Some events are orchestrated, others are fortuitous. In Sociology there are manifest and latent functions. Sometimes the manifest inadvertently gives way to the latent to become manifest. January 16th, through 19th 2013 presented a fortuitous pedestal, for the latent to be made manifest in God’s own state.
Good Governance as a concept is a model of what governance should be. It is staunchly based on the tenets of democracy as against dictatorship, aristocracy, autocracy and oligarchy. For true democracy to flourish, the operators should guarantee openness, transparency, fairness to all and implant a great deal of communication between the led and the leaders providing the needs of the people without preconditions.
According to Abraham Lincoln, an outstanding president of America, ‘no man is good enough to govern another man without that other’s consent.’ Along this background, the social contract which gave rise to the mandate should be respected by the leadership and the followership.
On Saturday January 19, 2013, the National Committee on Good Governance, led by the Hon Minister for Information, a man who has gone through the mill of governance and service to humanity, Mr Labaran Maku, after their rigorous four day tour of project sites in Abia State, assembled at the Michael Okpara Auditorium, the biggest indoor gathering space, in an uncommon aggregation of two ministers, his Excellency Sir T A Orji the host, national President of Nigeria Union of Journalists, Abia Leaders of thought like Gen Ike Nwachukwu, who has meandered from dictatorship to democracy, Dee Bob Ogbuagu, one of our living legends whom the Minister publicly acknowledged as his general manager, when he was a mere reporter for Champion Newspapers. Equally present were the ex officio member of the PDP, Mau Ohuabunwa, Rep Arua Arunsi, professor Chibuzor Ogbuagu, vice chancellor of Abia State University and a cross section of Abia people who interacted cohesively.
The occasion started in earnest after the formalities of the National anthem and introductions were taken. Then came the goodwill messages, on the spot discoveries and multiplicity of observations of the principal operators and the findings of participant observers of the Good Governance team.
Mallam Mohamed Garba presented his observations point blank. According to him, he was impressed with what he saw, including his previous affirmation that Abia was grossly under reported. The leader of the National Council of Women Societies NCWS, Mrs Mba Okemiri, a member of the Good Governance team, spoke freely and impressively, extolling the degree of governance in Abia and the enormous impact of the skill acquisition center. She ended with a fiat that women should not be discriminated against and should be given their fair share of governance.
The minister of finance who doubles as the coordinating minister for the economy, an Abia wife and outstanding woman, an occupant of a high seat in Nigeria due to her cerebral capacity, conveyed felicitations from the presidency and hinted on her efforts at releasing a whopping amount of 49 billion for palliative repairs of the South-East roads to ease the movement during the yuletide season. She equally promised further facilitation of infrastructural works in the Southeast geopolitical zone.
The Hon minister for information took the lectern, and like the teacher he was, graphically elucidated what he saw. According to him, it was a discovery for him to realize again that Abia is studded with national heroes past and present. For emphasis, he mentioned Michael Okpara, JTU Aguiyi Ironsi, Ebitu Ikaiwe and many others. He vehemently acknowledged that there is good governance in Abia. He reeled out projects visited like: the diagnostic center, the new Secretariat touted to have the first elevator in Abia State, the International Conference Centre, Ultra-modern high court in Umuahia and the gigantic 48 room BCA complex. Others are Amachara Gen Hospital in Umuahia South LGA. In Aba the Geometric PowerStation and the IPP at Alaoji which will make Abia a UPS- uninterrupted power supply and the rail line repairs in Eziama Aba to mention a few. He talked about the Joint Account Committee and ASUBEB complexes where he laid foundation stones. As he said, Abia of 2013 is far ahead of Abia of 1999 when he last visited.
Glaringly, he divulged to have spoken with the opposition where they had their say, a very good component of democracy. The few cases were the non-accreditation of the School of Nursing Amachara and the alleged concentration of projects in Umuahia the capital city.
The second session was the interactive stage where many questions were thrown from diverse angles like darts. Over fifteen came from the social media involving the contributions from people in faraway Texas United states, and Asia. Many in the hall shot questions which were blended with many commendations for the Governor on his quantum leaps on projects and democracy.
When the governor took the mike to respond to the questions, he was interrupted with large ovation of Ochendo Gburu gburu. Many of the questions were already answered by previous speakers and findings endorsed by members of the Good Governance team especially the minister Mr. Maku, the NUJ national president and the RATAWO chieftain Mr Yemi Bamgbose who acknowledged BCA to be the best in the country, especially if equipped with the digital prescriptions. Also he agreed that the projects were people oriented as against other leaders who embark on white elephant projects. All speakers were unanimously supportive of the security situation.
Mr Maku quipped that Abia people are lucky and should compare what is happening in other states especially the security situation in the North.
The Governor in his traditional cool headedness approach took on the remaining questions with exquisite eloquence. The complaint of non-accreditation of the School of Nursing Amachara mooted by the minister was actually in the works as witnessed by the minister on Friday morning. These the Governor assured were fulfillment of the accreditation requirements. It could be recalled that the reaccredidation of the School of Medicine and Architecture in Abia State University were issues the Gov took on in the first year of his first tenure. It is evident in history that nobody or organization is perfect and all achieving, including the white house of America the bastion of democracy. Unarguably, the Abia governor gave a good account of himself as questions he responded to were thrown with no holds bared. As the minister confirmed earlier, Abia State government willingly and readily accepted the team as against others who prevaricated.
On the final count, it was T A’s moment of vindication and Abia’s finest hour.
Evidenced from the above, Abia is indeed working. Any who denies these with these obvious facts, intent on blackmail, for political gains and selfish interest is putting a huge curse on himself and family. God the ruler of the universe who sees through our minds has a way of punishing the culprit and defending the guiltless. As the governor always said, Judge me by my works. As seen above, history will certainly vindicate the just. T A’s work spoke for him as the purported latent became manifest.