BEING A GOODWILL MESSAGE TO ABIANS BY DR. OKEZIE IKPEAZU
GOVERNOR OF ABIA STATE ON THE OCCASION OF THE 27TH ANNIVERSSARY OF THE CREATION OF ABIA STATE ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 27, 2018
My good people of Abia State.
It is my pleasure to address you all today on the occasion of the 2018 Abia Day Celebration which marks the 27th anniversary of the creation of our dear state.
From our humble beginnings, we are growing steadily in leaps and bounds and with each passing day, we are adding new blocks towards the building of the Abia of our dreams.
From the inception of our administration on May 29, 2015, we have remained conscious of the history of Abia State and our desired destination and all we have done since mounting the saddle of governance of this blessed state has been to inch further to the actualization of our collective aspirations.
On a day like this, I am glad to note that the fathers and elders of Abia State are more united than they have ever been. Virtually every known founding father of Abia State and elder has been involved in various programmes and activities of the Abia State Government unlike what was obtainable in the past where a section of our elders chose to stay away from activities in the state. I count it a feat worthy of acknowledgment for we can never discountenance the wisdom of the elders in building a great Abia State.
It is my utmost desire that this new lease of unity, oneness and togetherness will be sustained and improved upon so that together, we can build the Abia of our collective dreams.
I therefore pay special tribute to all our Founding fathers who have kept faith with our administration and honoured us whenever we invite them to a public function or whenever we have sought audience with them wherever they are. We do not joke with their counsel and prayers and we pray God to continue to preserve them for us.
We also pay special tribute to our dearly departed fathers and elders and pray God to continue to grant their souls sweet repose in his bossom.
Beloved Abians, my greatest joy today is the fact that we have raised the bar of governance in Abia State. Virtually every sector of the state’s socio political and economic sphere has taken quantum leaps from where we met them at the inception of our administration.
From Infrastructural revolution to Agricultural improvement, Small and Medium Scale Enterprise promotion to Educational advancement, sports development to improvement in Healthcare indices, human capital development to creation of new economic opportunities for our people, we give God the glory for the grace he has given us to impact every sector of Abia State.
Let me use this opportunity to invite us all to the official reopening of the rebranded Enyimba International Stadium, Aba, tomorrow, August 28, 2018. The stadium has been adjudged to have the best and most modern playing pitch in Nigeria. The dressing rooms and facilities have been re-built to international standard and football commentators all over are commending the work we have put in there. I use the Enyimba Stadium as a metaphor for our commitment to quality.
Our administration does not believe in palliatives and half-measures. We believe in doing it properly or not doing it at all. It is for this reason that all the 68 roads we have so far competed in Abia State, along with 108 ongoing ones, from the inception of our administration have come with drainages on both sides. It is our firm commitment that no road built during our tenure will collapse and require rebuilding and I am proud to note that all the roads which were hitherto failing every year prior to our coming into office have withstood 3 years of various elements and they are still standing strong.
Our commitment to excellence is unwavering. We will always ensure that Abia State get the best and we will never rest until we get to that excellent destination that motivated our founding fathers to work assiduously for the creation of Abia State.
Let me at this juncture assure our workers and Abians in general that we have set machinery in place to tackle observed gaps in regular salary payment in some of our parastatals, teachers and pensioners. Our focused and painstaking effort has already ensured that primary school teachers in the state have joined workers in our ministries, Departments and Agencies in being up to date with salaries. We are hopeful that with measures we have put in place, affected workers in our parastatals will soon join the MDAs and primary school teachers in being up to date while pensioners will see further improvements in the payment of their outstandings.
Last week, I held a Town Hall Meeting with Primary School Teachers in Abia State where they confirmed to me that all their salary backlogs have been cleared and that their salaries are now up to date. Recall that I had set up a committee to ensure the clearance of all outstanding salaries by December 2018 and I wish to give the assurance that we will not go back on our word.
Ndi Abia Ndi nwem, I am glad to announce to you that our strategy for the rapid socio-economic renaissance of Abia State has started yielding bountiful fruits. I had undertaken economic missions to market the attractiveness of Abia State for business and investment and those we went to woo have started responding positively. In June this year, in Beijing, China, we signed a Multi-Billion Dollar Memorandum of Understanding for the investment of the Ruyi Group, a global conglomerate, in the Enyimba Economic City and adjoining existing businesses. This investment will see to the establishment of a world-class garment factory as well as commercial roll out of independent power systems to support rapid industrialization of the Abia South Senatorial zone of the state.
I was equally in Argentina sometime last year to understudy their Agricultural Processing technology. Today, we have secured the commitment of funding partners to commit millions of Dollars into the establishment of a Cassava Processing plant with a pilot at Umuahia.
Other investments in the Abia North Senatorial Zone are nearing fruition and I will announce them once we have secured firm commitments.
These investments are in tandem with our strategic development plan which saw us designate Abia South Senatorial Zone as our Industrial Belt, Abia North Senatorial Zone as our Agricultural Belt and Abia Central Senatorial Zone as our Agro-Processing and Administrative Belt. We are firmly on course and we will get there.
Let me use this opportunity to reaffirm that our administration, and indeed the generality of our people, believes in the supremacy, authority and ultimate will of God almighty. Our founding fathers rightfully named Abia State God’s Own State and whatever we do, we will continue to uphold the supremacy of God as our ultimate guide and helper.
Dear Abians, the 2019 general elections are upon us. The only guarantee you have of choosing those who govern you is the Permanent Voters Card.
I therefore use this opportunity to implore us all to go and get our voters card so that we can participate fully in the elections early next year and elect the leaders of our choice.
In the same vein, as politicians begin to traverse the length and breadth of Abia State canvassing for votes, I urge everyone to bear in mind that this is God’s own State and we must do everything possible not to bring the name of this State to disrepute. Let us all conduct our activities decorously and peacefully and remember that at the end of it all, we are all brothers and sisters.
Permit me at this juncture to pay special tribute to all Abians wherever they are who in their various corners, unnoticed and unheralded, are making the State proud in various fields of endeavour. We may not see you, we may not single you out for commendation but I commit you all to the God who sees in secret and rewards in the open. May your endeavours be blessed.
It is yet morning on creation day. We have come very far but we still have ways to go and I have no doubt that we are on the right path. What we have put on ground today gives me hope that surely, our tomorrow shall be better than our today.
I congratulate you all on this anniversary and my prayer is that the good Lord will continue to bless you and bless Abia State.
I thank you all for listening and I say happy 27th Anniversary.