Rough Terrain To Democracy -By Amaechi Oken

Filed under: Democracy & Governance |

 

Nothing good comes too easily, is clearly explained with the stages a farmer passes through: goes to the farm to clear, till the soil, make the area ready for planting and tend the growing crop. This period the farmer encounters difficulty and temptation. It is similar to the trader, who moves from one end of the market to the other in search, negotiate cost of goods at the price he is likely to sell and make profits. Farmers do not at all time make good harvest, and traders at all times do not make profits.

Democracy is a well cherished system of government which from the rigorous preparatory stage of electioneering campaign enlightens the electorate on the manifestoes of the political party the candidate is flying on. Strictly emphasizes on programmes and how to go about them if voted into office. The good people of Ezza North were not left out in the bargain among other promises and understanding reached with the present chief executive of the state, Engr Dr. David Nweze Umahi was construction of Ezza road, Ebiaji road and Ring road from Ezzamgbo to Oshiegbe, Amuda, Umuezeoka, Nkomoro, Ogboji, Ekka, Ezzama/Onueke. I have to list out autonomous communities and different INEC wards lined up to benefit from the construction. The people of Ezza North had held similar discussions with the past governors, at the electioneering campaign. Enumerated many problems, considered within the purview of state government, at the end attempt would not be made for the execution/accomplishment.

Our amiable Governor His Excellency Dr. David Nweze Umahi, with a fountain of ingenuity and aggressiveness took a path of honour to fulfill the pledge and agreement. Turned the neglect and abandonment suffered in the previous administrations to abundant inflow of infrastructure. The solid ongoing construction work on Ezza Road to Ebiaji, when completed, Ezza North LGA will join the remaining twelve local government areas in the league of those who have good constructed (tarred) road to the LGAs headquarters. Then the portion of LGAs which runs along with other seven LGAs, networked through the ring road construction, in a manner we truly agree to the saying he who laughs last laughs best. It is a blessing in disguise the non attempt by the previous governments. Heals the wound suffered from Chief Martin Nwancho Elechi’s claim, who boldly said he would not carry out the Ring road construction for the people’s benefit, because we (Ezza North people were very troublesome).

None of the past State Government or federal government would have been painstaking to attain the standard; the present governor is carrying out on Ebiaji road. Concrete – thickness above six inches. The standard he has maintained in the various parts of the state. The standard hopefully will be maintained and taken to complete the Ring road across eight Local Government Areas that constitute Ebonyi North and Central Senatorial Districts. What other projects could we consider more laudable than these?

The people (Electorate) during the discussion to agreements which formed the condition for support, because of the enormity of the demand knew quite well that fulfillment of the obligation would not be possible without external borrowing/loans. So without hesitation, we the governed are not only giving the governor unflinching solidarity and support to source the fund from African development bank and Islamic bank, but to go further to any other possible institution to borrow additional fund if necessary for the completion of the road projects. There is no alternative to the Ring road construction project. It falls within the margin of safety.

That early civilization was attributed to Egypt was because of the boomed agriculture (farming) due to regular source of water from River Nile, writing and significant pyramid. Pyramid is a physical infrastructure, without which, Egypt would not have been recognized as civilized. I wish I had enough space to list out the importance of strong constructed road, both for the people the road passes in their land and outsiders from places beyond your imagination plying it to various destinations, for economic and tourism, socio political benefits.

Dividends of democracy are a vehicle conveying load in two flanks.
Tangible goods beneficial either to individual or public: Individuals secure political appointments, contract projects, grants, loans. Receive money for personal ends. Public goods relate to what the general populous enjoy collectively without encumbrance, such as water from borehole, water corporation supply, accessing constructed roads and bridges, buildings in the markets, schools, hospitals, electricity etc.
Intangible services, highlighted as inalienable rights. Opportunity to meet with the elected from time to time, in order to hear and to be heard. And to be attended to all at atimes. To welcome praises and acknowledgement, tolerate oppositions and accusations. Those who are working for your success and others, who are working for your downfall, all form the constituents you are exercising their mandate. The moment you are elected be focused and direct your energy and zeal towards actualizing those things you will leave behind, and to be pointed at as the legacy.

Our problem is more of ignorance than any other reason. Who could have contemplated that state government with lean fund constructed mighty flyovers. Development cannot be achieved, if there is no added value to the present state of things. If I may ask why flyovers are constructed in various places you know. We jump to answer is to ease congested traffic flow. The answer is suitable to the gigantic ones Dr. David Nweze Umahi has done in four different locations. E.g. Sen. Offia Nwali flyover has behind it thickly populated Ebonyi State University Campus, and for the information of the general public, the Ezza road Ebiaji road does not end in Achiagu, where the white man, built the first customary court in the land known as Ebonyi State today. About four kilometers from Achiagu via Inyere ward/community, you are at Eke Oshiri across Ebonyi River. Two unity bridges are crying to be built at Ogboji & Inyere. In due course people from places farther than Ebonyi South Senatorial District will be using the roads as the shortest and safest road to and fro Ebonyi State capital.

