One anonymous writer says “love is as warm amongst cottagers as courtiers”.
But Pablo Casals believes that “the love of one’s country is a splendid thing”. He however asks rhetorically “why should love stop at the border?” It is intriguing to read Mr Obinna Oriaku, the immediate past Commissioner for Finance in Abia State write as a man who has deep love for his state, Abia.
Give it to him that he has woken up from his slumber and discovers the need to pontificate on the altar of love; the love of a dear state which he claims is now cascading to political, economic and social chasm. But why must Obinna Oriaku stop his later day love of his dear state at the border?
He sermonises over his love on Abia, but laments the failures of Okezie Ikpeazu’s government and those whom he perceives as bouncers (because he believes that they bounced him out of the Abia Commissioner’s seat). He therefore wants them to be hated and lambasted at will.
Interestingly, Oriaku was an Adviser before becoming the Commissioner for Finance in Ikpeazu’s government. Now, what did he leave as a trail? Lamentations, weeping, mourning and deaths for pensioners and workers in Abia public space; no magic from this erudite economist savaged the state which he now blames some persons for its failures. In China, people like this later day Economic Evangelist like Obinna Oriaku should have been excommunicated.
He talks of failures in Abia’s government which he was part and parcel of few years ago, but refused vehemently to see the rot, mis-governance, misrule, marginalization, spiral damage of the economy, one sided leadership etc of the federal government of the All Progressives Alliance (APC). He talks about Gratitude and ways to free Abia like an old Headmaster who wants to force some complex mishmash into the skulls of his pupils; are we all deft?
In his latest lamentation, Obinna Oriaku spoke about some “nocturnal meetings in the last one month”. The meetings, he said, “were aimed at rubbishing whatever Okezie and his people stand for and the blackmail that has followed”.
“An APC member is being used in the proxy war because of 2023 and they have gone further trying to knock the heads of brothers by alleging that a brother Senator is behind the video “No Road to Aba”.
“Unfortunately”, he continued “they forget that Okezie’s failure is a collateral damage to all even more to his immediate benefactors”. This is actually where Obinna Oriaku missed the point. The fable and illusion are his creation to paint a narrative of sabotage brewing in the house.
After all, what is wrong in planning ahead of an election which some aspirants will contest for when the time comes? If his party, APC, has fifth columnists, why blame some innocent members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who are working assiduously to get the people’s confidence when the chips are down over it?
How does Obinna Oriaku measure failure? Is he therefore admitting that he contributed to this his perceived failure? Has he taken time to visit some of the infrastructures Governor Okezie Ikpeazu is building in Aba and other parts of the state, some of them he refused to release funds for their execution when he was Commissioner for Finance?
His tantrum on Ikpeazu’s immediate benefactors is gambit to stand the truth on its head. His bedraggled costume of a speech that ran thus, “the failure of this administration can never reposition, launder the people that have failed woefully before and contributed to its failure, instead they will be buried with the administration for Abia to arise” smacks of a man who wants to destroy what he doesn’t understand.
Aba Road, Umuahia is a world class motorway that can compete favourable with those in modern cities of the world. Ukaegbu, Umuola, Owerrinta, Ochefu, Osusu Roads and others which could not be accommodated here due to space constraint are smiling themselves to the heavens because of Okezie Ikpeazu’s caterpillar catalysis to say the least. A portion of Faulks failed because, out of the benevolence of the governor, buoyed by several appeals by Aba residents, it was opened before its completion date against the advice of the contractor, thus giving room for damage by heavy duty vehicles which rode on it.
The affirmative promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) has etched Abia on international business map. Abia’s business colour and image in manufacturing have taken a leap for good and its steady journey continues. In fact, Okezie benefactors which he mentioned, have nothing to regret, after work is still in progress.
But come to think of it, is Obinna Oriaku not part of the benevolence of Ikpeazu’s benefactor? Until 2015, no Ukwa/Ngwa man had been governor. Is he not from that axis? Would he have been Commissioner if this benevolence didn’t come? The people he lashes at the slightest provocation made it possible for the power to shift to this vital part of the state.
The government of Okezie Ikpeazu is not claiming to have executed every project. During the briefing in Aba Lodge which he (Obinna) talks about, Ikpeazu emphatically said that action will be expedited on all those areas not touched as the dry season sets in. Therefore, Obinna Oriaku’s advice should have been on structural development and not accusation on the governor’s benefactors and perceived failure of the administration.
And today, Obinna Oriaku sees them as enemies that should be smacked and trounced. But Abians are thinking differently. Obinna Oriaku is like a man that lives in a glass house and hauls stones ceaselessly at passersby. The result is that pebbles will definitely reduce the edifice to pitiable deformity.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.