Our network has watched with rapt and deep seated interest, the comics and brick bats trailing the recent and wave making bold position of Governor T.A. Orji’s administration to harmlessly and rationally transfer non- Abian’s working in the state back to their states of origin. One the most recent, which was rather amusing, and thoroughly instigating originated from one father Ben Ogu of St. Paul, Egbelu Umuhu, Enyiogugu in Aboh-Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State. He is not only sought for the reversal of Abia State Government’s decision from administering the transfer pill through the instrumentality of Ohaneze and other well meaning South-Easterners but recommended the blockade of Governor T.A. Orji from commuting through the entire landscape of South-East in the event of his refusal to see reasons.
This reckless and un-guarded submission of the Reverend father is evidently suggestive of his complete ignorance and peripheral understanding of what warranted the transfer in the first instance and the needed pre-requisite for attaining Igbo unity. It has also re-echoed the vicious and un-compromising nature of selfishness. Little wonder innumerable scores of the clergy (Mostly our Catholic brothers) seem to have adopted the transfer issue as their first, second, and third lessons every Sunday.
Interestingly too one of the curious and research minded members of our Net-work came up with an exclusive and authentic scoop; the gaping supremacy of non-Abians as clergy’s in most churches located in Abia. A quick census and stock taking instantly confirmed this revelation; that the late and immediate past Methodist Arch-Bishop of Umuahia, Rogers Uwadi and present Catholic Arch–Bishop of Umuahia, Lucius Ugorji are from Imo State. Followers of episcopal intrigues and high wired politics will gladly agree with us that it would be an anathema for this to constitute the status-quo else where.
The obvious ignorance of Reverend Father Ben Ogu, has commendably contrasted with the understanding, maturity and unruffled position of hundreds of Abians who were locked out and mercilessly disgraced at Imo State Broadcasting Service (Now Orient F.M) all in the name of disengagement some years ago. “Ignorance of the law they say is no excuse”. Meaning that what you do not know, it is incumbent on you to ask questions.
Has Reverend Father Ben Ogu ever sat back to imagine what would have become of Imo and Abia States, if indigenes of the latter prevented former Governor Ikedi Ohakim from operating in Abia territory in reprisal for bundling back the files of Abian’s numbering over 600, who worked and retired in Imo State? What the then Governor of Imo State did, was to deliberately add to the financial burden of Abia State, while his will be channeled towards infrastructural targets. In fairness to father Ben Ogu, our Network did not see anything untoward in mobilizing well meaning Nigerians of South-East extraction to prevail on Governor T.A. Orji to reconsider his position whom as it were, the bulk stops in his table. But irrespective of the presentation flaws and the unpardonable threats that followed it, father Ben Ogu may have been oblivious of the fact that our revered and hallowed elder statesman, Dr. Alex Ekwueme whom he tried to conscript and drag into irrelevancies is evidently aware that Abians suffered the same fate in Imo State, or has Nigerians forgotten how over 1198 teachers of Abia origin were horrendously hounded back to their State in 2002 under the watchful eyes of Achike Udenwa? Not because they had qualificational deficiencies or because they were lacking in experience to deliver on the job, but because Abians need to go, so as to widen the chance and space for the accommodation of our Imo brothers and sisters.
Our dear father Ben Ogu may not have also known that the former Vice-President Dr. Alex Ekwueme and other well meaning members of Ohaneze are perfectly in the know, that in 1991, when it became administratively expedient that a State in the Godly name of Abia be created or carved out from the existing and burgeoning Imo, hardly had it become pronounced and gazetted than our brothers and sisters in Imo again threw brother hood and blood bonds to the dogs, viciously behaving as though indigenes of the newly created Abia State were aliens they have been putting up with unknowingly. What followed that conclusion and mindset was a mindless and mischievous attitude meted out to these innocent and peace loving Abians. Over 2000 of them, hurried out to work the following morning, and to their consternation, the doors leading to their various offices had been locked against them. If Abians delights in the popular “eye for an eye”, names like Chief Godwin Duru, Barrister Chuka Odum, Kingsley Emeruwa and the rest variously referred to in other position papers and who have held strategic and sensitive positions in the State would not come any where near the State tower of peace let alone occupying those positions.
The historical endeavour of Hon. Joshua Ogbonna, Special Adviser to Abia State Governor on Print Media, Research and Documentation published in the Nation of 18th October, 2011 (Page 42) remains a lucid and apt reference material for the likes of our beloveth Reverend father Ben Ogu. The articulation of exploits made by our kith and kin from Imo in Abia State, as captured in that publication, does not mean that they have monopoly of knowledge in administrative and other issues of public interest. It is just a rare and practical way of showing maturity and understanding, not as though heaven will fall or that Abians will not have their way, if they had resisted those moves. Late Chief C.C. Onoh of blessed memory fired the first salvo which produced the disengagement virus. Other States in the South –East, exclusive of Abia State did not look beyond their noses so as to quarantine their Igbo brothers and sisters from the disengagement virus.
Disengagement of non indigenes seemed like the only solution to prevailing problems and attainment of economic Eldora-do in the States that made use of it.
