By Dominic Barcity
Some Weeks Back, Abians rolled out the red carpet to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the creation of the state. But the million dollar question that agitates the minds of many is: At 21, has Abia any cause to celebrate? The answer you get will depend on which side of the political pendulum the respondent belongs to.
For those in opposition, the answer would be that there is no reason to celebrate! That the dreams of the founding fathers are far from being realised; that Abia is still crawling at 21. Some would even be of the opinion that Abia is a failed state. The moderates, however, would admit that Abia has been making haste slowly.
Using the physical development of the state as an example, the critics would point to lack of institutional structures and infrastructural deficit that has bedevilled the state over time. To people in this school of thought, the incumbent government is always responsible for what they would adjudge as the underdevelopment of Abia.
Regardless of the diversity of these views, everyone is or appears to be in perfect harmony with one fact: Abia is underdeveloped and in desperate need of change. Not just any change, but a positive change that will enhance the life of everyone. Change that will usher in equal opportunity for every Abian. Many also agreed that Abia has more than it would take to improve the life of the greatest number of her indigenes. Everyone agreed that the bane on our state is corruption; Everyone unequivocally agreed that Abia is underdeveloped and needs a change.
The Fact is Abia politics should be planted on Individualism, what should be uppermost in the minds of the average Abian is who will stand in the gap for the ordinary Abian who has been impoverished and made to eat out of the dustbin of the political elites and subjected to even bow down to say thank you for such privilege.
In as much it is difficult to compare circumstances, but Abia of today is ranking in ‘’clear language’’ the least, interms of infrastructural, social and economic development, because we are stuck in a leadership that lacks focus, strong will, direction and vision to control a state as diverse as ours, richly blessed with abundance of natural and human resources, but today we cannot pay salaries despite huge financial inflows from the federal government.
The Primary need of Abians are affordable Health Care delivery, Education, Security, infrastructure, job creation and physical projects while ensuring the wellbeing of the aged, the weak, vulnerable and the poor. if development is not about focusing on phoney white elephant projects when our existing roads are impassable, then we need to look beyond political parties and source for that Abian who has the pedigree to deliver.
However, in all these, the answer to one fundamental question appears misdirected: who will do the changing? I thought the lives of Abians will be better after the 2015 Election with the emergence of Industrialists like Dr Uche Ogah, a trusted entrepreneur who has the insight & knowledge of transforming Abia startups, businesses and bring about the positive change needed but the people’s mandate was denied.
Although we should all have expectations for the government to implement policies, which will make our existence as Abians more comfortable, we should be aware that we each have a role to play in that journey to change. Every single Abian has a role to play in actualizing change.
While government has a great responsibility to attain the parameters needed for us to grow and flourish, one must be realistic and keep in.