‘The Next Administration in Abia state will be a PDP Government’

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Nseobong Okon-Ekong interacts with Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State on some of the commendable achievements of his administration

Quest for affordable housing for Abia people

My administration will, at all times, be willing and prepared to support any initiative that will make life better for the people of Abia State, especially in the area of the provision of affordable housing for our people.

Affordable housing remains a critical need of the citizenry and no responsible government will ignore any opportunity for partnership with any individual or corporate organization for this purpose.

The Abia State Government is ready to ensure that workers cooperative societies especially those who come under the National Housing Programme are assisted to achieve their dream projects of building housing units for their members.
Earlier in the year, as part of the activities marking this year’s Armed Forces Rememberance Day, we presented two brand new four bedroom bungalows, each with boy’s quarters to the Nigerian Army and the Police as official residence of the Heads of the Army and Police formations in the Obingwa area of Abia State.
We did to demonstrate that this administration places top premium on the provision of security as a key enabler for development in our state. The huge investments in supporting security agencies in the state are deliberate steps aimed at raising the morale of the officers and optimizing their operational efficiency.

The provision of decent accommodation is a key factor in ensuring that our security men carry out their legitimate responsibilities effectively and especially when such accommodations are located within their areas of operation.

We do not have to wait till our soldiers and police officers die before honoring the great work they do in keeping us safe. My administration will continue to provide support to our security agencies.

The two houses will serve as official residences of the Commander of the Army Squad at Ohanze and the Divisional Police Officer in charge of the Eastern Ngwa Police Division at Umuobiakwa. These two security formations play very critical roles in ensuring the security of lives and properties of the people of Obingwa and its environs, and as such are truly deserving of the gesture.
The Eastern Ngwa Police Divisional headquarters has been at Umuobiakwa for close to three and a half decades with no official residence for the DPO who most times comes to work from outside the area.

This is a challenge to the security chiefs to make adequate use of the buildings. They have a responsibility to protect and manage it well for their use and for their successors going forward.

On Politics of inclusiveness

Wherever we find an Abia person doing well, he or she should be encouraged. He does not even need to be a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). For instance we facilitated the election of one Ambassador Okey Emuchay as the Secretary General of the Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide. He is an illustrious son of Ukwa. The people are industrious, hardworking, trustworthy and as such deserving of every opportunity to serve our state and our country.

The people of Ukwa have always distinguished themselves in public service from time immemorial which explains the reason behind the selection of Ukwa indigenes to hold key positions in my government. Beyond their natural endowments, the people of Ukwa have contributed greatly to the development of Abia State and Nigeria.
He urged them to uphold those excellent virtues of hardwork and dignity in public service which has defined their roles over the years. I recall the exploits of great Ukwa sons like Late Dr. Emuchay, Late Chief E C Adiele, Eze Dr. Rowland Asobie, Late Eze Dr. Feyi Waboso, Dame Victoria Akanwa, Late Chief Lambert Nmecha and Engr Reginald Stanley who played and continue to play key roles in public and professional life.
I challenge the present crop of Ukwa leaders from Ndoki and Asa to continue to uphold those attributes which have been associated with Ukwa people over the years.

The Government of Abia State found great pleasure in marketing the candidature of Ambassador Okey Emuchay to other governors of the South-east and other notable leaders because he possesses unassailable records of public service at the highest level in the country, having risen to the zenith of his diplomatic service as an Ambassador. I know Ambassador Emuchay will discharge his duties as Secretary of Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide with the same dignity and commitment that defined his days in the diplomatic service and wished him well in his new assignment. I further challenged the people of Ukwa to stand behind their sons and daughters who hold high public offices at all times and find a way to always communicate with them on a regular basis.

Under the Ikpeazu administration, an Ukwa son, Rt Hon. Asiforo Okere is the current State Chairman of the PDP, another Ukwa son, Sir Don Ubani is the current Deputy Chief of Staff in the office of the Deputy Governor while Professor O M Ogbulu was recently appointed Vice Chancellor of the Abia State University, amongst many others. These are unprecedented in the political history of the people of Ukwa.
Senator Adolphus Wabara is the Pro Chancellor of the Abia State University.

