Abia 2019: The Ogah factor

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By Chima Adiele

In 2003, a  gubernatorial campaign poster in Anambra state posed a  thought- provoking question  to the people of that state in view of the maladministration  bedeviling the  state at that time. The poster read: “Are we the cause or  are we cursed”?

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Today, a similar question has become a refrain on the lips  of a broad spectrum  of Abians. They rue that their beloved state, the very  God’s own state, has descended  into the debilitating maladministration; into the lowest  rung of socio-economic  and infrastructural development and wonder what and where  they have gone or  done wrong.

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But Abia is  certainly not cursed as a state neither are its people the  cause of the current  inept administration in the state.

The man who currently  sits in the Government  House, Umuahia as Governor, his godfathers and visionless  cronies are the cause  of our woes. Abians did not bargain for this monumental  failure when they went  to the polls in March 2015 to elect a Governor.

Though, a product of brazen  imposition and mindless electoral manipulations, generality  of Abians had hoped  that Governor Victor Ikpeazu will warm himself into their  hearts and minds with  quality, people oriented and result oriented leadership. But  alas! Almost four  years down lane, it is glaring that God’s own state and  its people are trapped  in, to use the popular Nigerian parlance for unfortunate  situations, ‘one  chance bus’

Abia people  will not be trapped for ever. Their liberation is at hand.  The unprecedented jubilations  that greeted the nomination of Uche Sampson Ogah as the Abia  state governorship  candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC across the  length and breadth of the  state bears quantum testimony that the people are eagerly  waiting for him to  come on board and steer Abia to the path of greatness. The  people trust Ogah to  liberate them from the shackles of bad governance, extreme  deprivation and  poverty which Ikpeazu and his cohorts have inflicted on them.

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It’s a shame  that Abia, populated with highly skilled and sons and  daughters; a state that  parades academics and professionals who are high flyers in  different fields has  continued to be derisively referred to as “Civil Servants  state”, a metaphor  for lack of industries and total dependence on monthly  federal allocations.

Even with civil service as the “biggest industry” in  Abia, workers in the state  under Ikpeazu groan under the weight of unpaid salaries and  wages. Key items on  Ogah’s blue print for Abia are industrialization, Job  creation prompt payment  of worker’s salaries. So, for Abia workers, your salvation  is on the way. Weep  no more.

An industrialist  who sits atop a flourishing conglomerate with diversified  business interests,  Ogah is a job and wealth creator with close to 50,000  employees on his pay  roll. As Governor, he will replicate what he has been doing  as a private  businessman on Abia. He will decouple Abia from federal  allocation by investing  in Agro-allied industries and manufacturing. This way, human  capital  development is achieved and jobs made available for  thousands of graduates in various fields Abia produces every year. With increased  Internally Generated  Revenue, IGR driven by massive industrialization, Ogah will  set Abia on the  path to becoming an economic  giant.

Uchechukwu  Samson Ogah is imbued with the necessary leadership  ingredients required of anyone  who wants to lead a highly resourceful people like Abians.  These are lacking in  the current leadership for a leader must be ready at all  times to identify and  show empathy for the people. It would appear that John Mason  saw through the  heart of Ogah when he, Mason said that “the true measure  of a person is in his  height of ideas, the breadth of his sympathy, the depth of  his conviction and  the length of his patience”. The burden of the people,  Ogah sees as his; their  cries pricks his heart and their pain, pains him more. This  explains why Ogah’s  philanthropic gestures, his humanist bend resonates  throughout Abia state.

For  example, his  foundation, the Uche Ogah Foundation, founded in December,  2001, has provided  economic and medical succor to many in Abia State and  different communities across  the nation. In the last couple of years,  Ogah has also  offered  scholarships to many students across the country in addition  to sponsoring free  medical services in different parts of  Nigeria.

He has equally   built and  equipped a number of modern hospitals in his native  community, Uturu and other  communities in Nigeria.Ogah also partnered with a number of  medical centres,  including the Hopeville Rehabilitation Centre, to fabricate  artificial limbs  and calipers for people with a disability.

