On July 1st this year the popular Igwu Bridge that connected Ndi Ebe Abam and other towns within its environs in Abia State collapsed like the government of the state Governor Theodore Ahamefule Orji.
This bridge is in Arochukwu LGA, and Arochukwu/Ohafia Federal Constituency. Ndi Ebe Abam is one of the 27 Communities/villages that made up Abam Onyerubi. Ndi Ebe Abam is a community lodging Anambra-Imo River Basin Authority and World Bank project. The community also is known for rice and garri productions.
The bridge that was made with planks in the 21st Century Nigeria reportedly collapsed when a heavy truck called tipper in Nigeria parlance that was carrying chippings rode on it. Villagers are saying that the collapsed bridge has shown them the evidence of a collapsed government in the state and that the collapsed bridge has cut them off with other villages.
The funniest side of the story is that the Gov. T.A Orji government in its abracadabra style of governance had celebrated rehabilitating the bridge in the media with tremendous sum of money being expended on it. It is certain that the governor will not come to the rescue of the people owing to his unconcern approach to governance in the state.
Gov. T.A Orji is so inept that it is funny for anybody to hope that he would come to the aid of the people of Ndi Ebe Abam. For sure the collapsed bridge has further extracted the voices of critics of the government in Abia State that it is best relegated to the trash can and all its over 500 aides that have taken occupation in propaganda and circulation of malicious articles intended to mislead the general public, saying that the state is working, whereas what are in the state are make-believe governance and clumsy approach to things.
Our once glowing state has become a subject of ridicule under their 'Ochendo Global'. You may say that this is too bad for our people, but the 'Ochendos' of Abia State are seeing the bungling that the state has become as a normal thing and a way to govern. Anything that is short of this in their myopic mindsets and eyes, the person who corrected them is labeled a criminal, kidnapper, rapist, extortionist, fake, liar, blackmailer and any other unprintable names. They have been doing this to this writer!
We may agree that Gov. T.A Orji was announced the winner of the 2011 elections. Let's give him the title - Governor. But in the practical terms, our state is bereft of a governor. Abia State is bereft of a people's-governor. What we have is a governor who rules from Abuja and most times from overseas.
About two years ago, he nearly did not return from the USA where he had gone for Omugwo that was meant for women when it was reportedly that his daughter put to bed. Gov. Orji is an 'Award Winning Governor of Abia State' and he has continued in that stead to be winning awards in collapsed bridges, collapsed infrastructures, collapsed security, and collapsed everything in the state.
Just go to Aba area of the state and weep! The villagers where the ill-fated bridge collapsed are of the opinion that over 10000 residents are hooked to mess and cut off from the rest of the world. They can no longer get access to markets and other socio-economic activities as no one comes in and no one goes out from the villages. Imagine!
Gov. T.A Orji should understand that democracy is one government that allows for fairness and justice, but these have eluded the state of Abia, replaced with vendetta and brickbats against dissenters. The later attributes and others have made the governor a winner of many laurels in mis-governance and incompetence.
Like that collapsed bridge, the state government has allowed the grassroots to be collapsing with the installment or installation of transition caretaker committee chairmen; hence the people at the grassroots are deprived of the power to vote who they want to lead them. What is the meaning of dictatorship if the people are not given the veto to vote their leaders?
The worst is that you hear the governor telling his stooges (as caretaker chairmen) to develop the grassroots as if he knew what development meant. If he knew, it is obvious that Igwu bridge that connected Ndi Ebe Abam would not have collapsed after the government had hyped it all over the world that the bridge had been rehabilitated.
Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.
Email: [email protected]
IGWU BRIDGE PHOTO BY EZINWA IHESIABA