History Is Made In Abia As Ikpeazu Becomes Governor

imageDr Okezie Victor Ikpeazu yesterday became the fourth elected governor of Abia State following his inauguration in a colourful ceremony at the newly-built international conference centre Umuahia
It was a historical moment for the former university lecturer as he has become the first Governor of Abia state to come from the Ukwa/Ngwa area of the state which spans Abia South and part of Abia Central senatorial zones.
Ikpeazu’s status changed from governor-elect to Governor of Abia State at exactly 10.22am when he finished taking both his oath of allegiance and oath of office administered by the Chief Judge of Abia State, Justice Theresa Uzoamaka Uzokwe.
“History has been made in Abia State today. The new governor, Dr Okezie Victor Ikpeazu has just been sworn-in,” the master of ceremony declared in the 5,000 capacity conference cener to capture the significance of the event. The deputy governor, Rt Hon Udo Oko Chukwu had earlier been sworn-in before the governor.
Immediately after the swearing-in ceremony during which Ikpeazu was presented with handover note by the outgoing governor Theodore Orji, the second part of the inauguration event shifted to the Umuahia township stadium where an interdenominational church service was held, “To ask God to help the new governor carry out his duties effectively”.
It was after the service that Governor Ikpeazu unveiled his blueprint and the course his administration would follow in the next four years to take Abia to a greater height, saying, and “We shall launch Abia state into accelerated economic growth”.
Specifically, the new Governor said that the policies of his administration would be hinged on four point agenda, which revolves around development of infrastructures to drive economic growth, sustenance of prevailing peace and security, strengthening of democratic institutions and transformation of the social sector, including health and education.
He noted that the tasks ahead were “Onerous and tedious” but vowed to pursue his blueprint and roadmap for Abia development with vigour, assuring, “Our mission and vision may seem tough but it is achievable”.
Ikpeazu paid glowing tributes his predecessor, Chief Theodore Orji for his “commitment and doggedness” that has steered Abia on the path of growth, adding that the new government would build on the success of the immediate past government.
Earlier at the hand over ceremony at the International Conference Centre, Orji in his valedictory address said that the choice of Ikpeazu to fly the flag of the ruling party in the governorship poll marked “The journey of change and restoration of equity in this state. He stated that many people did not give us a chance but today history has been made” with the inauguration of a governor of Ukwa/Ngwa extraction.
“Suddenly (after years of expectations) it has become possible for Ukwa/Ngwa people to smile from the highest office. This for me is the power of vision, justice and fair play”.
Chief Orji, who would be taking his seat at Senate after eight years as Abia governor, said that his administration had done its best to lay good foundation for Abia growth and now “Today belongs to the new governor of Abia state, Dr Okezie Victor Ikpeazu”.
He said that while his administration faced daunting challenges and confounded the critics who “never gave us chance” he felt gratified that “today we’re leaving this state better than we found it and we are finishing on strong and well”.
“It is my expectation Ikpeazu would choose to build on the legacy foundation laid for him and also envision to leave his own legacies,” he said.
While delivering his sermon during the interdenominational church service, the state chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bishop Goddy Okafor, advised the new Governor to put God first in whatever he does, cast a vision of tomorrow to make progress from Abia and to be passionate and obsessed in everything about the state he has been elected to serve.
“”Be courageous to introduce any change you know will make Abia state better,” he advised the new governor, adding, “I see a change taking place; I see a turn around taking place in Abia”, he admonished.

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