BreakingNews 15/10/16 - Abia@25 the journey so far

[ Masterweb Reports: Uche Aguoru reports ] - Looking back at the state of affairs in our beloved state Abia after 25 years, our founding fathers both living or dead who gestated with the idea of carving out another state from our parent state Imo must be writhing in irrepressible agony.

Abia is a state that harbours great potentialities in human, material and mineral resources, a state that has produced great leaders and selfless politicians like the late premier of the eastern region chief Dr. M.I.Okpara, Chief Jaja Nwachukwu, Dr. Alvan Ikeokwu, Chief A.O Chikwendu,Chief J.J Okezie to mention but a few.

In business, Abia is reputed to have been the home of foremost Igbo business men and industrialists who traded in honesty and achieved wealth through honest business transactions, one must not fail to mention names such as Chief Nnanna Kalu, the stock fish merchant, Chief Onwuka Kalu, Onwuka interbiz, Dr. Uchechukwu Ogah, President master energy group and a host of others

In the Academia, we have great names like Prof. Eni Njoku, Prof. Ogbuagu, Prof. Anya O.Anya the list is inexhaustible while time and space won't permit me to mention all.

In the military Abia has produced a military head of state, a chief of army staff, military governors and fine military personnel that the Nigerian army are proud of, we have names like Major General Thomas Umunnakwe Aguiyi Ironsi, Gen. Ike Nwachukwu, commodore Emeka Emerua, commodore Ebitu Ukiwe, General Ihejirika commodore Amadi Ikwechegh the list is endless.

We also have great Economists and administrators like the great (KIK) Dr Kalu Idika Kalu, Dr. Paul Ogwuma, (CBN Governor),Dr Mrs Okonjo Iweala the greatest finance minister Africa has produced (CNN), Madam Aruma Oteh and many others. 

Abia state has mineral resources like the crude oil and other mineral resources  in commercial measures that abound in virtually all parts of the state. 

We have Crude Oil Oilfields at Imo River ,Obuzo, Owaza ngboko, Nkali, Odogkwa, Obeakpu and Isimiri, while Natural Gas deposits is found in Ohuru Ukwa East LGA.

We have Tar Sands/ Oilshales deposits in Ugwueme-Lokpanta axis in Umunneochi LGA, Lead,Zinc, and Copper is found in Lokpaukwu (Umunneochi LGA, while untapped Phosphate deposits are found in Amaeke in Umuahia and Ewe in Arochukwu LGAs.

Gypsum lies beneath the earth in Lokpaukwu and it's used by Cement manufacturers, pharmaceuticals and for the manufacture of chalk and plaster of paris, we also have large deposits of Limestone in Ewe- Arochukwu and Isuikwuato LGAs

Iron Ore is found in Isuikwuato LGA, while Kaolin is naturally deposited in Umuahia, Ikwuano and Isuikwuato LGAs 

We have large deposits of Industrial sands in Ukwa, Aba and Umuahia,while Igneous rocks is a common site in uturu, Lokpanta and lekwesi all in Abia North state senatorial zone.

In Agriculture it is acknowledged that 70% of the rural dwellers in Abia are engaged in subsistence farming as the state is naturally blessed with arable lands and wonderful vegetation, while timber is found in commercial quantities in places like Bende,Arochukwu and Ikwuano LGA,s.

But in the midst of all these mind cheering blessings from above, Abia has been very unlucky in politics and governance, our political culture and behaviour has thrown up mediocres and encouraged them to run the affairs of the richly blessed state since 1991 when the state was created, one can hardly point at any leader who has shown some form of commitment to the development and welfare of the state beginning from the days of the military till today.

Leaders with blurred vision and stunted creative abilities has been left in charge of the destiny of Abians, the end result is the running down of the commercial pride of the South East, The japan of Africa, and city of the big elephant, Enyimba city. 

Past and present administrations in Abia state have contributed in no small measure at ensuring that Aba a commercial town strategically located in the Abia South geopolitical zone with the potential of returning an upwards 2.5 billion Naira in IGR monthly if well managed has been left to rot, roads in Aba and Abia in general has been rendered inaccessible from one point to another, security has become a big challenge to investments and would be investors are scared away by governments demeanour towards the citizens. 

The political system has always thrown up lazy, social and economic initiatively deficient people to over see the economic lives of our dear state, leaders who cannot think outside of the box to generate income but will rather depend on the federal government monthly allocation which is hardly enough these days to satisfy their personal greed and the outcome is their inability to meet up with the states monthly wage bill.

An Average Abia civil servant within the past one year and four months can hardly afford three square meal and cater for his family adequately because our political system paired us with an incompetent,careless, lazy, inept and clueless leader whose only quality is equity and he has succeeded in drawing the state back to the days that one will rather not wish to remember, crime and criminality that left Abia is now an every day story across the state, striking workers are no longer news in Abia, educational institutions are now resorting to self help by over taxing the students for survival, manufacturers are closing shops, contractors are relocating to neighbouring towns, touting has become the only industry that is still employing the youths.

What else will I say, today I join in prayers with fellow Abians to ask God to please have mercy on Abians and give us that man who has the vision and mission to turn back the lost fortunes of Abia,that man who has the economic creativity to make Abians rejoice, that man who has the genuine fear of God in him, that man who will not watch Abians cry while he indulges in expensive wine and parties, that man who will create employment opportunities for Abians,like the Master Energy Group instead of using them as thugs 

God be the judge over the affairs of men and give us back our choice of a leader through the supreme courts, one who will restore sanity in the system and bring Abia back to reckoning amongst the comity of states.

Uche Aguoru ( Email: ) writes from Umuahia, Abia State.
*Photo Caption - Map of Abia State
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