Bid to build a bigger and better Peoples Democratic Party in the state

The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State remains the party of choice in the State and as such, all hands must be on deck to consolidate on the gains and strenght of the party in the state. The party remains as strong as ever in the state. I want to restated my strong membership of the party and hereby dismiss rumors of any alleged defection plans.

I challenge stakeholders of the party at all levels to close ranks and work in harmony with leaders of the party. Let me reassure party stakeholders that there is no cause for alarm over the rumored defection of party members to other parties. The two persons who left the party did so because I refused to make a commitment to hand over to them automatic tickets of the party for the 2023 election. Let me make it clear that I have no regrets over my stance because it was too early in the day to make such commitment to any person. When the time is right, the party will choose her candidates. I advise party members not to allow personal ambitions to override party supremacy at a time when the general elections are almost two years away.

It is my pleasure to congratulate the newly elected Executive Chairmen of the 17 Local Government Areas in the state and I urge them to embark on people oriented projects in their areas and always ensure that they keep the communication channels open between them and members of the party in their councils.

I can assure party members that the baton I received from the last administration will remain intact with me and by the grace of God, the next administration in the state will be a PDP government.

What he is doing for the youths

We must create leaders of tomorrow today. My conviction is to try to imbibe in youths the possibility of excelling even in difficult situations. I will like to see youths that can excel. I see in Abia youths the capacity to become great and add to the economy of the nation. Young people should look inwards as everything they need to survive is available within their immediate environment. There is a need for Abia youths to sustain the resilience and hardwork that they are known for.

My administration will continue to take deliberate steps aimed at preparing young people for the challenges of leadership.
We have invested heavily in the youths of the state in various ways including availing youths of opportunities to hold top positions in my government.
Recently, I was decorated as the Grand Patron of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Abia State Chapter and presentated with an award as The Most Youth Development Support Governor in South-east by the National Executive Council of the National Youth Council of Nigeria.

How he is dealing with insecurity in the state

What we have done is to use every lawful means to protect and safeguard every inch of the territory of Abia State from criminals and marauders.My administration shall resist any form of expansionist agenda, either by communities from neighboring states or from any outlawed group by whatever name they may be called.
We respond to distress calls from the communities on the invasion of their homeland by hoodlums from both a neighboring community in Akwa Ibom State and from a group which had been outlawed by the Federal Government that sought to establish a base in the community. For instance, we have made it clear that Akirika Obu Community in Ukwa East LGA is a part and parcel of Abia State, and as such, my government will take every lawful step to protect it from any form of unlawful invasion.

The lingering boundary dispute between the Akirika Obu Community and their neighbors in Ika Local Government of Akwa Ibom State, is before the National Boundaries Commission and until a final determination is made, Akirika Obu remains in Abia State and I will do my duty as governor by ensuring that the status quo is maintained, and especially that the lives and properties of the people are safeguarded.

Let the community cooperate with the soldiers during their stay and allow them to carry out their primary assignment there. We hereby warn against using the soldiers for the resolution of civil disputes amongst them. This administration will continue to provide logistics support to the soldiers to ensure that they have minimum comfort in the area.

Focus on the Abia Economic Plan

One of the things that I will like this administration to be remembered for is its focus on its economic plan geared towards massive job creation and enhancing the well being of Abians.My administration hinges its development on five pillars and I have vigorously pursued it with the aim of bringing development to all facets of the state’s economy.

Permit me to point out that this administration has created enabling environment for businesses to thrive which have in turn attracted investors as well as equipped the youths through creation of various industrial clusters, empowerment and skills acquisition programmes in leather works, garment and automated shoe making and agriculture thus creating job opportunities for the teeming youths.