Consequently, while Enugu State leprously sent back over 1438 Abians in their service structure, a cue which Anambra {647}, Ebonyi {394}, Benue {380}, Cross River {310} and Akwa-Ibom {98} borrowed from, Abia maintained her cool. Her back loaded sons and daughters were graciously integrated into the State Civil and Public service structure, as it was considered a way of injecting new ideas and skills into the system just like our sister States will soon enjoy similar injection of new ideas. After all, “what is good for the goose is equally good for the gander.” Without wanting to sound like an unsolicited advocate of father Ben Obi, we can be clinically emphatic to declare that he is bereft of this vital information; else he would have refrained from this aspersion casting and vituperative diatribe of calling for physical restrain on the Governors right of passage.
Let us briefly rewind back to history and remind our Reverend father brother, that late Chief Sam Mbakwe Cargo Airport, was built with the hard earned money of Governor T.A. Orji and our elderly mothers and fathers at home, inclusive of their young and enthusiastic sons’ and daughters’. It was a challenge, occasioned by the neglect of federal government led forces of Alhaji Shehu Shagari which sentimentally induced the then Imo indigenes to levy themselves towards realizing the Airport project. We consider it an aberration and abuse of office, for a supposed Minster of God, to tactlessly instigate the people against the Governor, over a matter he knows little or nothing about.
The Governor of Abia State, Chief T.A. Orji meticulously and methodically approached this matter by first scripting a well worded and appealing letter to his brother Governors in the South-East States soliciting their understanding in this matter. Secondly, the exercise was extensively hyped for purposes of giving those likely to be affected a soft landing, which was a departure from the wickedness Abians weathered in the hands of their albatross sister States some years back. Again, regardless of the glaring truth that no reason was even imagined let alone adduced when Abians were bundled back home, the Governor passionately said: this exercise would not have been contemplated, but for some of these obvious and undeniable reasons:
(a)    Displacement of so many Abians from the North, who today are unfortunate victims of violent up surge in that part of the country. Some voluntarily chose to transfer their services to their home state rather than staying back to die violently and unjustly in the hands of fundamentalist. They are ceaselessly pounding the floors of Abia State Civil Service Commission, with the hope of getting re-absorbed. The critical pointers are that the bloated work force of the state cannot deal with that challenge, except there is a load shedding.
(b)    The pupil-teacher ratio in the State is presently alarming following the authentic indicators, which has proven that the State has excess teachers who are virtually redundant and are predominantly dominated by non-indigenes. These loopholes have been irresponsibly exploited by some of these teachers who devote official time to their shops and business interests.
(c)    It is on record that from 2002, Abians in the Civil and Public Service structure of our sister States were witch hunted and thrown out like what obtained during the racial onslaught on the Jews. These returnee Abians were dispatchly re-absorbed. To that effect, the in-escapable reality of the new wage era, now resting on N18,000 (Eighteen Thousand Naira only) has driven home the point that the state must cogently rationalize. This is also against the back drop of the mercy evoking critical condition of the State revenue base.
(d)    Precisely towards the expiration of Governor T.A. Orjir’s first tenure, Abia State Civil Service Commission got the Governors nod to conduct a recruitment exercise into the state Civil Service. Those who made it at that recruitment exercise, are still in limbo because its implementation with the new wage regime, will administratively grind the state to a halt.
The comparative reality in this position is that the over whelming civility and milk of human kindness prevalent in Governor T.A. Orji compelled and humbled him into grudgingly accepting this reality. To find a way out, he humbly wrote his brother Governors for their intervention. The Igbo man will tell you that “when some body desires to be assisted with a scratch, he or she will run to a fellow human being, but in the case of an animal, it will run to the stem of a tree”.
The Governor of Abia State gently said “brothers let us share these workers burden including our daughters, married by our brothers from your States and the likes of father Ben Ogu and the amusing Commissioner for information in Imo State are busy fanning the embers of un-existing discord and crying wolf, where there is none. Same has been the case with some hack writers and columnist like Obi Nwakanma and Pini Jason of Vanguard, who write without reasoning all in a bid to curry favour and wear the toga of advocates of Igbo course.
We are sincerely not surprised, because they are duty bound to defend the course of their Imo brothers and Sisters. One wonders how much they have done in extending same to Igbos of other South East States. If the path way to Igbo unity is located only in working in a State other than yours, why did the sister States of Abia, abuse it by disengaging all civil and public servants of Abia extraction in their states over 10 years ago? Again, if the responsibility of a State Chief executive is first applied to indigenes of his State, what crime has Governor T.A. Orji committed by trying to replicate same in Abia State?
In our estimation, the sleight hand of bandying Igbo unity as a bargaining chip is a diversionary hoax, which is lacking in substance and content. Governor T.A. Orji is eminently and unapologetically committed to the onerous task of reengineering the State Civil Service. It is time to clean the rot infested Augean-stable, so as to bequeath the State a 21st Century Civil Service. This un-acceptable scenario of having 2-3 messengers attached to one officer, all in a bid to accommodate un-necessary burdens  will be roundly nipped in the bud and usher in a sense of urgency in Abia workers, some of whom sluggishly report to their duty post with little or no sense of responsibility.
For the avoidance of doubt, Abians are largely in complete agreement with this government position and the Governor has variously received a path on the back, in the light of its attainability and far reaching positive effect on the system. No amount of blackmail, fist clenching, and name calling will reverse the order.
Let us look beyond our noses and keep a date with history before pleasing our pay masters with our nauseating balderdash.
Governor T.A. Orji is a proven advocate of Igbo unity and that is a fact that can not be disputed.




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Chimaobi Alozie                                                 Dennis Okorie


State Co-ordinator                                              Director Information/Strategy
Amos Chima
State Secretary