In Anticipation Of Dr Okezie Ikpeazu As Governor-Elect Of Gods-Own State Of Abia
The National Ambassador Newspaper is a tabloid owned and published by the Abia State Government. For several reasons, it is currently being published weekly. This is an improvement from what the situation was before now when the paper found it very difficult to be published monthly.
Being weekly published, it is obvious that by the time this commentary could be published, the governorship and Houses of Assembly elections would have come and gone. Therefore, this anticipatory write-up would be read post-mortem.
On Saturday 11th April, 2015 the Independent National Electoral Commission will conduct elections for Governorship and State Houses of Assembly all through Nigeria, except in states such as Bayelsa, Ekiti, Ondo and Osun which governorship election schedule does not fall within this period, having had their governorship elections later than 2011.
In partisan politics, political parties have areas where, for many reasons, they are formidable. Presently in Abia State, the People’s Democratic Party; P.D.P, is overwhelmingly the political party to beat in any electoral contest that is freely, fairly and credibly conducted in the state. This is a fact that must be appreciated by any right-thinking observer, irrespective of what commentators that are blurred by myopia might be driven to say or write.
As it is said, the taste of the pudding is in the eating and example will always be better than precept. On Saturday 28 March, 2015, three elections took place in Nigeria, namely; Presidential, Senate and House of Representatives.
In the results that followed, P.D.P. swept more than ninety-five percent of votes cast in the Presidential election. P.D.P very conveniently won the three senatorial seats meant for the state and retained seven out of the eight House of Representatives’ seats of the state. The loudest but considerably insignificant opposition Party in the state; the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, found itself visionless and rudderless as it obviously operated in a very strange and unfamiliar environment. It could only manage to secure the House of Representatives’ seat meant for Aba-North and Aba-South Federal Constituency. The reason for this one single Federal constituency success by APGA can not be far from the inexplicable hatred non-indigenes in Aba have against the indigenous people of old Aba Division. Despite the natural hospitality of the indigenes of Aba, settlers in Aba have always exhibited an uncommon quantum of odium and scorn for the Ngwas in whose land many of them, who came to Aba wretchedly naked and putrid, have been blessed with abundance of wealth. As long as they live, they are ritualistically inclined to hate anything that is associated with the growth of Ngwa land.
With the outcome of the Presidential and National Assembly elections in Abia State as lawfully released and published by the Independent National Electoral Commission, who ever doubts the capacity of the People’s Democratic Party to win both governorship and, at least, ninety percent of twenty-four seats of the State House of Assembly, would be a joker of the twenty-first century.
Talking based on facts and figures at the disposal of any disciplined, sane and developed mind, it would not, in any way, amount to exaggeration, stating that Dr. Okezie Victor Chibuikem Ikpeazu would sweep the votes of Abia electorate on Saturday 11th April, 2015 to emerge the fourth elected Governor of the State.
Based on this reality, which can only be doubted by a biased commentator or observer, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, by Gods grace, would be sworn-in on Friday 29th May, 2015, as the fourth democratically elected governor of the state.
In anticipation of this welcome development, Dr. Ikepazu, by now, must have developed his blue print for the eventual take-off of his government as soon as he is sworn-in. For now, an indisputable fact that no honest indigene or resident of Abia State would contest is the truth that the state needs a lot of infrastructural re-engineering. For any economy to find its footing, there must be a good and reliable network of roads within and outside its operational environment. The out-going governor; Chief T. A. Orji, has tried his best within the limit of resources available to the state. The truth, however, remains that much more would need to be done in terms of road infrastructure, especially in the state’s commercial nerve centre of Aba. Aba has a multi-dimensional net-work of roads and, once, the roads are put in their proper perspective, the lingering problem of internal revenue generation would be considerably addressed. It is on record that the first democratically-elected governor of the old Imo State; Chief Sam Mbakwe, Ph.d, relied much on revenue that was accruable from Aba. With the current dwindling fortunes in the country’s oil sector, the importance of internally-generated revenue, I.G.R; may not need to be over-emphasized.
Still related to the need for some degree of economic stability, if not independence, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu’s anticipated administration would need to focus a lot of attention on agriculture. Any society that is incapable of feeding its members can not be regarded as being worthy of existence, not to talk of living.
As would be appreciated, every society has its peculiarity. Abia State, like some other states in the South-East, is disadvantaged in terms of land mass. This inhibition makes large-scale cash crop farming a bit difficult. But farmers could advance beyond the traditional peasant farming that they have practised for decades and which have not transformed their economic status. In this case, animal husbandry, such as piggery, poultry, goatery, snailry and other forms of agro practices that may not necessarily require much physical space but which engagement could, within a period of not more than six months, make the farmer smile home to the bank, should be encouraged.
Another thing that must not be forgotten or ignored for agriculture to be moved forward in the state is effective utilization of co-operative societies in the state. Abia people must start to appreciate the simple truth that no one can do it alone and that the more people could come together to work transparently in their overall collective interest, the faster they would get themselves economically stabilized and developed.
One of the major challenges of urban cities in the third word is refuse disposal and management. Many cities in contemporary Nigeria have lost their aesthetics due to poor management of refuse generated by urban dwellers. Unfortunately, most of the refuse dumps in this part of the world are sited in very strategically conspicuous corners of our cities, where they are carelessly left in various putrid stages of decomposition. The impression these sites creates in the minds of visitors to the cities is better imagined than told. Since the in-coming governor is very verse in the science and management of refuse disposal, it is hoped that he would add value in this respect by initiating the re-cycling of waste materials. This could be termed; “waste to wealth programme”.
To the glory of God, the Governor-elect by Saturday 11th April, 2015 is an accomplished academic. He appreciates the importance of education in modern global context.
The Governor-elect knows and appreciates that no society can advance beyond its level of education. Expectedly, he has to re-enforce the machinery of education in the state. One of the areas the Governor-elect would need to beef up is Technical Education. The fundamental objective of education is to guarantee liberation of the mind from mental darkness and at the same time facilitate social cum economic mobility of the liberated mind. With the down-turn in the economic fortunes of Nigeria, emphasis should no longer be on employment by government. Rather, the government should create the enabling environment required for her citizens to live a meaningful independent private live.
Technical education is one sure way of arming the Abia child with skills that can equip him or her move on in life without a futile long wait for white-collar jobs.
Security of life and property is a constitutional obligation of government. Already, Governor T. A. Orji has done very well in this very important aspect of governance. The Governor-elect would have to sustain and improve on this achievement.
Inexhaustively-speaking, the Governor-elect would need to run a very transparent government in order to achieve the laudable objectives of modern governance. He also would need to be very meticulous in choosing those that would work with him. Persons whose integrity can not be guaranteed, should have no business being in his government. Above all, present economic realities in Nigeria irresistibly demand that any government that wants to achieve irresistibly demand that any government that wants to achieve her aims within a record time, must be circumspect in managing cost of governance. There should be no time for jamboree or playing to the gallery.
As congratulations pour on the Governor-elect, it would be humbly but vehemently advised that he bears in mind, abinitio, that his return for a second term, by God’s grace, in 2019 would depend largely, if not solely, on his performance during his first tenure. Congratulations!
Chief (Sir) Don Ubani, KSC, JP