By, Uchechukwu Ugboaja
The Governor of Abia State His Excellency, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has once again stolen the spotlight at the recently held Daily Times Hero Awards 2017 as he went ahead to bag the coveted and prestigious ‘Hero of Good Governance Award’ in grand style where he emphatically stated that ‘Made In Aba’ is here to stay.
Addressing a cross section of journalists after receiving his award, the governor dedicated it to the vibrant people of Abia State whose enterprising spirit, diligence in labour have remained the core strength of his administration and has made it the envy of other states in Nigeria and beyond, as the Abia state of today has become the most viable location for local and foreign investments in Nigeria. Little wonder Aba is been described as the new China of Africa, a comparison that couldn’t have been a coincidence but a bye product of visionary and dedicated leadership that knows how to tap into the strength and potentials of its people, a people who are unarguably one of the most industrious, creative and enterprising people on the planet.
According to Governor Ikpeazu, “Aba has developed the capacity to even teach the Chinese how produce quality goods such as shoes, clothes, bags and other accessories you can think of, because we have some of the best shoe makers, artisans and designers in Aba, so why do we need these foreign made items when we have proudly Made In Aba items in our markets. I can assure you that very soon Chinese goods will be a thing of the past because Made In Aba is here to stay.”
It however, wasn’t a surprise to majority of the guests and audience who were gathered at the International Conference Centre, Abuja to witness the celebration of excellence, hard work, tenacity and sheer determination of the human spirit as exemplified in the life of Governor Ikpeazu, a man who was chosen by destiny to champion the vanguard of a new Abia.
Suffice it to mention that since the assumption of office of Dr. Ikpeazu in 2015, Abia state has continued to enjoy not only national but global attention owing to the paradigm shift the state has witnessed under his dynamic leadership.
These are many more are some of the reasons the organizers of the Daily Times Hero Awards chose to honour him with the Award of Hero of Good Governance 2017. While receiving the award he was quick to dedicate it to the good people of Abia State whom he said had stood steadfastly behind him despite the daunting challenges that have never deterred him. He also acknowledged the never say never spirit of the Abia people that have continued to propel Africa’s emerging industrial hub located in the city of Aba, South-East Nigeria which the governor insists will soon make demand for Chinese goods in the country needless.