Vanguard Newspaper 14 April 2018
80—SATURDAY Vanguard, APRIL 14, 2018 Ikpeazu: Servant leader on transformation mission By Clifford Ndujihe, Deputy Political Editor DR. Okezie Ikpeazu mounted the saddle of leadership in Abia State on May 29, 2015, on a promising note amid huge expectations. He had the onerous task of assuaging some aggrieved sections of the state, especially Ukwa/Ngwa and Aba, the commercial and industry nerve centre of the state that has been christened God’s Own State. Since 1925, the people of the old Aba Province, populated by the Ukwa/Ngwa have always sought for political power. It was a protracted struggle that took many dimensions through time. Apart from being marginalised in terms of appointments, Aba was also neglected in terms of infrastructural maintenance. Abia political elite, stakeholders and leaders found a solution to the Ukwa/Ngwa and Aba Question in 2015 through the Abia Charter of Equity spear-headed by the immediate past governor, Senator Theodore Orji of the Peoples •Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, Abia State governor...elevating Aba to become Nigeria's SME capital Democratic Party, PDP. The charter zoned the governorship to Abia South where Dr. Ikpeazu hails from because narrative. The time is ripe to use the over College of Education Arochukwu; reactivated Abia North and Abia Central had taken their 110,000 shoemakers and 50,000 garment Aba glass factory; attracted Federal Government turns in 1999-2007 and 2007-2015 respectively. makers as a launching pad to enable Abia to support for MSMEs at Aba; facilitated In spite of the charter, the Aba electorate was truly become the undisputed SME capital of thousands of orders from Navy and others for so aggrieved and peeved with the PDP that Nigeria." Aba made shoes and uniforms valued at over they gave Dr. Ikpeazu the least number of votes To actualise these lofty objectives, Ikpeazu N2b; and partnered with Ford Foundation to on his way to emergence as governor, which had on May 29, 2015, while assuming power, launch international promotion campaigns for is consistent with provisions of the Charter. anchored his developmental agenda on the Made In Aba brands at zero cost the state. Thus, on assumption of power, Ikpeazu had five pillars of agriculture, education, Born on October 18, 1964, to the family of late the option of continuing the ‘abandonment’ of infrastructure, trade, and commerce as well Pa Ishmael and Deaconess Bessie Ikpeazu of Aba and ‘taking care’ of areas that voted for as oil and gas. Umuebere in Umuobiakwa village, Isialaukwu him. Two and a half years after, has he achieved Mbato Autonomous Community in Obingwa However, such thinking is light years away this agenda? Is he on the way to achieving it? Local Government Area of Abia State, the from his ideology and plans for Abia State. Answers to these questions can be got from renowned biochemist, teacher, and administrator His vision/mission is to transform Abia State the numerous projects he has executed in all is the fourth democratically elected governor of into a functional parts of the state in spite of legal distractions Abia State. private sectorled economy The time is Since he got to the office, Ikpeazu has only Renowned from those he trounced at the poll. creating had seven months of peace having spent about opportunities for ripe to use the biochemist 24 months in court to affirm his mandate. After citizens, over 110,000 the Election Tribunal affirmed his election, the improving the Dr. Ikpeazu attended Amaise Central Primary Appeal Court annulled it on August 11, 2016. quality of lives shoemakers School, Umuobiakwa. In 1973, while in primary He appealed and did not have a reprieve until and shaping the five, he gained admission into Eziama High and 50,000 the Supreme Court affirmed his election on state into a School, Aba and later moved to Ihie High May 12, 2017. regional garment School, Isiala Ngwa, where he took his School In spite of the distractions, Dr. Ikpeazu has entrepreneurship Certificate Examination in 1979. In 1980, at the makers as a executed numerous people-oriented projects, hub through age of 16, he gained admission into the a reason he is one of Vanguard’s governors g o o d launching pad University of Maiduguri, UNIMAID, to study of the year. He has so unified the state such governance, Clinical Biochemistry and graduated with a that when the appeal court annulled his, appropriate to enable Abia B.Sc. (Hons.) Second Class Upper Division in stakeholders from the three zones of Abia developmental August 1984. to truly become kicked and pledged their support for him. To a n d From August 1984 to August 1985, Dr. Ikpeazu boost infrastructure, he embarked on environmentally the undisputed served as a clinical biochemist in the medical construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation sustainable laboratory of the Rivers State University of SME capital of of over 70 roads of which about 50 have been policies. Science and Technology, RSUST, Port Harcourt, completed, and he commenced construction He wants to Nigeria for his national youth service. He returned to of the first ever Abia interchange (flyover) at turn the fortunes the University of Maiduguri for an M.Sc degree Aba. of the state in Biochemical Toxicology and graduated in Apart from roads, Dr. Ikpeazu, who is the around using 1990, and in 1994, at the age of 30, he obtained ambassador and chief promoter of Made-in- Aba as the launch pad. In doing that, he must a doctorate degree, Ph.D., in Biochemical Aba products, recorded achievements in other also ensure that no section of Abia is neglected Pharmacology from the University of Calabar. sectors. They include: construction of 165,000 so as not to create another crowd of aggrieved Dr. Ikpeazu served as a Graduate-Assistant capacity poultry processing plant at Umuosu citizenry. in the Department of Science Laboratory and commenced additional two units for Abia Ikpeazu said in a recent interview: "Our story Technology, University of Maiduguri, from 1986 North and South; 300 young Abia farmers as a people is one of entrepreneurship, to 1987 while studying for his M.Sc degree. benefited from N2.5m per person grant as part resourcefulness, and diligence. This is our He also taught at the Calabar Polytechnic from of Farmpreneur project of world bank pride. We have astounded the world with our 1990 to 1992 during his Ph.D. programme. In (FADAMA); Abia State maintained first home-grown technical skills, especially during 1998, Dr. Ikpeazu joined the services of Enugu position in WAEC and NECO examinations a period of pervasive adversity, and followed State University of Science and Technology, for three consecutive years; renovated 32 it up with our trade and commercial prowess ESUT as Lecturer in the Department of Applied schools across the three geopolitical zones; elevating one of our cities, Aba, into a prominent Biochemistry, and rose to Head of Department constructed 15 new water boreholes for schools commercial hub within the West African region. in 2001. reduced school fees at ABSU, Abiapoly and This historic renown is to become our future
