The celebration of the first 100 days in office is usually an avenue for governors to showcase their achievements within the period under review. However, the celebration of this landmark by the likes of Governor Alex Otti of Abia State and his counterparts in Enugu, Ebonyi as well as their sister states of Imo and Anambra States, took a different turn as they brainstormed on how best to address the insecurity and under-development challenges hanging over the south-east zone in the last seven years.
It’s no longer news that the concept of the first 100 days in office which has become a quadrennial celebration among governors often describes the early phase of new leadership. It is believed that a governor’s achievement within the first 100 days in office is either an indicator of future success or failure. Interestingly, the case is quite different this year, as the five governors of the S ‘east zone, moved to create a better economic future for their people.
Only recently, a regional non-governmental organisation, under the aegis of Ala Igbo Development Foundation (ADF), made a passionate appeal to the five governors in the noq threatened region to initiate result-oriented programmes and policies that would impact positively on their people.
Interestingly, barely few weeks into their request, other stakeholders and concerned Nigerians are already assessing the accomplishments of these governors who have already spent 100 days in office. There have been commendations for what some described as a good start for the governors.
While a few of the state executives have been applauded for matching their promises with results, others have continued to receive knocks for having nothing to show 100 days after.
For instance, the Minister of Works, Senator Dave Umahi made good to commend Governor Alex Otti of Abia State, over his laudable achievements 100 days after assuming power. He described what he termed as the visible developments in the state as an indication that the Governor will match his words with results.
Umahi who was in Abia State, to inspect federal road projects in the state was visibly impressed with Governor Otti’s developmental attainment within 100 days. He was convinced that the state will witness notable transformation in the months ahead. He added that the state was blessed with both human capital and equipment.
Another group, Abia State Residents, operating under the auspices of United Abia Patriots, acknowledged that Governor Otti’s tenure has ushered in the needed peace and the needed progress.
The group, had in a statement issued by its general secretary, Uche Orji, stated that Otti’s remarkable strides were born from his zeal to reposition and restore Abia State to its rightful place characterised by peace, security, robust infrastructure development, and economic growth.
The group revisited Governor Otti’s earlier promises to unite the people and end the era of poor leadership. They reminded the governor about his promise to implement his five-point agenda that includes; economic-social transformation, healthcare- public service reforms, and strengthening internal security.
They charged him to stick to his vow to identify and address the challenging state of infrastructure, education, healthcare, and other sectors in the state, while acknowledging that there were no quick fixes.
Another group, Abia Indigenes Progressive Union, lauded the Otti’s efforts at addressing the notorious reputation of the state as one of the dirtiest in country. They thanked him for declaring a state of emergency on waste management in Umuahia and Aba cities.
They posited that ‘Governor Otti’s prompt actions included dissolving boards and removing agency heads to promote prudence, diligence, and transparency in governance. He also established an administrative panel of inquiry to investigate the dissolved agencies’ operations.
‘Recognising Aba’s significance as the state’s commercial hub, Governor Otti awarded contracts for the reconstruction of approximately 30 roads across the state, with a special focus on Aba. These ongoing road reconstruction projects have contributed to the revitalisation of Aba and other local councils in Abia State, earning praise from residents and observers alike.
He prioritised security and took steps to strengthen Abia State security agencies with 20 Toyota patrol vehicles. He also launched a new security outfit called Operation Crush, affirming his government’s refusal to negotiate with criminals,’’ the group disclosed in a statement.
Fidelis George, a lawyer and another Abia State native, noted that Governor Otti has implemented measures to enhance healthcare delivery, improve the quality of education, and advance infrastructure development.
He also commended efforts by the state governor to boost sports, entertainment, and tourism to position Abia as a prominent center for entertainment and a desirable tourist destination. One notable appointment, he said, was Nwankwo Kanu as the chairman of Enyimba FC of Aba, a move intended to elevate the former African champion and make the football club more attractive to investors.
