The Oasis Reporters
August 31, 2020
By Sir Don Ubani; KSC, JP
Okwubunka of Asa.
PDP, Abia State.
Just by way of preamble, I want to State categorically, in the most unambiguous term, that in this literary exercise, I neither write for the newly-inaugurated Abia State PDP Executive Committee nor the Governor of Abia State.
As a Convener of the Peoples Democratic Party in Abia State, as dated on 4th September, 1998, I take it as a responsibility to promote and defend, at all times, this great Political Party that offered me an uncommon privilege of being one of its only Twenty-one Political Leaders that Convened it in God’s-own State on the date afore-mentioned.
No body should, therefore, misunderstand my self-assigned role. By God’s grace, I would always play this role, not minding whose ox might be gored.
After going through a release by the Publicity Secretary of an opposition Party in our dear State of Abia, which he untaughtfully captioned, ’29th Anniversary: Abia Is Like A Train Without An Engine’, I was spontaneously spurred to let the young man who, it would appear, is not familiar with political history and economic developments in the State, know that a wide world of difference exists between the Abia of today and the Abia of yester years.
As discreet Elders would say, ‘he that does not know where and how someone was buried, will wrongly wish to exhume the corpse from the leg instead of the skull’.
So, no body should blame the Publicity Secretary of All Progressives Congress in Abia State. After all, he does not live in Abia State.
The young man, in his bid to impress his Party leaders, may be without realizing his grievous error, quickly contradicted himself in the wrong and false analogy he chose to convey his unwarranted infantile attack on the Peoples Democratic Party- led Government in the State.
Except in a very exceptional miraculous intervention of God Almighty, no train without an engine moves. But here we are! The young alleged that while ‘neighbouring States created the same time with Abia State are running, Abia is only crawling’. What an unfortunate contradiction.
Thanks to the Publicity Secretary for, at least, admitting that Abia State at 29 is not static. By his admission, Abia State is moving. He is entitled to whatever nomenclature he chooses, be it flying, running, walking or crawling. The most important thing is that there is movement and, therefore, progression.
After all, the legendary Black American non-violent Christian Activist; Martin Luther King Jr had implored us to fly, run, walk or even crawl. He emphasized that at any time, we must keep ourselves moving, the velocity of our speed not withstanding.
For any one to write and arrest sustainably the attention of a critical audience, such a writer must write with verifiable facts and figures.
My focus is on Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s five years of administration as a Governor produced by the Party I helped convene in 1998. By God’s grace, it would last for Eight Years, as constitutionally guaranteed. This is evident in the facts that even Eleven Bitterly-Instigated and Prosecuted Litigations that spanned many times up to the Supreme Court Could not find any ground, whatsoever, to relieve him of his clearly-won mandate as Governor of Abia State. Even the deadly Corona Virus Pandemic, despite every attempt, including machinations of daredevil enemies who camouflage as friends, could not have access to his heart. Governor Ikpeazu remains a clear manifestation of divine testimony.
The achievements of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu are legion. They range from the abstract to the quantifiable, otherwise known as tangible and intangible. In the first instance, Justice, Fairness, Peace and Harmonious Co-existence have been the hallmark of the Ikpeazu administration. Even those who surreptitiously work against his interest, he deliberately ignores and even forgives, not minding he has a substantial dose of intelligence on their nefarious wicked plots.
The climax was when it was rumoured that he was most likely not to survive the COVID-19 attack and many iniquitous elements almost made their prayers that he should ‘disappear’ clandestinely overt, yet on recovery and return, very unprecedentedly, he announced he had forgiven every body that had wished him dead. It had never happened in this State before and could not have happened before.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has re-written the hitherto known Governorship psyche of extreme bitterness, vendetta and heartless vindictiveness of our past experience in Abia State.
For the first time in the history of Abia State since 1999, a Governor is running his administration on a cordial peaceful joint ticket with his Deputy. It has never happened before. It is quite nouvelle.
Acrimonious relationship between Abia based politicians and Abia-Abuja politicians was what was in vogue. But that belligerence has given way to harmony and cordiality under Governor Ikpeazu. An APC Minister, for instance, could now feel free to attend State functions in the State.
Security of lives and property is a fundamental responsibility of an elected government. In this regard, even the worst antagonist of the Governor can not go as cheap as not acknowledging that Governor Ikpeazu has dutifully and meticulously maintained a high level of security in the State. Of the thirty-six States of the Nigerian Federation, including the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja, Abia State, unarguably, falls within the first five most secured States. Will my brother, the APC mouthpiece, argue against this fact that stands unquestionably on its own? I doubt.
Perhaps, the APC Publicity Secretary is so alienated and regrettably distant from the State and its affairs that he does not know that the administration of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu is hinged on Five Pillars of Development.(1) Agriculture, (2) Health, (3) Education, (4) Trade & Investment and (5) Oil & Gas.
