The Truth And Lies About Abia State (CKN Visit Report Part 1)

After a barrage of media attacks coupled with several pictures of what has been termed the rot in Abia ,i decided to embark on a fact finding tour of the State to see things myself.

I arrived Umuahia late Thursday evening 29th October 2014.

Umuahia is not a new place for me.I have known it all my life.

My first impression on arriving Abia is that the city has transformed. Without any form of contradiction, Umuahia is one of the neatest towns in Nigeria (i have seen so many ) .

Traffic was light,new hotels seems to have sprang up along the Umuahia-Obowo road  towards the Abia towers.

I also noticed a complete absence of Okada,there are more of Keke napaep and Yellow cab taxis.

This must be a new Umuahia i was witnessing.

The major market in Umuahia was no longer there in its stead is a wide expanse of land where some slight development was going on.

Thursday 30th October 2014.

I decided to Visit Key Areas where for several months i have received several pictures from.

1. The revived Golden Guinea Brewery

2.Newly Built Amachara Specialist Hospital

3.The newly built Ultra Modern Market with over 5,000 lock up shops.

4. The New E Library.

6. New State Secretariat Umuahia.

7.The International Conference Centre

8.The New Government House

9.Major Roads In Umuahia

10.Government House


12.New High Court


A. Golden Guinea:

My visit to Golden Guniea Brewery (the oldest brewery in South East) was nostalgic.

The Brewery was devastated by fire about 25 years ago. The company which was a major employer of labour in the then Imo and later Abia State was shut down  due to the fire incident.

Several lives were lost .

Successive Abia State government have not been able to revive the industry which has a capacity of creating over  2,000 jobs.

I was taken round the giant edifice buy the Engineers on ground.All have been put in place by the current government with private partnership to revive the company.

New Equipment running into millions of naira have been brought in and installed. The company is moving from analogue to a digitalized brewery.

If all works to plan from what i saw, the Brewery will be back to full operation in about four months time.


Before my trip, the Amachara Spcialist Hospital was a priority project i wanted to see.

The initial pictures sent to me were quite unbelievable. Most people believed they were Photoshop.

I visited the Hospital as well as its annexe.

Several new buildings have been built including a 100 bed hospital which i personally inspected.

I also found out that the Hospital has one of the best dialysis centres in the Country.

I was taken on a guided tour of the facilities by Dr Chima Chukwu..The Centre has six functioning dialysis machine (4 for regular patients, 1 for HIV/AIDS Patients and 1 for Tuberculosis Patients).

I witnessed the processes of blood transfusion and purification..The centre can handle any kidney failure patient at very very subsidised rates.

There was also a functional MOMOMGRAM machine for women with Breast cancer diseases.

They also have world class live size Xray machines in place.

The centre provides optical and other services.

I also inspected the recently built well furnished doctor quarters.



The Umuahia market which has for years been at the city centre roundabout have been demolished. The thatched roof stalls have been removed and a modern market with all facilities have been built away from the main centre.

The fully occupied market have over 9,000 stores from what we saw. Items  ranges from household items to fashion, eateries, spare parts  shops, electronics, telecommunications etc

I was made to understand the stores were sold out to the traders at a soft loan of N400,000 payable back in four years.



So much noise have been made about the International Conference Centre.While the opponents of the current government in Abia State believe the International conference centre was a big elephant project, the Government felt in its wisdom that a State like Abia deserves such a befitting centre since there is none like it in the State.The State according to it has not been able to host any major event due to lack of an arena.

Several conferences and entertainment events meant for the State were neighbouring States of Imo or Rivers due to this.

A visit by our crew saw the conference sitting on a large expanse of land.It has a sitting capacity of over 5,000 with all modern day gadgets.

From what we saw,the centre is over 90% completed.

All that is remaining are major fittings and electrical worlks.It also has a large car park that can conveniently take over 2,000 cars at a time.

The major problem as we noticed is the road..It is hoped that this will be taken care of before commissioning.


The E Library has been a measure issue between T A Orji’s men and most social media users.

When the pictures were posted most people believed the edifice was not on ground.CKN Nigeria can authoritatively confirm that the building is not only on ground but ready for commissioning too.

The Library,one of the most equipped that i have seen in modern era has all the necessary equipment to operate.

Computers have been installed with Internet facilities.

Several sections have been demarcated for use.The library is fully digitalized.

We understood, the idea was to advance learning for young Abia people who are craving for learning and education.

When commissioned, the library will be used for free.

We only hoped that the facilities will be maintained and upgraded periodically by successive government.



