INSIDE ABIA: GOV IKPEAZU’S IMAGE, THAT OF HIS HAND PICKED PUPPET STINKS……IS IKPEAZU ALSO AMONG THOSE WITH ELECTORAL VALUE?- HON LONG MAN NWACHUKWU
Our attention has been drawn to the incoherent vituperation by the Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu, Sir Onyebuchi Ememanka, certain Chairman and Secretary of one amorphous Abia Progressive Alliance, against our principal and the governorship candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Abia State, Professor Greg Ibe. Ordinarily, we would have ignored such distractions but for the purpose of putting the records straight, hence this response.
It is ridiculous for the Governor’s attack dogs to describe Professor Greg Ibe as one without electoral value, and at the same time be dissipating energy on the same man they dismissed as inconsequential. Why then are they bothered about him since he is no threat to the Governor’s anointed puppet in the forthcoming Abia governorship poll? Why are they arming some elements within Abia APGA with huge sums of Abia state funds to use ‘every possible means’ to remove Prof Ibe’s name from the ballot? They think we are not aware of their subtle subterranean moves, before and after the APGA governorship primary election, to deploy excessive funds to realize the mandate of producing ‘just any other candidate’ other than Prof Ibe. If truly Prof Ibe has no electoral value why is PDP so intimidated that they are arm twisting his landlord to evict him from his campaign office albeit through the backdoor?
By the way, what was Ikpeazu’s electoral value when he became the Governor in 2015? Maybe they have forgotten so quickly but Abians have not forgotten his background. If somebody whose only known past record was carting away of refuse could be Governor, then a Professor of Entrepreneurial Science, an employer of labor with over 10,000 staff in his payroll across the country, a consummate investor with identifiable investments, an international consultant, innovator and inventor of repute, will certainly have no qualms achieving same feat.
Before continuing in their hallucinations that Prof Ibe has no electoral value, Ikpeazu and his shameless praise singers should first tell Abians the electoral value of his hand-picked puppet. What legacies did he leave at Abia Polytechnic and Abia State University Uturu where he presided over before now? What is the current state of both institutions today for Abians to hand over the state to him? The fact that the two institutions recently suffered loss of accreditation by regulatory bodies and are currently heavily in arrears of staff salaries sufficiently attest to the electoral liability the PDP guber candidate represents. Tell me what is the electoral value of a non performer who was woken up from retirement slumber on 29 March 2022 by a group of equally expired politicians from Ngwa block and asked to come and become governor of a 21 century Abia state? Who does that? Maybe they want to send Abia to perpetual death untimely. Do these people think Abians are all fools that can’t reason?
Ikpeazu and his attack dogs should not forget that the 2023 elections will not be like the 2015 and 2019 polls where the magical Obingwa results gave him controversial advantage over other contestants. Thank God for the New Electoral Act that led to the introduction of BVAS by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. Votes will now count! There won’t be any place for magical results any more!
Truth is bitter but must be told. Ikpeazu should stop living in self denial and illusionment about his scorecard. Only sincere men like Prof Ibe can tell him that Abians are not impressed with his achievements in office in the past seven and half years. This the academic don did for a greater part of the era before resigning from PDP through personal memos. The governor should not be deceived by the cosmetic accolades of his boot -leakers and praise-singers ably led by the unsuccessful charge and bail I-put-it-to- you practitioner, who is presently seeking relevance and redemption in the public relations profession .
True Abians are ashamed of the current state of affairs in our dear state especially compared to the on-going transformations in neigbouring states, particularly Ebonyi State. It took Ikpeazu seven and half years to build one ‘flyover’ in Aba but his friend Nyesom Wike told him that by February 2023 the 12th interchange, not flyover, built by his administration will be inaugurated in Port Harcourt. Already, Ebonyi that was carved out yesterday from Abia without any 13% Oil derivation revenue has commissioned over 20 interchanges of different kinds, including diamond, loop and directional. While Ikpeazu wants Abians to be clapping for him for making us ashamed of being called Abians in public. No way!
