A friend from a sister state asked me how Governor Ikpeazu is getting money for his numerous projects in Abia after I showed him this document (see picture) listing out more than a thousand of Ikpeazu’s projects executed in all the wards of Abia State within his first 4 years.
Don’t forget that as at April 2018 those he defeated in 2014 and 2015 were still dragging him from one court to another as well as sabotaging his efforts to get funds to develop Abia from some lending institutions used by Governor Peter Obi to develop Anambra.
Let me share my response to my media practitioner-friend with you.
Governor Ikpeazu is a very prayerful person. He will not embark on any project without personally committing it to God for divine support. In one of his recent media engagements, he revealed how he started Faulks Road and Port Harcourt – Aba without being sure of how he will fund the projects given the economic recession of those days that made sure that in some months Abia State received between N1.6bn to N1.9bn as federal allocation even when the state’s wage bill was above N2.7bn monthly.
God intervened and gave him a new revenue window which he used to commence the execution of those projects.
When Governor Ikpeazu slashed his salary, allowances and that of his aides by 50%, he did that to mop up funds to execute projects that would help develop Abia. He acted in solidarity with workers and average Abian who also felt the impact of the economic downturn in the nation.
It is a well known fact in Abia State that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu will NEVER demand or ACCEPT kickbacks from contractors working for the state. Not only does he believe that that is legally and morally wrong, he also sees it as potentially negating his capacity to supervise the work being done by the contractor. “What will I do with the money and how can I supervise someone I am taking bribes from?”, he asked during an interview in 2016. Continuing, he said, “When I’m done with this job I will return to my professional work of teaching, work hard and become a professor of clinical biochemistry and enjoy my life with my family…no matter how much money you accumulate in life you will never have the same joy and fulfillment of a man who genuinely worked for his people and humanity. That is why before I sleep everyday I ask myself if I have made any contribution to better the lot of Ndi Abia that day and then plan what to do the next day for the people who graciously elected me as their Governor”.
Due to his style of leadership, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has gained the confidence of contractors with many ready to work with him before receiving their first payment or even their mobilisation fee. They know he will pay as much as possible when he receives money.
For those wondering how Governor Ikpeazu will do more in the coming years of his second tenure, let me drop this information here.
The AfDB/World Bank $100m facility approved for Abia State to fix 500km of roads is ready for commencement of implementation. It is expected that once AfDB completes the process of selecting their contractors, work will begin in earnest, latest early March 2019.
Now you know why Governor Ikpeazu will complete all the projects he started without sweat.
I urge all Abians not to gamble with people they don’t know when they already have a star performer as Governor.