The All Progressive Grand Alliance has expressed its deep regret that Abia State at the age of 31 has nothing but failures and unpaid salaries to celebrate.
APGA State President, Rev. Augustine Ehiemere, said: “When Abia was founded on August 27, 1991 after the arduous efforts of our founding fathers, people flocked to the streets to celebrate the birth of a new state with great expectations.
“We didn’t know that 31 years later, Abia State will still be a crawling baby. This is even more annoying with the realization that even younger states that emerged many years later have started running since then.
“Wrong drivers and opportunists who have steered the state craft and leadership wheel of the God’s Own State have rather led us back rather than forward.”
The People’s Democratic Party, a PDP-led administration that has remained in power since 1999 eight years after the establishment of the state of Abia, said Ehiemere that “the impoverishment, economic strangulation and near collapse of the state of Abia have been quite controlled” .
He added: “Unfortunately, the current PDP-led administration of Okezie Ikpeazu is the worst of all governments seen in Abia so far. We wonder what this government will celebrate if its achievements at Abia @ 31.
“It’s disheartening that at age 31, Abia is celebrating 25 months of doctors’ back pay; de-accreditation of Abia Polytechnic Aba after 30 months of unpaid staff wages; de-accreditation of Abia State University Teaching Hospital Aba ABSUTH; and 10 months back pay from ABSU Staff.
“At 31, Abia retirees still have four years of tips and 28 months of arrears; Primary and secondary teachers receive a five-month salary and promotion allowance; many employees are paid incomplete salaries.
“At 31, Abia celebrates leadership failure and rising debt. At 31, we celebrate godfatherism and imposition.
“At 31 years old, the roads in Abia are still impassable: Ukwa land, the only oil-producing area in the state of Abia, is completely cut off from the rest of the state due to bad roads. At the age of 31, the ancient kingdom of Arochukwu is still accessible through the state of Akwa Ibom”.
He described it as sad and shameful that at the age of 31, adding: “Abia does not have a permanent government building, but still operates from donated starter apartments. Despite billions in Naira, which the PDP-led administration claimed to have sunk into the New Government House project, the site has been abandoned for the past eight years.
“At 31 years old, Aba, the once revered city of Enyimba, the main trading center in the West African sub-region, has become an abandoned city. Port Harcourt Road Aba is completely cut off from the rest of the city due to the bad road; The roads Uratta, Ohanku Road, Ozuoma and Ohazu are impassable. This is after the government destroyed people’s homes and shops under the pretense of awarding a road repair contract.
“At 31 years old, the much advertised Enyimba Economic City has remained a mirage. At the age of 31, the Abia airport project has yet to start, three years after the Ikpeazu-led government borrowed N10 billion for it. At the age of 31, Abia celebrates the near collapse of our education and health sectors, infrastructural decay and mismanagement.
“At 31 years old, Abians cannot move freely from one community to another due to the insecurity. Noting that insecurity has become a national phenomenon, some state governments, such as Benue and Ondo, have since taken some practical steps to protect their people. Instead of reviving our once tireless local vigilante group, our governor is busy touring the world with a fellow governor like a personal assistant.”
The Abia APGA bus therefore urges Abians to unite and participate in the ongoing efforts to rid the state of oppressors and political hijackers, stating: “It is time to jettison political sentiments and of Abia above party politics. APGA has provided the platform to lead Abia from Egypt to the Promised Land.”