By: Monica Chidinma AdaEze
… Lists his outstanding feats that mark him best governor of current dispensation.
PREAMBLE & HISTORY OF EBONYI STATE:
Ebonyi State is one of the six new states in Nigeria created in 1996 by the administration of Late General Sani Abacha from the old Abakaliki division of Enugu State and old Afikpo division of Abia State with 13 Local Government Areas.
The State has three senatorial zones, the Abakaliki division make up Ebonyi North and Ebonyi Central senetorial zones, while the Afikpo division make up Ebonyi South senetorial zone. The thirteen local government areas (LGAs) that make up the State are namely: (1) Abakaliki (Capital), (2) Afikpo North (3) Afikpo South, (4) Ebonyi, (5) Ezza North, (6) Ezza South, (7) Ikwo, (8) Ishielu, (9) Ivo, (10) Izzi, (11) Ohaozara, (12) Ohaukwu and (13) Onicha.
The state is home to six prominent higher institutions of learning: Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki (EBSU);
Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu Alike Ikwo ; Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Unwana; Federal College of Agriculture, Ishiagu; Ebonyi State College of Education Ikwo (EBSCOEI) and College of Health Sciences, Ezzamgbo.
Walter Feghabo is the first Military Administrator of the State who took over the State on 7 October 1996 and left on August 1998 while Simeon Oduoye succeeded him on August 1998 but left on May 1999
In 29 May 1999, Dr. Sam Ominyi Egwu was sworn in as the first democratically elected governor of the state under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He was succeeded by Martin Elechi who was elected in 2007 and successfully ran for re-election in 2011, under the same PDP. Gov Martin Elechi was succeeded by the current Governor, Dave Umahi, who was elected in the March 2015 election and re-elected in March 2019 for a second term.
The State is better known as the Salt of the Nation with the following presiding over her affairs from 1996 till date:
EBONYI BEFORE THE COMING OF UMAHI:
The fact remains that EBONYI State before the coming of the administration of Apostle David Nweze Umahi (FNATE, FNSE), the Governor of Ebonyi State, the Lion of South East and Chairman of South East Governors’ Forum was not only home to Guinea worm disease but one of the most undeveloped States in Nigeria. The State capital, Abakaliki was more of a glorified Local Government Headquarters with all basic amenities acceptable in a State capital lacking. The Government House then was nothing to write home about while most of the roads were all dilapidated with public water system as a luxury only known to the rich within the State. Most of the Ministries operates from rented houses even after over 20 years of the creation of the State.
Onu Joseph Eze writing from Lagos in an article which he titled, “REMARKABLE THINGS GOV. DAVID UMAHI HAS BROUGHT TO BEAR IN EBONYI STATE” stated, “Abakaliki as a state capital used to be a village square where outsiders mistook for one of those fledgling hamlets with the potentiality of becoming a satellite unit in the nearest future. But today under Umahi, Abakaliki is fast rising to the status of a sought after state capital in Nigeria with robust nightlife and invigorating sights of rendezvous. Abakaliki can now be referred to as a state capital with superlative potentials for trade and commerce, tourism and sociocultural education.”
UMAHI AND HIS MAGIC WAND AND THE TURNING AROUND OF THE FORTUNES OF EBONYI STATE
According to Lady Monica Eze, Ebonyi State in the eyes of the world was a State infested and known for the menace of the deadly Guinea-worms and water borne diseases with a Local Government Secretariat as its Government House but the coming of Governor Umahi has changed the narrative.
“Those who have visited Ebonyi State before the coming of this Infrastructural Bulldozer cannot know the State if they visit the State now as the changes in the State is even more visible to the blind. Apart from the approval of the request by the administration of Governor Dave Nweze Umahi of Ebonyi State to construct an International Airport by the Federal Government at a time when the only International Airport in the South-East, Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, had been shut down by the Federal Government for repairs, is a thing of pride to all and sundry.