My government embarked on aggressive construction of link roads to major economic zones in Abia to drive trade and commerce which he said are the main fulcrum of the state’s economy.

We are focused on our economic plans and all the roads were are doing are enablers. The roads we do in Abia are of economic value to create access for trade and commerce which is the major fulcrum of the state’s economy. All of the things we do in technical education and health are to support the economic development in the areas of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises. We are focused on bringing a private sector driven economy and we are building to last.
We have done well in the areas of road infrastructure, youth empowerment, agriculture and security among others. I hereby restate commitment and support to the promotion and expansion of made in Abia products and expressed delight that Abia is the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) capital of Nigeria.

Plans are underway to establish a Garment Factory in Abia, to complement the already established Shoe Factory, as well as an Agro Allied Cottage Industry in 10 out of the 17 local government areas of the state before the end of the year. These will focus on oil palm processing, cassava, rice milling amongst others.

For instance, we will support the Human Resource Development Centre of the Nigeria Correctional Service towards ensuring the successful completion of its Shoe and Garment Industry at the Aba Medium Correctional Center.

Abia is known as the home of SME because of its giant strides in the leather and garment Industry. I am delighted that the Nigerian Correctional Services has keyed into the transformation agenda of my administration by establishing a Shoe and Garment Factory in Aba, shortly after we established a similar venture in Aba.
I appreciate the strategic importance of the Nigerian Correctional Services as a centre for character reformation and reintegration.

I applaud the officers of the Nigerian Correctional Services, Abia State Command for their hardwork and determination and encourage them to continue to show courage and tenacity in the discharge of their duties.

Commitment to welfare of workers

My administration will always prioritize salary payment to workers regularlyin the interest of industrial harmony in the state.

However, we need to remind the workers that they must also appreciate the genuine challenges that face the government especially in the face of dwindling revenues and called for the understanding and cooperation of workers when such issues come up, especially in situations where they are caused by supervening events such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the new Government House project

Let me reiterate my resolve in ensuring that the new Government House located at Ogurube Layout, Umuahia is completed before I leave office in 2023.

I am satisfied that the contractor is now back on site. I visited the place recently to see the quality of work and to ensure they are working in line with specifications.

Presently, the contractor is doing electrical, plumbing and tilling works as plastering had been completed. We encouraged the contractor to expedite work to achieve the plan of completing the project in good time. I will move into this place and use it before I leave office as Governor in 2023.
The new Government House Complex Project was initiated and commenced by the administration of former Governor T A Orji.

QUOTE 1

We are focused on our economic plans and all the roads were are doing are enablers. The roads we do in Abia are of economic value to create access for trade and commerce which is the major fulcrum of the state’s economy. All of the things we do in technical education and health are to support the economic development in the areas of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises. We are focused on bringing a private sector driven economy and we are building to last. We have done well in the areas of road infrastructure, youth empowerment, agriculture and security among others. I hereby restate commitment and support to the promotion and expansion of made in Abia products and expressed delight that Abia is the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) capital of Nigeria. Plans are underway to establish a Garment Factory in Abia, to complement the already established Shoe Factory, as well as an Agro Allied Cottage Industry in 10 out of the 17 local government areas of the state before the end of the year

QUOTE 2

I challenge stakeholders of the party at all levels to close ranks and work in harmony with leaders of the party. Let me reassure party stakeholders that there is no cause for alarm over the rumored defection of party members to other parties. The two persons who left the party did so because I refused to make a commitment to hand over to them automatic tickets of the party for the 2023 election. Let me make it clear that I have no regrets over my stance because it was too early in the day to make such commitment to any person. When the time is right, the party will choose her candidates. I advise party members not to allow personal ambitions to override party supremacy at a time when the general elections are almost two years away. It is my pleasure to congratulate the newly elected Executive Chairmen of the 17 Local Government Areas in the state and I urge them to embark on people oriented projects in their areas and always ensure that they keep the communication channels open between them and members of the party in their councils