Mama P Was Right In Her View About Abia Today
By John Okiyi Kalu
Last week, I saw a video circulated by the current Abia State Government on the visit of HE Mrs Patience Jonathan to her long term ally and rumored forner personal banker, Alex Otti , who is currently the Governor of Abia State. While many saw her associated post-visit comments as being sycophantic and too patronizing given that her friend and Governor is less than 4 months in office, I am happy and proud of her for stating the truth she saw first hand.
According to Mama P, as fondly called,
“You can see there’s no dirty again in Abia. You can see how the road is going. Now there is improvement, you can drive smoothly in Abia and there is no dirty, no smelling anywhere. You can breathe fresh air and that is why I’m here to tell him my brother congratulations, well done that the sky is your limit. I’m with you all the way.”
Those who do not understand background and context might take offense, but in reality Mrs Jonathan actually is one of the most honest external reviewers of the progress we made in Abia from 2015-2023, following improvements on the good foundation laid by preceding administrations before then.
Take note of these facts before you attack her needlessly:
The last time I saw Mrs Jonathan in Abia State was in December 2014 and throughout the 8 years of Dr Okezie Ikpeazu she did not visit, officially at least, and said nothing publicly about Abia.
To the best of my knowledge, she supported Dr Alex Otti of APGA in 2015 and also during the subsequent litigations, whereas Dr Ikpeazu and overwhelming majority of Abians supported her husband under the banner of PDP. Indeed, there are backstories of her banging a table to say that it is either Otti or nobody else as Governor. Those involved are free to confirm or deny but the fact remains that she never supported Ikpeazu, to the best of my personal knowledge.
Beyond reading social media propaganda churned out by the Otti administration, Mrs Jonathan clearly made her statement on the basis of being an “eye witness” to the improvements she saw between her 2014 visit and 2023.
Having mentally reconstructed all the possible routes she took to arrive from Abuja or Rivers/Bayelsa State to Nvosi in Isiala Ngwa, I can emphatically state that all the state roads she might have used were done by Dr Ikpeazu and Ochendo or the Buhari administration and not Governor Otti in less than 4 months. I challenge anyone with contrary view to present it and I will delete this post with apologies.
Clearly her route did not take her through flooded Cemetary road in Aba, which has.become the signature project of the Otti era, rather she may have passed through Ossa road (Mission Hill) Umuahia done by Senator TA Orji or Aba road Umuahia reconstructed by Arab Contractors under the watch of Dr Okezie Ikpeazu. It is also possible she used Obikabia to Obikabia road through Osokwa-Aro Umuejie road also done by Ikpeazu. So she was right because those are well paved roads.
Obviously God ordered the footsteps of our famous “there is God” sister to come to Abia this early and pass an honest judgement on the Ikpeazu administration, which is similar to what the NBS and FGN measured and published in their multi dimensional poverty index compilation in 2022: IKPEAZU’S Abia was the 3rd best in Nigeria and number one with primary healthcare.
Of course, I also wish to give Dr Alex Otti credit for the improvements Abia witnessed under the watch of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu. He was a relentless critic of the Ikpeazu administration from day one and I am sure his persistence and that of others helped to keep the administration on its toes. A good leader must imbibe the spirit of condoning criticisms and hopefully Otti himself will like to be a good leader.
Having observed that Otti has withdrawn or reviewed the TOR of those he funded to see no good in anything Abia or Ikpeazu from 2015 to 2023, it is my position that leaders of PDP, APC, YPP and APGA in Abia State must now rise to the occasion and do exactly what Otti did from May 29th 2015 to May 29th 2023, and even surpass it without fear or favor. What ever is making them scared of Otti did not make Otti scared of PDP government in those years and I will call them out as political cowards if they fail to perform their constitutional role. Not when election comes they will crawl out and start all kinds of “settle me” noise making.
Thank you Madam P for visiting Abia. I pray that on your next visit things would have actually improved further under the watch of your beloved associate. Please Ma, advise him to start working but leave social media propaganda and bitterness alone. Tell him to reverse the sack of 10,000 Abia workers and not pursue a malicious civil service reform. Reform is very good but he should not add malice to the soup.
In all, God of Patience Jonathan will always vindicate the just no matter who hates him or how long it takes.
John Okiyi Kalu (Nwandugbom), the immediate past Abia Commissioner for Trade and Investment, wrote from Umuahia.