by Chinyere Akatobi
Choosing or electing a leader from a poll of qualified or unqualified candidates can most times be tricky and difficult.
Politicians approach the electorate wearing their best possible behavior, they exude the meekness of a sheep, the kindness of a shepherd and a charm that can hardly be resisted.
Promises of paradise on earth are made, expectations are raised to the heavens and difficult problems appear easy to solve in the sweet tongues of these politicians who laugh within themselves at how well their lies are being received.
The people of Abia state in south-eastern Nigeria are no different and since the creation of the state they suffered daily in the hands of seasoned con-artists who parade themselves a selfless leaders.
Abia was regularly been ranked as one of the most poorly governed state in Nigeria and for most observers the state was already a failed state within the failing state called Nigeria.
Her leaders were the poster boys of what bad leadership is all about and jokes were made at random to buttress this notion.
From the barbing salons to the beer palours, Abians kept bemoaning their sad fate in bitter surrender and you could see them regularly look up to the heavens to ask where they had gone wrong.
Motorable roads became few, the health sector bled to near death, the markets which were once considered her heritage decayed to the point that traders started leaving the state.
It got to the point Abians in the presence of a sitting governor openly pleaded with another governor to come rule them for a few months.
The 2015 elections threw up an unfamiliar but massively backed face in the Person of Dr Okezie Ikpeazu who talked tough and set out to work like a man on fire.
Abians then can be forgiven for the skeptical embrace which they gave to the early actions of the governor as they had once experienced a similar great start only to be ultimately disappointed at the end.
Taking up permanent residence in Aba a city which is considered by most as key to reviving the the ailing fortunes of the state has no doubt brought him closer to the day to day struggles of the common man.
Project inspection is now done at random and the over fifty plus roads being worked on are being completed to the joy of Abians across the state.
Schools are getting a face-lift, viable policies are being formulated and implemented, private sector participation has improved across the various sectors of the state, the “Made In Aba” craze is now in the front burner of national discussion and efforts are being made to modernize the markets which will help in restoring the economic health of the state.
For Governor Ikpeazu the last one year has been about putting Abia first and his drive to build positive partnerships across all parts of the political divide is one which would serve the state well in the long run.
His favorable ranking from the several online polls that has been conducted over past few weeks is a testament to the fact that people are appreciating the gains that has been made in the last one year.
While there is still a whole lot more to be done and improved upon, there is a growing sense and belief among Abians that perhaps with Dr Okezie Ikpeazu they have gotten it right this time.
Opinion article written by CHinyere Akatobi, who can be reached via @prolific_jackk
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