Recently in Abia State, the city of Aba – the commercial hub of the Southeast geopolitical zone – received an infrastructural facelift, a kind of critical boost, for good it was. Though it could be said flatly and forgiven that governance has failed Nigerians, Abians included, with politicians returning quadrennially to sing the usual vague lyrics and lullabies, certain truths need be told, especially when reasonable gains and marks are made in governance strides.
It cannot be wished away entirely that when politicians win their second tenure and are returned, many of them just recline to their seats, abandon whatever was begun from the first tenure. This studied neglect is the way, though not in all cases, many politicians show “gratitude” to the electorate. It has not to be. But sadly, it has been the case. In Nigeria, politics, as they say it is “turn by turn” and so like the Igbo proverbial saying about the climber, politicians tend to gather lifetime wealth in their second term because not all climbers are lucky enough to get a second chance at the iroko branches twice in lifetime!
But one man is defying all that. Many a critic would have thought that once reelected, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, PhD, will recline and go about infrastructure scatteringly or even perfunctorily; that is of course if he ever cares. Governor Ikpeazu has not only been reelected and returned, the Supreme Court had declared and decreed his victory as valid and so “he is at liberty” (of course this does not imply arrogance) to go about the business of governance with that happy-go-lucky attitude as do some elsewhere. Rather than this, he folded up his sleeves and went to work.
“Kinetic!” That English adjective was an empirical term about which we read when we dealt with physics in our college days as students or I should say when physics dealt with us at that stage of life. Motion and science of it belongs to the realm of physics and so any object moving (from point A to B) is exerting energy. How about we relate it with Abia? Okezie Ikpeazu PhD, had set infrastructural works on an unheard-of pedestal and motion in Abia State doing and fixing roads under the massive project termed “Kinetic Abia.” This is how kinetically Abia has, like a space rocket launch, followed trajectory of roads commissioning since the dawn of 2021 one after the other.
Governance, globally, is challenged just as governing is plagued, yet Ikpeazu takes to fixing these projects in fulfilment of his campaign promise. When one thinks how the governor, in the face of dwindling revenue – both from statutory and internal sources – does quality paved roads then the understanding and appreciation of a man who has at heart the plight of his people comes to mind.
Aba, it bears repeating, needs monumental infrastructural facilities to link it up beyond the Southeast. Arterial and collector roads in Aba if fixed can open commercial nexus and create necessary links beyond Abia boosting revenue generating capacity of the State both for critical formal and informal sectors. Aba is a producer of many items, thanks to her population of artisans. Leatherwork, fabrics, other sundry local manufactures, creatively produced in Aba, need to find market through efficiently robust communication system. This is what Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, PhD is doing and the result is that such projects have the capacity to increase budgetary numbers, unlock the creative potentials of the state, create jobs and enhance livelihood in the future!
Roads like the 10 km Osokwa-Aro Umuejie-Omoba which link Aba and Umuahia to Akwaibom State had been fixed and commissioned by the governor in January of 2021. Such New Year gift to Abia meant that the state could open access from that axis to as far as Cameroon in Central Africa – boosting bilateral trade. Also did Osusu, Eziukwu, Milverton and others roads get reconstructed. What used to be a landfill and improvised dumping ground with ditches clogged, reconstructed and cleared, Eziukwu and Osusu roads now wear a new look as business is gradually and steadily returning in those areas. This, for anybody who knows Aba, has the capacity of decongesting the city while also leading to overlap of development.
Only last few years or so ago, residents suffered during rain, who got stuck under such inclement weather, getting back home from work or business but today it is a different story. A source quoted one Mrs. Uchechi, a resident of Eziukwu, who at the sight of the completed road project talked of the whole thing feeling like “dreamy.” She was not just dreaming but living it, because Okezie Ikpeazu PhD has a different perception and perspective on how a second tenure should work in governance. It is also in the news that the contractor handling Port Harcourt road, a federal road that has become a nightmare for donkey’s years now, has returned to work and that the Uratta axis or phase of that road is getting cleared for massive work. This is a case of one good turn deserving another for a second tenure!
One remarkable thing about it all is not that the governor is doing roads but that he insists on doing quality road projects. Many roads too, as sources claimed, are in his to-do list, works of which will soon be rolled out. One thing is for sure: That Okezie Ikpeazu PhD sees his reelection as a show of love by NdiAbia who though spoilt for choice stuck with him as the best in the mix. The governor understands them as a father does his children and seems to be saying a heartfelt thanks to them doing infrastructure.
Mention, where necessary, should be made and respect paid to those deserving of such. The history of Kinetic Abia cannot be said of as a complete ration without mention of the man who has doggedly taken it upon himself to make Abians to know much about such package of government. Today he serves a state commissioner for information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu has been constantly dishing out such vital information about where Kinetic Abia has brought Abians thus far. His role here deserves a worthy mention and Adoration.Despite the kinetic mood Abia have set on, certain potholes are today undermining the good work and miles covered by Kinetic Abia. Such potholes at George’s Street by Ube, waterside at Ogbor Hill, Azikiwe Road, Asa Road and others deserve to be taken care of within Aba and its Environs. This Potholes caused serious traffic gridlock especially in the morning and Evening due to the increase Road users this time. I suggest that Abia State Road Maintenance Agency, ABROMA go to work; this appeal also goes to Abia State Public Utilities Maintenance Agency, APUMA to fill up the potholes in these Areas in the city of Aba and ensure those Roads are maintained such as these potholes should not be happening in this era of Kinetic Abia.
Many in Abia remember Sam Mbakwe, Dr. M. I. Okpara and others for good, but a future will be when they will look back and remember that concept – Kinetic Abia. Dr Okezie Ikpeazu , for sure, will not be the governor beyond 2023 but how he is remembered afterwards is what matters to history. He has set the kinetic motion and must keep the pace while Abians enjoy; the best way he can write his name in the hearts of Abians. Yes, Kinetic Abia was that project to look at when our today becomes the future of today. For now, let it be known that this is Dr.Okezie Ikpeazu thanking Abians in his own responsible way and Restoring the confidence and trust the people have in the Government and confirming this Slogan. ONLY ABA BOY Will Work ABA
Comrade Nelson Nnanna Nwafor is the Executive Director, Foundation For Environmental Rights, Advocacy & Development (FENRAD Nigeria. He writes from Aba. Abia state