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 large, in an effort in the 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 meanwhile. 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 report that we don’t actually have a safety state of affairs that’s as dangerous as what we expertise presently in different components of the nation, particularly, the frontline states within the northeast, however that isn’t to say that the insecurity state of affairs in Nigeria is just not obvious. Attempting to color the current state of affairs within the Southeast or Abia with the identical brush is not going to be precisely truthful. Now having mentioned that, responding on to your query about my State, Abia is likely one of the states within the Southeast, and our problem principally is attempting 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 regulation enforcement infrastructures and personnel. Extraordinary folks, businessmen, and merchants will not be instantly impacted however we wish whole peace and safety as no one will likely be joyful 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 ensure that we deploy gatekeepers, deep into our communities, getting items of knowledge round actions of individuals which are unusual and weird and we’ve got arrange a construction that may resolve this shortly.
Once more we give advisory based mostly on the curiosity we’ve got. We advise our folks on what to do and what to not do via 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 critical scale?
I feel that the problem of our nation remains to be depending on three issues which embody injustice, ethnicity and faith. It’s nonetheless depending on this stuff and I’ve those that perceive the problems higher than myself and I feel 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 feel that on the nationwide stage, how fast is their response to the difficulty? I’m unsure it’s adequate.
Nonetheless speaking on the safety points, there’s a curfew from 6pm to 6am. Do you plan to maintain this indefinitely? What are your plans? At the least, there ought to be nightlife.
There needs to be life for there to be nightlife and methods to 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 are prevalent right here.
That is indefinite?
It isn’t indefinite so to talk, it’s simply to say that if there’s an enchancment, we are going to take different choices. This will likely be based mostly on the suggestions we get. If by this night we get info that we must always raise, we’ll raise, 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 instantly or not directly impacts us. So we’re every thing. Each individual in management place ought to naturally prioritize safety points. We should always undertake fast and clever motion. Selections round safety shouldn’t be issues based mostly on what the newspapers are saying or what the web is saying. I feel choices ought to be based mostly on what I feel we have to do to guard lives and property.
Let’s discuss COVID-19. We went spherical city right this moment and there’s no sporting 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 the case of COVID-19 prevention measures, vaccination drives and others? Are folks even quarantined?
Sure, our numbers and statistics are reported day by day to NCDC and are printed. 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 find yourself pressed economically and I feel I had the privilege of talking on this once I attended a World Financial institution assembly in Washington DC and the dialog we had was round environmentally pleasant methods of manufacturing, lowering the carbon dioxide and ensuring the ozone layer is protected, and I mentioned to them that in Africa, we’re predominantly hungry. We’re on the lookout for a option to even produce what we eat, so our emphasis is just not methods to do it a greater method, it’s simply methods to do it. So individuals are pressed on all sides right this moment, the financial system is dangerous amid insecurity. So as a result of they must survive, the COVID-19 mission has change into secondary. Whether or not it’s proper or improper is a matter for dialogue, however when you find yourself 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 occurring, is there one thing that you’re doing to encourage Abia folks to respect a few of these protocols put in place, what about Vaccination for Abians?
Actually, we’re doing every thing to sensitize and ask state-based leaders and Abia boys to do the advocacy for us, however I say to you that the individuals are involved about what to eat. They’ve gone as much as start to assume on methods to be secure and put meals on the desk, that wouldn’t cease authorities from doing what authorities needs to do. However I’ve to deliver to the fore that success or in any other case on this battle in opposition to COVID-19 relies upon truly on the power of the residents to take accountability for his or her security. You don’t inform an grownup to go away from the solar, we thought it is going to get to a degree the place folks must 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 folks. I used to be joyful right this moment that once 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 always interfacing with others and people inside a sure age bracket.
Your administration has three years extra. Are you happy to date with the goal you set for your self in infrastructure, particularly relating to roads?
I’m not unhappy about the place we’re, however I feel we simply must hold the tempo going. Between 2015 and now, I’ve been attempting to redefine governance. First, no two states are the identical. The issues that confront our states differ and the methods to sort out similar differ. So it’s my expectation that any authorities at inception should have the ability to assemble a pathway that may result in the technique that may be adopted underneath 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 training. And attempting to push these pillars, we wanted to develop what I’d name enablers. What are these issues that might allow these pillars? The very fact right this moment that you just had been transferring round Aba and bought caught within the visitors reveals that one thing is occurring. It reveals that life has returned to this place. It reveals that companies have returned. That you could see Dominos, Rooster Republic and others reveals we’re again on monitor. For those who had come right here prior to now, you’d 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 got arrange a sneakers manufacturing unit, the truth that we’re virtually on the verge of organising a garment manufacturing unit, it signifies that we’re particular and intentional about doing one thing within the garment and leather-based sub-sectors. We have now enabled commerce and commerce someway. That Abia final month or two months in the past got here third in overseas direct funding signifies that we’ve got carried out one thing.
The issue we’ve got all the time had as a rustic is the difficulty of continuity and sustainability. Are you this since you might have only a few years in workplace? Does this not fear you?
Many of the roads you noticed right this moment 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. We have now arrange what we name Youth Highway Upkeep Corps. As I communicate, among the youths are present process coaching. Any more, highway upkeep will likely be within the palms 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 road gentle right here, however right this moment we’ve got over 2000 road lights in Aba. Additionally, you will discover the planted grasses on the center of the highway. That was not the case prior to now. There’s an company manned by our youths that can keep this stuff. So we’re regularly organising constructions that may observe up with the upkeep of all Abia initiatives.
To Be CONTINUED…