What tangible development values have Ikpeazu’s friendship with Wike brought to Ndi Abia?
By Onoh Chukwuma Richard
Friendship is a mutually benefitting process. It is best described with the popular saying ‘iron sharpen iron’, friends share goodwill and challenges. one’s success in a mutually friendship setting must also rob on another. In this light, it’s expected that the relationship between the Abia State governor, Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu (Ph.D.) with his Rivers State counterpart, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike translates to sharing and implementing ideas on social infrastructure and human development for the benefit of citizens of both states.
Ikpeazu has publicly followed Wike expending time and resources and both are adjudged good friends, even if on simple political interests, but why Ikpeazu is yet to be challenged by Wike’s commitment to social infrastructure and human development of Rivers State left most of us wondering what manner of friends is the duo. We have watched several times, even at dare challenging moments of leadership needs, Ikpeazu trolling behind Wike in Faraway Italy or France, creating a leadership gap in Abia State already deep in a leadership crisis. One expects that Wike as a good friend would have challenged his newfound love, Ikpeazu to take up development of his state seriously as he has done to Rivers State over seven years as governor. One puzzling issue that needs further investigation is who is funding Ikpeazu’s many foreign trips with Wike, who has hitherto proved to be of economic value to Abia people by looking away from Ikpeazu’s poor leadership qualities, to ensure Ikpeazu is not further squandering Abia State already lean resources on account of ‘I am a Part of the Big Boys’.
Wike and Ikpeazu were seen in London recently, both governors came back together, and Wike has gone back to work inaugurating constructions of two flyover bridges and multiple roads constructions; ironically, our Ikpeazu was honored as Special Guest to inaugurate one of the roads constructions. The question begging for an answer is what tangible development values have Ikpeazu brought to Ndi Abia within this period? Yet he is scheming to replicate himself and join the league of big-boy God-Fathers – this is troubling. Recall Nkporo flood disaster, and Abia Polytechnique de-accreditation were all ragging issues when the governor left on his jamboree trip. Abia State needs rescue on social infrastructural and human development fronts and definitely, none of Ikpeazu’s stooge, he is presenting to Ndi Abia can lead progress in these areas – like the saying ‘show me your friend and I will tell you who you are’.
one expects the reward of their friendship to be tangible eg the construction of Aba-Portharcourt expressway to open up businesses and other developments for both states.
According to data made available to us, Abia as of 2021 used N21.8bn as running cost for the Governor’s Office and N29.3bn on Debt Servicing. If Ikpeazu is sincere as claimed, Abia will be a safe heaven through purposeful leadership and bring to an end the era of owing salaries, gratuity, and pensions as the only legacy of OVI-led administration.
I expected ikpeazu to match action with action by using the taxpayer’s money judiciously and replica the service rendered to Rivers by Wike who will commission a flyover built under 7 years whereas Wike has completed 12 flyovers under seven years.