By OUR REPORTER
• Shocks guests at 23rd anniversary of creation of state
It was a bad day for Governor Theodore Amaefule Orji, as he assembled a battery of illustrious personalities to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the creation of Abia State in Umuahia last Wednesday.
Rather than effusive praises, what came the way of the governor were a censure from no less a person than multi-billionaire, Chief Arthur Eze, who told the gathering dead pan that, “Abia State stinks.” Venue was the Michael Okpara Auditorium in Umuahia, the state capital, where the governor had gathered illustrious citizens of the state, some of whom were to be given awards to mark the 23rd anniversary. In the session of comments that preceded the awards ceremony, Chief Eze was recognised to speak, and what he said, sent cold chill running down the spines of majority of the people, particularly the governor. “Abia is stinking,” Eze, believed to have the largest oil bloc in Africa, bellowed. The audience was stupefied in shock, but more was to come. “Right from the Abia Tower in Umuahia, the rot hits you.
Abia State is now the dirtiest in the country. Garbage everywhere, along with bad roads. The people are really suffering, and you see it in their faces. Are there no elders in Abia again? If so, what are they doing? What are the senators, the members of House of Representatives and other elected people doing? Nothing.” Then, pointedly, Chief Eze told the governor: “If you do not know what to do again, please write to President Goodluck Jonathan, and let him come to your aid. Abia State needs help.” Having given the gathering a piece of his mind, Eze dropped the microphone on the floor, and walked out. It was a dazed Governor Orji who jerked himself out of stupor, and tried to rationalise what Arthur Eze had said. He told the crowd that the man was referring to the collapsed Port Harcourt / Aba Expressway, which is a federal road. But the explanation sounded hollow to the governor himself, and after some time, he left the venue of the ceremony, without taking questions from journalists, as such occasion would have demanded. Speaking on the incident, an associate of Chief Eze, told Daily Sun that the state of Abia State was really dispiriting, with decay and despondency everywhere. “I am sure most of the dignitaries quietly agreed with Chief Eze, only that they could not do so openly. One must commend Chief Eze’s courage for being bold enough to speak out. Not many people can do so today. In Abia State today, there is the son of one of the elected officials, called The Wind, who is like a terror. He silences all opposition and deals ruthlessly with anyone in opposition to the government. So, not many people can speak out. But we must commend Chief Eze for his boldness and conviction.”
By OUR REPORTER