By Ako Obioma
In response to my rejoinder and the threat calls from sponsors of the former Governor’s son, it’s unfortunate that the euphoria of power has made our youths to disrespect the elders. I thought he could have taken the wise counsel from the Journalist he contracted for the reply to my write-up on how Abia destroys their own. Afterall, they were not the only ones mentioned in my advice to our leaders.
However, I can’t join issues with him while I reserve my respect for his father who is my senior brother. They know whom I was from the old Imo state before the creation of Abia State, and whom they were (though he just entered secondary school) and how he rose to this money bag and power affluence. On his envy over my cars, it’s obvious that at Owerri before creation of Abia, I was known for my push cars and palatial home at Okigwe road Layout.
If he is questioning the integrity of my response to the young girl’s music, pls my people of Abia, he should tell us their story of the ongoing World Bank Aba greater underground drainage project, because he was the one that received all the consultancy design document from me at the banquet hall government house under his father’s instruction. The document contains the topographic survey of Abia state with primary emphasis on Aba and all the stage designs.
If I may digress, in early 2008 under Barr K C Ugbaja as Commissioner for works, the government approached me for maintenance of selected roads in Aba to the tune of over N2b which I rejected. The governor who was shocked by my rejection invited me to ask my reason. I told him about my knowledge of Aba based on my experience as a sub-contractor to SCC Nig. Ltd, when they built the Ndiegoro flood control. That the problem of Aba is not road and that I won’t be involved in maintenance that would be washed away after a full rainy reason, as my professional competence and integrity would be at stake. Also, I suggested that what we need is to first of all resolve the flood problem which has been there since the administration of the late Dr Sam Mbakwe era.
At the Governor’s instruction, we produced this suggestion on paper professionally with part design and construction cost put at N4.8 billion, and the Governor referred it to F$GPC with approval that my company handling the project should pay the engineering consultant from preliminaries (Bill one).
You sponsored the F$GPC led by Hon Adindu (our brother) to query my companies’ professional integrity and that of the consultancy company, Ette Aro and partners (the first indigenous consultancy company in Nigeria). The F$GPC also added that we should have completed the entire design which include Topographical Survey.
It took the intervention of the ministry of works for us to return after their failed search for a competent consultancy firm that could accommodate the government debt pattern. Moreover, for Ette Aroh to accept, they insisted on direct mobilization which the government couldn’t do and the Governor requested that I should assist with my personal money, since I’m the one going to execute the project. I used my personal N50m to mobilise Ette Aro, it’s on record in both ministry of works and justice.
My initial advice was for us to commence work with part design due to the urgency because the Topographic (Aerial) survey has been done through German satellite in view of Nigersat that got lost. Moreover, it was my view that we shall apply through world bank for sponsor considering the economic importance of Aba. In so doing, complete engineering design will be part of counterpart funding and requirement from World bank.
We completed the entire engineering design, including the Topographical Survey which estimated the project cost at N22 billion which when added to present preliminaries and inflationary rate brough it to almost N28 billion, which is what the government you are supervising today awarded it to the new contractor.
Without the government paying a dime to neither my company nor Ette Aroh, I submitted the completed design of the project with hard copy of the Topographic survey to the ministry of works, including request for payment and I brought the second hard copy to the Governor, who incidentally was at Abuja and he instructed that I hand them over to you.
Please tell the world if the government/your father paid us any money for that job and why the project that the design was completed in 2009 could not commence till Dr Okezie regime.
At the inception of Dr Ikpeazu government, tell the world who the government paid our money that made us to take the government to court and petitioned World bank, which caused the initial rejection of the Abia state government effort to secure the $55m loan with which the state is now executing the project.
If I’m not a sacrificial Abian, how come I succumbed to the government delegate plea led by the Financial Consultant Emeka Ononiwu and Hon Obinna Oriaku in getting Ette Aroh to withdraw their petition from World bank to pave way for Abia to access the loan.
Till date, except initial N40m paid to Ette Aro as commitment to enable them withdraw the petition from World bank, did this government which you allegedly supervise pay Ette Aro their balance nor redeem even one of the promises to me nor Ette Aro and Partners after securing the loan.
Honestly, like I said in one of my articles, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu is a peaceful man and I won’t be the one counted to heat up the polity of his administration. You can as well tell the Governor not to pay for works my company is doing at the ongoing Umuopara ring road, my best will be to demobilise my equipment. Afterall, after you stopped your father from paying government debt to my companies and in 2012 instructed all government ministries, including ABROMA to stop patronizing my company equipment and buying asphalt from my plant, all in the name of envy and CHOMEN brother, did I complain or did anybody heard my voice? Did it even cause me to leave PDP or stop funding their activities both at state and national levels? I’m a peaceful and contented man.
I have made my honest and truthful remark to the young girls’ song, if those involved in perpetuating that evil like, let them change and seek genuine repentance, if they don’t want, it’s obvious everyone must enter six (6) feet empty handed.
I’m an honourable man with reverend integrity, you can’t cause me to make statements that will affect my long earn reputation.
It’s Over as in Over, I won’t waste any of my precious time anymore for you and your charlatans.
Sir Ako Obioma, Akubaraoha of Umuopara and Chairman Daman group, writes from Umuahia.