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Great Expectations From Ikpeazu

Posted: Jun 25, 2015 at 12:38 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Ben Duru  –  Umuahia


Since the commencement of the administration of Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, the people of Abia State have been speaking of their expectations from his government, especially in the light of the present economic situation across the 36 states of the federation. While some of them insist that the governor had no reason to complain since he knew the situation before contesting the poll, others said that apart from the fact that the government needs to tighten its belt, the prayers and goodwill of the people were also necessary to see it through.

James Ikegwuru, an Aba-based businessman, said that his expectations from the government of Ikpeazu were such that he was not prepared to listen to any other reason because “the earlier he begins to work for the betterment of the people, the better for the state.”

According to him, “The governor should not to give the opposition the opportunity to begin to probe into his administration and push him around. I did not vote for him, but I think that now that he has won and sworn in as governor, he should listen to everybody and take the advice that is necessary and leave the one that is not. I believe that former Governor Theodore Orji laid a solid foundation for him, so he needs to build on that foundation.”

He further said: “I have noted the things he has started especially the 10 roads he has awarded in Aba, which he promised to deliver within the first 100 days in office. That is a good move because this is what the people of the commercial city are yearning for. There is no way anybody can convince anyone that is conversant with Umuahia that the past governor did not do anything in Umuahia. Whoever is giving that impression will not only be misleading the people, but will also be causing his soul eternal damnation in hell because I am a Christian and I believe in hell. I cannot join them to say that Umuahia is under-developed; rather Umuahia is among the most developed areas in the South-East today. So, if Ikpeazu wants to make any impact, he should concentrate on Aba, and that is what he has started to do. He must do everything to cause Aba to change from the filthy city which it has been over the years to a city that is comparable to any other in Nigeria and the world.

“I believe that this can be achieved because where there is a will, there is a way. He has spoken severally about his intentions for Aba, and from what I have observed he has the will to make it happen. Aba people are easy to pacify, but they need to be told with a little nudging, otherwise they will not support. So the governor should continue the giant step he has taken, which has endeared him to the people of the area. You can see that anytime the governor is coming into Aba, people troop out to welcome him, they dance around him and feel totally at home with him. So, if he can maintain this, then he can be sure of the support of the people. I see him succeeding but the only thing I fear is the tribunal which, for me, is a distraction and should be discontinued in the interest of the state or be quickly disposed off.”

Mrs. Selina Mgbemena said that Governor Ikpeazu coming from the academic angle has the prerequisite to write his name in gold, and leave the stage smiling with the people milling round him.

“I was particularly thrilled by what I read what the people of Ibeku did for the former governor, Chief Theodore Orji; how they came to Government House and escorted him through the streets to his home. I think that is the best anyone who has performed should get, so I think that this is what Governor Ikpeazu should also be aiming for. That the day he will complete his two terms, the people of Ukwa and Ngwa would also come to Government House, Aba, and escort him after a meritorious service to the people. He has started well with the 10 roads he awarded immediately after his swearing in. If he maintains the tempo, he should be rest assured that the people will stay with him. He should also look into the issue of flooding in Aba. That is a worrisome development because no matter how many roads the governor builds in Aba, if nothing is done about the flood, it would amount to nothing in a few years.”

He maintained that government should demolish structures that are blocking drainage channels so that water can flow freely, saying; “The only problem confronting good roads in the state is flood, and this was why it looked like the immediate past government did not do anything in Aba. That administration did much for Aba, but the major problem was flooding. So if the present administration can deal with this monster, then the work will speak for him. I believe he can do it, even if it is at a lower scale because for now he has the support of the majority of the people of Aba. If he says some houses should go, the people will reason with him so that he can recover the dignity of the city. We have seen an improvement in the clearing of refuse in the city. Aba which before was known as ‘Aba dirty’ is beginning to wear a new look and the residents are happy about it. But he can do better by fashioning a faster way of disposing refuse as well as getting a better place to dump refuse. Most importantly, waste is wealth, and I have heard him speak about this, so the earlier he begins to recycle wastes, the better for the state in terms of revenue, cleanliness and support of the populace.”

Reverend John Ilo said that he was not ready to speak now until after the governorship tribunal sitting in Umuahia had discharged the petitions. He said that no matter the plans of any governor, the problem from the tribunal has the capacity to slow down the individual.

He said: “I won’t say that the governor has not started very well. I fact, going by the parlance these days, ‘he has hit the ground running’, but I believe he could have done better if there were no encumbrances on his way. Most governors have always described court proceedings as a distraction and his case cannot be different.

“However, if he still wants to over look the tribunal matters and carry on with the governance of the state, it would be better for him. If he can concentrate on the job he swore to do, not minding how many tribunal cases he has, it may eventually become the last joker. It will disabuse the minds of the people that he has come to work. Take for instance, the way he started, if he continues like that without looking back, if he can ensure that at the end of the month of June, the workers in state get their salaries and other entitlements, if he can ensure that irrespective of the things on ground, the recurring cases of kidnapping and armed robbery are curtailed, if he ensures that there is food on the people’s tables and Aba roads are built, then the people will go to the tribunal to sing his praises. He will not need to do much. I believe that the tribunal is a distraction, but this distraction can be turned into an advantage, which will speak volume for him.”

The people of the state are confident that Governor Ikpeazu will deliver fully on his electioneering promises and that he had already started well by awarding 10 roads for construction which he promised would be delivered within the first 100 days of his administration.