Ebonyi @ 26: Eze Celebrates With Ebonyians
…Describes Umahi as the Father of New Ebonyi
…Recalls History and Inputs of Past Leaders in the Development of the State
…As Thousands of Beneficiaries Emerge in Anniversary Phase of Ongoing State Empowerment Scheme
…Congratulates Umahi on His National Honours Award of Commander of the Order of the Niger, ‘CON’
As Ebonyi State celebrates the 26th anniversary of her creation, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, a member of the APC Legacy Projects Media Team and erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New People’s Democratic Party (nPDP), has joined the ‘development expert’ and incumbent Governor of the State, Engr. Dave Nweze Umahi, Deputy Governor, Dr. Kelechi Igwe, other leaders, traditional rulers and the entire good people of Ebonyi State to cling glasses over the event.
In a statement made available to the media in Abuja, the APC chieftain said if banal felicitations are rolled back, there abounds very honest reasons for the celebration which span through a multi-sectorial concave, evidencing that the state is fast-taking the necessary strides befitting her endowments and has made substantial progress within a short period especially under the current administration of Gov. Umahi.
Created on October 1, 1996 under the military regime of Late General Sani Abacha, Ebonyi State has eleven Local Government Areas and is located in the southeastern part of the country.
She was carved out from parts of both Enugu State and Abia State. Initially, Enugu State was part of the old Anambra State, while Abia State was part of the old Imo State.
With a large salt deposit at the Okposi and Uburu Salt Lakes, Eze said the state earned herself the sobriquet “Salt of the Nation” and to the pride of her citizens, she is adding taste and flavour to governance and issues of development in the country as she is fast-overtaking several states in infrastructure, human capital development, job creation, urban beautification and other development indicators on a scale.
Reeling into her past, the Party Chief stated that five administrators have governed the State within her twenty six years of existence with Walter Feghabo as the first Military administrator.
He ruled from 7 October 1996 till August 1998 while Simeon Oduoye, a seasoned police officer and administrator ruled the state from August 1998 till May 1999.
Dr Sam Egwu became the first executive governor of the state from May 29, 1999 till May 29, 2007 while Chief Martin Elechi assumed office on May 29, 2007, till May 29, 2015.
Dr. Dave Nweze Umahi is the current governor of Ebonyi State and assumed office in May 29 2015 till date.
These past administrators contributed significantly in building the State from the scratch to its present state of giant strides and achievements.
Worthy of note is the magnificent ecstasy that greets the sight of the beauty of Ebonyi, especially the State Capital, Abakeliki which has evolved within a few years, into an ‘investors haven’, with an multi-sectorial revolution culminating into aggressive commercial engagements and bumper revenue for the state.
Without fear of equivocation and an iota of contradiction, Eze maintained that Governor Umahi, as the Father of the new Ebonyi State has dwarfed all the inputs of the past Administrators combined as the following legacy projects and innovative development postulates:
Construction of one of the best International Airports, 16 quality and well constructed Flyovers, 600km concrete pavements and concrete roads across the width and breath of Ebonyi State, biggest and best shopping mall in Africa and the State Ecumenical Centre a place of worship for God that can take over 5,000 crowd.
Other infrastructural feats of Gov. Umahi include David Nweze Umahi Federal University of Medical Sciences, President Muhammadu Buhari International Airport, the State and the light tunnel, the network of solid road which has made Ebonyi State a global village, the new Government House which depicts the new status of the State, the numerous long span twin flyovers and the synthetic street lights, roundabouts, water fountains and dualizations that inspire the state’s economic possibilities, the array of agricultural, commercial, educational, health care and human capital development intervention projects established to rewrite the history of the state and her people.
It is on record that virtually all the roads within the metropolitan areas and and small towns have been constructed in concrete pavement with beautiful roundabouts, street light and water fountains built to spice the beauty of the state and enhance tourism.
As a way of policing the environment and detecting crime, CCTV cameras are installed in major junctions and that strategic and innovative security initiative in crime fighting is already yielding results.
Apart from all the infrastructural revolution taking place in the State, Umahi excels in human capital development through offer of qualitative education and Empowerment of citizens.
During the pendency of the COVID 19 pandemic, Governor Umahi, empowered over 10,000 youths with between 250k and 1m. The historical appointment of over 1500 aides in the past as means of empowerments; one of the highest by any State Government in the annals of governance in the country.
Furthermore, Gov. Umahi was able to pay hospital bills for over 2000 patients and discharged them with bags of rice, wrapper and N5000 cash during the last Christmas season alone and gave Christmas gifts and palliatives to over 2000 old people across the state.
While many States battle to pay salaries, Governor Umahi not only ensures that Civil Servants are paid promptly, but in addition, paid extra 10k to every worker with 5kg bag of rice during Christmas. He also extended Christmas largesse to Ophanage homes, Churches, Mosques, NGOs, Professional groups etc across the State.
All of these achievements made to the pride of the good people Ebonyi state have gained national recognitions and thus the state, among other recognitions was ranked the most prudent state in the use of public resources in Nigeria (Budgit Office 2021), the best state in capital budget implementation and investment in capital projects and best State in Nigeria in Economic Growth (Budgit Office 2021); Ebonyi was ranked 2nd Best State in 2021 overall Fiscal performance rating (Budgit Office 2021), the least indebted State in South East (and 3rd least in Nigeria) (Budgit Office 2021), the 4th best in investment towards self reliance (Road to State’s viability), above average in maternal mortality ratio (2018 World Bank State of States Health index), one of the 10 best states in Economic Development performance (Philips Performance Index of the year 2020), one of the 5 best States in Nigeria (2020 State Fiscal Sustainability Index), One of the largest producers of Rice in Nigeria in the year 2021 (Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment) and the 2nd best in Empowerment and Job Creation in South East according to the National Bureau of Statistics, 2020.
Speaking on the secret behind the successes of his administration, Umahi has this to say; “…in Ebonyi State, we are able to keep to our promises because of our commitment to our core values of fear of God, fiscal discipline, passion for work, courage to make decisions that will be of common good and resilience to surmount challenges.
We have reordered the mindset of public and civil servants and re-enacted the can-do spirit of an average Ebonyi man and woman.”
Awed by the very many achievements, Eze confessed that if Gov. Umahi could within less than eight years of his reign, turn Ebonyi State, hitherto known as dusty, most backward and epicenter of guinea worm, into the fastest and one of the most developed State in Nigeria with a touch of class, then states with higher IGR FG allocations should have been competing with Dubai. “A visit to the new Ebonyi Government House is a tour to the wonderland”, he noted.
Ebonyi State, today stands out as one of the State in Nigeria with concrete roads linking all the Local Government Headquarters. While almost all the States are engulfed with one security challenge or the other, Lady Monica said Umahi’s pragamitic approach to leadership has ensured the security of lives and property of citizens, residents, investors and even visitors.
Eze revealed that during the 26th Anniversary of Ebonyi State Creation, Governor Umahi empowered thousands of Ebonyians in the second phase of the State’s Empowerment scheme.
This cane after over 3,500 Ebonyians were empowered with N300,000 each to help households cushion the effect of the trying times.
Finally, Eze congratulates Gov. Umahi as he has been honoured by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari with the National Honours Award of Commander of the Order of the Niger, CON, in recognition of his sterling leadership qualities and unequalled track record of performance as Governor and more as illustrated above.