Odimegwu Onwumere

It appears that the Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has started governing with the principle that the meaning of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers. It was a joyous thing to hear on radio and read in the newspapers that he has awarded seven roads to contractors for reconstruction and construction in Aba.

It is a good vivacity because Aba has been many times talked about, abused and appraised in assorted places for its unkempt look. The roads that were awarded were given to include the Umuocham Road (1.7km) awarded to Ferotex Construction Company Limited, Old Express Road (6km) awarded to Irishgreen Global Concepts, Ukaegbu (1.4km), Umuola (1.4km) and Ehere (700 metres) roads awarded to Macol Construction Company Limited.

Others were Kamalu Road (1.5km) awarded to Raycon and Faulks Road by Ariara (5.5km) awarded to Bills Limited Civil Engineering. That gives the impression that love is the foundation of this government. It also appears that Ikpeazu has come to tell the people that they should not be afraid of their government for democracy and equity to be fad. With this step, the governor could perhaps be predicting future happiness for Abia State and its people.

Ikpeazu conceivably wants the people to see him as a governor whom his work will speak for without them knowing that he exists. No one is sure if he wants to be like Benjamin Disraeli who in one of his philosophies, said, “I must follow the people. Am I not their leader?” If Ikpeazu could define reality and make it his first responsibility and understood that a leader is a servant, then he would lead well.

He possibly understood that this is the time to grow others having made a success in growing himself overtime. It may be palpable that this governor has come to further the protection of the people. The political-philosophy in banking on roads in Aba is a sign of a government that is showing it is big to give the people majority of what they want and not taking enough from them. Then-again, now that the government wants to portray the semblance of sheep, wolves should not crop-up among the contractors.

With the step, tempo and acceleration of the governor, it means that Abia State will be enjoying a greater facelift if the gingering is maintained. Although many successive governments in the state have done their best to rebuild Aba, but Ikpeazu could outrun them if he does not take any decision in developing Aba for granted. What this means is that, he should not absorb unnecessary excuses from contractors when they fail to deliver on their works.

A government such as Ikpeazu’s should never allow politics to deduce its scope-of-government. It should remember that it is on a Nigerian watch list. If Ikpeazu wants to work for 34hrs in 24hrs, then the contractors should work for 44hrs out of 24hrs. In every government people would always remember the bad side of it, hence Ikpeazu has to be brilliant, apply change mechanisms to attain popularity.

It’s obvious that the governor has not limited work of roads in Aba to the seven awarded roads; he has made a solemn promise that his government will never fail in rebuilding Aba. Again, the people were happy when he reviewed in an examination that he was not only committed to Aba, but to Ndi Abia from all walks of life that could be trailed from Arochukwu to Umunneochi, to Ukwa, to Ikwuano and others. We are looking up to him as he has made a promise that he will treat every person that is from Abia, also doing business in Abia, equally and fairly.

Ikpeazu looks-as-if to have grown overtime and learning continually the art of being a good leader with dictates to Warren Bennis’s belief, saying that the most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born – that there is a genetic factor to leadership. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born. His promise to develop Aba to drive Abia economy speaks a lot. The confidence that has been expressed by the people in Ikpeazu is for him to defend the middle class of which he has historically positioned his government towards not wrecking that confidence.

While Ikpeazu has said that he is to serve the Abia citizenry and to catalyse infrastructure development, catalyse unity in all sphere of human development – politically, economically and socially – and also to catalyse unity among Ndigbo and the South East, wherever they may belong, and also support the overall development of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with Abia making a strong statement as an economic hub in the days ahead, it is expected of Abia people to support him with constructive criticisms where necessary and eschew destructive criticisms where they are unnecessary, so that the government will achieve much in Aba as it has vowed to and beyond.

Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet/Writer; he writes from Rivers State. ( Tel: +2348057778358.

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