The Abia State Government is set to move to a permanent house 30 years after the creation of the state.
Abia State was among the 11 states created on August 27, 1991 by the Gen. Ibrahim Babangida administration.
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Other states created at the same time include: Anambra, Delta, Edo, Enugu, Jigawa, Kebbi, Kogi, Osun, Taraba and Yobe.
The state took off with Group Captain Frank Ajobena as the first military administrator, who embarked on facelift of the capital city of Umuahia while operating from the current Government House located along Club Road, G.R.A. in Umuahia.
After his administration, Ajobena’s predecessors before the incumbent governor, failed to complete the Government House. The state was ruled by Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, 1992-1993; Col. Ike Nwosu, 1993-1994; and Navy Captain Temi Ejoor 1994-1996.
Others are: Col. Moses Fasanya, 1996-1998; Lt. Col. Anthony Obi, 1998-1999; Orji Uzor Kalu 1999-2007; Theodore Orji 2007-2015; and Okezie Ikpeazu 2015 to date.
Some of the property in the area where the government house is located include an administrative house of former Eastern Nigerian, Ojukwu Bunker, railway station quarters and others.
The area, although housing other important government properties and highbrow apartments, originally belong to the Afaraukwu and Ugba natives of the Ibeku clan.
But a native of Afaraukwu community, Obinna, said there is no argument or pressure at all on the state government over its occupation of the Government House.
“We from this community have no issues with the state government. There is no dispute about rent or negotiation or any discussion with the state government at all concerning the Government House,” he said.
It was the administratio of that Senator Theodore Orji initiated plans to relocate the government house to Ogurube layout and the main building has reached advanced stage before he left office in 2015.
A visit to the new Government House shows that the contractor is doing electrical, plumbing and tiling works, as plastering has been completed.
Last month when the governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, visited the projects, he assured Abians that the new Abia State Government House started by the former administration of Senator Orji would be completed before the end of his tenure in 2023.
The governor also promised that the contractor handling the project would maintain a high level of delivery according to specifications.
The governor, who was accompanied by the Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Chinedum Orji, during the inspection, expressed satisfaction at the level of jobs done so far while pointing out that the ultra-modern Government House building was one of the projects so dear to his administration.
The Abia State number one citizen expressed enthusiasm that his administration would operate from the new Government House before the expiration of his tenure.
All lands belong to govt – Official
Reacting to inquiries on whether Abia government was moving from a rented quarters to a permanent house, an aide of the governor, who did not want to be named, said it is not true because the area belongs to the government.
“The entire area is government owned area. Part of it was meant to be a school before it was all occupied by the government,” he said.
The official also questioned whether any state was created with ready-made government house and why Abia should be treated differently.
He said the state does not have much federal institutions apart from prisons, adding that even police stations and military posts are either donated by the state government or communities and individuals or taken over directly by the security agencies.