It wasn’t difficult for me to give a clear analysis on why Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu recorded a landslide victory at the just concluded gubernatorial election in Abia State.
Callers on the radio program last week Friday all agreed with me that going into the election, Ikpeazu enjoyed a lot of advantages.
Despite negative articles and sponsored propaganda materials by the opposition, Ikpeazu enjoys great support from Abians. Recall that both local and National Opinion Polls prior to election projected Ikpeazu to win because of this factor. People easily identify with Ikpeazu’s humility, accessibility, transparency and accountability. Abians enjoy the fact that he was ready to present himself for scrutiny at all times including live radio and television interactions.
The real voters in Abia State understand what Ikpeazu has put on ground and the need to finish many of his projects going by the quality and great commitment he brought to bear in the polity.
Performance was also a major selling factor. We do not forget where we are coming from. Ikpeazu constructed roads that never experienced vehicular movements for ages. In all the sectors, Ikpeazu’s foots print is visible. His strides in Education saw to the construction of over 340 classroom blocks and 4 model schools with hostels and Staff quarters. Abia for four (4) consecutive times, took first in West African Senior School examinations. Agricultural revolution, the Enyimba Economic City, Nibra shoe factory and other economic clusters that will soon generate income and give employment to thousands of Abians were more feasible and visible than mere promises from the opposition candidates. The spread of his projects across the State, his empowerment programmes and made in Aba drive that touched directly to people are all positive factors that influenced the decision of the electorate. His all inclusiveness and ability to maintain peace and unity in Abia. Under Dr. Ikpeazu, we enjoyed security of lives and properties, Abia became the second safest State in Nigeria as recorded by National bureau of Statistics. Because of these factors, Abia recorded the third highest Foreign Direct investment (FDI) only behind Lagos and Abuja. Abians could not forget all these and the best way to show appreciation was to overwhelmingly return the “Scholar in Governance ” to government house with their votes.
Thirdly, equity favours Ikpeazu. His reelection was seen as a just and fair judgement by Abians coming from Abia South to complete the full circle of power rotation in Abia. It was only fair that Ikpeazu was returned to give credence to the Abia charter of equity that empahasizes on power rotation amongst the three senatorial zones as well as continue to enthrone peaceful coexistence and unity.
Ikpeazu enjoys a good support from Abians but his people supported him more with their bloc votes that have always been a deciding factor in Abia election. UkwaNgwa votes were able to neutralize any shortfall from other zones.
It will be foolhardy to assume that either of the opposition candidates will show strength in any of the UkwaNgwa Local government not when pride and equity played a part. Each candidate showed strength in their areas of dominance. Arochukwu, Isiukwuato and Bende LGAs as expected went to the opposition.
There is a saying that if anyone can win Obingwa, Ugwunagbo, Osisioma and Ohafia votes, the person is as good as a governor. These are the strong deciders not Isiukwuato or Arochukwu.
Another major factor to be considered is the Governor’s promise to complete all ongoing projects embarked by him. People want him to complete these projects so that no opposition will come in and abandon them. Governor Ikpeazu personally made commitments to some communities to ensure the projects are completed. Some of them are life changing projects that will link many communities to major cities in Abia. The available fund for 500km road projects set to be deployed by the Government was considered by Abia voters as a major breakthrough by any Government.
Ikpeazu enjoys huge support and good relationship with Stakeholders. Make no mistake about it, some of the stakeholders are in the opposition parties while some are not into partisan politics. They are our elders and leaders that have held one position or another. Community leaders, traditional institutions and captains of industries. They know the person of Ikpeazu and his commitment towards the growth of the State .They know his antecedents and his burning desire to deliver dividends of good governance.
Overall, Nde Abia spoke through the ballot. Ikpeazu’s reelection represents the will of the masses.
Ikechukwu writes from Ohafia.