In case Ikpeazu doesn’t know but we need to remind him that the entire Ukwa land, the only oil-producing area in Abia that made us to qualify for 13% Oil Derivation fund, has no motorable access road. All the roads leading to and within Ukwa have completely collapsed yet Ikpeazu boasts of having electoral value.
The leader of his G-5 Integrity Governors, Nyesom Wike has openly acknowledged that Rivers received over N80 billion from the Federal Government being accruals from the oil revenue that were stopped by previous administrations. Wike also pointed at legacy projects he deployed the funds to, revealing though, that other Governors in the Niger Delta States also received similar funds. Thank God for the BBC investigation that further revealed that Abia State received over N4 billion from the Federal largesse. Can our dear ‘performing’ Governor point at what he did with Abia’s share of the funds?
If Ikpeazu were proactive and responsive as he wants us to believe, he would have known that a whopping N4 billion if judiciously deployed, would have ended the incessant protests by Abia pensioners over backlog of pension arrears and gratuities. ABSU, certainly would not have lost accreditation to admit Medical students if Ikpeazu invested N4 billion in the university. Doctors in ABSUTH and Heath Management Board would not have been owed for 24 months if Ikpeazu wisely deployed the N4 billion largesse. Maybe, our ‘performing Governor’ needs to be reminded of the latest two-week ultimatum issued by the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, to proceed on indefinite strike that will cripple the entire health sector in the state if the 24-month salary arrears of the affected doctors were not cleared. When that happens and Prof Ibe is moved by compassion to come to the aid of the people through his free medical outreach, some misinformed and misguided e-rats of the governor’s media team will misconstrue the effort.
Is it not rather strange that after being hosted by his so-called brother G-5 Governors in befitting Government Houses in their respective states, Ikpeazu will return to apartments donated to the state by patriotic Abians as temporary Government House when the state was created 30 years ago? What stopped Ikpeazu from completing the Permanent Government House bequeathed to him in 2015? If truly he were a man of integrity as he claims, should he not have known that completing the Abia Government House is more honorable than teaming up with his man Friday, a guber candidate, in building his palatial mansions at Umuobiakwa Obingwa, where he now hosts state functions in arrogant show of wealth and abuse of power? The story of the building of Umuobiakwa Towers is actually story for another day.
Governor Ikpeazu should not forget that his true popularity and electoral value will be put to test in February 2023 when his Abia South senatorial constituents will use their votes to show him how unhappy they are for his disappointing outing as Abia Governor. Unfortunately, there wont be any godfather to deliver him, as was the case in 2015 and 2019. A crushing defeat awaits him at the poll because Abia South that produced the Only Voice for South East in the current Senate cannot afford to substitute their ‘First Eleven’ with a man whose only known achievement as Governor is to tour around the world with Wike as a hand bag.
Again, Ikpeazu and his co-travelers should understand that Professor Greg Ibe did not insult Abians when he referenced his contributions during the fight against COVID-19 pandemic. He didn’t tell any lies about his donations then as the records are there for anyone in doubt. One would have expected Ikpeazu to tell Abians his own personal donations to the people during the better-imagined months of lockdown occasioned by the pandemic. Ikpeazu should also come clear about how the tons of food items and money he received from different donor agencies, the Federal Government, corporate organizations and public-spirited individuals were distributed. Instead of attacking Professor Ibe, let him account to Abians how he handled the donations then. While we are at it, the PDP guber candidate should also tell the people he wants to govern his contributions to their wellbeing during the dark days of COVID-19. For the record it is an incontrovertible fact that many Abia big men survived COVID-19 because of the test kits donated to the state government by Prof Ibe.
Ikpeazu should know that Abians irrespective of their political differences, are wiser and tired of the old order. They are united in their quest for a New Abia, and so far, they have identified Professor Greg Ibe as a man destined to change the narrative. This is simply the reason for his swelling support across the state, and come 2023 governorship poll, APGA will sweep the entire state to commence the rebuilding of Abia State after eight years of Ikpeazu’s disastrous outing.
Note that this is the first offering on this interesting subject of electoral value as we shall keep reopening the matter as occasion demands.
Signed: Titus Eleweke
for ProGIMA-Prof Gregory Ibe Media Associates