Celebrations, of any kind, in Ebonyi state are done like in no other place in this country. It’s been said variously that the happiest people in this country today, live in Ebonyi state & this has been so, precisely, in the last 6 years of Gov Dave Umahi‘s administration
The people have, within the said period, always waited for & taken every or any available opportunity they have, to celebrate, in demonstation of their warm appreciation for the good leadership in the state which has provided them with so much to live better lives.
It really does not matter to them whether it’s the Nigerian independen anniverssay, the creation of Eboni state, Democracy Day or what have you, they celebrate because it feels like being in a different world, space or clime in Ebonyi. The turn out for every of these celebrations is unprecedented in Nigeria’s history, not even in 1960 was such crowd withnessed in Lagos or at the regional capitals. It involves every one in the state including civil servants, school children, the military & para military, market men & women, members of all political parties, rural/urban dwellers, members of other ethnic communities resident in the state & even people from neibouring states who desire happiness & quality time, all flood the state capital at such celebration times. Someone even joked that domestic animals march to the stadium in Abakaliki to join in celebrations.
The people of Ebonyi have many reasons to celebrate. Apart from having quality good things of life spread all over the state, the state is a massive construction site. There are more completed & on going projects in Ebonyi than the rest of the South Eastern region, put together. This is a verifiable fact that any skeptic can check out.
The state capital of Abakaliki, which is factually described as the Dubai or Shanghai of Africa, is the most mordern state capital or city in this country. It has the most paved roads network, uncountable colourful water fountains at every corner & the most lit roads, like no other city in the country. Nights are like daylights in Abakaliki. These street lightings are constand as they do not rely on public power supply.
From having presently, the best & most network of good roads with powerful lighting system, across the state, to a state capital that boasts of the largest & most mordern market in any part of this country. The state has the largest number of 4-span flyovers ever built by any state government in Nigeria & all within a 6 year period.
A state of art Ecumenical/conference centre, which sits over 14 thousand guests comfortably, is already functional. The largest & most mordern shopping mall, by any standards & not found in any other part of Africa is almost completed. A new Government House with the best Governor’s lodge & executive offices, the cosiest Presidential Lodge, outside Abuja, all completed & functional with a cluster of roads network, other support facilities & developments, sited within over 5 km fenced radius, on going.
The contention by cynics, in some quarters, that Lagos & Abuja have more flyovers than Ebonyi state capital, Abakaliki, is very childish & unreasonable. It is like an ignorant indicting him or herself over a very primary issue. Lagos was the capital of Nigeria & development started there in the colonial days, long before we became independent. Abuja, on the other hand, became the fuctional capital of the country, many years before Ebonyi state was created. What will ever be the rationale behind the comparism? It is infact something to be proud & very commendable about that the three capitals are being put side by side & compared. It is important to state here that the massive development, including the over 12 flyovers, which have taken Ebonyi to the height it is today, happened in the last 6 years of Dave Umahi as the Governor of Ebonyi state.
I make bold to say that, by any parimeter, standard or development indice, applied to determine performance or achievement in office in the last 60 year of Nigeria’s independence, including the regional era & within the time period stated here, Gov Umahi is exceptionally, in a leaque of his own. These claims are on ground & verifiable.
F or these much to happen within a period one can describe as a very or most difficult time in our history as a country, characterised by a dwindled economy, heightened insecurity, high level of corruption & looting among the political class & when most state chief executives are not doing anything remarkable, speak volume of who Gov Umahi really is & why we must believe that God has a hand in Ebonyi.
Also nearing completion in Ebonyi, with target dates of 2021 are; an international cargo airport, the largest, by sitting capacity, mordern stadium in Nigeria, a medical school that ‘ll be second to none, an industrial cluster that’s one of a kind & located at a rural area to spread development, a referal specialist hospital, an international secondary school with the standard & capacity not presently found anywhere in the Southeast/Southsouth. This will afford our children the choices they presently don’t have & parents, easier quicker responses & more cost effective oppprtunities to give the best to their children.
The above listed are just a few of the many unusual developments that have either become or will soon be realities in Ebonyi state, built within a record time of 6 years of the current Governor Dave Umahi administration. There’s no contesting the fact that he is a vissionary leader who desires to have the best of every project he’s embarked on, to make sense for his people, in terms of economic value & for the future.
Why would Ebonyi people not celebrate their leader & his numerous achievements for the state? The state is like a different country within Nigeria, with good things of life in abundance for the people to have a worthwhile or meaningful life & a jump start for future generations, spread across the entire state.
What an effective leader!
To be independent means many things to different people. It signifies freedom or liberation from colonial or foreign draconian rule, from bondage, slavery, tutulage, parental care etc. You can either have or don’t have it, no half measures. It is like being born or birthday & you must be doing well to have both the resources & reasons to celebrate.
Independent could also be or is the end of indiscretion & the begining of self determination, adult sufferage, freedom from dictatorial or minority rule to majority or democratic rule. The difference is made by vissionary, determined & focussed leaderships, which are not common in our clime.
That’s the story of Dubai in UAE, Singapore in Asia, the Cathalonians in Spain & now Ebonyi in Nigeria
There’s been calls lately by many well meaning Nigerians, across the divide, to shelve the idea of any 60th independence anniverssary celebration, at least for now, because there’s absolutely nothing to celebrate about, in terms of mood, resources, stability, peace or secuity. Quite understandable!
But to think & believe that a poor, newly created state in Nigeria, Ebonyi, infact among the last created, could have a leader, Dave Umahi at this time in its short history, to turn things around in such a record time for the people, should be a case study for Nigeria’s future.
Governor Dave Umahi has done so well with the very meagre resourses available to the state. He has given the happy people of Ebonyi, in the midst of a very difficult, auster & gloomy times for Nigeria, very good reasons to celebrate Nigeria at 60 & Ebonyi state at just 24.
The solution for Nigeria could be found within, but in an era of justice, fairness, equity & inclussiveness, if unity in diversity is allowed to be our streght. Period.
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