…says Abia govt is living in fool’s paradise
Abia State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has reacted to the account of stewardship given on Tuesday by Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu during his address to the people of the state in commemoration of her 28 years anniversary.
APC wished Abians happy 28 years anniversary, but stressed that Ikpeazu’s read out achievement roster was full of empty palatable promises without any reality on ground.
Publicity Secretary of Abia APC, Comrade Benedict Godson, who said he listened to the governor’s address via the app of one of the local radio stations, added that it is unfortunate that Ikpeazu is still reiterating same promises he has being making for over four years with just little editing of sentences.
Earlier before APC’s reaction, Governor Ikpeazu on a live broadcast said, “I wish to reiterate that our cardinal objective in our second term is the completion of all the projects that we began in our first term while laying solid foundations for sustainable job creation for our teeming youths in Abia State.
“We set up a committee to rehabilitate non-functional street lights and install new ones in Aba and Umuahia and I am glad that many of our major streets in both our major cities are brilliantly lit at night at the moment.
“I am glad with the feedback I am getting on the impact of the streetlights on extended business hours, security and general aesthetics in our cities and we are determined to ensure that the initiative is sustained and expanded.”
Speaking on road construction, Ikpeazu said, “Mindful of the difficulty in constructing roads in the rainy season, we have carried out palliative remedial works on many of the bad roads in Umuahia and Aba preparatory to contractors handling them fully returning to site as soon as the rains abate.
“In the meantime, Arab contractors, handling the Aba Road in Umuahia have continued working and they are about completing the Phase 1 of the project. Drainage work is also ongoing on the Phase 2 which will see the project extended to the Port-Harcourt Expressway at Ubakala.
“In a similar vein, China Zonghao, the contractor handling the Osisioma Interchange is also on site and the project is advancing. We have also made appreciable progress on the Ururuka Road, Osusu Road, Udeagbala Road, Port-Harcourt Road, the Abiriba-Nkporo Road, the Umuokpara Ring Road and the Umuene-Omoba Road.
“We are currently concentrating on building new drains and the desilting of blocked ones to allow for free flow of storm water to the natural collection points and as soon as the rains abate, contractors, who have already been mobilized, will resume work on most of our over 95 ongoing road projects across the state.”
He added that is not unaware of the complaints that have been made in certain quarters that his projects are slow and delayed.
He however said his response to that is that his administration is more interested in the quality of projects we undertake than the quantity and the speed of completion.
He stressed that his government has no interest in speedily completing projects for accolades and applause only for the projects to fail shortly after.
The Governor challenged everyone to evaluate all the roads that he has done which he said have remained undented after several rainy seasons over the past 4 years.
On workers salary, Ikpeazu said that all Ministries and Departments in Abia State have received their July 2019 Salaries and are on track to receive their August 2019 Salaries by the end of this month.
He stressed that those being owed are mostly staff of Agencies who receive monthly subventions from Government and who were expected to manage their affairs including payment of staff salaries.
He however said that As the father to all, he has set up a committee headed by the Head of Service of Abia State, Sir Onyii Wamah to work out modalities for the liquidation of these arrears so that they can be up to date like their MDAs counterparts.
However, in a reaction through a phone chat, the APC spokesman told our correspondent that contrary to the governor’s address, Abia is in a terrible condition and deserves better than what Ikpeazu is currently doing.
“All we hear is promises, but if we are to tell ourselves the truth, I think the state government is living in fool’s paradise. He has failed woefully. How can he be talking about streetlights when we don’t have a single good road in the state? What will streetlights be doing on terribly roads?
“I listened to his broadcast as a true Abian and I found out that he’s still making promises even in his second tenure, not knowing that he said same thing four years ago.
“My question to Gov. Ikpeazu is this: if you say you’re lighting up Aba and Umuahia to extend business activities, on which of the roads are you putting up these streetlights? Is it the waterlogged roads we see everyday?
“Talking about extending night businesses, with the roads I’m seeing, where will the transactions and bargaining between buyers and sellers and finally movement of goods be taking place? Is it in the air, land or the artificial sea routes created badly waterlogged roads?
“Or are there two different Aba and Umuahia in Abia State? Are we not talking about same cities we usually check government’s impact every month which remain negative so far? As far as August 2019 is concerned, I want to say it clearly that all the major roads in Aba especially are still in terrible conditions.
“I have the records here with me. Port Harcourt road, Ngwa road, Obohia road, Eziukwu road, Omuma road, Old Express, Ohanku road, Ohazu road and more other roads are currently dead traps and I challenge them.to say otherwise.
“Aba-Owerri road has being under construction since 2015 and they are still doing the drainage. The much talked about Faulks road is gradually fading because, the story of the 5.6km underground drainage he claimed Setraco built at Ife-Obara is not working.
“I listened through the radio some few weeks ago that rain sacked residents within the same Ife-Obara axis he is claiming to have solved the problem of flood there,” Godson said.
Speaking further, he said, “Have you forgotten the much talked about ‘Aba Leather and Garment Industrial City/Cluster, Umukalika,’ in Obingwa LGA? Is it existing today? Today he’s talking about Enyimba Economic City that no block has been laid. The man can talk actually. It’s his gift.
“Have you suddenly forgotten the, $1.5 billion Huajian Chinese Shoe Factory that will provide 30,000 direct and indirect jobs which he kept boasting of in his first tenure? They’ll never tell you anything about it. But I’m sure if you ask them about it they’ve already prepared their lying roster of defense.
“What happened to the six- lane Port Harcourt road with concrete base which he told the whole world that it will be delivered within18 months since May, 2017 when he flagged off the road?
“What happened to the much talked about 5.6KM Underground Ife-Obara Basin Drainage which he claimed he laid pipes from that axis to the Aba River overnight. And where are the evidence of these hyped four grade A contractors he kept talking about?
“This is the same man who vowed to complete all his ongoing projects before the 2019 general elections. He’s still making promises of completing the same Projects three months after been sworn in. Come on, what’s that?
“While other states are talking about implementing the National Minimum Wage, Abia is talking about setting up committees to tackle backlog of salaries. Are we really away of what’s happening elsewhere?
“He has being using same tactics on Abia people for the past four years. During the rain he’ll say the rain stopped road construction. When the rain abate, he’ll claim there’s no money as the state has not received one fund or the other.
“Until we learn to call a spade a spade and not a farm implement or a big spoon in Abia, nothing will work out for us. Okezie Ikpeazu is simply good at talking and I give him kudos for that.
“We pray God Almighty touches his heart to realize that Abia people are suffering and in serious need of help which he can easily render by doing only the needful.”