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Over the last few months, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has completely abdicated his responsibilities as the number one citizen of Abia State. He has abandoned governance for futile globetrotting with his Rivers State colleague-turned boss – Governor Nyesom Wike and anyone with a working conscience cannot help but pose the question; ‘Was Ikpeazu elected to serve Abia or Wike’? It is sad that amidst the worsening state of infrastructures in his own state, Ikpeazu has taken permanent residence in the skies, where London, Paris, Istanbul, and Dubai, are just a click away at the expense of the weeping coffers of Abia State.
Nigeria is in a dire situation. The hydra-headed problems confronting the country have in the last few months have been heightened by a global economic downturn. Across the globe, what every leader who loves his or her people has done is to put their foot on the ground, put their thinking caps on and adopt austerity measures to keep helpless citizens afloat. It is rather sad that this is the same period that many wicked leaders like Okezie Ikpeazu have found most convenient to act carelessly. The Ngwa born politician has simply busied himself with junketing around the world with a fellow Governor as though he was his Personal Assistant.
It is sad that while sane Governors and leaders are travelling to places where they can discuss the possibilities of attracting scarce foreign direct investments (FDI’s) and securing grants and aids, Governors like Wike and his ‘boys’ have failed to understand that the reason they were elected by hapless citizens was to improve their lives and give them an enabling environment to thrive. They have continued to mock the pains of their citizens, spit on their faces and ride on their lacerated backs. Rather than giving them hope, they have continued to stifle them and render them hopeless. This is not only saddening but quite depressing.
One will wonder how these Governors feel when they visit several parts of Europe where roads, healthcare and social amenities are working. One will wonder how exactly Governors like Ikpeazu feels when he goes to commission some road projects in Rivers state which were executed by his fellow governor. These are purely testaments to his gross incompetence and perennial folly. In seven years as governor, Ikpeazu has supervised a near collapse of the education and health sectors in Abia State. Infrastructural decay and misgovernance have become synonymous with him and to make matters worse, he doesn’t even appear to give a hoot about it.
While Ikpeazu and his fellow bunch of failures have continued to lavish themselves with comfort, the people of Abia State have continued to groan painfully under his maladministration. The roads in Abia State are still the worst in the South East if not the entire country. Currently, one cannot go to Arochukwu without passing through Akwa Ibom because of terrible roads. There is no good road linking Umuahia and Isiukwuato. There is no road in the entire Ukwa East and West. There are no good roads in Ikpeazu,’s Obingwa Local Government Area and yet, Ikpeazu does not appear to care.
Healthcare in the state is almost non-existent at the primary level and the negative indices have continued to grow. Abians have continued to die in their numbers while Ikpeazu simply looks the other way. This is a very painful reality that many citizens of the state has been subjected to.
Civil servants in the state appear to be worst hit by Ikpeazu’s ineptitude and incompetence. Presently, he is proudly, and notoriously owing lecturers in both Abia Polytechnic, Abia State University and Abia State College of Education Technical, Arochukwu salaries and entitlements running into over 30 months. Doctors are being owed 25 months of salary arrears in the state. Under Ikpeazu, Abia has witnessed the de-accreditation of Abia Polytechnic Aba following 30 months of unpaid wages of Staff; de-accreditation of the Abia State University Teaching Hospital Aba ABSUTH; and 10 months of salary arrears of ABSU Staff. Under him, Abia pensioners are still owed four years of gratuities and 28 months of pensioners arrears. Under Ikpeazu, Primary and Secondary School teachers are being owed five months salary arrears and promotion allowances even as many workers are still being paid incomplete salaries. This is Ikpeazu’s testimonial as governor of an Abia state that has been continuously raped by heartless politicians since 1999.
Going forward, Ikpeazu will need to give Abians a sincere answer on what his mission at the Abia State Government house is. If he cannot put his foot down and fix the badly governed state, he has no business being Governor. If junketing with tax-payers money is the best way to go for Ikpeazu, then the people whose common patrimony he is looting must prepare themselves to rise up to to him and show him the way out. Enough of the shenanigans.