By Emeka Nwosu, PhD.
Abia State has continued to be in the news for good reasons since Dr. Alex Otti became the Governor nine months ago. Great exploits are being made almost on a daily basis by the Labour Party-controlled government to rebuild the State and reposition it for greater economic possibilities. Under the watch of Otti, the two major urban centres of Umuahia and Aba are receiving renewed attention, especially in the areas of infrastructural rehabilitation and expansion of existing economic opportunities.
With what has been achieved within such a short time, it appears obvious that Otti came very much prepared for the governance of the State which, for 24 years laid prostrate and crestfallen under the successive Peoples Democratic Party-led administrations. With the extensive works going on in Aba, the much neglected Enyimba city has bounced back to life. The roads undergoing reconstruction and rehabilitation are being equipped with solar power streetlights. This has not only added to the aesthetic beauty of Aba, but it has also contributed to the improvement in the security of the city.
One of the most remarkable achievements of the Otti administration is the ongoing reconstruction and expansion of the strategic Port Harcourt road which was criminally abandoned by past governments. To demonstrate that he meant business, Governor Otti brought in the construction giant, Julius Berger, who are currently doing a great job on the road. When completed, that road will be a game changer in the economic fortunes of Aba in particular and, indeed, the whole State.
In order to ensure a coordinated and orderly rebuilding of Aba, the Governor has set up the Greater Aba Development Authority (GADA) with the legislative approval of the Abia State House of Assembly. Since coming on board late last year, GADA has been working assiduously to ensure that the vision of Dr. Otti for Aba comes to fruition.
Similar development strides are equally going on in Umuahia, the State capital. For a very long time since Umuahia was made the capital of Abia State in 1991, it has remained largely provincial. But with the arrival of Otti on the political saddle of the State, Umuahia, today, is being rejigged and accorded a status befitting a State capital. The main approach road into the city from the Abia Tower on the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway is being expanded into six lanes. Upon completion, it is to be equipped with solar-power streetlights on both sides of the road. It is also heartwarming to note that under the 2024 Budget of the State, the remaining stretch of the road from the Abia Tower to the boundary with Imo State at the Onuimo Bridge is also to be expanded into six lanes and equipped with streetlights.
The Umuahia Capital Development Authority (UCDA) like GADA in Aba has been rejuvenated and re-invigorated to coordinate the proper and orderly development of the State capital. The zero pothole policy of the Otti government has ensured that all the notoriously bad portions of the intra-city roads are fixed, making traveling within the city a pleasurable experience.
In addition to what the government is doing in Aba and Umuahia, recently Governor Otti flagged off the reconstruction of key roads in the State. One of such important roads is the 67 Km Umuahia-Uzuakoli-Akara-Ohafia highway, which has been in a deplorable state over the years. To ensure timely and quality delivery of the project, the reconstruction of the road was awarded to three different topflight companies. The stretch from Umuahia to Uzuakoli is being handled by Craneburg Construction Company while the second phase from Uzuakoli to Akara Junction is being handled by Ferotex Construction Company. The remaining stretch from Akara to Ohafia is being handled by China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC).
The flag-off of the reconstructions was a great moment for the people of Abia as they trooped out in their numbers with various dancing troupes to give the Governor a rousing welcome. When the road is completed, it will bring back to life the economies of the numerous towns and villages on that strategic corridor of the State that had been abandoned for many decades. The food basket of the State lies on that corridor. Once the road is delivered, it would enable the various farming communities along that axis to freely transport their farm products to the city centres without stress.
Another critical road that is also receiving attention is the Nkpa -Umuezike road that straddles the Local Government Areas of Bende and Umuahia North. The construction of that road would definitely open up the various agrarian communities along that corridor which has continued to serve as the food basket of the State, dating back to the days of Biafran civil war. The people of the area were in a jubilant mood when Governor Otti made a stop-over at Umuezike last week to inspect the level of work being done by the contractors.
It is said that when the righteous is on the throne, the people rejoice. Otti has earned the confidence of the people in the competent and equitable manner he is handling the affairs of the State. If he continues on this trajectory, Abia, in the coming years will be the place to be.

Dr. Nwosu, a Public Affairs Analyst, writes from Umuahia.
Email: cdnwosu2@gmail.com