By Jude Ndukwe
“Youneed continuity. You need a commitment and continuity” – Jeff Fisher
As the 2019 general elections approach, AbiaState is agog as different
groups and communities in the stat jostle amongthemselves to host and
celebrate one of their brightest stars, known to some asthe “Scholar in
Governance”, to others as the “Silent Achiever” and, yet, tosome others,
as the “Caterpillar Revolutionist” for his many sides rolled intothe
singular vision of making Abia great and prosperous.
Following his sterling performance which haselicited joy and restored the
hope of Abians in a bright future having leftfootprints of quality
projects and strategic policies in the sand of time, itis only natural,
and fitting, for Abians of different affiliations to send outa clarion
call to the governor, first in appreciation, and then to remind himthat
under no circumstance would they allow him to abandon them halfway
havingbrought them thus far in the journey towards growth and evidential
development,hence, the dominating calls for him to respect their wish of
leading the Statetill 2023.
Just like the American, Jeff Fisher said, Abiansknow that the State is in
need of an uncommon commitment to their welfare, thetype being shown by
their governor, and have committed to support him all theway. But then,
Right from the day he assumed office, OkezieVictor Ikpeazu PhD, settled
down to work immediately knowing full well that theexpectations of the
people were high and nothing short of excellent performancewould satisfy
their sweet souls and fill their gaping hope.
Ikpeazu therefore established critical areas oflife which Abians needed
urgent intervention in and set them as DevelopmentPillars for his
administration with the corresponding Enablers to achieve theset
Since no meaningful progress can be made in anatmosphere of fear and
insecurity, the governor embarked on a head-on collisioncourse with
criminals in the state with the aim of ridding Abia of all violentcrimes
that had given the State a bad name. Before now, Abia had been known asa
state where armed robbers kidnappers, rapists, cultists, ritualists etc
foundcomfort. Some of these criminals even committed crimes in other
states and fledto Abia to escape from the long arms of the law and or to
enjoy proceeds oftheir illicit activities. This did not only make Abians
sleep with one eye, italso made them sleep with their hearts in their
With Okezie Ikpeazu, this is now a thing of thepast. With the peace and
security enjoyed in Abia today, it is very easy fornaysayers to forget
where we were before Ikpeazu came on board and where we aretoday after he
successfully tackled those name-spoiling crimes in a novel butaggressive
manner within a short time of coming to power.
He invested massively in the securityarchitecture of the State, procuring
a massive 35 number operational vehiclesfitted with modern communications
gadgets to further equip the securityagencies in the state. The uncommon
adroitness with which he has been able tointroduce and sustain synergy
among the several security agencies operating inthe state is another loud
testimony to his human management skills.
In an official release by the National Bureau ofStatistics last year for
violent crime rates recorded in the country in 2016,Abia State recorded
the second least rate only after Katsina. When oneconsiders that this feat
was achieved in just one year of his coming to power,one would appreciate
the more why Abians are stumbling over themselves to gethim to go for a
second term. Safety first, safety always!
Similarly, in a widely publicized andcomprehensive report by the Vanguard
newspapers on March 11, 2018, it wasrecorded that in the first ten weeks
of 2018, 1,351 people were murdered in oneviolent crime or the other
throughout the federation. Of this sad number, Abiawas among the few
states throughout the federation that recorded one death,while a state
like Anambra already had 18 deaths from violent crimes at thisshort time.
Abia has however since taken firm position as thesafest state in the
country following recent violent deaths in the statescompeting with her
for this most coveted and enviable status while Ikpeazu hasmaintained the
now impregnable security of the state.
Despite his sterling performance in this sector,Dr Okezie Victor Ikpeazu
was not going to rest on his oars. On his return fromRwanda where he
attended the 2018 Transform Africa Summit in May 2018, thegovernor
immediately proceeded to hand over another set of brand newoperational
vehicles to the police in Umuahia, the state capital. To furtherboost the
morale of the police as he continues to assist them in their duties,the
governor promised to help them complete the building of their Zone
9headquarters in Umuahia.
The safety, peace and security Abia is enjoyingtoday are not accidental.
They are the result of the continued commitment ofthe governor to the
welfare of the people. That there are no political tensionsin the state
today is attributable to Ikpeazu’s very large heart that hastolerated with
equanimity the continued bitter provocations of oppositionelements. Abians
are free and their rights respected to the letter by thegovernor no matter
how belligerent and vitriolic the opposition has becomeagainst him in
their desperate but futile attempts to distract him.
Abians cannot take for granted the fact thatproperties including radio
stations and houses belonging to people ofdissenting voices are being
demolished with reckless abandon in other statesthereby creating undue
political tensions and giving root to crime andcriminality, Ikpeazu has
never and will never embark on such actions. (To be continued)