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IKPEAZU: THE UNCOMMON HISTORY MAKER

IKPEAZU: THE UNCOMMON HISTORY MAKER

In 2014 when Dr Okezie Ikpeazu declared his intention to run for the gubernatorial election in Abia State, some naysayers didn’t give him any chance at the polls. But like a determined fighter, Ikpeazu knew how to choose his fight and achieve his goals, he went to town preaching his message to all segments of the society, but he focused on the real people, the youths, the elderly, the downtrodden while also appealing to the sensibilities of the elites. He had charm and gusto, his deep knowledge and expressed wisdom was not just electrifying but also infectious. He marshaled out his dream for a new Abia that will run on 5 development pillars and 5 enablers. By the last count after a repeat rerun, Okezie Ikpeazu Ph.D. the common son of an ordinary schoolteacher was announced the Governor elect.

Right from the onset, like he started, the Governor began a gradually but deliberate effort to rewrite the history of the state. Prior to his coming Aba was an eyesore in terms of road infrastructure, today, by taking the bull by the horn some impassable roads have been demystified. Who eve knew that Ukwu Mango, Ifeobara pond, Omni Drive, the trio of Ehere, Ukaegbu, Umuola and several other Aba roads could survive one round of rainy season. He came with a homegrown strategy – rigid-cement-pavement technology, the once Aba road reputed for demystifying rehabilitation efforts has bent under the Ikpeazu ingenuity.   Governor Ikpeazu caterpillar revolution across the state under the current economic downturn shocked naysayers who never gave him any chance, they thought he had nothing offer the state.

Another area Governor Ikpeazu has blazed the trail is in the area of the famous Made-in Aba Campaign.  Prior to his election and from time immemorial Aba has been reputed as the hub of leather and garment production, in fact Aba is known as the commercial nerve centre of the east. But at no time had anybody taken the crafts of Aba to the height the Governor took it to. Granted Senator Abaribe began the made in Aba exhibitions in Abuja, but the gusto, the style and flavour Governor Ikpeazu brought to the campaign, immediately skyrocketed it to the moon. Made in Aba has become a global slogan. When he began with branding and marketing, many a people including some team members reasoned that was a wrong strategy, I remember some friends reaching me to criticize our thought process. Alas, the man with the Midas touch knew what he wanted to achieve. Today, the campaign has resolved many of the issues bedeviling Aba entrepreneurs, light is coming, access to finance is here, market share has increased-the orders are coming in droves, investors are flooding the place, the Enyimba Economic City – the big picture is the answer, he is resolving the infrastructural challenge, Aba entrepreneurs have never had it this good.  The sales are on the increase, today, Aba shoe makers and dress makers are proud to put the inscription “proudly made in Aba’ on their products. What an achievement!

The complete rewriting of the history of the Enyimba Stadium is another milestone that has set Ikpeazu apart from others. In this same state and just recently, Enyimba Football Club used to be the darling club winning all kinds of laurels back to back, even with all the money that came from those victories, who knew the stadium had no single toilet facility, not conducive dressing room, the pitch was nothing to write home about, yet they remained the lead team in Nigeria. When the history maker came to town he insisted that the place needed his touch, on Sunday history will be made as the former eagle’s players file out in a novelty match to celebrate the newly remodeled Enyimba Stadium reputed as the best in Nigeria today.

“Agu Ole k’a madu ga egbu akpo ya ogbu agu”

the resounding endorsements across the state for Governor Ikpeazu, is as a result of his very peculiar approach to leaving his signature on the sands of time in a very special way.

This piece was written by Chinenye Nwaogu
IKPEAZU: THE UNCOMMON HISTORY MAKER IKPEAZU: THE UNCOMMON HISTORY MAKER Reviewed by Lawal Lekan Ridwan on August 24, 2018 Rating: 5

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