The Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has opened up on how he’s tackling insecurity in Abia State, highlighting on this interview with DAILY POST Editor, Adoyi Abah Ali and Felicity of Information Central the methods his authorities has employed to sort out the nationwide insecurity.
Ikpeazu on this interview reveals how he has remodeled the business metropolis of Aba from a sleeping to a business big, in an effort in direction of a complete commercialization and industrialization of Abia State (The Kinetic Abia)
Thanks very a lot for the chance and congratulations in your anniversary. I wish to begin this dialog from the safety state of affairs within the nation in the mean time. It’s a nationwide problem however in current instances, there was a spike in locations like Abia and Imo States. What are you doing to assist handle this?
I need to place it on file that we don’t actually have a safety state of affairs that’s as unhealthy as what we expertise presently in different components of the nation, particularly, the frontline states within the northeast, however that’s not to say that the insecurity state of affairs in Nigeria shouldn’t be obvious. Making an attempt to color the current state of affairs within the Southeast or Abia with the identical brush won’t be precisely truthful. Now having stated that, responding on to your query about my State, Abia is without doubt one of the states within the Southeast, and our problem mainly is making an attempt to deal with some individuals who really feel aggrieved over imbalance, those that really feel cheated by the federal authorities. This has led to some assaults.
However this problem has been majorly directed at establishments and legislation enforcement infrastructures and personnel. Bizarre individuals, businessmen, and merchants are usually not immediately impacted however we wish whole peace and safety as no person might be completely happy to do enterprise when bullets are flying in all places. It doesn’t matter who the goal is, so for us right here, what we attempt to do is to to begin with be sure that we deploy gatekeepers, deep into our communities, getting items of knowledge round actions of individuals which can be unusual and strange and we’ve arrange a construction that may resolve this rapidly.
Once more we give advisory primarily based on the curiosity we’ve. We advise our individuals on what to do and what to not do by way of public enlightenment. We simply got here again from a 17 native authorities tour, which concerned conventional leaders, church leaders, youth leaders, hunters, farmers, merchants, and everybody throughout native governments. The dialogue is why are we pouncing on ourselves? Why are we doing this? Why are we placing the issues on a extra severe scale?
I believe that the problem of our nation remains to be depending on three issues which embrace injustice, ethnicity and faith. It’s nonetheless depending on these items and I’ve folks that perceive the problems higher than myself and I believe they’ve been doing the needful.
It nonetheless stays a collective factor. If each different Governor does what they’re anticipated to do of their states, this might be addressed on time, what do you assume?
Sure, however strategically talking, I believe that on the nationwide degree, how fast is their response to the difficulty? I’m unsure it’s ok.
Nonetheless speaking on the safety points, there’s a curfew from 6pm to 6am. Do you propose to maintain this indefinitely? What are your plans? Not less than, there must be nightlife.
There needs to be life for there to be nightlife and transfer on. We are attempting to guard life and property earlier than now you can make a selection on whether or not to be regular or to do your issues within the day, so the curfew is our effort to answer the challenges which can be prevalent right here.
That is indefinite?
It’s not indefinite so to talk, it’s simply to say that if there may be an enchancment, we’ll take different choices. This might be primarily based on the suggestions we get. If by this night we get info that we must always elevate, we’ll elevate, however that Abia State is on the centre of seven states, among the states are within the South-South, some are within the Southeast, so being on the confluence offers us benefit, however on this case, it’s a drawback. No matter occurs in a few of these states immediately or not directly impacts us. So we’re taking a look at the whole lot. Each individual in management place ought to naturally prioritize safety points. We should always undertake fast and clever motion. Choices round safety shouldn’t be issues primarily based on what the newspapers are saying or what the web is saying. I believe choices must be primarily based on what I believe we have to do to guard lives and property.
Let’s discuss COVID-19. We went spherical city right now and there’s no carrying of face masks, no social distancing. I need to ask you as the person on the helm of affairs, what’s the state doing in relation to COVID-19 prevention measures, vaccination drives and others? Are individuals even quarantined?
