The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Nigeria symbolized by the umbrella is the biggest political party in Africa. To whom much is given, much is expected. In a self-judging exercise, the National Publicity Secretary and a well structured media amalgam similar to Mr. Labaran Maku’s good governance tour were going around the country trying to verify what the PDP government at the centre and the states have achieved in the 15 years of PDP colossal bestride.
It was exclamation galore for the crewmen and reporters who couldn’t believe their eyes on the wonders of the specialist centre. They saw dialysis in action as there were people being worked on by the numerous machines. Dr. Chima Chukwu who explained with the mien of a teacher, informed that right there at the centre, there were six dialysis machines, two of them dedicated to sufferers of HIV and hepatitis to avoid blood contamination. There was also the digital x-ray machines, an ECG machine for heart scans and checks, blood laboratory for storing and screening blood, MRI and Ultra mammography for checking breasts, especially for suspected cancer cases.
The eye section was another conjecture with various eye scans and examination like the Phaco machines. There was equally the eye theatre for all kinds of surgeries, spectacularly laser eye surgeries. The laser eye surgery is one of the most recent medical solutions. This involves the use of intense, narrow beams of laser light which can cut and cauterize certain body tissues in a small fraction of a second without damaging surrounding healthy tissues. Lasers have been used to “weld” the retina, bore holes in the skull, vaporize lesions, and cauterize blood vessels.
The tour headed to the Industrial Market at Azueke Ndume, stopping briefly at the Ohobo Housing Estate, presently located at the defunct industrial market where they saw builders in action. The Ohobo Housing estate is seen on the two sides of the road previously known as Timber Road. On the right when approaching from World Bank Umuahia is the medium density with completed duplexes and the opposite were flats where massive work was ongoing.
Buying and selling was the activity in different stores with varying stocks and merchandise, be they tiles, plumbing materials, cement and all. In all these activities, physical money changed hands and most of us wondered if these traders will ever cue into the cashless economy being advocated by the Central Bank.
We again hurried into our bus driving past the facilities like fire service, Diamond Bank and special security units. There was a brief stop at Government College Umuahia where we beheld the massive blue roofed buildings built by the present administration.
On our way back to town, we made a brief stop at the Ndume Otuka Secondary School where the curious team took shots of the model school and then screeched to the superlative Ogurube Layout through the Winners Road, off Ikot Ekpene Road at Ihie Ndume junction and stopped briefly at the ASEPA House from where we got glimpses of the massive new Government House now being roofed. This point enabled the photographers the opportunity to take elevated shots of the Government House and International Conference Centre.
Our next stop was at the new Government House premises where we saw more action as construction was the game with welding lights sparking and electric files screeching, sending lit filings in all directions, hammering sounds bellowing. Most of us without ear mufflers feared for our ossicles being irreparably jarred.
The massive parking space in the four corners of the centre could contain all the cars in Abia State as Olisah Metu observed later. We visited the numerous halls of the centre starting from the basement to the top floors. At all these floors, fabrication of different woods were going on. The exercise was to be repeated when Chief Metu joined the crew at the JAAC House premises and his men insisted that he must see the ICC which Minister Labaran Maku observed during his visit a few months ago, ‘can compete with relative buildings at Pretoria and Johannesburg.’
This second tour at the ICC suggested by Chief Metuh’s media men was led by Dr. Eze Chikamnayo, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy.
Oliseh Metuh, after visiting the new Workers’ Secretariat and E-Library where his curiosity was satisfied after seeing the first one hundred Dell computers and screens for the E-library, could only marvel and wondered at the smear on Abia. As he informed, in all the states they visited, the recurrent question was: ‘when will you go to Abia?’ He was in Abia, pleasantly shocked with all that he saw. He there and then insisted on having a press conference which held at the Omerua Guest House.
The tour continued to the Modern Market at Ubani Ibeku, Amachara Specialist Hospital and the spare parts markets at Ohiya. We were equally at the SHOPPING MALL site at old Garki, off Uwalaka Street, with more marvels. While in Umuahia, Chief Metuh insisted that the crew must be taken to Aba, probably for the negative reports mounted by The Sun Newspapers and their boss.
This happened on Tuesday 14th as we stopped briefly at the modern park at Osisioma, Aba Shopping Mall with the typical arena of construction galore, drove past the Model School at Abayi and popped into the Polytechnic where we saw more buildings done by the Abia State Government. Driving out was the footbridge built by Ochendo to save the lives of students who on crossing the road added to vehicular carnage.
As it happened, the crew had had enough and itched for their flight back to Abuja, equipped with photographs and jottings to tell their story. Seeing is believing and they saw and believed!