As a responsible group, Abia Rejoice would have ignored the tissue of lies and concocted illogicality spewed by the media office of Distinguished Senator, Orji Uzor Kalu (OUK) regarding the Uturu (Absu)-Akara Road project but for the noble role of setting the record straight.

Every reasonable rejoinder elucidates and clears all doubts regarding a prior publication. But where a rejoinder is tainted with falsehood, acute inconsistencies and bizarre concoction of illogical tale, one is left to wonder the motive behind adoption of deceit as a form of life.

We unequivocally restate it again that Dr. Uche Ogah, CON, is the brain behind the rehabilitation of the Uturu (ABSU)-Akara Road and not OUK.

First, contrary to OUK media’s claim that the said road was not in the Appropriation Act till 2022, we make bold to say that the said road was priorly contained in both the 2020 and 2021 Appropriation Acts, respectively, of the National Assembly and till date. Those are public documents and everyone is free to access the same via our official national budget websites.

By this singular gaffe by the media office of our distinguished Senator, it reveals two things: either that, by mischievous inactivity, the office of our Distinguished Senator does not know when relevant budgetary items, relevant to our constituency are included in our national budget which tells about the capacity and effectiveness of their representation or, that his office did not play any role whatsoever in the inclusion of the said road project in our national budget. The latter is a more plausible answer.

Second, every official act in government is backed by official document which gives it a trace for both reference and record purposes. More importantly, when an act involves the execution of an appropriated expenditure, strict procedure is followed especially in the area of documentation. Let us assume, as OUK wants us to believe, that the former president gave him a parting gift via that road’s rehabilitation, should there not have been official correspondence between him and the presidency to that effect or was the former president paying for the rehabilitation of that road from his private pocket which would have meant there was no need for official correspondence?

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The world is so advanced that by the impetus given by the Freedom of Information Act, any official document can be requested for by Nigerians. Dr Uche Ogah boldly displayed his official correspondence with the Presidency on the subject matter and has by that singular act, asked everyone to “go and verify”. We challenge OUK to do the same thing.

Third, obtaining presidential approval for the rehabilitation of such a crucial road like the Uturu (ABSU)-Akara Road (though a state road) is a no mean feat. And such a feat can be by writing letter. And when the presidency graciously replies you in the affirmative, it sets the tone for its full implementation. Dr Uche Ogah’s letter of appeal to the then President set the tone for the activation of chains of official correspondences in that regard.

The Presidency, in response, directed the Ministry of Works to, among other things, prepare a memo for presentation to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approval and Dr. Uche Ogah also defended it at the FEC before it was approved. The procedure is so straight forward that it doesn’t require another countless meeting outside of the presidency. Come to think about it, OUK has always bragged about his closeness to all presidents of Nigeria, including the former president whom he claimed gave him a parting gift, was there need to have had several meetings with the persons he mentioned when he could have walked into the “villa” and obtained the approval one hand? If he did, where are the official documents substantiating his claim? Of course, none exists. We also make to restate that, when OUK learned of this road’s rehabilitation, he did all within his reach to “kill” it so that another person won’t be credited with its initiation. That he has not succeeded in scuttling via appropriation is the reason for this change of tactics.

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The foregoing has disclosed one thing: that OUK is groping and has no associated effort whatsoever in initiating the attraction of the said road’s rehabilitation. He may have, after he eventually learned of it in 2022 budget, joined in thanking God for its actualization. If our senator did not know when a vital item for the benefit of his constituency was included in the Appropriation Act, it speaks volume. The reading public’s guess is as good as ours.

And may we also inform him that the road’s rehabilitation took off in 2021, one full year before he came to know about it in 2022.

Abia Rejoice Movement

16/6/24.

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