Unlike the argument in the article written by Odimegwu Onwumere titled “Why T.A Orji will not thank God” which was published in The Sun newspaper of August 6, 2012, I strongly believe that Governor Orji has every reason in his life and that of his family and the people of Abia state to be always thankful to God for His infinite mercy, protection and guidance, especially with their liberation from the clutches of devilish syndrome called political godfatherism.
A plague that had held the state down for years before now without progress or development, except the enrichment of the personal pockets of the godmother and her godsons alongside other political cannon fodders and pawns at the expense of the rest of the people.s
Naturally, it is expected that with this development, not everybody will be happy with Governor Orji, his family and the people of the state especially those who lost out in power equation with their allies.
This is because their milk industry which is the State treasury has been blocked by Governor Orji for the good and development of the state.
So to them, the language and feelings is anger, frustration, hatred and puerile criticisms against the government and people of the state. But the beauty of it is that they are in minority and few. And in democracy, the minority will have their say and majority will have their way.
The frustration and grudges was obvious in Onwumere’s illogical and unfounded tantrums embedded in his article against Governor Orji, his government and son which was published in his paymaster’s newspaper.
It is axiomatic fact to all and sundry that the monthly Allocation from Federation Account to States across the country is being published in newspapers monthly alongside its deductions.
That of Abia has always been within the range 3.5 billion Naira, depending on the deductions, while the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state hovers around 200 to 250 million Naira monthly. With the new minimum wage of 21,000, workers salaries and allowances gulp roughly N2.5 billion Naira monthly.
These are verifiable facts none of the armchair critics including Onwumere and his paymaster has not dispute or prove otherwise with accuracy and evidence. Even with these, Governor Orji has been able to put some obvious developmental projects such as Amokwe Housing estate, International Conference Centre, The Workers Secretariat and other ongoing projects across the state.
The issue of lean resources from Federation Account to the States across the country is obvious especially with the current deductions by the Federal Government to settle fuel subsidy payment which Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) had even threatened to drag Federal government to court over the matter.
With this, even the super rich oil states of which Abia is not among are complaining of lean resources from the Federation Allocation. But in the face of all these obvious challenges, Governor Orji has refused to borrow to run the affairs of the State, rather he has prudently managed the resources available to him in developing the state at fast pace unlike his predecessor.
Constitutionally, there is no limitation on the number of political aides to be appointed by a Governor or President. It all depends on the wisdom of the Governor, resources at his disposal coupled with the qualities of the aides that will help him in getting good results.
The number of aides appointed by Governor Orji so far was nothing to compare the 2000 aides appointed by Governor Mallam Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State which her recently sacked. Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state on assumption office appointed 79 aides and when he was asked why he appointed them, his response was that they would help him to generate fund to run the state. I don’t know how far they have generated the fund now.
Also, Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa state recently appointed 50 political aides; this is apart from the Commissioners. Nyako described the appointment as a means of creating employment for the appointees. Can Onwumere tell Nigerians how many political aides was appointed by his paymaster, when he was Governor of Abia state between 1999-2007?
The one billion Naira agriculture loan scheme from Federal Ministry of Agriculture for farmers in the state is a reality and is being release in phases to genuine farmers in the state just like other states across the country. Presently, nine council areas are assessing the loan.
These are facts Onwumere and his paymaster should try to verify before throwing petty and unwarranted tantrums and allegations to the state government out of political malice and hatred. The state government has not diverted it rather they are trying to ensure that genuine farmers benefitted from it as Federal Ministry of Agriculture releases them.
Onwumere appeared to be economical with truth by saying that the only thing that is working in Abia is Engr Chinedum Orji and the Ochendo Youth Foundation.
While Ochendo Youth Foundation is a non-governmental organisation duly registered and recognized in the country, nothing in 1999 Constitution as amended, even being the first son of Governor Orji stops Chinedum Orji from being a Coordinator of a non-governmental organisation. Nothing has link the activities of the organisation or the Coordinator with the state fund.
Mr Somtochi Awala, a lawyer, wrote from Jabi, FCT Abuja