It is said that the primary responsibility of any government is to secure lives and property of the people in exchange for the citizens performing their own statutory responsibilities. To the glory of God, the Okezie Ikpeazu-led administration in Abia State can beat its chest as of today and say that God has helped us immensely to fulfill our major obligation to our people.
Since Governor Okezie Ikpeazu was inaugurated as the 4th Executive Governor of Abia State on the 29th of May, 2015, the multiple security challenges including bank robberies, kidnapping, cult related crimes etc that used to be the order of the day, were tackled head-on as Ikpeazu came on board with a prepared strategy that has worked for the State from Day One. Suffice it to state that since Dr Ikpeazu assumed office, there has not been any successful bank robbery in Abia State.
Even in the midst of recent security upheavals in the South East region, Abia has remained an oasis of relative peace and security with residents enjoying better lease of life than in other states. Recently, the visiting Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, thanked Governor Ikpeazu for bequeathing to the Nigerian Police Force the Zone 9 Police Headquarters, Umuahia, a permanent and modern office accommodation that is of international standard and for launching an ICT-driven security architecture, in line with international best practices. He said the governor has, through the gesture, entered the “Guinness Book of Record” as “Police most friendly governor”. He therefore charged his men in the state to protect and defend the facility as their own.
Since assumption of office in 2015, the Governor has been deliberate about providing security to the people even while seeking the help of God to bless our people with peace and security. He engendered inter-agency cooperation and synergy among federal security agencies in the state, procured more than 150 operational vehicles equipped with modern communication and security gadgets, built needed office and residential infrastructure for them and delivered on the first digital crime control center in the country within the current dispensation.
Ikpeazu prefers to manage security proactively rather than only respond to situations as they unfold.
Contrary to what obtains elsewhere, Governor Ikpeazu relied mostly on structured security organizations to provide security for the people and resolve conflicts. He refused to succumb to the temptation of setting up armed state-owned security structures but preferred to deploy such teams as Ebubeagu, Homeland Security Teams etc mostly for Inteligence gathering under the supervision of the Police. According to him, “It is easy to arm vigilantes and other civilian groups when there is an upsurge in crime but the problem is usually how to retrieve the arms after quelling the challenge, guarantee zero extra-judicial killings and later re-orientate a man who has learned how to use arms to kill not to apply such knowledge to personal criminal use in future”.
Even as Nigerians of different political persuasions embark on campaigns for the 2023 elections, it is probably only in Abia State that you will see politicians from different political parties move freely to canvass for support without fear of state sponsored intimidation or attacks. In fact, no politically motivated killing has ever been recorded during election periods in Abia State since the emergence of Governor Ikpeazu. No Lagos or Abuja based Abia politician is afraid of coming home to politick as they all acknowledge that the Governor is a man of peace.
Of course, there are still pockets of crimes and criminality in Abia State as can be expected even in the most advanced democracies but all security authorities in Nigeria agree that the state has been relatively secure and peaceful under the watch of Ikpeazu.
If you are among the thousands of Ndigbo who relocated to Aba when crises erupted elsewhere in the country, you have no reason not to vote for Governor Ikpeazu and PDP candidates. Similarly, if you are a trader or leader of any religious institution who has been living peacefully in Abia State while other locations heat up, you should remember to vote for PDP.
If indeed security of lives and property remain the reason for the existence of governments then Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, PhD, should take a bow and be celebrated for delivering good governance and better life to his people. After all, among the parameters reviewed by those who compiled the statistics for Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) was security, and Abia State under Ikpeazu made it to the top 3 best states in Nigeria of 2022.
-Chief John OKIYI Kalu is the Director for Strategic Engagements, Abia State PDP Campaign Council
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