GOODWILL MESSAGE BY DR. OKEZIE IKPEAZU, GOVERNOR OF ABIA STATE ON THE OCCASION OF THE 2017 ABIA DAY CELEBRATION
1. I bring to the good people of Abia State the best wishes of the day.
2. To the glory of God, today makes it 26 years since that beautiful day on August 27, 1991 when the Federal Military Government of General Ibrahim Babangidaproclaimed the creation of Abia State.
3. Since that epochal day, we have journeyed steadily on the path of growth, development and the fulfillment of the aspirations of our founding fathers.
4. I urge you today to look upon the future with hope for I state without equivocation that we are marching firmly to our promised land.
5. It has pleased God to set me on the saddle of Abia State at this period as the actualizer of the aspirations of the people of our beloved state and it is a call I wake up to everyday with renewed vigour and determination. I have no doubt in my mind that Abia ga adi ukwu and I call on all Abians to step out daily with the same conviction.
6. Every truly great state and country got there not because her people were pessimistic and negative about the future of the state but because there was a sense of pride and ownership – a belief in a shared destiny with the state and a resolution by the people to do all they can every new day to make the state great.
7. The journey to the greatness of Abia State is a collective task. It is not left only for those in Government or in positions of authority in different strata of the society. Every Abian and resident of Abia State has a collective duty to contribute human and material resources to the greatness of this state.
8. I wish to pay special tribute to all of you for the sacrifices you have made so far and the abnegations you have willingly forgone for the good of the state. May the Lord in Heaven lavishly recompense your sacrifices and labours of love.
9. We have tried to run an open government where we have taken deliberate steps to continually keep the people informed about developments in our state as it concerns our commonwealth and shared aspirations.
10. Inspite of the challenges we have been experiencing since we assumed office, we have not faltered, we have not despaired and we have not sought for excuses.
Rather, we have resolutely confronted the challenges before us and the results are evident for all to see.
11. From road construction across the state to sustained educational excellence, qualitative healthcare to an innovative agricultural revolution, social mobilization to the gainful engagement of our youths, our administration has set new standards in the delivery of the dividends of democracy.
12. Today, our state is the toast of the Federal Government and diverse development partners because we looked inwards and championed the innate qualities of our people – hardwork, resilience, entrepreneurship – and told our story.
13. The country is listening to us and great opportunities are unfolding. I call on our youths to eschew all acts of division and disunity and embrace peace and hardwork for our salvation lies in our own hands. May God continue to bless the works of our hands.
14. As we go on, we will yet do more. We do not see challenges. We only see possibilities and I assure you that the possibilities and opportunities to make our state great are endless. We have set our hands on the plough and we shall succeed.
15. I dedicate the celebration of this year’s Abia Day to our just departed foremost father and elder statesman, Sir Bob Ogbuagu (Dee Bob). He was a major driving force of this event over several years under the aegis of the Abia State Elders Advisory Council and today, I am sad that he is not here with us as he has been over the years. I extend my deepest condolences to his family and assure them that the loss of Dee Bob is not theirs alone but that of the entire State who have lost an icon and a father. May his beautiful soul rest in perfect peace.
16. To our founding fathers, both dearly departed and those still here with us, I assure you that your labours shall never be in vain. We will uphold the torch and keep the flame of your desire for Abia State alight. Abia ga adiukwu.
17. I end with the last line from our State Anthem which we launched here on this day last year and which embodies our story and our beliefs. Egbe bere, Ugobere, Igwe bu ike. Chukwu Gozie Abia.
Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, Ph.D
Governor, Abia State