Prior to 2019 general elections, the road map to recovery of Aba interms of road infrastructure was already clear to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State. He campaigned on the strength of this conviction that majority of the roads in Aba will, for the first time experience a turn around.
It was difficult for a collective mass of people to believe. The reason was simple. looking at the humongous and massive task, the level of decay, years of neglect and sundry promises made by previous governments, it was to many, another strategy deployed to get their votes.
Those who believe in the integrity of Dr. Ikpeazu aligned with his campaign. While many saw promises, others saw plans and willingness to change the narrative.
Few months after Dr. Ikpeazu was declared winner for the second term in 2019, considerable number of Abians including supporters of the Governor ran out of patience. Work was not going at the pace they expected. All efforts to explain to them that road plans, designs and other paper works must be properly structured, fell on deaf ears.
Amidst all the shortcomings, the oppositions that grew wings, the doubts, accusations of corruption, barrage of insult, sponsored comedy skits ; work must continue. With tact and diplomacy, Ikpeazu handled them all. People held more of his promises when things started happening. They saw it happening.
Like a shot in the back, a turn around was witnessed. Ikpeazu caterpillars started moving into the hinterlands. Some places considered desolate, barren, dreaded and abandoned.
Ikpeazu was gradually making history.
Ikpeazu reiterated his promise in his January 2021 new year speech.
“The reconstruction of the Ngwa Road, Uratta, Ohanku and Obohia Roads have commenced under our strategic partnership with the World Bank. This is the first time in about 30 years that any major attempt is being made at doing any meaningful work in this area. This is more than a road project. It includes floodwater management and waste management. We are committed to the completion of these projects”.
Ikpeazu is not careless. He is not lousy. He knew from onset that these places were going to experience a turnaround. He was least bothered about the insults. A man on a mission.
The intervention in electricity he has engaged for years was beginning to take shape. Geometric power has gained more grounds and vowed to power the entire Aba economic city. And a center table, turned to a flyover.
That was another turning point. Things started working for good. Despite the barrage of attacks, many started seeing practicalities of his promises.
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Ikechukwu Iroha is a public analyst
Writes from Ohafia.
Below are old and current pictures of Ngwa road, Obohia, Ohanku and Omuma roa