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Our security strategy is working, we have transformed Aba – Abia Gov, Ikpeazu [Interview]




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 reworked 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 scenario within the nation in the meanwhile. It’s a nationwide problem however in latest 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 scenario that’s as unhealthy as what we expertise presently in different elements of the nation, particularly, the frontline states within the northeast, however that isn’t to say that the insecurity scenario in Nigeria just isn’t evident. Attempting to color the current scenario 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 without doubt 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 legislation enforcement infrastructures and personnel. Strange individuals, businessmen, and merchants should not immediately impacted however we wish complete peace and safety as no person might be joyful to do enterprise when bullets are flying far and wide. 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 data round actions of individuals which are unusual and strange and we have now arrange a construction that may resolve this shortly.

Once more we give advisory based mostly on the curiosity we have now. We advise our individuals on what to do and what to not do by 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 believe that the problem of our nation remains to be depending on three issues which embody injustice, ethnicity and faith. It’s nonetheless depending on these items and I’ve those 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 may very well be addressed on time, what do you suppose?

Sure, however strategically talking, I believe 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? No less than, there ought to be nightlife.

There must be life for there to be nightlife and the way 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’s not indefinite so to talk, it’s simply to say that if there’s an enchancment, we’ll take different selections. This might be based mostly on the suggestions we get. If by this night we get info that we should always raise, we’ll raise, however you understand that Abia State is on the centre of seven states, a few of 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 particular person in management place ought to naturally prioritize safety points. We should always undertake fast and clever motion. Choices round safety shouldn’t be issues based mostly on what the newspapers are saying or what the web is saying. I believe selections ought to be based mostly on what I believe we have to do to guard lives and property.

Let’s speak about COVID-19. We went spherical city at this time 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 day by 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 find yourself pressed economically and I believe 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 in search of a option to even produce what we eat, so our emphasis just isn’t the way to do it a greater manner, it’s simply the way to do it. So individuals are pressed on all sides at this time, the financial system is unhealthy amid insecurity. So as a result of they need to survive, the COVID-19 venture has turn into secondary. Whether or not it’s proper or mistaken is a matter for dialogue, however if you end up speaking to any person, it’s important to watch out about how the particular person responds, so that it’s going to 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 individuals to respect a few of these protocols put in place, what about Vaccination for Abians?

Definitely, 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 individuals are involved about what to eat. They’ve gone as much as start to suppose on the way to be secure and put meals on the desk, that wouldn’t cease authorities from doing what authorities desires 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 flexibility 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’s going to get to a degree the place individuals 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 individuals. I used to be joyful at this time that once I went to church, it was marketed they usually 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 consistently interfacing with others and people inside a sure age bracket.

Your administration has three years extra. Are you glad thus far 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 believe we simply have to 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 range and the methods to sort out identical range. 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 below 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 attempting 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 at this time that you simply had been transferring round Aba and obtained 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. Which you could see Dominos, Rooster Republic and others reveals we’re again on observe. In the event you 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 have now arrange a sneakers manufacturing unit, the truth that we’re nearly on the verge of organising a garment manufacturing unit, it implies that we’re particular and intentional about doing one thing within the garment and leather-based sub-sectors. We’ve enabled commerce and commerce come what may. That Abia final month or two months in the past got here third in overseas direct funding implies that we have now performed one thing.

The issue we have now all the time had as a rustic is the difficulty of continuity and sustainability. Are you taking a look at this since you could have only a few years in workplace? Does this not fear you?

A lot of the roads you noticed at this time 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’ve arrange what we name Youth Highway Upkeep Corps. As I communicate, a few of the youths are present process coaching. Any further, highway 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 a few of 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 mild right here, however at this time we have now 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 preserve these items. So we’re progressively organising constructions that may comply with up with the upkeep of all Abia tasks.


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