Sure, our numbers and statistics are reported each day to NCDC and are revealed. The residents of the nation are affected by fatigue, that’s one. Two, there are legal guidelines that govern the system, a few of them are pure and common. If you end up pressed economically and I believe I had the privilege of talking on this after I attended a World Financial institution assembly in Washington DC and the dialog we had was round environmentally pleasant methods of manufacturing, decreasing the carbon dioxide and ensuring the ozone layer is protected, and I stated to them that in Africa, we’re predominantly hungry. We’re on the lookout for a technique to even produce what we eat, so our emphasis shouldn’t be do it a greater manner, it’s simply do it. So persons are pressed on all sides right now, the economic system is unhealthy amid insecurity. So as a result of they must survive, the COVID-19 undertaking has turn into secondary. Whether or not it’s proper or incorrect is a matter for dialogue, however when you’re speaking to someone, it’s important to watch out about how the individual responds, so that it’ll not be a case of taking a horse to the river and the horse refuses to drink.
However in your capability because the Governor and seeing what is going on, is there one thing that you’re doing to encourage Abia individuals to respect a few of these protocols put in place, what about Vaccination for Abians?
Actually, we’re doing the whole lot to sensitize and ask state-based leaders and Abia boys to do the advocacy for us, however I say to you that the persons are involved about what to eat. They’ve gone as much as start to assume on be secure and put meals on the desk, that wouldn’t cease authorities from doing what authorities needs to do. However I’ve to carry to the fore that success or in any other case on this battle in opposition to COVID-19 relies upon really on the power of the residents to take duty for his or her security. You don’t inform an grownup to go away from the solar, we thought it’s going to get to a degree the place individuals should take heed to the protocols due to their well being and their family members.
For the vaccine, as a subnational authorities, we’re depending on how a lot of the vaccine that had been delivered to Abia State and for our individuals. I used to be completely happy right now that after I went to church, it was marketed and so they went into particulars of which class of individuals ought to first be vaccinated, ranging from the medical and frontline officers, enforcement officers, those that are continuously interfacing with others and people inside a sure age bracket.
Your administration has three years extra. Are you happy to this point with the goal you set for your self in infrastructure, particularly concerning roads?
I’m not unhappy about the place we’re, however I believe we simply have to preserve the tempo going. Between 2015 and now, I’ve been making an attempt to redefine governance. First, no two states are the identical. The issues that confront our states range and the methods to sort out identical range. So it’s my expectation that any authorities at inception should be capable of assemble a pathway that may result in the technique that may be adopted beneath the circumstance. That was why, right here in 2015, we set a goal for ourselves on 5 pillars – commerce and commerce, Small and Medium Scale enterprises, Agriculture and schooling. And making an attempt to push these pillars, we would have liked to develop what I’d name enablers. What are these issues that will allow these pillars? The actual fact right now that you just had been transferring round Aba and received caught within the visitors reveals that one thing is going on. It reveals that life has returned to this place. It reveals that companies have returned. Which you can see Dominos, Hen Republic and others reveals we’re again on monitor. If you happen to had come right here prior to now, you’ll have had a clearer image of what it was again then. The truth that Golden Guinea has come again to life, the truth that we’ve arrange a sneakers manufacturing facility, the truth that we’re nearly on the verge of organising a garment manufacturing facility, it signifies that we’re particular and intentional about doing one thing within the garment and leather-based sub-sectors. Now we have enabled commerce and commerce by hook or by crook. That Abia final month or two months in the past got here third in international direct funding signifies that we’ve finished one thing.
The issue we’ve at all times had as a rustic is the difficulty of continuity and sustainability. Are you taking a look at this since you’ve gotten only a few years in workplace? Does this not fear you?
A lot of the roads you noticed right now are rigid-based roads. What you see is the asphalt overlay however beneath it’s cement. These roads can keep for 40 years. However we didn’t cease at that. Now we have arrange what we name Youth Highway Upkeep Corps. As I converse, among the youths are present process coaching. To any extent further, street upkeep might be within the fingers of the youths native authorities by native authorities. The agenda is nothing however to run operation zero portholes. That is one instance of among the establishments we are attempting to arrange. We even have Abia Highway Infrastructural Upkeep Company. Earlier than I got here in, there was no avenue mild right here, however right now we’ve over 2000 avenue lights in Aba. Additionally, you will discover the planted grasses on the center of the street. That was not the case prior to now. There may be an company manned by our youths that can preserve these items. So we’re step by step organising buildings that may comply with up with the upkeep of all Abia initiatives.
To Be CONTINUED…