Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia state has hinted on the level of work done at Omuma road, Umule and Osusu road all in Abia state.
Governor Ikpeazu was reacting to criticisms from some sections in the state regarding the State of roads in Aba on Saturday while playing host to members of the Abia Online Media Practitioners(OMPAN).
Governor Ikpeazu pointed out that on assumption of office in 2015, Omuma road, Umule and Osusu road were in deplorable state in Aba. The governor added that it took him time to get the right contractors to fix the roads.
Governor Ikpeazu also recalled how he introduced a scientific method in road construction of Aba-Owerri road to the extension of Ngwa high school in Aba where cement technology was used, despite the high cost of cement in the country.
“When we introduced rigid cement technology, that was our response to water having trouble sitting in a particular place. Governor Ikpeazu said.
Stating further the progress of work done under his administration, governor Ikpeazu said; “Go to Omuma road phase 2, they are clearing that road now, you will see pawpaw trees and other things flourishing on the road. That was how Osusu road was. If you want to work on Osusu, there’s no how you will put just laterite and overlay on the road and expect it to last for a long time. So we introduced the rigid cement technology and I can name the roads where it was used. I’m doing that so we can recover our cities. If I did only 10 roads, I expect my successor to start from road number 11 and with that, we can recover our roads instead of throwing away the State’s money.
Narrating further, governor Ikpeazu said; “This will give you an insight into the way I think. Doing all these requires resilience and deep thinking. Unfortunately, our people are impatient. They like the dining table but do not know what’s happening in the kitchen. It has taken me four years to do Aba-Owerri road because I had to take away the water that usually sits at Ngwa High School. I spent N30 million doing palliative work there and I swore I won’t try that again. I asked where the water will be channelled to and I was told it will be at Rhema University which is about 3 kilometres. Just to take away the water at Ngwa High School, I did the drainage which solved the problem of flooding at the Anglican Church and Ngwa High School.”
Governor Ikpeazu also hinted on his style of leadership which he described as evidence based.
In his words; “In my style of leadership, I am a student of evidence-based leadership. I am going to build the first humanitarian library where I will document everything about my path.
“Part of that library will bear Scientific Leadership Studies. The bane of leadership in Nigeria and Africa is that we are not scientific about our interventions and that’s why we also fall into the same pit as our predecessors.
“It is not that those who came before me did not do any road in Aba, they did, including a few interventions here and there in Aba even Umuahia.
“During the administration of Governor Orji Uzor Kalu, he did so many interventions on the Aba-Umuahia road, even my predecessor also did an overlay on that road but all of these failed. So my first question will be, why did it fail? So that I won’t do my own and it will fail. That’s why I brought in Arab contractors and they had to do a special technology taking into cognizance the underground water that passes through. And that road has been standing for about 5 years. If I didn’t ask the right questions or employ the right tools, I would not have achieved that feat.”
Governor Ikpeazu said amid criticisms, he has refused to be deterred by unverified social media reports as he has submitted himself to the verdict of history just as he noted that his administration has also given the State a long term development plan which according to him, is the first of its kind.
Governor Ikpeazu used the period to urge members of the Association to be mindful of their reports even as the country is approaching the period of politicking, expressing dissatisfaction on the level of fake news and unverified reports on the internet.