Opinion: Ikpeazu in the eyes of democracy
By Mark Mban jnr.
RECENTLY, the Abia state Executive Council presided over by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Ude Okochukwu approved the construction and renovation of 19 different road projects across the 17 local Government Areas of the state.
In a release signed by the state commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu after the state executive council meeting yesterday and made available to the media, the projects to be executed include
“Contract for construction of Ukwunwangwu/Ndudu (2.95 km) Road Phase 1, Uturu, Isuikwuato LGA. “Contract for the construction of Obiagu/Umuanyi (1.9km) Road, Uturu, Isuikwuato LGA. “Contract for the construction of Ukwunwangwu-Isunabo (1.8km) Road, Uturu, Isuikwuato LGA. “Contract for rehabilitation of Umuenyere Alayi-Item-Nkporo Road in Bende/Ohafia LGA (26km). “Contract for the construction of 2.5km Umuokwu/Ubaha Road (Leading to Dephilajoms Agro & Allied Industries (Nig) Ltd. “Contract for the construction/ rehabilitation of Adaelu-Unity Garden Estate Road (1.4km), Osisioma LGA. “Contract for the construction of Amapu Ntigha-Abam Ubakala Road in Isialangwa North and Umuahia North LGA’s (1.0km). “Contract for the construction of Apumiri Umuochi – Umuejeaya Mgarakuma – Ahiaorie Umuosu (3.2Km) Road in Umuahia south LGA. “Contract for the recontruction of Obioha Road, Aba South LGA (2.95km). “Contract for the reconstruction of Ohanku Road, Aba South LGA (5.3km). “Contract for variation: As a result of dualization/expansion of Ururuka Road from Ogbor-Hill Bridge to Umuobiakwa (13km). “Contract for rehabilitation of Obigbo – Aba Sports Club GRA, Aba (1.100Km). “Contract for Rehabilitation of Abak Road and PZ Road (0.760km). “Contract for the rehabilitation of Egbelu Railway Line – Aba/Owerri Roads, GRA, Aba.(1.244km). “Contract for the reconstruction of Ekeakpara Road from Osisioma Junction (3.5km). “Contract for the construction of Amaorji Osusu-Okpuala Ngwa-Amauzu Ovungwu-Ntigha Umukalu Road, and Spurs at Obikabia, Iheorji, Palace Aru-Egbelu and Umuosi-Ntigha Roads(15km), Isialangwa North and South LGAs. “Contract for the construction of Nbawsi Junction to Okpoala (St. Judges/Umunkolo Bypass), Isialangwa North LGA (2.0km). “Contract for the reconstruction of Chief Ubani Road, Aba North LGA(1km). “Contract for the variation/constructing of Bende-Idima Abam Road in Bende and Arochukwu LGAs (8.1km)”
This ordinarily ought not to make a headline in any media outfit but what is significant in the extant case is the condition and atmosphere with which those approvals were made.
It was a good show of Democratic principles. Indeed, that outing of the Abia state executive council meeting was a clear demonstration that the Governor of Abia state, Dr. Okezie lkpeazu is a respecter of Democratic principles. No doubt, he has been able to administer the state in a most peaceful and coordinated manner.
Although, the Governor had acted on the provisions of the constitution by transmitting power to his Deputy while he is away on the grounds of illness, many other Governors who had similar cases do that with its attendant restrictions. We have seen situations where deputy Governors on acting capacity were not allowed to chase away even a fly on their administrative table.
It could be that Governor lkpeazu is in tune with the words of an English scholar, Ralph Nadar who once said ” the function of leadership is to produce more leaders not more followers ”
Analytically, what the words of Ralph Nadar potends is that leaders should not subject their followers to perpetual followership but should groom them in the way and manner that the led should have the platform and the the opportunity to become leaders tomorrow.
The free space which the Governor bequeathed to his followers has no doubt provided them the administrative theatre to learn the art of governance. He has injected inspiration in the minds of his cabinet members and the resultant effect is that the state is not thrown into a state of stagnation rather, placed it on the train of developmental programs which is fully and freely cruising on the plains of a smooth railway.
The psychology of workplace management teaches that accomplishments of set goals is a function of teamwork. Teamwork produces inspiration among the workers and spurs them into dreams of greater achievements.
After all, is it not in the words of John Quincy Adams that ” if your actions inspire others in doing more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader ”
Judging by Quincy’s postulation, and the democratic display of Governor Ikpeazu in the governance of Abia state, he can simply be called and addressed as a leader .
His innovations as the Governor of Abia state has already put him far above his contemporaries, after all he believes that Abia state is far greater than any individual.
It is this innovations that distinguished Governor lkpeazu as a leader in line with the strong belief of an English scholar, Steve Jobs, an Apple co- founder who once opined that ” innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower”
But there is something petinent and worthy to note, that, being the secret of the governor’s comfort zone. It is not far fetched, trust.
Obviously, for a man to embark on a journey and leave his private room wide open and unlocked, is a clear indication that those he left behind at home, spaning from his wife to children are capable of maintaining home decorum or else, are you hearing it for the first time there are some men who fastens the key to their room on their belt holders even while watching television in the sitting room. They wouldn’t even make such mistakes while having their baths. Even while asleep in the same bedroom, they keep one eye open for there could be many rats at home.
The significance of this analogy is manifested in the cream of characters lkpeazu appointed into his cabinet. From his second in command to the rest of the members of lkpeazu’s cabinet , the Governor is well at home with them.
In one of his recent interactions with the media, the commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in Abia State, Sir Gabriel Onyendilefu described the Governor as a man embodied with humility, wisdom and fairness.
The commissioner recalled several occasions of his contacts with the Governor in a public function where the Governor displayed uncommon character and quality of an astute leader.
This according to him, made the Governor stand as a compass that navigates the state’s developmental aircraft to a soft and safe landing.
In the words of Sir Onyendilefu, ” to be frank, I am not surprised by the Democratic disposition of the Governor taking into cognisance of his humble background. So seeing him display these rare qualities are no surprise”
Onyendilefu further noted that the actions of the Governor demonstrates his transparency which has been the hallmark of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu administration. He pointed out that a good leader must be the one who amongst other things should respect the law of the land which the Governor has fully demonstrated in line with his(Governor) “Abia is superior” philosophy.
But did anyone observe one thing since the absence of the Governor from the state? One hardly notices that the Governor is not in the state. The reason may not be far fetched as information as regards the policies and programmes of Abia state government was never halted in a blocked pipeline.
The information machinery of the state has been very active to grease the freedom enjoyed by the various institutions of the state.
As we wake up every morning, programs and policies of the Abia state government is consistently on the waves keeping people abreast of the happenings in government. One of which is the rolling out of the outcome of litany of roads approved for construction across the lengths and breadths of the state following the approval of the state executive council in their last meeting.
The state commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu while briefing journalists on the outcome of the last meeting stated that these roads when completed will further enhance Agricultural production and boost other economic activities of the state adding that it is one of the proactive measures of the lkpeazu administration to confront the challenges of post Covid-19 economy in the state.
According to the commissioner, ” the Governor is aware that one of the basic indices for post Covid- 19 economic recovery is Agricultural turnaround and that one of the inhibitions of farmers is inaccessible road network. So, the Governor has taken it as a priority to further open up rural roads such that movement of farm inputs and outputs would be made easier for Abia farmers. By so doing Abia farmers would experience bumper harvest in terms of transmitting values into their cash crops”.
Generally, many notable indegenes of Abia state have applauded the Democratic disposition of the Governor describing him as a man who follows the law and whose selfless attributes would write his name on the golden marbles of history.