FEATURE ARTICLE

Tuesday, July 9, 2019
[email protected]
New York, New York, USA
DR OKEZIE IKPEAZU: THE IRREDEEMABLE GOVERNOR

he term "Irredeemable" is not a word that anyone should easily or carelessly associate or ascribe to any individual because of the inherent redemptive abilities of the human race. However, with the Abia State Governor and judging from his job performance after his first four years in office, it is evidently obvious that this is a naked man who cannot be expected to offer anyone any clothes, hence I have no problem, after watching his first 100 days in his second term confidently say the man is beyond redemption. In politics, the best indicator of what one will do in the future is what he or she did in the past and if that parameter is used in the case of this Governor there is no doubt the Abia people are definitely heading into another four years of governmental ineptitude.

After the last Governorship elections, I resolved not to bother myself anymore with political events in Abia state. My frustration was not so much that an unfit Governor like Okezie Ikpeazu was re-elected but more with the apparent failure and docility of the Abia electorate in not only resisting but also enabling his rigging effort. More disappointing is a section of the citizenry who got deceived and carried away by the Governor's deliberate, calculated and explicit effort to divide the electorate with his blatant appeal to their ethnic animus with his talk about "equity". However, after seeing a picture of the Governor enjoying himself in faraway Egypt where it is reported he had gone to watch a football tournament while thousands of Abia citizens continue to suffer from the non-payment of their salaries and pensions I felt a bit deranged with anger at this guy's lack of empathy, humanity, compassion for his fellow human beings and his unceasing heartlessness. The reality is that this man is such a dystopian character that bothers on the insane, making it difficult to caricature a caricature.

There is no doubt that a majority of the Abia people are completely unhinged by this Governor's incompetence despite the fact that a section of the citizenry have compromised their ideals of civility, communality and unity due to ethnic loyalty and misplaced grievance. While for some people the consequence of Governor Ikpeazu's administrative mediocrity is a complete and total lack of faith in both our political system, process and the quality of leaders produced, people like me and of similar mindset see the man's existence as a constant atmospheric disturbance and irritation. The man's odiousness make sane people wonder how we got here hence when historians look back at this ghastly moment in Abia political history and write in great detail the story about this Governor's performance in office generations unborn will be shocked that a leader like him was tolerated and even celebrated in some quarters.

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu as his trip to Egypt and his other many travels indicate is a man whose love for the derivatives of office and the trappings of power is beyond comprehension and credulity. He is a man who will sacrifice whatever and whomever he must on the altar of his own spurious political relevance and magnificence. His presence in Egypt and the purported or perceived effort to acquire more loans, if true, from the African Export/Import bank is an inept display of the wastefulness and poor financial management abilities of this man. His moral conviction or lack thereof is symptomatic of his leadership style in the past four years which is one marked with deception, lack of empathy, corruption, womanizing, drunkenness, false promises, exaggerations, divisiveness, lies and more lies. If I may pose a question to his sycophants, supporters and apologists, what happened to his Ossissioma flyover bridge, his world class poultry, his shoe factory, the Aba Economic zone, just to mention a few? The reality is that none is going to come to fruition even if we give this man another 8 years in office because he is a con man, political opportunist and illusionist who has the naked audacity to insult our consciousness and sensibilities to the extent that the Abia people have allowed him to.

Despite the fact that the Ikpeazu administration is a satirical emollition of what good governance is all about we unfortunately have a morally bankrupt Abia elite comprised of clueless stakeholders, cowardly past military leaders, crooked traditional rulers and fake financially compromised religious leaders who for the right sum of money will invite the Governor to come and kneel down on their podiums for prayer and blessings. Collectively these are a group of people whose values and morals have been compromised, their voices silenced and whose legacies will forever live in infamy. Regretfully what we have in Nigeria today and indeed in Abia state is a political process that offers or dangles the process of enormous riches as a consequence of which plenty of charlatans rush forward and present themselves for office.

It is no surprise therefore that the likes of Orji Uzor kalu, T.A Orji, Enyinnaya Abaribe, Chinedu Orji and a host of others have continued to bestride and dominate Abia political landscape while more than just developing a culture of content the Abia citizenry have internalized a culture of complacency. We in Abia, continue to redouble our political ugliness, suffer fools willingly, tolerate governmental wickedness, condole inhumanity as well misrepresent reality to our political detriment. Governor Ikpeazu's malign indifference to the sufferings of the Abia people, his continued subservience to the Ochendo family, his preference for sycophants, and incompetent neophytes as his political appointees instead of experts and technocrats, his voracious appetite for the amoralities of daily life, his lack of vision, his habitual malfeasance, corrupting tendencies, his inherent inabilities and lack of capacity will be the continued undoing of Abia state for the next four years if his re-election is allowed to stand by the elections tribunal.

As one English writer Nate White, recently said about a certain president, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu js a man without charm, class, credibility, compassion, warmth, wisdom, vision, subtlety, sensitivity, self-awareness, honor, grace or humility-all qualities demanded and expected from a transformational leader. This man has no inner soul. He kicks the vulnerable or voiceless and the worst part is that he kicks them when they are down. This Governor has treated the unpaid Abia civil servants and pensioners with unbelievable cruelty. His lack of empathy is beyond comprehension. If I may paraphrase Nate White's famous words in another way as it applies to this Governor, 'God knows there have always been stupid people in the world and plenty of wicked people too. But rarely has stupidity been so wicked or wickedness so stupid". One thing is for certain, history will not judge this Governor well nor posterity kind to him. Karma is real. In the end we all reap what we sow just as generations unborn will never escape the sins of their forebears.

For each one of us, politician or ordinary citizen it is not how much money we make or have or what positions we occupy in life, our success will be judged and defined by what we did to improve the lives of others. For me, I will from time to time try to explain the governmental atrocities of Dr Okezie Ikpeazu as well as praise him in those rare cases when he exhibits a sense of good judgment mindful that explanation is not justification, nor does maintaining a critical perspective necessarily make one bias or unreliable. In conclusion I will say this much to the Abia people, you have to demand and fight for your freedom from this band of crooks who have dominated Abia politics for the last 20 plus years. Watch carefully and resist your Governor lest he donates land for RUGA if the president threatens to unleash the EFCC on him. Bear in mind also that Politics is total war and that no one has the right to be a conscientious objector. To those who continue to support and excuse this Governor's incompetence, note that "having a fake friend is worse and more dangerous than having five real enemies". This man is not a friend of the Abia people rather he is a clear and present danger to their progress and the future of the state.

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