He  has also instituted a chair at the Abia  State University and is building a 5,000 capacity auditorium  in the same  university.  Abians are  in unanimity that Ogah is a li erator and shackles breaker  who is needed more than  ever before to free Abia from misrule and inhumanity. And   they eagerly wait to  crown him their next governor, via their votes next  year.

A recipient  of the National Honour of Order of the Niger,  OON,  Ogah was born to Chief Wilson and Ezinne   Pauline Ogah of Onuaku Uturu,Isuikwuato Local Government  Area of Abia State on  December 22, 1969.He  attended Ishiagu High School, after which he worked at West  African Examination  Council (WAEC) from 1986–89, before he proceeded to the  Institute of Management  and Technology (IMT), Enugu State where he obtained Upper  Credit at Ordinary  National Diploma (OND) in 1992 and Distinction at the Higher  National Diploma  (HND) Level in 1995 in Accounting. He also attended  University of Nigeria,  Nsukka (UNN) where he obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in 2005.

The oil mogul  equally has a Bachelor of Science degree (Banking and  Finance) from Ogun State  University and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA)  from University of Lagos.  Ogah obtained his ACA in 2007. He is a Fellow, Institute of  Chartered  Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN); Fellow, Institute of Brand  Management of  Nigeria; Fellow, Nigerian Institute of Shipping; Fellow,  Employment   Career and member, Chartered Institute of Bankers.

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The  APC governorship candidate began his  career as a banker with a year of National Youth Service  year at NAL Bank Plc.  Thereafter, he took up full employment at All States Trust  Bank where he worked  for around two years before joining Zenith Bank in 1997. At  Zenith Bank, he set  a record of growing a new branch from zero balance sheets to  over N9 billion  and rose to the position of an Assistant General Manager  (AGM) in Zenith Bank.

He resigned in 2007 to pursue a career in  entrepreneurship.

Upon  exiting Zenith bank, he founded Master  Energy Group.Ogah is currently the President of Master  Energy Group – a  conglomerate with workforce of about 42, 000 with interests   in oil gas,  banking, insurance, aviation, shipping, dredging, logistics,  construction,  travel services, and power.

Masters  Energy Oil and Gas Limited has grown  into a conglomerate with investments worth tens of billions  of naira. At a time  when investors were exiting the Niger Delta because its  security challenges, Masters Energy City invested billions of naira in Port  Harcourt, Rivers State.  Ae single investment, a 158,000 tonne petroleum products  storage facility  provided direct employment to over 600 citizens of the Niger  Delta region, and  over 4,000 ancillary positions.

Masters  Energy City contains a fabrication  yard which fabricates and constructs equipment for use in  the oil and gas  industry and other sectors. The fabrication yard has  constructed two different  1,000 MT capacity barges and is presently constructing  additional three barges.  Masters Energy sells petroleum products at over 60 retail  outlets in Nigeria at  government’s approved pump price. Its depot in Port  Harcourt also sells  products at government’s approved depot price.

In  December 2011, the then Executive Governor of Abia  State, Chief  Theodore A. Orji, laid the foundation stone of Masters  Energy Industrial City  in Isikwuato. This industrial complex is expected to grow  the economy of Abia  State by attracting investment from across  Africa.

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Apart  from the OON, Ogah, in recognition  of his service to God and humanity,is also a recipient of  mélange of other  awards including Honorary Doctorate degree in Business  Administration by Abia  State University; Ambassador, Governing Council of the Nigeria-Turkey Chamber   f Commerce and Industry   2013  Nigerian – American Chamber of Commerce  Outstanding Entrepreneur by Nigerian – American Chamber of  Commerce ; Oke Oji Abia  by Abia State Government; Pride of Abia  by Hallmark Newspaper Ltd;

Ambassador  of Peace, UN-POLAC Effective  Leadership Award by Global Youths Awareness   Development Initiative  (GYADI); Ikenga ;Award for Excellence on Entrepreneurship by  Ikenga; Award for  Excellence Foundation Entrepreneurship Promoter of the Year  by Entrepreneurship  Promotions Academy Africa among  others.



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