May 17, 2022

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Sen. T. A. Orji:  Lest we forget

Sen. Theodore Orji

Sen. T. A. Orji:  Lest we forget

By Iyke Ogbonnaya

Senator Theodore Orji

My wondering thoughts recently got provoked and zeroed in on the submission for us to congregate and retrospectively count miles as we unbiasely weigh Senator T.A. Orji on the balance of gubernatorial stewardship.

Orji giving out empowerment tools and cash to constituents

Unlike the Shakespearean Mac Anthony, I have not come to bury him, neither have I come to subjectively pour undeserving encomiums on him.

Senator Theodore Orji dolling out empowerment items to constituents

I am however motivated to briefly recall and play up some enduring and strategic infrastructural legacies his stewardship bequeathed Abians, especially now that we are smarting from the three decades heralding the creation of Abia State.

Nwaka (right) with Senator Orji and wife

Facts as it relates to allocation of verifiable values that senator T. A. Orji instituted in the sands of time, may mean different things to different people. However, regardless of the sheds of perspectives that may have been variously advanced and bandied, the towering reality of what former Governor T.A. Orji did to jump start the infrastructural narrative of Abia State cannot be wished away.

As we effortlessly torch light some of these legacies Abians cannot live in denial of the three imposing state of the art workers secretariat and joint accounts allocation committee building adorning the landscape of the new Umuahia layout. It symbolized the creation of a matching identity which eluded Abians before Senator Orji became Governor.

Senator Theodore Orji arriving at the venue of the Congress

Civil servants in the State gleefully became the highest beneficiaries following from their occupation of the brand new secretariat, a vista which triumphantly came after over 20 years of operating from schools, antiquated buildings and rented apartments.

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When T. A. Orji held forth as Governor, kidnapping of perceived cash cows for ransom had a crushing grip on the entire south-south and south-east geopolitical enclave. It spiraled into the eventual detestful abduction of journalist who were journeying back to base from Calabar enroute Abia.

The national outcry which the abduction naturally generated, left T.A. Orji with bitter and unpleasant memories to contend with. Peace and sleep took a flight from him and in the process of a very short time, reprieve, aided by deployment of technology and patriotic manpower facilitated the felling of then notorious kidnap kingpin, Osisikankwu. My memory will obviously not fail me, as I vividly recall that Theodore Orji as Governor did not relax in his oars after the containment of Osisikankwu. It was during his gubernatorial stewardship that the security architecture of the State experienced rejigging, giving rise to the establishment of Goodluck Jonathan 144 Battalion Barracks Ohafia and Nigerian Army School of Languages, Isuikwuato.

Senator Theodore Orji receiving Enyi Abia award at Abia @ 27

The imposing and prestigious High Court Complex in Umuahia and Aba including the 3000 seating capacity International Conference Centre built under T.A. Orji constitutes genuine and enduring testimonies that will always speak for him.

Adjudication of Justice in Abia State High Court Complex, is now done in an atmosphere of tranquility, under a cozy office complex without the Judges being irritated and hurrying to adjourn cases.

Hotels of different size and ratings keep springing up and are strategically consummating the regular business windfall accruing from programmes hosted by the International Conference Centre.

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No syntax or diction will be cogent and rational enough to bamboozle Abians into justifying the inability of the State to have a befitting permanent Government House until T.A. Orji came and inaugurated the on-going huge and befitting one.

It was under Orji as Governor that Umuahia rid herself of the toga “glorified village” and subsequently got duplicated, giving rise to the production of a new half known as ‘Ogurube Layout’ where modernity keeps springing up. Senator T.A. Orji gave bite to equity through his constant propagation of unity and harmony which left in its wake, unprecedented sense of belonging and earned him the sobriquet “Father of equity.”

He began literally from level zero given the magnitude of monumental decadence prevalent in the State but in a short while he made the State structurally receptive. Today, we are counting miles and taking stocks and from whichever perspective we desire to look at legacies, Theodore Orji as former Governor of Abia State, will always take the front seat.

Today’s medical tourism, for which Abia is being counted, dates back to the working synergy which he had with Me-Cure Health Services of India, and which has in its wake, rescued Abians who sought medical relief from critical health challenges viz: Kidney dialysis, Eye treatment, etal.

His medical milestones had earlier produced over 600 health centres across the nooks and crannies of the State rural areas and 100 bed hospitals in all the 17 Local Government Areas of Abia.

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I crave not to be misquoted and misconstrued having earlier posited that, criticism is everybody’s entitlement except that those who are bereft of facts, blindly indulge in it and end up constituting tingling cymbals.

Little wonder critics are turning a blind eye at the genuine determination of Okezie Ikpeazu to fix the roads in Aba and deliver other on-going people oriented projects before the expiration of his tenure.

In the face of infinitesimally low revenue generation, further aggravated by a very pathetic exchange rate, these gubernatorial gladiators will naturally be confronted by innumerable inhibitions, but the will which ushers the way, will always help to get it right.

Governance is a relay race, let us cheer and encourage the person on board so we can enthrone another for uninterrupted development.

The aspiration of every father is for his son to surpass him and I am persuaded to believe that Senator T.A. Orji shares in that school of thought.


Iyke Ogbonnaya, a Public Affairs analyst, wrote in from Umuahia.

Steve Oko, Publisher/C.E.O, WaWa News Global. For more information on advert placement and news coverage, contact us on: 08038725600, or via email [email protected]; [email protected] Always read WaWa News Global - Your most dependable online news platform for the latest breaking news in Nigeria.

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