially in the educational sector, which has seen to the establishment of more Federal Government Universities in
states that had none before his administration.


Said Orji: “I thank the President who has seen Abia State as a peculiar case, peculiar in the sense that we don’t joke with education. We have two priorities on our political agenda, health and security, because once you are healthy, other things will follow.


“When you go out there, you will see that we in Abia State take education as business; that is the ultimate desire of every parent to make sure that their children go to school. Although we are education friendly; it is only in Abia State that we don’t have a federal polytechnic.


“The Federal Government has not opened any one here, the one in Abia is state government-owned, the College of Education at Arochukwu is also state government-owned, but if you go to other states, there are Federal Government polytechnics, so we need one here.”


The call for FG’s support was long overdue. The people earnestly wanted the Jonathan led-administration to complement Orji’s messianic efforts. Earlier, the then supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, commended the Governor for being supportive of Jonathan’s transformation agenda and for transforming Abian lives beyond imagination. Recently too, many people have been talking about the newly built facilities donated to various schools as well as many empowerment programmes of Orji’s administration.


In a newspaper interview published on Friday, September 26, 2014, Orji was quoted as promising to keep striving for Abia’s progress. It is a known fact that T. A. Orji has continued to empower the teeming youths in the state. For him, “if the strength and intelligence of the youth are not harnessed, they will use them negatively”. This sagacious thought might be one of the things propelling him to perform the ongoing
wonders.


The “magic” of massive empowerment for the unemployed is a case in study too. Not many people are asking what has happened to the “dirty hoodlums” of Abia? The magic of the

 
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