Abia State is first on the alphabetical order of states in Nigeria.
It rides high on the rather unfounded belief that it is “God’s own
state”. Am yet to find out if it really is, and why. The fortunes of
the state are locked up within the political fate of visionless
leadership. In a possible rank of the 36 states of the federation,
the state is very likely to hit the bottom, in terms of verifiable
dividends of productive leadership.
The state is providentially positioned to act as an economic
gateway for its IMO and EBONYI neighbours considering the
endowments of its population.
Most countries or states of the world carve for themselves
prime economic enclaves that spin the wheels of its economic
fortunes. Silicon Valley in California becomes the Technology
Hub of the State-and performs the dual functions of propelling
America’s Information technology miracle-home to renowned
brands like Hewlett Packard,Cisco,Oracle,Yahoo,Google,
Adobe and the like, and at the same time widening the
economic frontiers of California-stamping it’s presence very
forcefully on the map of important economic destinations of the
The youths of California have latched onto this robust
technology ambience, and the facility of state, to burst their
innovative talents into full bloom information Technology geeks
and titans. This keeps turning the wheels of the abounding
fortunes of the state.
Lagos state for instance polls as one of the top notch states in
terms of Inland Revenue generation. This does not come solely
as a result of its legacy status as the former Nations capital.
Its cosmopolitan status has only enriched the broad cultural
composition of the different shades and class of individuals
coming into it, from different parts of Nigeria. Essentially what
keeps Lagos attractive to business are the conscious,
strategic thoughts successive leaders have put into it to secure
its economic appeal. The state has managed to complement
the efforts of the private sector in building access roads leading
to important business locations, especially in the highbrow,
Island area. This keeps paying off.
In the converse, Abia state has scant presence of good roads.
Aba it’s most economic active bloc has had very poor road
Aba is the life-nerve and major economic capillary of the state.
Aba is a possible launch pad and epicenter of technology
revolution in Nigeria. To complete the mission of economic self-
suicide, Aba has the worst roads in Nigeria.
Aba is on the security watch list- a key factor that accounts for
business repulsion, especially for outsourced and allied
services. Does the governor and his team realize the gigantic
industrial capacities derivable from the talents and
occupational zest that abound in Aba?
Aba is a low-hanging opportunity waiting for harvest.
Transformative leadership is what changes an inert wasteland
into manifest economic and social benefits.
Does Abia State have leaders who read the weather and the
investment opportunities that abound in Aba?
Abia state, is as it has always been,-slow, colourless and
uneventful. Despite the wave of developmental strides that has
begun to take place across the states of the federation-we are
yet to see Abia state, take a step, even a nimble step. Then
imagine it taking a leap?
The task before the governor and his team is to begin with a
mission statement. To chart a clear path. To leave the way of
self-deceit. To embark on a fresh mission, with honest and
It might have been far more than just a way to start in a
journey that begun long ago-but to start with the will to find a
path, is in itself an implicit act of self-realization, and is far
better than thrashing about sightlessly, with only a wishful
hope to stumble into “something”.
Abia is clearly missing on the national developmental Radar
screen, and the crew members of state on a fate less flight
with no clues to the navigational parameters to fly to their
The fabric of this piece does not intend to project the familiar
ethos of a freelance critic. It bears rather, the heart cry of an
intense patriot, an indigene of the state, who has faith in the
propensities of the state and its manifest destiny of becoming
an elite economy.
We have left the years and seasons when the destiny of a
whole state is thrown off to the chaotic whims of politicians.
The people on the streets may not have the power or privilege
to speak face to face with those handling their affairs, but they
at least can voice their innermost desires and aspirations. It
may nevertheless be thwarted or impugn by the indifference of
We must certainly desire to save our collective destiny- and
sow the seeds of economic revolution that would inspire the
prosperity of future generations yet unborn. It is a huge
historical tragedy to keep quiet when ones house is on fire- it
would go down in the books that the man whose house was on
fire made no attempt at rescue.
Part of my personal faith and gracious wishes for Abia state is
framed within this rhetorical inquiry: “What has happened to
Abia State?” Couched in these words are the consternation
and unspoken agonies of millions of Abia people, home and in
Diaspora, who daily watch the monumental deceit and
falsehood that has been the hall mark of the leadership of the
state since the birth of democratic rule in Nigeria. I have only
embarked on the humble task of channeling their voices and
petitions from a coordinated perspective.
And I hope it comes into solemn dialogue with the “residual
conscience” of Abia leaders.
God cannot be happy to keep seeing “His state”(God’s own
state) in hopeless squalor and sham destitution.
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What has happened to Abia State?
Tuesday, June 05, 2012
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