I am inclined to ask this question; Are There No Elders In Abia, that can talk sense into the present political leadership in the state? Why are our elders mum over the poor state of development in the state since inception of this democracy in 1999? Abia appears from all indices to be the least developed in the five states of the South-Eastern region. Abia is counted among the oil rich states that receives special 13 percent derivation from oil proceeds. Yet, the state is so backward, misgoverned, enveloped with maladministration, and continuously scores failure in all areas of government administration.
Where are our elders I am compelled to ask? Why are they not talking against the ills bedeviling the state, the complete absence of leadership? Have they been compromised? Does the progress of the state not matter to them? Where are our religious leaders and bodies? The Catholic Church, Anglican, Methodist, Assemblies, Jehovah Witness, where are these Churches and what are they doing in this non-presence of government in the state? The Catholic Church are known to champion justice, development and peace in societies. Is there justice and development in Abia today that the Catholic leadership are keeping quiet? When the state is not responding to the social-economic needs of the people who voted them into power, what else is their responsibility? Can we say there is justice when the people are been impoverished, denied of basic infrastructures that aid human growth and development?
Where is the development when there are no good roads, no support for agriculture, no farm settlements, international markets, factory village, conducive environment for learning? In fact, it is shameful that same elementary and secondary school buildings we attended in the 1970s are still same structures standing till date, no improvement, no new structure, what then is our state wealth used for? Meanwhile, in other states like Lagos, Ogun, Osun that had ‘poultry’ building for schools are today housing very magnificent structures. Where is the development when there is no investment in its youths – the builders of tomorrow? Our youths are just roaming the villages and streets. When we fail to invest in our youths, is it not a deliberate destruction of their future? The political leaders of Abia today and tomorrow must wake up and imbibe a new culture of leadership. They must be ready to save Abia from total destruction. They must work for the state and peoples. They must be told to re-organise Abia to be counted among the developed states. To be selfless in service to restore Abia’s glory. We cannot be God’s Own State for nothing, Chukwu ekwele!
Where are the traditional title holders? The Eze this, The Eze that? Where are they? Is the condition of Abia not shameful to them? Are they proudly Abian in the dirty, abandoned and confused condition of Aba and Umuahia? Can they proudly call themselves Royal Fathers when their children and state’s future look bleak and forlon? Why can’t our Royal Fathers come together and talk to the political leadership of the state to work harder in improving the standard late Sam Mbakwe erected.
What about the economic and financial giants in Abia, have they bound us all to the Philistine? Is it now a case of, To Thy Tents O’ Israel? So, no one can come to the aid of the downtrodden in Abia? Why is it difficult for these people to unite for the sake of Abia success? They have the financial war chest to confront the government on their bad performances and, demand for improvement. So, why are they not doing that for the survival of the state?
What about the political actors, those who are interested in governing the state in one capacity or the other? Those who complain of the present leadership, what are they doing or presenting as alternative solution to the present rot? Why are they not talking against the complete ruin of the state? Is it that they are preparing to come and continue the ruin? For Christ sake, I think they should be worried at the poor state of Abia. They should be talking and doing something, not wait till election.
Where are the civil rights groups, activists from the state? Where are we? Do we continue to bemoan and do nothing? Do we fold our hands and watch these shenanigans ruin the state completely? Every state in Nigeria is making some meaningful progress, achievements but, not so in Abia. In Abia, especially Aba, streets are impassable, terrible, no international market, yet we are a state gifted with Aba – a factory cum market. The state is not well run, organized, the people are impoverished, there are no infrastructures to aid social-economic growth and development of the state. The elders must stand up for the survival of the state!
*** Article by Uzodinma Nwaogbe / +234 708.438.1845.