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In a fashion reminiscent of the Aba Women’s Riots of 1929 where women came out en masse to resist an unfair tax imposed on the people by the colonial administration, a group of women in Aba city on Tuesday, September 8, staged a mass protest.

Hundreds of women who were mostly traders came out for the protest disrupting activities in the commercial city and subsequently issued a 90-day ultimatum to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia state to fix the bad roads in Aba or else they will shut down the Government House. One of the other demands made by the protesting women was that the government ensures the prompt payment of salaries and arrears of civil servants in the State.

Long before this recent mass protest, Ikpeazu claimed in March 2018 that his administration has completed 60 roads in Abia state within his first term, out of which 33 are in Aba alone. Also in 2019, more media reports claimed that a number of other roads have been completed and commissioned in the crucial city of Aba.

It is, therefore, curious seeing that claims by the Abia state government on roads completed in Aba especially often seem to contradict what the public opines. Of all basic amenities and dividend of Democracy which people should benefit from their government, roads are one of the most conspicuous – roads cannot be hidden if they really exist.

This constant bickering between the government and a section of the Abia populace already gives ground to insinuations that the opposition party in Abia state could be backing such a move by the protesters to paint the incumbent government as non-performing and ineffective. Even if true, such a notion could be more damaging for the Ikpeazu-led government to reiterate as it would present the protesting women groups as one without their personal motivations and lacking their own free-will.

Just last month, the Gubernatorial Elections Tribunal affirmed Ikpeazu’s election. If there is any faith left in the validity of judicial authority, such a pronouncement may have summarily confirmed that the majority of Abia state people, irrespective of their misgivings towards Ikpeazu, re-elected him for a 2nd term in office.

But who are those who voted Ikpeazu back into power if the state of road infrastructure is so bad in the state?

In the middle of these incessant reports of Abia state’s roads being in bad condition and the jinx of constantly owing workers salaries since the days of Theodore Orji, Abia state has also consistently recorded an unmatched standard in pre-tertiary education as the state’s WAEC results often come out tops in the entire country for years running. Peradventure, some of these signs could signify that there are underlying parameters in the metrics for evaluating Abia state which may not be entirely visible to observers from outside the state just yet. 

One suggestion holds true afterall; the pace at which the government provides basic necessities for the people may not always be commensurate with the pace which the people hoped for things to change. And as long as there is misunderstanding between the government and the people as regards expectations, all parties involved in national development may scuttle long term development.  


Pulse NG

Featured Image Source: SaviMedia – Nairaland Forum

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This article was first published on 11th October 2019


Macaddy is mostly a farmer in the day who also dabbles into technology at night, in search of other cutting edge intersections. He's on Twitter @i_fix_you

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