The Awards given to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu by the Daily Independent Newspapers and African Independent Television (AIT) speak in unison and eloquently.  They make a statement of identification. They speak, and this not dialectics,  about a Governor that exists and the ones that do not exist.  Coming at a straitened time of electoral propaganda,  the Awards are both fame and vindication,  a loud statement about the dynamism and passion of a leader translated into work.

The Governor set out very early to cut a niche  - in infrastructural renewal and development of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises. The accolades are coming in succession and it is only a dunderhead that will argue that Aba is not better than it was in 2014. Or that there has not been a tremendous change in the entire climate of Abia State.

But, aside from the political climate change, the Awards, precisely,   reaffirm the constancy of reality as against fantasy and imagination. There is a Governor that exists and the Governors of moonlight tales, the Governors that exist only in long convoys. As we march to the polls, Governor Ikpeazu will be pointing at his concrete achievements as he speaks. He lives in a world that exists. He exists as the Governor of Abia State and his numerous projects and achievements exist.

 The opposition Governors – Alex Otti and Uche Ogah - live in the imaginary world, in the futuristic, in the world that the philosopher says does not exist. They are painting pictures in our minds, leading us through the esoteric journey of visualization, taking us to the dreamland – of milk and honey – of what Abia will become.  The imaginary Governors are telling us of what they will do, what they can do, what Abia will become in their hands. They want us to play a gamble. What if the gamble fails? What if we stake in the pool and one number is dropped? Pool stake-takers, let me not mention one leader in my ward, say you can never be sure until the 3( xxx) numbers are announced.

Instead of this life of anxiety and uncertainty, Abians have chosen to live a life of reality. Abians have chosen to live in the world that Soren Kierkegaard called “The Present Age”   --- “Life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced,” so said Kierkegaard.  He called the life of anxiety, ‘The dizziness of Freedom”. Kierkegaard would later influence  Jean-Paul Sartre and then the poor Mgboko boy, Godwin Adindu.  Jean Sartre would add that we cannot spend all our lives ‘preparing to live”.

The Governors that do not exist build castles in the air.  They make mountains out of molehills. The Governor that exists built and commissioned 75 roads in fours years in Abia. He built landmark projects – like the critical Faulks Road, Umuanunu/ Ekwereazu/Akwa Ibom Road, Ndi Okereke/Adam Road.  He is building the first overhead bridge. He has taken Abia to the global economic map with his promotion of Made in Aba Goods. He deployed Aba artisans on two missions to Turkey and China to understudy modern automation techniques in the development of their craft.

The Governor that exist launched a strategic intervention in support of SMEs in Abia that also saw him dealing with four major challenges in this regard,  namely; Power, Market Share/Sales, Finance and Automation. He deployed the first strategy of aggressive marketing and creation of awareness. The goal was to motivate our people and rebuild their confidence. The Governor that exist attracted over N1.3 billion to the shoe and Garment sector. The government has also attracted funding through BOI and other agencies because the attention is now on the World Bank data of 250,000 SMEs in Aba

The Governor that exists  is the one whose efforts brought the Federal Government of Nigeria to give Abia the  award of ‘Best MSME Friendly State in Nigeria”  More endorsement later came in 2017 with the leading business newspaper in Nigeria, BUSINESS DAY, giving him the award of the “Best Governor in the Promotion of Made in Nigeria Goods.”

The Governor that exists is building the new Enyimba Economic City and has got the Federal Government to sign the contract for the large-scale project. He still has many missions to be accomplished. At the poll, Abians will return his mandate for the visions yet accomplished - the Governor that exists.

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