It was barely a week on the saddle as Governor of Abia State that Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu formally directed all Nigerians and foreigners through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Godwin Adindu on June 5, saying that the designations, His Excellency and Executive Governor, be plunged into a ditch in all official and informal communiqué with him.
His preferred appellation is to be addressed simple as Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, Governor of Abia State. His hypothetical taste for decency was furthered in the press briefing detailing that all contractors, political groups, individuals and party loyalists should not put his photograph on billboards, posters and signage, but to only use the pictures of ongoing projects in their billboards and posters.
The governor’s interventional quest for decency may be a step in the right direction, because Nigerians have held onto many titles bequeathed to them as a result of colonisation for decades. And it is the aplomb time to eschew most of the bigoted titles, just as Ikpeazu has done. It is for the betterment of Abia State and beyond. It may bring about the much needed humility and decorum across the country.
What Ikpeazu’s decision has clandestinely amplified is that the mission of a public office holder should not be to amass titles to himself, but to provide mouthwatering leadership in government that will abet innovations which are critical to overcome chief challenges.
While Ikpeazu might not be the only public office holder with that philosophy of dropping ‘His Excellency’ title, his philosophy portrays and heightens his scholarly practices part of which is to create research and better insights in order to connect with those he is leading for the divulgence of quality leadership.
It is supposed that with the step seen of Ikpeazu, he might be brooding future leaders whom posterity would handover the qualitative tools and techniques to work and govern. Without crumbling on words, it sounds like Ikpeazu started building the government he is superintending today yesterday. He might have a sound mind in knowing that what is key to Abia State and its people as we speak is good governance and not, the legion of titles that one lines his headship’s linen with.
However, the challenge of furthering a cause is always different from sustenance. Like the governor had always told Abia people during and after his electioneering campaign, he has to uphold his philosophy in line with development and sustenance which are paramount in the state.
His government has to touch lives. No matter who may be speaking against Ikpeazu, we need to respect the decision of the electoral umpire which declared him winner of the just concluded governorship election in state till there may be need to prove him otherwise, hence he is Governor of Abia State.
As a man who got his PhD through a graduate school (not a honoris causa awardee) via dint of hard work, that should always ring a bell in his sub-consciousness, because he is expected to be civil in all his dealings. Notwithstanding, he has to be reminded that integrity is not acquired by what one is called, but by upholding one’s word, which is the highest of bonds.
Victorious federal agencies across the world are established on a workplace culture that is laid with a growing admiration for advancement in attaining a goal that centres on mission of commitment to distinction. Let Ikpeazu shut up his critics by taking on road development and maintenance across the state, while not shying away from establishing positive, supportive results-oriented programme in the state.
We are looking up to seeing a great Abia State that will advance in technology, workforce demographics and perfecting theories of its management in all areas of endeavour. It is expected of Ikpeazu, even though that he is just starting, to change and form a formidable landscape in which agencies and parastatals in the state will operate.
Like every other organisation that knows that it faces a critical challenge in today’s world, Abia State under Ikpeazu has to enhance the building and management of its workforce to enable the government move with the speed of change that is expected of it. There are people that the most, could be gotten out of but have no body to connect them; he should look for them, while at the same time, recruiting known top talents.
As a man who has once said that nobody will enforce dictatorial tendencies on him to act above the dictates of governor’s seat, the time of politicking in electioneering campaigns is over; it is time for good governance in Abia State, massaging minds with those that matter around the world, world-class management experts and leading thinkers, to attain an improved Abia State that will challenge the next governments.
Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet/Writer; he writes from Rivers State. (firstname.lastname@example.org). Tel: +2348057778358.