SATURDAY Vanguard, APRIL 14, 2018 — 81 •Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Kano State Governor ...stands tall in Kano Ganduje: Unassuming governor with vision for youth employment By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor HE remains one of the most unassuming governors in Nigeria, yet very active in the provision of strong, dynamic and benevolent leadership to the government and people of Kano State. Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, who was sworn in as the governor of Kano State on May 29, 2015, can rightly be described as a right and fitting leader, who had long been prepared for the onerous task of leading Kano, one of the most challenging states in Nigeria given the labyrinth of its political, religious and social matrix and a large population that requires special and delicate attention. Highly educated in terms of academic attainment and well experienced in public service, Ganduje came into governance with a humane, unassuming and calm disposition to deliver service to his people. And, given his background as a two-time deputy governor of the state and a man, who has held numerous state and national appointments before taking up his current position, Ganduje is armed with a wealth of experience that has given him an edge over his first term contemporaries in the management of state affairs. Tremendous achievements The resultant effect of his cognate experience in public service has made it possible for the governor to record tremendous achievements within the period of 30 months at a time most of his contemporaries are trying to learn the ropes of governance and set out their priorities. It is not surprising, therefore, that within the short period, Governor Ganduje has made positive impact in virtually all sectors of the state as captured in his 12-Point Agenda, which he set out on the day he was inaugurated as governor. Like a proud mother, who has groomed and delivered a beautiful bride for the groom, Governor Ganduje, is a happy man today, having made impact in the areas of: Free and compulsory education, reinvigoration of the civil service, review of Kano Master Plan, housing, regional water scheme, agriculture, local government, health services and war against drug abuse, internally generated Governor Ganduje means well for the government and people of Kano and the people know it, and are equally happy with him revenue, security, establishment of due process bureau and r e - invigoration of the public complaints and anticorruption fight. Above all else, the governor has touched the lives of the majority of the people by deliberately creating jobs particularly for the youths and women, thereby taking many jobless persons off the streets of Kano and giving them a steady means of livelihood in the process. To achieve that feat, the governor has already approved the selection of 2000 youth in the state for training in the federal government recognized Peace Corps with the anticipation that they will, at a later time, be employed and absorbed as full time staff by the Ministry of Interior. The state government shoulders all expenses for their training, feeding, accommodation, uniforms and other logistics. Similarly, the governor has also entered into a partnership for the employment of 5000 youth to serve as agents and sub-agents for the marketing of MTN and Diamond Bank products as another initiative towards reducing unemployment and facilitating selfreliance and job creation among youth. Other job creation initiatives being undertaken by the governor to bail the youths out of the unemployment market include, the training of 630 youth on various vocational skills at the Sani Abacha Vocational Training Centre, Fagge while arrangement is ongoing for their empowerment and the training of over 2445 young people on various apprenticeship programme in partnership with DFID’s MAFITA, (a UK aid funded programme that runs for six years in the North West) which was flagged off in Kano in March 2016. The figure is expected to rise to 10, 000 by the year 2018. Like a man in a hurry to transform the state, Governor Ganduje, has spared no effort in taking bold initiatives to add value to the facilities he met on the ground and initiating new ones to expand the frontiers of projects and services to his people. Understandably, he knows where such services are most needed and he has not spared any amount in putting such in place. He has also awarded a major contract for the construction of Modern Light Rail Transit project along four major routes in Kano Metropolis to a Chinese Company. Similar feat has also been recorded by the governor in the areas of health, agriculture, information, water resources and development and investments. Agent of transformation It is clear from all of this that Governor Ganduje, came to serve and to serve his people well. As a result, he is well loved by the people, who see him as an agent of transformation and good governance without ever dabbling into any controversial issue either at the local or national scene like some other governors, who have dissipated most of their energies on frivolities than serving the people. Governor Ganduje stands tall as a colossus among his peers and is quietly breaking new grounds where others are yet to dare, winning the applause and hearts of the electorate in the process. Since coming to power about three years ago, Governor Ganduje has through actions and utterances, proved that he came into government to advance the cause of his people, add value to their lives and lift the state beyond where he met it by adding to the quantity and quality of projects and services, thereby expanding the frontiers of development. Like Confucius has said, “If the desire of the leader is for good, the people will be good”. Governor Ganduje means well for the government and people of Kano and the people know it, and are equally happy with him. That is why we choose him as the Vanguard Governor of the Year.