Abia State has no functioning Secretariat of its own except the one built by the Federal government.,

From what we saw, ministries were squatted in shanty bungalows not benefiting the status of the Ministries. A visit to the Ministry of Sports for example was an eyesore.

It baffled me how successive administrations in the State have existed without caring for the welfare of its workers.

We were able to see the newly built State Secretariat by the State Government. A section of the Secretariat was already occupied while the other section has been completed awaiting occupation.

It is located right beside the Federal Secretariat in the State Capital.



Years after its creation, Abia State Government is still operating from rented apartments from what we saw.

The Government House, Governor Lodge and Executive Council Chambers were glorified shanties.

While the former administration of the State led by Chief Orji Uzor Kalu had a magnificent palace in his home town Igberre ,Abia State,it was surprising to note how he would have operated from the shanties we saw on our visit as Government House.

Good enough,the T A Orji twilight hours of its departure has built a befitting government house and offices for the incoming government.

The project from what we saw is nearing completion and will be commissioned before the end of the tenure of the current government.

We don’t know what will become of the old government house.



The judiciary has not been left out too.A befitting new High Court building has been completed in Umuahia and stands to be commissioned.




Another area where the T A orji has made tremendious in road is in the area of Transportation.

Within the State capital,the ease of transportation has been key.

Vehicles and Transportation has been highly subsidised .Cabs and Busues painted in Yellow colurs are every where.We were made to understand that the cabs and buses were purchased at very subsidised rate and given out to operators.

The ease of movement was very noticeable in the State capital.

But the Federal roads linking Abia are terrible.The Okigwe-Umuahia-Aba Federal Highway is a death trap of sort.

A large section of the road has given way.Some lanes were completely closed to traffic while other sections are not motorable.

A large section of the Aba Port Harcourt road is also bad.Though there were effort being made to fix the road but all seems not to be going well.

Federal government presence on these roads was non existence.



The current administration also pride itself to have taken the bull by the horn through its security agenda.

It will be recalled that there was a time when Abia was a no go area for anyone.

Kidnapping was the order of the day, even Journalists were not spared. Areas like Osisioma was a kidnap heaven but all that seem to have died down.

The administration prides that as one of its major achievements.

Movement around the state was easy with local vigilante groups asw well as the Police and Army were in full patrol and could be seen at strategic places in the State.


While the government deserves commendation on some of these feats, the major source of worry and sore thumb of a sort for the Abia Government remains the terrible state of infrastructure in Abia State major town of Aba.

All the terrible pictures that have adorned the social media in the past months which tends to have painted the Abia government in bad light comes from Aba.

As a matter of duty,CKN Nigeria took a trip to Aba on a fact finding tour.

Aba to a large extent was a bad sore taste in the mouth during our visit.

Starting from Aba –Port Harcourt road,the whole place was littered with dirts.

Wastes were dumped on the roads unattended to and not cleared.

It could be seen stretching for kilometres.

We couldn’t ascertain why the Abia government was having serious problem disposing the dirt which has practically taken over some sections of the highway.

We also visited areas like Parks Road,Faulks Road,Asa Road as well as the popular Ariaria market.

While the inner roads in Umuahia were excellent and well maintained, same cannot be said of roads in Aba.

 Government officials we spoke to told us of the challenges faced in Aba.

According to them, redeeming   Aba will take a holistic cleansing..Over 5,000 homes may have to be destroyed to re-plan the place (just as it happened in Maroko Lagos) and no government can afford to displace its indigenes just like that.

The government according to them is doing everything humanly possible to continue to give Aba a facelift with the meagre resources at its disposal.

It promises to redouble its effort at making sure that it touches the lives of every Abia State indigene irrespective of where they found themselves.


Note:Part 11 Of This Report Will Showcase Pictorials of My Visit

Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief Of CKN Nigeria



Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria


  1. When I told you some months back that Ochendo has done a great job in the state you did not agree thanks God you see for yourself

  2. Kudos to u CKN, for a job well done, you make me to be proud of u bn an online journalist, because I personally believe dat most online news are false.... but wit dis, I can continuing reading ur page. Wat pple fail to understand is when u assume office & everytn is in a state of mess, u have to take a step @ a time but we wanted it quick, slow & steady win d race...let's encourage d governor to do more

  3. You have a way of captivating your readers CKN..Very nice write up

  4. Seeing is believing ,CKN has seen and reported .good job bro

  5. You must come again,we the people of Abia like your write

  6. CKN the report is not complete,tell us if Ochendo,his wife and son will be running in 2015 as we ve heard

  7. How much were u paid to rebrand the image u slew earlier? Propagander thief.

  8. This article looks like a tailored one. If its credence is held in a high esteem, I tip my cap for Ochendo; at least, for starting the good work.

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