By Godwin Adindu
Today, Wednesday, February 17, 2016, Abia State would stand still in a great celebration. From the rolling hills of Arochukwu, the cashew farmlands of Umuneochie, the rocky grounds of Lokpanta, the table lands of Ngwaland to the thick rainforest of Ukwa, it will be celebration galore. Men will roll out drums and beat to the rhythmic tunes of valour and victory. Women will sing the old lullaby about the warrior who has come home from battle. The waters of Abia will tremble underneath their yoke to hear the replication of the sounds.
Abia has already called out a holiday. And, in droves, men, women and children would match to the village square to wave flowers to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, the man who represents the new hope, the new dawn and the new destiny of the people. The spiritual bearer of the people’s lamp-stool. For a quite significant reason, the events would stand as an epic, capturing a dispensation in the people’s long anthropological movement, lamenting their struggles and lauding their victories.
But, beyond ceremony and celebration is a new rite of covenant. Abia is re-uniting in a new covenant with God. Governor Ikpeazu has set out today to re-dedicate the land and the people of Abia to God – to seek God’s face in his leadership and in the affairs of Abians. By this act, the Governor recognizes the supremacy of God and His leadership in the affairs of men. He recognizes God as the unmoved mover, the one who was and is and will be, the omnipresent and the omnipotent, the infinite and the transcendental, the one who exists from eternity to eternity.
The Governor is recognizing God as the one who raises kings and kingdoms. The one who holds the heart of the kings in His hands. The one who heals the land and proper nations. Today, Abia will be led into a new communion with God for the victory is not of man but of God. The Governor is taking his first steps with God as the guardian because his is a divine mandate. And because in God we trust.
By re-dedicating Abia to God, Governor Ikpeazu is breaking off any fettering chain and manacles of the dark powers that may have held the state backwards. He is setting the state free from the bondage of ghost worker syndrome, over-invoicing, paddling of bills, contract inflation, misappropriation and all other cankerworms that constitute a clog in the wheel of progress of the state. He is losing the noose of acrimony and political bickering tightly tied on the neck of the state. He is breaking loose from all other forces that destabilize and distract the focus of the leader. He is surrendering the state to be led, not by him but by God through him as an instrument.
The celebration is both a thanksgiving and a demonstration of the people’s happiness over the triumph of the human will. The will is the people’s sincere choice and aspiration translated in their votes and the legal struggle for the affirmation of their mandate. The will is the wisdom of the founding fathers of the state translated in their proclamation of the Abia charter of equity, which is a template for peaceful co-existence of all groups in the state. It is a celebration of the victory of the people’s dream and choice of a leader. Today, Abia is celebrating the victory of light over darkness.
Today, Abia would be celebrating their Governor, son of a teacher and a woman who was a nurse; a new entrant into the world of the orphans, a humourist and a teacher himself. The street sweeper of Aba who rose from the waste land of a city dunghill to the pinnacle of power. Today, Abians would be celebrating a man who found himself a street sweeper and yet swept so well that the host of Angels stood and said: “Here was a street sweeper!”. They would be celebrating a man who acted well his part – “And there the honour lies!”.
Governor Ikpeazu will also be celebrating himself – his humble parentage and the journey, his trails and triumph. He would be celebrating a milestone that has seen him through the vagaries of life, through the lowly trough to the corridors of fame. He will be celebrating the burden of leadership that has been made light by the personally-acknowledged grace of the almighty. Governor Ikpeazu will dance.
Abians would also celebrate another man of equity and justice, a man who, against all odds, stood his ground on his bond for political equity in the state. A man who insisted, and remained constant and firm in that belief, that what is good for the goose is also good for the gander. Today, Abia is also celebrating Senator T.A Orji, the man who gave Abia a gift of freedom and now a gift of equity. Abia is celebrating Ochendo.
The people would beat drums and dance in different styles and movements, all signaling their innermost heart and their appreciation of the new dawn of change. They will welcome the new season with jubilation. A season that has manifested in 47 active road constructions spread across the three geo-political zones of the state, and a season that has given the city of Aba a facelift. A season that holds great promise. It will be a welcome party to the governor and his team and the people will be saying in unison: Oh hail our Governor!
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