Abia @ 32: Convener of Ihe Abia predicts brighter, glorious future
By Steve Oko
As Abia State marks its 32nd anniversary, Convener of Ihe Abia, Ichie Dr Emeka Okpara, has predicted a brighter future for the state.
He said Abia would be one of the greatest states in Nigeria “by the time it celebrates its Golden Jubilee anniversary in the next 18 years.”
Okpara stated this on Sunday while speaking to journalists after a Thanksgiving Service and Prayer Session in Umuahia.
The Thanksgiving service was organised to mark the 32nd anniversary of the creation of Abia State by the late military Head of State, General Ibrahim Babamosi Babangida on the 27th of August 1991.
He said that “Abia like every other state in Nigeria is a work in progress”, adding that nobody will develop Abia except the good people of Abia State.
“I thank God almighty that we are alive to witness this day in the political history of our dear State, Abia, God’s Own State.
” Whether we have made progress in the past 32 years is a matter of individual perception and we are not here today to pass judgement or evaluate any administration.
“We are here to thank God for the possibilities we have as a people and ask Him to lead us to do right for and by ourselves. We cannot make progress if we continue to dwell in the past and blame ourselves again and again for our mistakes because that would only take us back on our journey to our manifest destiny,” Okpara said.
Speaking further, Ichie Okpara cautioned those who always run Abia down by being judgmental without advancing ways and means the State can make progress.
“He said that while “self-assessment is a good component of the compass for the future, it nevertheless becomes worthless if it is only used to highlight the wrongs and persecute the operators who may not have set out to do wrong but were hamstrung by the circumstances of their moments in office.”
“While I am not making excuses for anybody, I also understand that the only benefit we derive from looking back is to know where and when we made mistakes, learn from our mistakes and not allow such to repeat itself. We may not have achieved all we set out to do but the future holds greater promises for us as long as we do the right things for ourselves and posterity.
“Those that led us in the past 32 years may not have brought us to the Eldorado, but they also gave what they had in terms of knowledge and capacity. What we can do now is to set a new agenda for our leaders and ourselves and work assiduously towards it while taking advantage of the new levels of global prosperity made possible and available by the awesome power of technology and globalisation which makes it easier for many economies to scale the rigours of economic growth and development. We have no reasons not to deliver prosperity to our people because there is no room for failure in the present scheme of the global economy”.
“With what I see today, based on the resolve of Abians, our State would be one of the best States in Nigeria by the time we celebrate our Golden Jubilee in the next 18 years”.
Okpara commended the founding fathers of Abia State for the foresight that led to the creation of Abia State and implored the present leaders and good people of Abia to make sure that they join their hands to make Abia a better place for every Abian.
“More than any other factor for celebration, I give our founding fathers unreserved accolades for their foresight in pushing for the creation of Abia State at the time they did. I say this because the cry of marginalisation still rents the air in many places more than 30 years after Abians escaped from that horrible political situation and we are a free people in our land with our destinies in our hands and the only thing we owe ourselves is to do things right for ourselves and our future generations”.
“I will not fail to immortalise the efforts of our leaders like Chief Bob Ogbuagu, Chief Atulomah, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe, Prof. Ihechukwu Madubuike, Chief Sam G. Ikoku, Generals Ike Nwachukwu, Ndubuisi Kanu, Hon. Elder Okoro Nchege, Eze Bernard Enweremadu, Eze Ikonne, Chief B. B. Apugo and a host of others who made the creation of Abia State possible”, he said.
He called on the good people of Abia to understand that both those who agree or disagree with issues that affect Abians collectively do so for one reason; which is to see Abia a better place for Abians even as he commanded Abians to love one another because it is only love, kindness and unity that can bring the peace and prosperity every Abian desires.
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