As a considerate writer, I take into cognizance the time limits of my audience. I should not take their patience for granted. Therefore, I can not exhaust all the achievements of the Ikpeazu administration in just one write-up.
Suffice it, however, to State that in Agriculture, the Ikpeazu Administration has distributed Millions of Highly Improved Tenera Palm Seedlings to Farmers in the State at little or no cost.
For the first time in the history of Abia State, Poultry Clusters have been established by the Ikpeazu Administration. Emphasis was equally placed on human capacity development to give impetus to his vision in this regard.
As a matter of clear-cut policy, the Ikpeazu Administration refused to import rice from outside the State. It rather partnered with Rice Farmers in the State to produce sufficiently for consumers in the State. For the first time, Abia farmers, who hitherto travelled to Ebonyi State to have their rice milled, even at a zero profit basis, were provided with their own Rice Mills. The Government has also assisted them with Destoning Machines. Rice Farmers now enjoy a fresh of breath of life, asserting more confidence in their area of engagement.
On Health, which his Administration cherishes as Wealth, almost all the Schools of Nursing in the State had been de-accredited before the emergence of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu in 2015. Without any iota of hesitation, Governor Ikpeazu took up the challenge of restoring their Accreditation Status. All Schools of Nursing and Midwifery are today functional in the State, courtesy of Ikpeazu’s administration.
Who in Abia State will not give kudos to the Governor for his strategic handling of the Corona Virus Pandemic in the State. As at present, Molecular Laboratories have been established in the State. An efficient effective Isolation Centre is functionally operational at General Hospital Amachara. So far, Abia State has recorded the lowest in terms of mortality rate resulting from COVID-19. Hence, the Governor presented Awards to some Frontline Medical Professionals who have been giving their best in the fight against COVID-19 at a ceremony to mark 29th Anniversary of the creation of the State.
As I write, the Administration of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu initiated and has completed the construction of Three Hundred & Fifty-Nine (359) New Classrooms and Four (4) Model Schools in the State. Not done, the Administration has awarded contract for the construction of another set of One Hundred & Fifty New Classrooms in current 2020 Budget.
Despite many decades of its existence, Abia State University, Uturu, was not connected to the National Grid. But that was unacceptable to Governor Ikpeazu. Today, the University has been connected to the National Grid.
Still in the University, the Governor, himself a Scholar of great repute, knowing the importance of motivation in psychology of education, bought and donated brand new SUV cars to Heads of Faculties. He extended the same benevolence to some Teachers in both Primary and Secondary Schools in the three Senatorial Districts of the State.. It is indisputably on record that the Ikpeazu Administration has effectively been carrying the burden of Four Higher Institutions in the State.
In the sector of Trade, Commerce and Investment, the Administration of Governor Ikpeazu introduced a purely radical dimension that has ranked Abia State in an innovative global definition.
For clear purposes of metamorphosing the skillful and inventive credentials of Artisans and businessmen and women in the State into lucrative standards, the Governor created a Ministry of Small & Medium Scale Enterprises.
Entrepreneurs in the State have received substantial encouragement from the State Government of Dr Okezie Ikpeazu. To give shoe makers in Aba exposure to modern technology in manufacturing of shoes, the Administration of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu sponsored Thirty Shoe Makers to China. They came back with value addition in their business. The Garment Industry in Aba has become a destination of choice in Nigeria, courtesy of aggressive publicity given to it by the State Government.
With regards to road infrastructure, the Administration of Governor Ikpeazu has constructed and (or) reconstructed, at least, Ninety-Two Roads, with almost the same number under construction, at various stages of completion. I need not overflog the Administration’s evidential resolve to build the first Interchange (flyover) at the famous Osisioma Junction at Aba.
Again, I must point out that no government before Ikpeazu’s has ever recorded up to 30% of empowerment that his government has done, so far. This week, the Governor invited his Political Appointees to a meeting at the newly-renovated and refurbished Michael Okpara Auditorium, at Umahia. I was overwhelmed to realize that close to Two Thousand indigenes and non-indigenes were serving and being paid as political aides to the Governor.
For the first time in the history of the State, Honourable Commissioners and Members of the State Executive Council were given Jeeps and they go home with them after their tenure.
I do not want to go further so that I could spare my readers stress that could arise from so long a passage. I will, however, end this piece on a rhetorical note. Why on Earth would the Publicity Secretary of APC liken Abia State to a ‘train that has no engine’.
Let me warn his masters in APC to quickly call him to order. Otherwise, I would not hesitate to remind Abians who subjected Abia State for Eight Consecutive Years and, as we were told, an additional Three Years to heartless and brutal exploitation and extortion. The records are there.