It is no longer news that there is a new Abia where, according to the bible, “old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” One of Governor Alex Otti’s major policy thrusts is to cause a rebirth, a rejuvenation and a total change of the Abia routine. After a season, knowledge increases, and society recreates itself. Society is dynamic and life is in constant flux. Today, all well-meaning people of the world chorus the sing-song that Abia’s rebirth was long overdue and Governor Otti has come at the nick of time.
Expectedly, there are some phenomena that are consistent with all change processes: disruption; dislodgement; and displacement. Like a recurring decimal, these factors are constant traces of the movement of change. A change process disrupts the status quo. It dislodges the dramatis personas of the status quo and displaces a pattern and procedures that have become a norm. It unsettles people as they are drastically pulled out of their comfort zones.
This inevitable hand of time naturally elicits a chain of mixed feelings and mixed reactions. At this point of interjection between the old Abia and the new Abia is where the Abia polity is currently situated. Mixed reactions are trailing Governor Alex Otti’s crusade of Abia Rebirth and metamorphosis. Thus, this article seeks to manage the Abia populace on the change process. Though it might occasion some early discomfort, the overhauling process is sincerely aimed at cleansing the Augean Stable. It is going to serve a Unitarian value of the greatest good for the greatest number. There is certainly going to be light at the end of the tunnel.
For 24 years of the rule of graduates of Reality Organization, a consistent pattern of political life that transmuted into a culture reigned supreme in Abia State. This regime has naturally succumbed under the weight of its own errors and a new Abia is in place.
Governor Otti’s efforts to foster change are disrupting the old order and altering entrenched practices and procedures. But, it is for the greatest good, for the upliftment of our society. The end thereof is for the betterment of Abia. The Abia polity must embrace this new wind of change. The Abia polity must adjust to this historical reality because the NEW ABIA is an idea whose time has come. Ndi Abia must endeavour to put up with the initial discomforts and set their eyes on the sunset on the horizon. It is entirely time for a new beginning,
A consistent pattern creates a comfort zone. In the comfort zone, people get enmeshed and entrenched into the order of things and it becomes routine and normal. They get acclimatized and assimilate into the culture. An action of taking them out of their comfort zones generates friction and tension. It generates a form of angry reaction because people are naturally aversed to change. But, change is a dynamic process of life as life is not static. Change sets out to foster a new normal and lifts society to higher ground. It brings society up to speed with the current or modern trends. Its aim is to expand the frontiers.
Right from Governor Orji Uzor Kalu who governed with a style of mamacracy where Mother Excellency exerted far more powers than his His Excellency, and Governor TA Orji who spent a greater part of his first tenure servicing a benefactor who freighted him from prison to power and spent the rest of his second tenure executing a personal war with this benefactor to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu who was seized by the cabal, Abia as a state and as a people have been under a familiar regime.
Governor Otti and the Labour Party are a total departure. Abians must rise up and embrace the change, adjust themselves and adapt to the new movement. For the first time, Abians have a free and totally independent governor, a governor who wields sovereign authority, a governor who is not encumbered, a governor without the baggage of moral debts and a governor who is not weighed down by the amorphous word “loyalty”. The movement of change, quite significantly, is bringing about the end of the surreptitious sharing formula and the end of multiple layers of power. Only those who know the enormity of damage caused by this syndrome will appreciate the sacrifice of the new movement of change.
The mantra of the Labour Party says that a new Nigeria is possible and Abians are being led out of their cocoon into a new life. They are being wooed to adapt to new ways of doing things. This is simply what the friction is all about and it will certainly calm down as we progress and people begin to feel the universal benefit of the overhauling process.
The sanitizing of the civil service is an effort to overhaul the system. Ditto for the new automation of the revenue collection exercise. The recertification of the traditional zones is a good agenda to enable them to have access to what is due to them. When their particulars are captured in the system, their remuneration process will be seamless. The biometrics for the civil servants are to identify the authentic workers and curb every other underhand practice existing within the system. These processes are already in place in many states in Nigeria.
There is an intentional strategy to do things differently, to give Abia leadership a new face. The infrastructural drives are a fulfilment of his promises of transforming our social amenities.
I therefore call on Abians to enlist in the change movement and become partners in progress with Governor Alex Otti in his far-sighted vision of creating a new Abia where things must work. Many great nations have gone through a rebuilding process. There is no gain without pain. After the rain comes sunshine. There is certainly going to be light at the end of the tunnel and Abia shall be better and greater again.
Godwin Adindu, a media consultant, writes from Umuahia.