Saturday, October 29, 2011

Theodore Orji and the politics of non-indigenes

Sun News
28 October 2011

By Robert Obioha

Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State appears as one with patriotic zeal and love for the fatherland. It is also expected that these ascribed qualities would rub-off on his ethnic group-the Igbo. But political developments in Abia, God’s Own State, in recent times ...

.... unsavoury developments are, indeed, disturbing. More so, the Abia non-indigenes are mainly Igbos from other South-east states. The policy does not in any way give cause to cheer. Rather, it casts an ominous gloom on happenings-on in Abia, a place known for industry and great enterprise. Rather, it is utter manifestation of lack of ideas and confusion.

Orji had in the wake of ferocious bombings by the fundamentalist Islamic group, Boko Haram, in Abuja and some northern states; and the state workers’ demand for the new national minimum wage of N18, 000, sacked all non-indigene workers in the state civil service.

Initially, the state government explained that it embarked on the action due to the displacement of Abia indigenes from the North as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency and the need to absorb the returnees in Abia civil service.

To Abia State government, sacking non-indigenes, which include Igbos from other states in the South-east, will enable it pay Abia workers the new wage and absorb the returnees. Such argument sounds illogical and out of tune with current realities in Igbo land.

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