By Ako Obioma (AkubaraOha)
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and compliments of the season to our own Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, PhD. Your Excellency as we march into the last quarter of your government, I wish to congratulate you for your Godly display of leadership in spite of existential obstacles and man’s imperfections. Your show of wisdom, strategic planning and human management skills has endeared you to remain focused in your desire and commitment to the upliftment of Abia state in all spheres of human life, especially security wise and in developmental master plan that has not been attempted before by any of your predecessors since 1999.
However, the decay in Abia governance system before your assumption of office is unimaginable making it difficult to be completely reversed in your eight years in office, but you have succeeded in laying a good foundation for correcting those anomalies, and the sustenance will depend on the quality of your successor, who is expected to continue from where you might have stopped.
I also wish to thank you for being a good listener which has made you to always follow up on issues and in the implementation of certain economic policies that will stand the test of time, as well as write your name in Abia State developmental history books. Among these are your efforts in strategic pursuit of the World Bank and the African Development Bank loan/grant which will once more reposition Aba and Abia state as the economic hub of West African.
Following your attraction of the loan/grant, payment of counterpart fund and ongoing implementation of the Aba Urban renewal and underground drainage/storm water control through World Bank NEWMAP assisted program, the African Development Bank, Abia State Integrated Development Program (ABSIIDP) and the Rural Access Mobility program (RAMP), the future of Abia is very promising and will surpass other eastern states, who have benefited from these program and are being used as comparison to our present state.
I must confess my admiration of your management of critics and detractors, the wisdom you have displayed is quite rare and stands you out among other beneficiaries of such grace through man, despite all provocation and landmines to derail your administration.
This is my first of this kind of letter to any civilian governor of Abia State past or present. I do not write to praise you for any personal reasons, but to encourage you as Igbo adage says “Ekele dike na ihe omere, o mee kwa ozo”. To buttress my selfless purpose for writing this letter, you are the only governor who has neither awarded any contract to me but has abandoned all my companies ongoing projects by your predecessors, except for peculiar reason Umuopara Ring Road awarded by your predecessor and which you refused to pay a dime of the over N4 billion (Four billion naira) owed my companies by your predecessor, despite the fact that government is a continuum according to Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike in his answer to why he focused on the completion of Rt Hon Rotimi Amaechi’s projects first on assumption of office, before embarking on new projects.
Having been in the corridors of government for over thirty years, it is the love for your wisdom in leadership and human management that have endeared my defence of you in all fora because very few are futuristic and seeing what I saw long ago.
With the bold economic and developmental foundation you have laid so far, I sincerely enjoin Abians to see clearly where we should be heading to and join hands in support of your administration in its last lap, and most importantly join hands together in making the right choices for your successor who could appreciate these efforts, sustain and improve on it and in other areas which for lack of time and resources you could not start nor implement the reforms. That we could truly be established as God’s own state.
Finally, I plead with you to strategically reduce the cost of governance and plug the wastages and draw up a good template in liquidating pensioners/workers’ salaries and payment of genuine contractors for works executed in the past years, because this is the fastest means of pushing the economy through end users, than of the stolen wealth that are stashed away and partly distributed during elections.
May God continue to bless and protect your entire family and may He make His blessings to shine upon the face of Abia and Abians.
Wishing all of us best of the season’s and happy yuletide.
Sir Ako Obioma