For Mr. George, Governor Otti’s first 100 days in office showcased his ability to address the multifaceted challenges inherited from the previous administration adding that his dedication has instilled confidence in the people of Abia State, reaffirming their belief that the state is on a path toward peace, security, prosperity, and substantial development under his leadership.
On the efforts of Otti’s counterpart in Enugu State, a public affairs analysts, Prince Ejeh Josh said the people in the state, and by extension, interacting people within the global sphere of cybernetics, could have observed the glaring evidence of Governor Mbah’s efforts over the past 100 days, targeted at redefining the historical trajectory of the state and shaping the shared values and common destiny of the citizens in terms of what the state could achieve in the next four to eight years that would span the tenure of the administration.
He said, ‘‘Rather than bask in the euphoria that associates with the ascension of office of the governor and the command he enjoys, Governor Mbah literally set agenda for his administration even long before his election as governor. He was clear as to what the shape of leadership his government would take. He understands that the journey to arriving at the destination which he had set for himself would be tortuous, rough and tough to navigate if he must reach there with his governance philosophy being achieved.
‘‘Before Mbah took over office as governor, the state and the South-East zone were threatened by hydra-headed challenges arising from insecurity, ailing economy, alarming rate of poverty, infrastructural decay, dwindling revenue, youth restiveness and leadership deficiency. These were consequential issues that deserved immediate antidotes and determined political will to solve. One would have no doubt that the hope of rescuing the state from this multifaceted asphyxiation was farfetched given the trend of leadership culture, self-glorification and primal accumulation over altruistic gesture and lack of empathy by leaders. In the midst of this deeming hope, Mbah pulled the string in a swift move he called disruptive innovation.’’
Meanwhile, Ebonyi State Governor, Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru’s achievements within the period under review can best be described as a significant milestone in the business of governance.
Special assistant to the governor on ICT, Hon Anthony Nwizi , made the commendation in his goodwill message to his boss. He noted that the People’s Charter of Needs’ Agenda of the governor remains a cornerstone of his administration.
According to him, it has been inspiring to see the progress that has been made by Governor Nwifuru in addressing the needs of the people. Nwizi, commended the governor for leveraging on technology to improve the lives of the people of Ebonyi State, saying he is proud to be part of the government.
The goodwill message reads in part, “ Sir, your well thought out programmes and policies remain a cornerstone of your administration, and it has been inspiring to see the progress that has been made in addressing the needs of the people. I am proud to be associated with your giant strides. I am particularly impressed by your commitment to leveraging on technology to improve the lives of the people of Ebonyi State.
For Youths of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, trio of Governors Otti, Mbah and Nwifuru, must not disappointment those citizens
Speaking through its national president, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike, the youth group emphasised the need for the governors to carry young people along. Okwu acknowledged the challenges these governors faced on their journey to victory and stressed the need for them to prove themselves worthy of the confidence placed in them.
He appealed for unity among South-east governors, irrespective of their party affiliations in order to promote the development of the region. He also called on opposition parties in the three states to set aside their differences and support the governors to avoid distractions that could hinder rapid development.
On his part, a public affairs analyst, Chike Ofose , urged the governors to tackle the security crisis in the region head-on, urging them to revisit and adopt the Ebube Agu blueprint. According to him, instead of reinventing the wheel, they can draw inspiration from the successful Amotekun initiative in the Southwest.
He said that the current insecurity in the southeast demands a delicate and strategic response. His words, ‘‘Fostering cooperation and synergy is vital for the development of the southeast and its regional integration. Fortunately, a significant step has been taken with President Bola Tinubu’s approval of a bill that decentralises energy generation, transmission, and distribution, allowing states, local government units (LGs), and individuals to take charge of their electricity needs. To capitalise on this opportunity, our governors should collaborate to provide electricity to the entire region.
“Exploring concessions for projects like the Oji Power station and tapping into the extensive coal deposits in Enugu could be game changers. Electricity shortages have long hindered investment in the region, along with issues of instability and insecurity. By addressing the power problem, the South-East could potentially meet up to 50 per cent of its development requirements, recognising that electricity and security are pivotal factors in driving economic growth,’’ he said.