Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
As Abia State, today (August 27), marks its 31st anniversary, the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, has expressed displeasure over the condition of the state, claiming that “Abia is still a crawling state.”
APGA Chairman in the state, Rev. Augustine Ehiemere, who made the claims in a press statement in Umuahia, knocked the ruling Peoples Democratic Party PDP-led administration for the woes of the state.
He challenged the ruling party to identify any tangible achievement other than “failure in governance and increasing debt burden” it could present to mark the 31st anniversary of the state.
APGA said that the hope of the people had been dashed by the PDP which has dominated the administration of the state, claiming that even younger states have developed far beyond Abia.
“Little did we know that 31 years after, Abia State will still be a crawling baby. This is more annoying with the realization that even younger states created many years afterwards have since left us behind.
“Wrong drivers and opportunists who have driven the State craft and leadership wheel of Abia have rather taken us back instead of moving forward.
“The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP-led administration which has remained in power since 1999 eight years after the creation of Abia State, has rather supervised the dilapidation, economic strangulation and near collapse of Abia State.”
APGA further knocked the the State Government for its failure to pay workers and pensioners, a development it said had affected many sectors of the state economy.
“It is disheartening that at 31 years, Abia is celebrating 25 months of salary arrears of doctors; de-accreditation of Abia Polytechnic Aba following 30 months of unpaid wages of Staff; de-accreditation of the Abia State University Teaching Hospital Aba ABSUTH; and 10 months of salary arrears of ABSU Staff.
“At 31, Abia pensioners are still being owed four years of gratuities and 28 months of pensioners arrears; Primary and Secondary School teachers are being owed five months salary arrears and promotion allowances; many workers are being paid incomplete salaries.
“At 31, Abia is celebrating leadership failure and increase in debt burden. At 31, we are celebrating god-fatherism and imposition.
“At 31, Abia roads are still impassable: Ukwa land, the only oil-producing area in Abia State is completely disconnected from the rest of the state due to bad roads. At 31, Arochukwu ancient kingdom is still being accessed through Akwa Ibom State. What a shame!
“It is sad and embarrassing that at 31, Abia has no permanent Government House but still operates from donated take-off apartments. Despite billions of Naira 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, Aba the once revered Enyimba City, the leading centre of commerce in the West African sub-region has become an abandoned city. Port Harcourt Road, Aba, has completely been cut off from the rest of the town due to bad road; Uratta, Ohanku Road, Ozuoma and Ohazu roads, are impassable. This is after Government had destroyed peoples’ houses and shops under the pretext of awarding contract for road rehabilitation.
“At 31, the much-advertised Enyimba Economic City has remained a mirage. At 31, Abia airport project is yet to take off three years after the Ikpeazu-led Government borrowed N10 billion for it. At 31,Abia is celebrating near collapse of our education and health sectors, infrastructural decay and misgovernance.”
APGA urged Abians to unite and join the on-going efforts to rescue the state from hijackers by voting out the PDP in 2023.
“We therefore, wish to urge Abians to unite and join in the on-going efforts to liberate the state from oppressors and political hijackers.
“It’s time to jettison political sentiments and place the interest of Abia above party politics. APGA has provided the platform to lead Abia out of Egypt to the Promised land.”
Meanwhile, Commissioner for Information, Eze Chikamnayo, had penultimate week, denied that the state obtained any loan for building an airport.
It had also then, dismissed the allegation as fallacious and unfounded, while urging residents to ignore the antics of the opposition.