So His Excellency has provided for today and also expanded to accommodate tomorrow. As tight as the state government earnings, he made large volume of government political appointments with regular income for numerous families. If you live in the rural areas and urban, interact with people, who complain of indebtedness in the hospital due to treatment received but no money to pay the bill and nothing to mortgage to get the money, some looking for loan of ten or twenty thousand to start business. Some to buy fertilizers for the crop planted; buy cassava stems and yam seedlings, buy books or school uniform for their wards in school. An apprentice looking for fund to procure relevant tools etc. you will realize the distance the hundred thousand naira each His Excellency has dished to over thousands of widows will cover. Two hundred and fifty thousand naira each was given to one thousand entrepreneurs to invest in enterprise of their choice. The agricultural farm loans/grand’s accessed by many farmers. You definitely will agree with me, he solidly prepares and cares for our future through aggravated economic empowered to job creation and fulfilled self employment. We have grabbed the gospel of economic sustenance he is preaching, for the desirous people of Ebonyi, devoid of discrimination. Ebonyi is a fast growing economy with the additional four billion naira state government in partnership with Bank of Industry is floated as credits.
The clamor for the 2nd tenure of David Nweze Umahi, to continue from May 2019 to 2023 is likened to the struggle for the creation of Ebonyi state then. I don’t want to be reminded that in 1999 when the first elected executive governor, visited Achiagu, Ezza north Lga, he announced government upgraded the primary health care centre to state general hospital status. No follow up to date. I also would not like to spoil my day to remember the comment made by the 2nd executive governor that the plan not to carry out any project in Ezza North Lga was deliberate. One of the days, in the course of governor’s state inspection tour of ongoing projects in the thirteen LGAs, having gone round inspected the size of general hospital projects in Izzi and several others, the team drove to the health clinic constructed by Chief Jim Nwobodo the then governor of Anambra state in 1981 No sign of facelift from the serving governor, wondered why the visit. Many people on the entourage, outside the indigenes of the Lga, were disgusted and murmured, unfairness at its peak. My memory may be failing me, if I refuse to lament the stone crushers machine/engines originally mounted along Abakaliki-Enugu expressway believed to have constituted nuisance and danger to health of the people were all bundled to cluster at Okposhi along Ebiaji Achiagu road. Since the people did not count, the immediate past governor, refuse to put any measure in place to minimize the nuisance and health hazard associated with inhaling the pollution generated by the dust in crushing the stones and the deafening sound.

The wholesome urge and call for David Nweze Umahi is not a favour to him. We are rather exploiting the constitutional deadline of eight years provision to beg him to come and continue and finish the work. This well beginning is yielding good ending.

The communal clash which started at the early part of last administration at Ezillo lingered to the end of the administration. The present governor Dr. D avid Nweze Umahi has amicably brought the crisis to an end. The available option the immediate past Governor could utilize was to, hastily constitute panel of enquiry. Charged the panel to go into archive to find out how Ezza people came to settle in Ezillo. The panel was not allowed to delve into thorough investigation to find out immediate cause of the destruction of houses, buildings, properties and killings. The nursed motive surrounding remote tendencies could afterward have been deliberated upon as secondary without inflicting damage on the rightfully acquired several parcels of land a long time ago and developed, disoriented approach, due to wrong sequence in conformity to the United Nations declaration of no forceful displacement will warrant occupation. A lasting peace is now ensued. Who else could have administered such amicable and mutual settlement? Even the lukewarm attitude of the previous administration did not only threaten settlement of Ndezza in several locations of the state, but escalated frightening violence.

There is a general belief within Ezza circle, had someone like the present governor been in charge then the fracas would have been nipped in the bud. Credence is derived from with what the 1st executive governor, did to cement the relationship between the people of Obegu in Onicha LGA and Ogboji who were at war for long, by sponsoring a traditional marriage, football match, exchange of gifts between the two warring communities, finally brought peace and cordiality between the people of the two communities, shows diverse talents man is endowed with. Dr. Dave Umahi is undaunted in rapid dispute resolution in several communities across the state. No violence disturbance is overlooked. With adequate security, Governor’s transformation of the communities in various LGAs is smoothly ongoing without fear of disruption.

Also we are begging David Umahi to continue to put on hold as usual, leisure time to May 29 2023, keep the work up and more sacrifice for the people of Ebonyi state. The Ezza North Lga, Ebiaji road and portion of Ring road within, we look forward to completion of concrete style construction before the end of the deadline. People from the remaining twelve LGAs have their various stakes anchored on the ongoing projects His Excellency handling in their several domains. This is the only government within three years has given out so handsomely, to the extent that every people in Ebonyi state gained something individually or enjoyed social and people oriented amenities. The entire people of Ezza clan (no one will be left out) are eagerly ready to vote for Governor David Nweze Umahi en-mass come 2019 in appreciation of peace and security he has put in place wherever they are.

The strength of the administration of this present governor is also driven by the comments of those in opposition. Opposition is recognized as a major veritable vehicle in democracy. The presence makes those peddling the canoe to sit up, so that genuine errors/mistakes that opposition are searching to highlight will be minimized. This exercise of right of opposition becomes ridiculous, when those in opposition could only cling to frivolity. Wallow in shallow water, by kicking against borrowing for no justifiable reason. Nigerians were bamboozled in Babangida era when he fiddled on the intelligence of Nigerians. Threw open the debate of whether to borrow IMF loan or not. Ebonyi people cannot be deterred this time of age to be engulfed with cheap distractions. Borrowing is inevitable, especially to government in order to meet up with budgetary fulfillment. It becomes very resounding in the angle of capital – targeted to infrastructure.

Ebonyi has come to stay for good years to come. Exalted elective positions will eventually go round. Everything will not be fulfilled in the lifetime of the present generation. No time is late. Anywhere you find yourself Endeavour to leave an indelible legacy. Do not call the position small. You never can imagine how, it will be magnified in future.

The road construction and other social amenities he has provided and also new projects to be commenced. For the sense of belonging he has ensured. The opportunities offered them to contribute their small quota without suspicion, extended hand of friendship and brotherhood in the affairs of the state. So that his approach, attitude and behaviour on the plight of Ezza people in Ebonyi people would have been a consolidation of habit, hard for any successor come 29 May 2023 to charge.

MR. AMAECHI OKEN, FORMER PDP STATE ORGANIZING SECRETARY
ABAKALIKI, EBONYI STATE. 08036086803
[email protected]

 

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