GOV. IKPEAZU and the PULL-DOWN SYNDROME
By Paddy Anyatonwu
If you put an empty pot on fire, moments after, it will get hot and commences the generation of mild smoke.
Then, if you put a spoonful of water therein, you will hear a sound and the water will vanish.
It is like fiam.
A repeat of this ritual will produce another brand of sound….. ‘suwaaiii’.
I will come back to this analogy shortly.
I am not an Aba boy by the definition of Nwa Aba.
But, I lived in Aba partially in the early 1980s.
In 1988, I stayed with my cousin who was living off Ukwu Mango along Ariaria International Market.
Aba is an ancient city.
It should be noted that Aba’s infrastructural decay is not recent.
In the early 1990s, Faulks road, Omuma road, Ngwa road, Ohanku road, Port Harcourt road, and many others were literally impassable.
For the records, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu was the first Executive Governor of Abia State.
In 1999, Dr. Orji UzorKalu mounted the saddle.
In 2007, Chief TA Orji was the number one citizen of Abia State.
All these while, Aba was a ghost town.
Infrastructurally speaking, Aba was not existing.
By 2015, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu became the occupier of the Oval seat at Afara Ukwu, Umuahia.
Poised by the dilapidated state of Aba, Governor Ikpeazu decided to change the Enyimba narrative.
For those familiar with Aba, there is a place called ‘Ama Ikonne’.
This particular spot defied past governments.
At a point, it was wildly believed by many that there was ‘Mammy Water’ that pumps out water to the vicinity in the night.
But Governor Ikpeazu came and chased out the so-called ‘Mammy Water’ and today many have forgotten that once upon a time Ama Ikonne was a Lagoon.
Frankly speaking, then Ariaria International Market ended around No 170 Faulks Road.
From Samek to Ukwu Mango was a flowing Lake, but today the story is different.
It is painful that not few Abians have taken it upon themselves to demarket the state even when in actuality the story is changing.
How can one explain why an Abian will knowingly post a 2014 picture as the current state of Aba?
Why hate your state?
During the 2019 Governorship debate, one of the candidates acknowledged that over 50 roads have been constructed in Aba.
Hence, why are we still hawking the lies that Dr. Ikpeazu administration is yet to romance a caterpillar?
It is a fait accompli that Dr. Ikpeazu is not averse to criticism.
One day he told this writer. “Paddy, you see, I have not done all the roads in the state and might not be able to do all. Criticize me when the need arises, but if there are areas I have done better, let them be kind enough to let people know”.
For the Governor, he must have internalized the thoughts of Roy T. Bennett when he said,“More smiling, less worrying. More compassion, less judgment. More blessed, less stressed. More love, less hate.”
This however brings to the fore that analogy of the hot pot and the introduction of a drop of water therein this writer raised from the beginning.
Oh sure, Aba was neglected in the past, but concrete steps are being taken by this administration to change the narrative.
Perhaps Martin Luther King Jr must have perused the underpinnings of Abia political arithmetic when he penned these words.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.
In one of my write-ups, this writer opined thus:
“Dear compatriots, as you dig deeper to uproot the sins of Governor Ikpeazu, in case you stumble on the areas he has done well, underscore it and continue your search”.
For years, Aba Road in Umuahia was in poor state along Isi Court axis, but a short drive will tell a different story.
Umpteenth times, Gov Ikpeazu has always chorused that he is building to last, hence might explain some slight delays against the high expectations of the residents of Aba having suffered many years of neglect,
I don’t see any reason why there should be a tribe of characters in an unholy altar of pull-down syndrome.
If not for unbridled hatred, it will be difficult for one to explain why the son of Kaduna state governor, Bashir El rufai used 2014 pictures to depict the current Ariaria International Market.
This is simply a sin.
But when I read Confucius, it was easy to come to terms with Bashir whose father is masterminding the killings of Southern Kaduna citizens
Confucius was of the opinion that, “It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get”.
From data available to this writer, over 100 roads have been constructed in Aba alone and more are under construction.
Like we all know, political communication is all about perception, it is my esteemed opinion that those saddled with the onerous responsibility of both marketing Abia and branding the Principal should go 100 % virtual.
Who does not know that a single picture tells more than 1000 words?
And for those who are bent on pulling Gov Ikpeazu down, I sympathize with them with words of James Baldwin.
Hear him. “I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain”.
Dear Abians, by all means criticize the present administration, but falsifying and doctoring the picture is anathema and might unite with Karma.