It is on record that Governor Umahi is the first Governor from Ebonyi State to embark upon construction of over five gigantic flyovers in the State and completed them. To make the State a truly modern State, Governor Umahi has started the construction of the first Olympiad size Stadium in the entire South East zone of the nation.
The State Government recently got a loan to embark upon the gigantic and audacious Ebonyi Ring Road that link almost all the Local Government Headquarters of the State.
Today, Ebonyi State can proudly boast of having one of the best Government Houses in Nigeria.
The Ecumenical Centre initiated and completed by Umahi’s administration stands out as one of the best places of worship in the entire West African countries.
The best motor park in the entire Nigeria is under construction in the State capital coupled with the electrification of all the Local Government Headquarters of the State including major towns in the State.
All major roads to major towns and Local Government Headquarters are currently under construction.
The Water-Scheme in the State is being developed to supply water to all areas of the State coupled with all other major developments that have placed the State as the most developing economy in Nigeria.
Dr. Umahi scored another first amongst all the Governors that have governed Ebonyi State to become the South-South Vice-Chairman of the Governors’ Forum and Head the South East Governors Forum.
Lady Monica Eze AKA Ada Ebonyi stated that if what makes a State modern are the provisions of quality and drinkable water scheme, good roads, electricity, quality infrastructural facilities then one can conclude without fear of contradiction that with all that Gov. Umahi has achieved within the span of five years, he is the Creator of modern Ebonyi State.
REACTIONS ON THE FEATS OF GOVERNOR UMAHI:
Reacting to some of the great feats of Governor Umahi within this past five years, Lady Comfort Obi, the Publisher of the Source Magazine and a very powerful Pen Pusher in Nigeria highlighted in one of her treatises, “In fairness to Umahi, he has so far, done well as Ebonyi Governor. He has encouraged Agriculture, especially, in the area of rice production. Ebonyi rice ranks amongst the best in the country. I don’t know much about what he did in the area of yam production, but I proudly ask for Abakailiki yams from my yam customer. But where Umahi has definitely excelled most is in the provision of Physical Infrastructure, especially roads. Aside from Anambra State where Peter Obi excelled in the construction of roads, no other governor in the south east compares to Umahi in that area. Gradually, Umahi has bequeathed Ebonyi with quality roads. Umahi has also excelled in the area of education, granting scholarships to hundreds of Ebonyians in relevant areas of study. Thanks to him, Abakailiki, which, as the state capital looked worse than a local government headquarters, has had a complete turn- around. It looks bam”
RECENT ACTIONS OF EBONYI GOVERNMENT
It is on record that Ebonyi State is the only State in Nigeria that has innitiated the distribution of palliatives to her people within and outside the State particularly, her indigenes that reside in Lagos, Anambra, Rivers, Imo andAbia States including Abuja the FCT while providing over 90,000 facemasks and sanitisers for her people to ease the burden associated with COVID-19 pandemic.
In this regard, the Ebonyi State Commissioner for information, Hon. Barr. Orji Uchenna Orji in his recent statement highlighted, “Government has commenced the distribution of COVID-19 palliatives to the benefitting groups in the state, including Ebonyians in Abuja and Lagos. Polling unit compilation of list of beneficiaries of the palliatives across the state was comprehensively rounded- up without any political consideration, and distribution shall soon commence at the various polling units”.
He went further to state that the Ebonyi Executive Council has approved the release of the sum of Eighty Million Naira (N80, 000,000.00) for the renovation and equipment of Erinwobvu General Hospital which has been selected to serve as COVID-19 Treatment Centre, and further set up a committee to ensure that the project is completed within 10 days.
The Ebonyi Executive Council under the watch of Umahi has approved the naming of the following public facilities after prominent individuals with effect from June 2020:
• Centenary City to be known as Ocho Udo City
• Ezzamgbo flyover to be known as Sen. Sam O.Egwu Flyover
• Nkalagu flyover to be known as Chief Cletus Ibeto Flyover
“Functional Primary Health Centres (PHC) are available across State, catering for the healthcare needs of rural dwellers and providing training and jobs for healthcare givers, nurses, and midwives.
