Governor Okezie Ikpeazu is marking the 6th anniversary of his emergence as Governor of Abia State with a variety of reactions.
First, the Governor is grateful to the Almighty God for His grace and mercies upon our dear state as we mark 6 years of his administration. Governor Ikpeazu is unpretentious about the fact that his administration is a product of divine orchestration which explains why his government continues to discharge her obligations to the people of Abia State while navigating through a labyrinth of challenging socio-economic conditions.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu also sees this period as a time for deep sober reflection on the direction our country is headed on account of increasing social tension and insecurity which tend to have taken a huge toll on the very foundations of our unity as a nation.
Our country has moved from a nation of peaceful coexistence amongst the different people that make up the country to a nation where our unity seems to have come under severe threat. We are now a nation where human life has become meaningless on account of the mindless and senseless killing of innocent citizens and attacks on key symbols of civil authority by non state actors..
The Governor is concerned that the desire of some subnational governments like ours in Abia State to focus on the building of a strong local economy that has the capacity to attract investors from outside our clime is being threatened by the increasing spate of violence, both by the marauding criminal herdsmen or the new phenomenon known as Unknown Gunmen.
One of the saddest fallouts of this ugly situation is that government is compelled to channel scarce resources which ordinarily should be invested in the socio-economic well-being of our people into beefing up of security for our people. This is indeed very unfortunate and is capable of having huge negative effects on our economy.
Even in the face of these difficult times, Governor Ikpeazu is of the firm view that in the last six years of his administration, our State has witnessed positive growth in every single facet of our lives. Every sociopolitical and socioeconomic indices point to the fact that our dear state has clawed from where we were six years ago to a place where upward movement has become not only noticeable but also, irreversible.
From the provision of infrastructure, development of small and medium enterprises, to education, health, security, etc, Governor Ikpeazu is of the firm view that solid foundations have been laid by his administration for continuous growth and sustainable development.
In the area of infrastructure, the results are there for everyone to see. In Aba, our main commercial town where there is a deliberate policy of government to concentrate efforts in this direction, there has been a massive turn around in the infrastructural fortunes of the town. Several hitherto forgotten roads in the city have been rebuilt by the Ikpeazu administration to the admiration of our people and this has in turn positively affected the lives and economic conditions of our people. This has had a huge multiplier effect on economic development across the State. Other parts of the State, including the State Capital, Umuahia have not been left out in this new developmental paradigm.
The Governor assures that he will remain relentless in the reconstruction of critical infrastructure across the State because he understands clearly that solid infrastructure will unlock the economic potentials of our state.
He urges citizens of the State to look forward to more road projects, especially the 500 kilometers of roads that will come in the remaining two years of his administration with each of the 17 Local Government Areas in the State getting a minimum of 20 kilometers of fully rehabilitated roads. The effect of this on the Abia socioeconomic ecosystem will be massive.
The Governor further assures the people of Abia State that a new culture of maintenance of our roads will come on stream very soon with the impending launch of the Young Engineers Corps where a crop of young Abia Engineers will be trained and deployed to road maintenance across the State. Currently, the first batch of the engineers are undergoing training and will be exposed to both theoretical and practical aspects of road maintenance.
Governor Ikpeazu notes with gratitude that our state has remained relatively peaceful and has enjoyed solid political stability on account of the desire of our key political leaders to play politics devoid of rancor and acrimony. Unlike what obtained previously, since the last six years, there hasn’t been any crisis between the Executive and the Legislative arms of government, between Governor and his Deputy, between Governor and his predecessor, between Governor and members of the National Assembly from the State and between key political stakeholders. Everyone is focused on the Abia project.
The Governor is grateful to all political leaders in the State who understood and accepted his message of peace for the good of our state. Governor Ikpeazu is confident that the prevailing peaceful political atmosphere in the State has come to stay.
The development of Small and Medium Enterprises will remain a cardinal policy of the Ikpeazu administration. The Aba Garment Factory will become operational soon and will complement the already functional Enyimba Automated Shoe Company (ENASCO). These two outfits, the Governor noted, will create hundreds of direct and indirect jobs and cement the place of Aba as the Garment and Leather Works hub in West Africa.
Access to our main markets are increasing as a result of total reconstruction of key roads that lead to our markets. This has increased the volume of trade in our markets and has put more money into the pockets of our businessmen and women.
The Governor commits to ensuring marked improvements in our health care delivery system with the impending arrival of some modern equipment already procured by the State Government and the priotization of the welfare of our medical workers, including the establishment of more primary health care centers to extend access to primary health care to our rural areas.
Governor Ikpeazu assures that the operationalization of model schools already constructed will commence by the next academic session while the continuing education process for our teachers will be pursued with greater vigor. Our public schools will continue to receive attention through the construction of more classroom blocks to complement the over 600 classroom blocks already built by this administration. Efforts will also be intensified to prioritize the welfare of teachers in our public schools and indeed, all workers in the state.
On security, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu assures that his administration shall do whatever is necessary to protect the people of Abia State. He notes with gratitude to God that even with the spate of insecurity and violent crimes across the country and our region, Abia remains the most peaceful and most secure as at today, making us the destination of choice. The Governor promises that his administration will continue to engage all relevant stakeholders in the security sector to fashion out means of securing our state and our people.
Governor Ikpeazu is optimistic about the future of the economy of our state, even in the face the dwindling economic fortunes of our country. This is because our people have realized that our survival as a people lie in our ability to maximize our local productive capabilities in agriculture, cottage manufacturing, industrialization and trade.
His administration will continue to encourage our people to look inwards and find solutions to the challenges facing us. This explains the philosophy behind the establishment of the cottage palm oil mills across the 17 Local Government Areas with 6 pilot local governments already set to commence production. These will replicate the success achieved with the Abia Rice and make good use of the over 4 million seedlings of Tenera Palm already cultivated across the State.
The Governor ends by expressing his deepest appreciation to the people of Abia State for their support to his administration and for their steadfastness and sacrifice, when necessary. He assured that until his last day in office as Governor, he will remain focused on doing the job he was freely elected to do, to the very best of his ability and with deep passion.
Sir Onyebuchi Ememanka
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor.
29th May, 2021.