It was Nelson Mandela who opined that “leadership is the ability to influence and inspire others in ways that successfully take them on journeys they may never have embarked on” .
Abia State is in the threshhold of history under the visionary leadership of Dr Okezie Ikpeazu who has in less than three years of steering the affairs of the state showcased remarkable feat in governance.In addition, going by the statistics on ground, irrespective of the numerous distraction from the court, which the administration experienced in the first two years, owing to election and pre-election petitions by detractors, the governor wasted no time in hitting the ground running in strategically repositioning Abia State to an enviable space in the map.
Since assumption of office, the governor has brought a new spirit of commitment to the state’s public service through his wide ranging transformative policies, projects and programmes so far, that one will not be mistaken to contend that Governor Ikpeazu is on the path of staging God’s own state as a reference point.
Also, it will interest you to recall that in his campaign three years ago, Dr Ikpeazu vowed to promote the ‘can do spirit’ and entrepreneurial instinct of Ndi Abia, especially the youths – a promise he has kept in its entirety, as numerous Abians have been sponsored to Turkey and China. Currently, mechanized shoe making trainees from the state are in China, a programme that will afford them the exposure in management, artisan and designs aspects of the training, making them modern shoe producers, which will impact on the economy of the state.
The reformations and transformations in the past three years have been going on silently because Dr Okezie Ikpeazu is not your average politician who takes delight in blowing his own trumpet.
He has emphasised on the need for aggressive rural development in the state and rebuilding of Aba the commercial capital which if looked at keenly, one would agree that such emphasis has been religiously followed so far, as this has opened up rural areas for economic activities and the face of Aba has changed commendably.
The governor places high premium on sustaining and building township roads as it is his belief that such avenue is another way of indirectly encouraging and indoctrinating the people to rehabilitate or entirely rebuild their homes. Because, having found their houses in front of a brand new, well tarred road, will inspire many to demolish and erect modern structures with ultra-modern shops, which in turn will enhance their economy.
The Ukwu Mango Ariaria in Faulks road, and Aba road in Umuahia are clear examples as they have changed the narative especially as Ariaria is key to Aba nay South East, as it harbours the largest shoe manufacturing market in West Africa.
Do not forget that the governor’s emphasis on rural development in the state has not been taken lightly. With not less than 41 roads constructed, reconstructed and rehabilitated with most of them through cement pavement technology that will last for decades. It is in this light that I make bold to say that the governor and his team have made good their promises of one ward, one project initiative which has kicked off with not only roads construction but building of cottage hospitals, town hall centres, rural electrification etc. across the length and breadth of the state.
No wonder Governor Ikpeazu appears to be in a hurry to consolidate and reinvigorate his campaign promises and pledge, as it is his belief that ‘your word is your bond’, as the responsibility of making Abia state an enviable State rests on his huge shoulders.
Further, in less than three years in office, the governor has ensured the completion and near perfection of the mind-boggling popular Ariaria market entrance road to the heart warming jubilation of traders who expressed joy that their goods can easily be moved in and out of the market. According to some traders, the progress made on the popular market road was due to the personal intervention of the governor. A statement to this effect was credited to a trader who said and I quote “ to me the importance and the urgency is a clear display of leadership by the governor that should be applauded and emulated…our able governor has achieved this for us and my customers can now drive to and inside this market with ease to patronise me. What else do I want from him other than this selfless service? Governor Ikpeazu has shown that he is a true leader who has the interest of the masses at heart” the trader said.
In conclusion, the Abia State government with its developamental drive, is poised to making Abia the destination for foreign direct investments, it is therefore incumbent on Ndi Abia to massively support government policies and programmes, as such gesture will oil the safe haven that ‘Okezue Abia’ intends to achieve for his people.
–Okafor is special assistant (Media) to the Governor.
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