As we celebrate our Democracy day today in reminiscent of past 3 years, the 6th Abia House of Assembly joins all Abia to look back at the journey so far.
At the heat of the 2015 elections, the most profound issue peculiar to all the aspirants was “which candidate would muster sufficient courage to stand out as a valid hope for the common man when the chips are down”. This nagging question was necessitated by the tall challenge of getting it right even with the minutest resources trickling in as revenue. The candidate in the People’s mind was an effective Mananger of men and materials, a realist, a prudent servant leader, one who had a clear cut understanding of the challenges confronting Abia at time and the best possible approaches.
Abia didn’t want a “proposal and feasibility study” infested intellectual or one person who would feast on the likely excuses of shot doings of the past.
Three years on, the minutest doubt has sure been cleared as Okezie Victor Ikpeazu Ph.D were all that and many more. It’s been three years of talk less and do more, embracing the most eloquent audacity of hope, mustering amazing political will and tacking challenges that were thought impossible before now.
Over these years, the 6th Abia House have also observed that the business of law making can only thrive when you have an executive arm that has genuine respect for commendable practice and procedure, a Governor who respects the bounds and limits of his powers.
The 6th Abia House, despite being admixture of three different political parties – People’s Democratic Party (PDP), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), All Progressives Congress (APC), has continued to discharge its responsibilities without let or hinderance. Interestingly, PDP has gained five members from the original thirteen, confirming that there’s something about the leadership of the governor that inspires everybody to identify with him. The highest point in all these is that members pursue their jobs with missionary commitment, perhaps as a deserving reciprocation of a governor who shows understanding of the dynamics of leadership nay principles of rewarding legislations.
From a distance, one would have thought that anything out of the ordinary may have accounted for this level of camaraderie between the executive and the legislative arm. It is simply the conscious effort of a governor who factors in the collective wishes and aspirations of Abians in every detail of the law.
Here’s a governor who personally drives our constituency projects, making the provision of democracy dividends, a realistic way of life in various constituency through their legislators not mind party differences. It is such that every member is encouraged to think about the next generation and not election.
If the legislature has been made to look like “the governor’s men” in their constituency, it is because of the strategic manner in which he has run an all inclusive government, delisting rancour from our political lexicon and with tact, replaced with purposeful synergy.
Ikpeazu knows the likely causes of friction between executive and legislative arms and has so demonstrated. He knows that haphazard implementation of budgets could trigger rancour. He implements prudently and ensures that even the smallest fund is duly appropriated. He knows that independent mindedness is critical to functioning of a House of Assembly. He refuses to interfere even when the House is tired of a wasteful leader and decides to make a change.
Ikpeazu knows that “the people” is the focal point of every law. He respects this grand principle. He also understands the need for timeous attendance to legislative issues. He is very particular about time frame in assenting to bills.
So far, with his cooperation, the 6th Abia House has legislated on 57 bills and 18 motions, including but not limited to a law to drive Ease of doing business in Abia, the elimination of regulations that make tax a burden and not a pleasant civic duty, streamlining laws on Local governments and chieftaincy affairs to checkmate proliferation of autonomous communities; legislative framework for a proactive fire service in Abia to laws establishing State Archive, bill for banning of open grazing of cattles among others. The speed, accuracy and usefulness of these laws have their root in commensurate support from a governor who respects the rights of others.
Before his coming, Aba was not at its best to support the very many small and medium scale businesses, residents did not mind a better deal. Ikpeazu surpassed the expectations of Aba residents by not only providing improved infrastructure to encourage them, he moved a step further to buoy their spirits through diverse efforts including directing the minds of the world through MADE IN ABA promotion that everything good could be produced in Aba. For each step, the governor seeks legislative imprimatur to ensure that not even the slightest hitch is in the way of his very many developmental strides.
Today, Aba is reinvented and obviously assessing a new vista of hope, trending as an emerging industrial city.
Interestingly, Ikpeazu does not appear like one who could dash hopes given the show of commitment.
Why wouldn’t legislators support him if he honestly commits appropriated funds to tackling development challenges?
True to his promise, Ikpeazu has moved to virtually all nooks and crannies of Abia, signing the signature of hope, touching lives in a manner so unprecedented. His one ward one project initiative has endeared him to the hearts of legislators and indeed Abians. It has thus become difficult for even the most unapologetic critic to fault this style of even development.
In Abia, we see hope, we feel hope and envisage the consolidation of hope. Ikpeazu is indeed a beacon of hope.
Happy Democracy Dam Fam!!!
Cosmos Ndukwe , the Deputy Speaker/Chairman Information, media and publicity Abia House of Assembly writes from Umuahia