“May I also wholeheartedly acknowledge the Hon. Minister for Industries, Trade and Investments, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah who I proclaim a worthy son of Abia State for his painstaking efforts in attracting developments to Abia State”
The above is an excerpt from the inaugural speech of Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, Governor of Abia State during his swearing-in for a 2nd Term on May 29, 2019. That commendation may seem unprecedented within the context of the hostile nature of opposition politics in Nigeria but the truth is that it highlighted the class of the two individuals involved.
As Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah was outstanding for Abia State. As far as he was concerned, the development of his State came before partisan considerations. Dr. Enelamah was a strong champion for the Enyimba Economic City and other key Investment initiatives of the administration of Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu. Dr. Enelamah supported the Made in Aba promotion campaign by ensuring that all the Parastatals under his ministry gave priority attention to Aba and left no stone unturned to support the industrialisation of Abia State.
The cooperation he exhibited with the government of Abia State was inspite of their differences in party affiliations. When it was time for politicking, Dr. Enelamah mobilised for his party and worked substantially for the decent showing of his party the APC in Abia State but as a high-minded individual, he never conflated politics with development.
Although he never for one day set foot inside Government House, Umuahia, he was a dependable partner in the development of Abia State. Unobtrusive, not given to ostentation and unnecessary power shows, he was a gentleman to the core. That was why Governor Okezie Ikpeazu was effusive in his praise of Dr. Enelamah on a day as auspicious as his 2nd Term inauguration.
Today, another candidate has been nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari as Ministerial Nominee to represent Abia State at the Federal Executive Council. He is Dr. Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah, the Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the 2019 elections.
While screening of Ministerial nominees are ongoing, it is imperative that the agenda is set for the incoming Minister.
As a unit, the Abia State Government welcomes the nomination of Dr. Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah as the Minister representing Abia State at the Federal Executive Council. We have no doubt that he has what it takes to excel on the role. I have read congratulatory messages from the Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu and the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor Barr. Onyebuchi Ememanka which tells me that the Abia State Government is willing and ready to work with Dr. Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah in a collective bid to develop the State.
I am also aware that in his inaugural address, Governor Ikpeazu stated thus “… it is on that note that I wish to once again, call on all those who contested the Governorship elections with me to come and join hands with me so that together, we can work for the benefit of Abians”.
There is no better platform for Dr. Ogah at this moment to join hands with Dr. Ikpeazu to work for the benefit of Abians than his impending Ministerial assumption of office. The bar for outstanding cooperation between the Governor and the Minister from Abia State have already been set high by the relationship that existed between Dr. Ikpeazu and Dr. Enelamah.
It is therefore expected that Dr. Ogah will adopt the existing template and build upon it. The first four-year tenure of Governor Ikpeazu saw a bipartisan atmosphere of peace between the Governor and all categories of leaders in the state. From Legislators in Abuja to the Minister from Abia State to Heads of Federal Parastatals to Commissioners Representing Abia State on various Boards and Commissions, it was a smooth relationship all through. Governor Ikpeazu bears no grudge or ill will towards any individual and it would not be healthy to sow seeds of discord at this point.
Dr. Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah is therefore invited to accept the hand of fellowship offered him by Governor Ikpeazu and work with him to bring developments to Abia State in any portfolio he will be operating from.
Dr. Ogah is also invited to ignore the antics of professional political jobbers who will want him to use his office as a launching pad for attacks and power tussle with the Governor. He should be high-minded enough to separate politics from development. Development must come before politics at all times if indeed the good of the people is the underlying motivation for our politics.
May posterity be kind to all.
Sam Hart is the Special Adviser to the Governor of Abia State on Communications