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Otti’s baby and the future

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Why is the one-year birthday of a baby very significant? Why do parents, especially mothers, prepare so hard and go all out to give their babies a resounding one year birthday party? Why do children look forward in excitement for the one-year birthday of the babies around them? I recall being dragged from Abia State to Lagos to attend the one-year birthday party of my daughter, which was hosted at Alausa Park. The truth is that one-year birthday is a milestone for a toddler. Therefore, one-year anniversary was a milestone for the newly born New Abia being nursed and weaned by Governor Alex Otti.

Consider what the toddler goes through: from sucking the breast, learning how to drink water to the immunization series. Then, it begins to learn how to sit. After a period, it moves from sitting to crawling; from breast milk, the mother gradually introduces solid food. From crawling, it begins to stand, holding things and falling down. One great day, it makes the first step, the second step, the third step and off it moves further, staggering and faltering. Behold, the baby has survived the early teething and critical period of its life!

Like the new born baby, I think that Otti’s new Abia has survived the early teething period and has launched itself into a full adult life. This was the reason for the loud one-year anniversary marked by the fanfare of commissioning of roads and other infrastructure. After a successful one-year experience, the government is fully prepared to upscale its adventures. In the local parlance, Otti is now on top of his game. He is marching on to conquer new grounds and expand new frontiers. The one-year stint was close to a revolution. He was like a Medal General on a rescue mission and leading an interventionist force. He nursed and weaned his baby successfully to the admiration and commendation of spectators.

For Abians, it has been one year of adjusting to the mannerisms of the new baby, the new Abia. A new baby creates some discomforts, breaking cups and scattering the room. The new Abia movement has, undeniably, created some temporary discomforts, pulling people out of their comfort zones and stepping on toes. The whole idea is to break eggs to make omelets. The resetting crusade has come with certain disruptions, dislodgements and displacements. But, Otti’s vision is for the greatest good for the greatest number… to evolve a new Abia society of progressive change.

The new baby is now walking on its feet, ready to run, ready to assert itself, ready to conquer the world. Yes, Otti’s new Abia has asserted itself, ready to conquer and lift Abia to a higher ground.

The future of the baby:

The second year of the baby is precisely a year of consolidation. There are high expectations from the governor. As the only state flying the flag of the Labour Party (LP), he is solely bearing the burden of transmitting the gene of the movement for the rebirth of a nation; for LP was more a spiritual revival than a political party. Abia State under Otti must therefore be a brand display of the composition, attributes and characteristics of the great product of ideas of the possibility of a new Nigeria. Otti is the fossil dinosaur of that great product of ideas and must raise the bar so high that the world can see a resemblance of the national revival which LP preached and campaigned for.

The governor should be consistent in pursuing the big picture for the state, which necessitated the constitution of the Economic Advisory Council. He must ensure that such projects as the Port Harcourt Road with the giant construction company, Julius Berger, is delivered with the advertised quality. The road is a landmark as it signifies hope and the assurance that a new thing has happened to Abia State.

Thank God that the governor has shown interest in the long abandoned Enyimba Hotel in Aba. I do hope that he stamps his feat on this project and make history as the one who mustered the will to resolve a seemingly intractable quagmire. A working Enyimba Hotel will add value to Aba from many dimensions beyond the hospitality industry. It will change the landscape of Aba, create job and investment opportunities and stand as a monument of history and vision. The second year is also a time to expedite action on the proposed seaport at Owaza in Ukwa East which is planned to service an accompanying industrial park.

The Industrial Park will service exporters as an export processing zone. The innovation promises to be the largest industrial park in Nigeria. There will be a modular refinery and industrial and manufacturing activities in addition to the residential part of the park. The seaport will provide access to an export processing zone and it is planned to be a free trade zone. The governor should also focus on the planned airport for Abia State. Recently, a Federal Government team from the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development visited the state to inspect a proposed site for the airport. Its mission was to confirm that the land and location approved for the project are in alignment with regulatory requirement for the siting of an airport. These are the critical projects of the second year stride of the governor.

Otti should also deploy action in completing some half-done roads like the Union Bank to Mgboko Road, which is just a pole to completion and complete the new ones initiated by him. It is indeed expected that the second year will certainly be a year of consolidation and a year of a giant leap for the new Abia under Otti.

Adindu writes from Umuahia, Abia State capital

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