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I have heard about the Seven Wonders of the World. I have seen the great pyramid of Khufu at Giza in Egypt and I have truly wondered about the ingenuity of those forebears who built that majestic stone edifice. Without a crane in those ancient days, how did they lift those heavy stones to such magnificent height? How did they couple it? How did they shape the edges to such straight and accurate measurement? How? How and how?
The wonder continues: could they have lifted those stones to such height by some kind of magical levitation, a process by which an object is suspended by a physical force against gravity in a stable position without solid physical contact? How did they do it?
Indeed, such questions of “how?” pervade the atmosphere of Abia State government house and today they have transformed into a legend. In little corners and in groups, people throw the question to one another like a banter. Yet, the puzzle remains unresolved. There exists, today, what one may describe as the seven “legends” of Abia government house and they all revolve around the mystique conjured by Governor Theodore Orji’s rare attributes.
The governor, it might seem, commands an overwhelming quality and ingenuity that has not only ascribed to him an iconic status but constitutes a source of a new wonder for his army of followers.
The first legend: how come, with his entire busy schedule and the large number of visitors and retinue of workers that he attends to everyday, Governor Theodore Orji still remembers every promise he makes to everyone no matter how big or little those promises might be? Does he keep a secret notebook or register wherein he minutes every promise to people and records every “ok” he replies in every short message service (sms)? Where does he keep this secret register? How come that he remembers details of every casual conversation and details of every sms conversation, months and years after such encounters, even in the midst of a mountain of papers and correspondences on his table that he had to sift through every day? Governor Orji has shocked his workers and the Abia stakeholders by his sharp and accurate memory, a clearly overwhelming personality. And this is the first “wonder” of the Abia government house.
The second legend: The office of the chief executive governor involves a lot of travels and visitations. It involves a whole lot of meetings upon meetings and reception to many groups and individuals. How come that, even with this hectic schedule of engagements and the many transactions that criss-cross his office on daily basis, Governor Orji is able to rummage through the maze of documents and piles of proposals and yet remembers every detail of the content of every document that finds its way into his oval office? For he recounts the content and even numerical details of any mail or document that has stepped into his office with mechanical accuracy, off-handedly and at the snap of a finger, without recourse to such documents. Does he embody, in his head, a secret micro-chip? Did he undergo a special training in memory retention? How does he achieve it?
The third legend: As a governor, Theodore Orji interfaces with a motley crowd of people. He receives a large crowd of visitors every day from interest groups, community leaders to other government officials. Every Abian both at home and in the Diaspora, in one way or the other, seeks for his attention. There is a mountain of applications all seeking for audience with him. Most times, he stays in the office till about 12am attending to people. Then, how come that with this galaxy of faces that compete for his attention every day, he still remembers and calls the over 500 political appointees, party leaders and other stakeholders by their first name? How is he able to remember the first name of everybody that has had a meeting or an encounter with him? Does he have a tiny, secret digital camera in a certain corner of his brain? How is he able to recollect all the faces and all the names?
The fourth legend: With all his busy schedule, when does he get the time to read all articles and news report on Abia? For the governor reads any little dot written on Abia in any news medium every day. When does he get the time to write his columns in the national dailies and some of his speeches? For the governor personally writes his columns and some of his speeches and has also written a book. How is he able to achieve this?
The filth legend: How has Orji been able to run the state and run a regime of legacy projects with a paltry monthly federal allocation that vacillates between N3 billion and N3.5 billion with all the other demands and pressure on government? What business module has he applied in managing the scarce resources of the state to achieve the milestone in the area of security, infrastructural renewal, youth empowerment, health, housing and the accompanying improvements in the quality of life?
The sixth legend: The same state that Orji is running today is the same state that many ran for 18 years without any foundation, without building a single monument. But, today, he has embarked on the onerous task of building the state afresh. He has been laying foundation stones for the posterity of Abia and stabilized the Abia polity. How is he able to make the seemingly impossible possible?
The seven legend: The governor stepped on the raw nerves of the monsters of power that held Abia down for twelve agonizing years by the bold and audacious action of liberating the state. All over the world, the displacement of tyrants is a risky and dangerous undertaking. Dangerous because it involves a life-and-death struggle. The dynasty was entrenched with an army of hangers-on who were empowered and equipped with money and guns. Ever since, it has been a constant battle between light and darkness. The negative forces have continued to set traps and plot all devices to ground Ochendo. They have continued to stage a frantic fight to cut a pound of flesh.
How has Governor Orji been able to contend with the ferocity of the anger of this dangerous cult of brotherhood headed by one family? What has been his secret survival talisman in his ardent determination to wrestle Abia out of the stranglehold of this dangerous mafia group? How has he achieved it?
The seven legends remain unresolved.