By Uche Aguoru:
Integrity is a virtue not acquired through education, positioning or wealth, but by sheer strength of Character, most often, we have seen highly educated men and women from privileged and noble backgrounds whom we look upto in the society display such characters that falls short of any atom of nobleness that one begins to wonder if actually he/she deserves the position he/she occupies.
If anyone has followed the campaign trail of Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu down to his early days of governorship, such a person will discover that the governor has made a number of promises that he has failed to keep.
Top on the list of such unkept promises is the payment of salaries of Abia civil servants on the 24th of every month which he never kept for over two years after he was sworn in as governor, he ended up with a record of being the worst governor Abia has ever produced when it comes to salary payment
Again, In a meeting with the retired civil servants in November 2016, you had promised to look after the pensioners and pay them as at when due, today Abia pensioners are being owed between 11 to 18 months resorting to the elder statesmen often taking to the streets to protest and demand for their due entitlements.
Dr. Ikpeazu had promised to build a modern abattoir in Aba so as to stop butchers from further polluting the waters and the environment through the dropping of animal wastes and burning of tyres into the atmosphere thereby causing pollution and health risks but two years+ down the line that promise went the way of other promises he made to Abians.
Shortly after assumption of office Governor Ikpeazu promised that his government will not collect taxes from traders in aba due to the pitiable state of infrastructure in various markets located within aba until the infrastructural challenges which had scared traders and customers away from commercial town has been addressed, today everybody knows the state of infrastructure in those markets and the government had gone ahead to introduce and impose multiple of taxation on the traders.
As at December 2016 immediately after the swearing in of the 17 elected council chairmen Dr. Ikpeazu charged them to identify three projects in each ward within their various LGA,s that will receive urgent attention from the state government through them that promise was never kept and in his usual mannerism, till date, and no reason given for not keeping to his promise
As at February 2017, governor Ikpeazu also promised to do a 10 kilo meter asphalted road in each of 17 LGA,s that made up Abia state, typical of his style he again asked the 17 council bosses to identify and submit to him the roads which they will like to be done within their LGA, needless to let you into the joy and applause that greeted such pronouncement, and how the chairmen sprang into action, but till date that promise ended not being fulfilled just like others before it.
He promised to enhance security and introduce motorized policing which was applauded by all including the opposition, but shortly afterwards the police vehicles disappeared and he ended up restricting our movements between 6am to 7pm, while kidnapping, armed robbery and all forms of criminality went on the increase.
He promised to stop touting by creating jobs that will gainfully engage Abia youths, but three years down the line, Motor Park touting (Agbero) has become the only line of employment open to Abia youths thereby turning them into agents of extortion in the guise of revenue enforcement and the local government service commission was turned to a criminal enterprise that extorts money from the unemployed though purchase of false employment forms.
My Governor may be you have forgotten, let me refresh your memory, Shortly after assuming office you promised to clear the streets off the praise singing billboards that littered the length and breadth of the state capital but two years and a few months after, under your watch those billboards are back, even in front of the government house creating the same scene that you promised not to tolerate under your administration.
Governance demands integrity and trust, while Integrity is a vital ingredient in leadership, it therefore becomes difficult to believe in trust deficient leadership and any government that lacks the basic trust of the people will not make any meaningful progress, my Governor I must be open and bold enough to tell you that your volume of unfulfilled promises is making the people lose trust and faith in your leadership, and it’s difficult for any leader who had displayed lack of capacity in promise keeping to enjoy the trust and confidence of his subjects.
Uche Aguoru is a Former Senior Aide to ex Governor T. Orji