The governor had created huge industrial clusters in the three senatorial zones of the State located strategically with proximity to raw materials and markets. The industrial clusters has the capacity of creating over 200,000 jobs for Ebonyi people and others and reduce the brain drain that the State had suffered over time.
WHAT UMAHI THROUGH HIS MATURED AND ADVANCED POLITICS ATTRACTED THE FOLLOWING FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PROJECTS TO THE STATE;
- Federal college of Education in Ebonyi state.
2 Federal technical college in Ebonyi state.
- National park” for Southeast, and it is to be cited in Ebonyi state.
- Federal housing units of 5000 houses for Ebonyi state in Uburu.
- The independent solar power at AE-Funai
Today, Ebonyi State is home to a Federal Teaching Hospital, a Regional Virology Centre, and a state-of-art Ebonyi State University Teaching Hospital (EBSUTH) approaching completion.
FURTHER EFFORTS TOWARDS THE MODERNISATION OF EBONYI STATE BY UMAHI:
Lady Monica Chidinma Ada Eze, President and Founder of one of the most popular, vibrant and focused Non-Governmental Organisations operating in Ebonyi State, the David Umahi Nweze Akubaraoha Ebonyi Transformation Agenda (DUNAETA) postulated in one of her numerous statements that Apostle Dave Nweze Umahi is the creator of the new EBONYI State.
Lady Chidinma Ada Eze who also doubles as the Technical Adviser on Media to Governor Umahi highlighted the following as areas in which Governor Umahi embarked upon in his dream to create the EBONYI he has envisioned and envisaged for our people.
I am proud to state that today, due to the foresight of this visionary leader of our time, Ebonyi State is the only State in the entire south- south and East that has a virology centre, where the blood samples of the dreaded COVID- 19 victims are tested and possibly treated in these two regions. It is a fact that the results of those that tested positive in Imo and Abia including Bayelsa States were all done at Abakaliki.
Not satisfied with all his giant strides in Ebonyi State, the innovative and wonder working Governor has concluded arrangements to construct an ultra- mordern and state of the art Hospital Complex at Alex Ekwueme which shall be a Centre of Excellence for the treatment of positive cases of Corona virus and related viruses.
Gov. Umahi is a magician and your visit to Ebonyi will convince you.
With all these feats, I can happily and proudly state that Governor Umahi is the David of Ebonyi, the wisest Governor In Nigeria according to Governor Ikepazu of Abia State, this Zik Awardee for Leadership for higher position in Nigeria has demonstrated his commitment to make EBONYI State one of the fastest growing economies in Nigeria today.
This period has showcased Umahi as the peoples leader as his remarkable feats within the past five years in areas of healthcare, education, security, agriculture, maintaince and dualisation of Federal Roads particularly, the Abakaliki to Enugu and Abakaliki to Afikpo Express Roads, Construction of the Biggest State Shopping Mall in Nigeria, prompt payment of salaries to civil servants and pension to pensioners, infrastructural revolution which was showcased during the 100 Days magical days in which most State Governors in Nigeria were expected to present their scorecards to the public. “Ebonyi is truly blessed with an enigma and innovative leader as her Governor that one can easily postulate that the modernization of Ebonyi State has been achieved in our life time through Apostle Dr. David Nweze Umahi.
I can now understand why one of the prominent sons of South East, Chief Arthur Eze once advised President Muhammad Buhari, ” to look no further than the Ebonyi State Governor for a Nigerian President of the Igbo extraction- if, and when the time comes.
Apostle Dave Nweze Umahi, the wisest Governor in Nigeria has come of age and it is time for Nigeria to move forward with him.
All these feats to make Ebonyi State one of the most developed States in Nigeria, are the initiatives of Apostle Umahi, divinely inspired to take the state to that highly anticipated enviable height.
Monica Ada Chidinma Eze, Aka Ada Ebonyi
President DUNAETA & TA on Media to Gov Umahi and can be reached through: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com