Though Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has not maximised to the best rewarding proportion, Abia state’s human and natural resources, he has, however, dwarfed the measly achievements of his predecessors.
His belated foundation laying and infrastructure renaissance — illusory and unattainable under his predecessors miserable 16 years — made him unarguably the catalyst for development in Abia.
If these deeds were good signs of his willingness to break away from conventionality, then his submission, stance and challenge to the electorate on subsequent elections in Abia during the recently concluded Aba North/South Federal Constituency by-election were better signs of his enthusiasm to upset the apple cart.
During the fierce and adrenaline-charged campaign in Aba, Governor Ikpeazu overtly charged the electorate to reject the idea of re-electing the members of oligarchies who raped and enslaved citizens and dumped the state in the chasm.
While condemning the orthodox scheme of using political positions and influences to impose family members on the electorate, Ikpeazu said he has a younger brother who is a lawyer and resident in Aba.
“I could have foisted him on the people and used my position as the governor to ensure he wins,” Ikpeazu said while encouraging the Aba electorate to reject Mascot Orji Kalu.
He didn’t just pay lip service to his assumption but complemented his word with the corresponding action by ensuring the landslide victory of Hon. Ebisike of the PDP at the poll.
Suffice it to say that he set the template for a new Abia by eliminating godfatherism, oligarchy, plutocracy and subtle monarchy known in street parlance as — Mamacracy and Papacracy — which have reigned supreme since the inception of the fourth republic in Abia State.
No matter its design and beautification, a sepulchre contains decomposed malodourous carcass. This oligarchy of a few family members are the problem of Abia. It is, therefore, delusional to believe that they will genuinely proffer solutions. Doing so means their political irrelevance and oblivion because they are the problem.
The abject poverty, suffering, scarcity of social amenities and Abia’s nondescript environment are their artificial makings. These are part of their evil machinations to remain in power ad infinitum because impoverished people cannot rise effectively to the challenges of democracy and elitism.
Praising or believing them to right the wrong they invented amount to calling an armed robber (who returned N1,000 from your life insurance his gang stole from you) a hero. Unless under the influence of a spell, nobody celebrates a rapist who defiled his newly wedded wife because his wickedness resulted in pregnancy.
Aside from a handful of self-made men, who in Abia has the financial muscle to contest and win an election? How many Abia youth can boast of N5 million in their bank accounts? Get wisdom, their empowerment of tricycles (keke), minibuses and motorcycles are not a show of love or benevolence. It is a deliberate act to impoverish the youth ad infinitum.
I know a lot of appointees and aides who were sacked because they managed to build a house. Others left their houses unpainted to avoid victimisation while some drove their cars without air-conditioning just to save their jobs. Some political aides drove 504 Peugeot cars without AC until death even though they had in the boots tens of millions of naira. Some could not put on good clothes and shoes to avoid the sack. So, how can those who treated you with such untold disdain desire a better future for you?
Having served under the previous administrations, Governor Ikpeazu is in the best position to advise the Abia youth on how to retrieve the state from political hawks going further.
We can say that his experience informed his decision to genuinely empower his people. Unlike the Umuahia and Igbere people, the Ngwa people, especially, the Obingwas will find their bearings in politics long after Ikpeazu. That is what true legacy entails.
Thank you Governor Ikpeazu for reawakening our conscience. You have done better than your predecessors even though there are more works to do. To ensure the sustainability of the foundation you are laying, traverse the nook and cranny of Abia North to anoint your legatee.
Your loyalty is not questionable. You have taken enough bullets for your predecessors by accepting blames for conundrums — backlog of salaries and pensions — you never orchestrated. Albeit, we cannot exempt you completely because the government is on the continuum.
As for the oppositions in Abia, it is time to put the interest of the state ahead of your interests. All of you cannot be governor. I advise that you present a consensus candidate who doubles as the people’s choice come 2023. There are too many moles in your midst. Identify and throw them under the bus and put your house in order.
I have a lot to say but for want of time, let’s wait till next week.