By Odii Chidera
On 29th May, 2015, precisely three years and six months ago, the People’s Governor (Nwannedinamba) His Excellency, Chief (Dr.) David Nweze Umahi was sworn in as the third democratically elected governor of Ebonyi State. The coincidence of Governor Umahi’s inauguration with the outset of the most inclement economic recession in the history of Ebonyi State made the hope of payment of Ebonyi workers’ salaries a mirage. The recession also reduced the promise of even a single capital project to mere wishful thinking. Engineer David Nweze Umahi, a quintessential democrat imbued with the wisdom of King Solomon, demonstrated his realistic and Charismatic approach to leadership by engaging the organized labour in the State in a round table discussion.
It was during the dialogue Century Newsfront gathered that an agreement was reached to fall the hitherto outrageous wage bill within the realm of feasibility to enable the governor build the new and better Ebonyi State, which he had promised Ebonyi people during his electioneering campaign. It was on this precinct that the Divine Mandate administration of Engr. Dr. Umahi hit the ground running, investing every joule of its energy, the comfort of its top functionaries and every resource at its disposal in governor Umahi’s avowed bid to rescue the state from economic doldrum and infrastructural quagmire. Since then, governor Umahi in pursuit of his covenant with his Creator to prosper Ebonyi State through dint of hard work and unwavering hope in God has been unrelenting. The direct resultant effect of this divine anchorage is that while other states’ administrations drift and reel under biting economic recession, Umahi’s administration has been stable.
Within three and a half years, Century Newsfront findings revealed that Governor Umahi has completed high profile projects, which include but not limited to three world standard 700-metre overhead bridge at Presco (now Senator Offia Nwali junction) and Dr. Akanu Ibiam roundabout (afore referred to as Spera in Deo junction), and a pedestrian crossover bridge at Ebonyi State University gate. All the above mentioned projects are located at the ever busy Trans-Saharan high way. The administration has also completed concrete-based reconstruction of over seventy (70) roads/streets with a total distance of 500 kilometres which make up the internal road network of Abakaliki municipality, the 23.5 kilometre Hilltop-Nwofe Agbaja road, the 18.5 kilometre Nkwegu-FUNAI road, intervened in the reconstruction of federal roads which include the 14.5 kilometre section of Abakaliki-Afikpo highway and the 15.5 kilometer Nigercem road; other completed projects include the completely remodeled Abakaliki Township stadium with a fully air-conditioned VIP stand which ranks as the best in the country, a fully equipped virology centre which is the first in the entire Southeast and second in the Southern part of Nigeria to the Federal Government owned virology centre in Irrua Edo State, and a Mushroom factory in Abakaliki. Added to these are ornamental streets lights which adorn the entire road networks and even the overhead bridges, a total of five cutting edge water fountains at Udensi, Government House, Abacha, Akanu Ibiam and Offia Nwali roundabouts which radiate the state capital with aura of heavenly ambiance and serenity, culminated in the rarity of crimes at nights and transformed Ebonyi State into both tourist and investment destination.
All these projects have been commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR during his first official working visit to Ebonyi State on Tuesday November 14th, 2017. President Buhari while rounding off his visit to Ebonyi State laid the foundation stone of Ebonyi City Mall which was modeled after the famous Dubai Mall. It should be recalled that on Tuesday 7th November, 2017, former President Olusegun Obasanjo commissioned a 100KVA solar farm and power house as well as the ultra-modern bus stop with a relaxation centre at Ebonyi State university gate, Abakaliki. Among other projects completed by Akubaraoha,the Infrastructure Development Superman include 700 metre twin overhead bridge at the International Market Junction, the 24.5 kilometre Amasiri- Okposi-Uburu road, a minimum of 15 kilometre concrete-based roads across the 13 Local Government Areas and streetlights at the various council secretariats.
Governor Dave’s insatiable crave to build a vibrant modern and technological advanced Ebonyi State spurred his administration to actively delved into the construction of a 32 kilo watt demonstration Biomas Gasification Power plant in collaboration with UNIDO at UNIDO industrial cluster, Ngbo, Ohaukwu L.G.A. Also in pursuit of his great vision for Ebonyi State, Governor Umahi has motivated Ebonyi trained Engineers into the fabrication of 100 kilowatt biomas gasification power plant at the Technical and vocational Education workshop of Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki. A plan for the replication of the Biomas Gasification Power plants in rice clusters in different parts of the State has been concluded by Governor Umahi’s Divine mandate Administration. The motive behind the biomas gasification power plant and solar power house is to give Ebonyians alternative access to energy or power supply.
The people’s governor who did not stop at infrastructure development also introduced a human angle in his administration through an impressive “Stomach Infrastructure” programme which responsibly included the empowerment of 2400 (two thousand four hundred) youth/hawker with N250,000.00 each to enable them to either up their trade or engage in farming: N250,000.00 each of 8,000 persons comprising Civil Servants women and men, 10,000 monthly stipend to widows and salaries to 85 physically challenged persons. The governor’s involvement of over 400 youth in governance as senior technical Assistants and Technical Assistants is equal to none because apart from economically empowering the people, it has quelled security tension in our ugly past and tweaked human resources for the government. The people’s governor “Akubaraoha added another vim to his ever swollen score card when he hosted the aged and senior citizens of the state on October, 17th 2016 in a first of its kind old people’s get together party during which the old people were cared for and empowered.
Ebonyi State is one of the nine states in the federation where workers are not owed salaries, including the fact that it is only in Ebonyi State under the purposeful leadership of Governor Umahi that workers are paid annual mega bonuses in the country and the freebie had been code named the 13th month salary in the state labour parlance. Just recently, the governor Umahi led administration made a slash at the tuition fees of the Ebonyi State University and resumed sponsorship of Ebonyi State foreign scholarship programme.
As it is usually said that beside every successful man there is a woman, the contributions of Her Excellency, Chief (Mrs.) Rachael Ogonna Umahi (Osodi Achi), in uplifting the women and orphans in the state through her Family Succour and Upliftment Programme, FASUP will forever remained immutable in the psyche of Ebonyi people. The construction and donation of bungalows to indigent widows across the 13 local councils of the State is worthy of celebration. A proper scrutiny of the structures and the status of their beneficiaries as witnessed at Iyiazu Oshiri in Onicha Local Government Area earlier this year is clear evidence that the State First Lady is indeed, a beneficent leader and a mother with a golden heart. Without mincing words, it is a fact incontrovertible that Ebonyi State’s journey to greatness started the day the State third democratically elected governor, Engineer David Nweze Umahi mounted the stool of leadership of the state.
Today, the ordinary man on the streets of Ebonyi is happy with Governor Umahi for the feats he had achieved so far in the development of the state and her people. This is evident in the people’s vow and resolve to ensure that he gets reelection in 2019 so as to finish the good work he is doing in the state. This claim and assertion is validated by panoply of adoptions and endorsements of the governor for a second term flying from every corner of the state and this has made it crystal clear that Akubaraoha and indeed the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP has no rival in Ebonyi State come 2019.