The forthcoming governorship election in the ‘’God’s own state’’ Abia will serve as a litmus test for the people to take their destiny in their own hands by electing a governor with a vision and mission to restore the once prosperous state to its pride of place among the comity of states in Nigeria. For a state with numerous potentials to slide into the level of underdevelopment being presently witnessed is a cause for concern.
Gladly there appears to be a new consciousness among voters in the South East in general to elect their governors based on their track records and antecedents. In this regard, the emergence of Prof. Gregory Ibe, chancellor of the prestigious Gregory University, Uturu as the flagbearer of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA in the forthcoming governorship election in Abia state has upset the apple cart and raised the bar in the search for the next governor of the state.
As a state in a hurry to catch up with rapid development, this can only happen when the people elect a governor whose address is already in Abia state as against those who only remember Abia state and its people during election time. It is natural that if elected as the next governor of the state, Prof. Greg Ibe who has already invested billions of naira by establishing the Gregory University Uturu will commit all his energy towards ensuring that the state is rapidly developed and works for all Abians.
As a world-class entrepreneur he will also leverage on his international connections to attract major companies to the state. Abia state indeed needs a quantum leap in the area of industrialisation and commerce, and in the 21st century this can only happen with the deployment of Information and Communication Technology and this is one area that Prof. Ibe is already playing a leading role in Nigeria.
The electorate of Abia state must therefore make the determination to use their votes and bring about the much desired change in the leadership of the state. This is not the time they should be fixated with PDP or APC as the big political parties, rather they should vote wisely for the individual with verifiable pedigree and whose development of Abia state is his passion and drive.
Perhaps this is the time to ask the candidates to show their previous contributions to the state, and such contributions can be seen in the investments they have been able to attract to their home state, as well as the number of jobs they have created for the people. It is expected that the 2023 governorship election in Abia state will serve as an opportunity for the people to evaluate the candidates based on their past records, rather on the promises they usually make, and hardly fulfil when given the opportunity.
Prof. Ibe has demonstrated in words and deeds that despite his international exposure, Abia state remains a state after his heart hence his decision to invest hugely in Uturu his hometown, and across the state. It is therefore needless to say that if given the mandate to serve as the next governor of the state, he will be well positioned to utilise the state’s resources for the rapid development of the state.
It is also important to remember that as Nigeria grapples with dwindling financial resources, Abia state needs a governor who can think out of the box, innovate and come up with creative ideas that will take the state and it people higher. To achieve this objective will also require prudent management of resources, and this is where the need for a successful private sector person like Prof. Ibe becomes imperative.
Nigeria and indeed Abia state is at a critical juncture that we cannot continue to indulge the so-called politicians who mount the seat of power only to start disbursing state resources to their political acolytes in the name of patronage. This is the greatest undoing of many states in Nigeria and Abia state is no exception. For any meaningful progress to be made in the development of Abia state, the voters must choose wisely and also show their back to those politicians who only seek power to massage their ego and for self-aggrandisement.
Therefore the 2023 governorship election provides all Abians a golden opportunity to elect people who will rebuild Abia state in the same manner Anambra people chose Prof. Chukwuma Soludo as their governor against all odds. The decision, choice and determination to choose the right leadership is totally the prerogative of the people of Abia state, as they will in the end live with the type of leadership they elect. Let me for the upteempth time restate that there is enormous power in the votes of Abia people, and they should not be swayed by filthy lucre to misuse the opportunity in electing a governor that will lead the charge in taking measures aimed at releasing the untapped energies and potentials of Abia people.
With the coming governorship election in Abia state, the people must realise that the trumpet has been sounded and a lifetime opportunity is being offered for the citizens to free themselves from political bondage by electing a people’s governor. If the opportunity is missed it will be extremely difficult to redeem the lost chance. The voters must ensure that they hearken to the clarion call of history by registering as voters and using their votes to change their present circumstances. No one can do it for the people, but themselves.
Enekwechi, writes via Kwechis19@yahoo.com
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