Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu on Tuesday apologised to Abia indigenes at home and in diaspora for the slow pace of infrastructure development in the state.
Ikpeazu offered the apology at a ceremony held at the International Conference Centre, Umuahia to commemorate the 28th anniversary of the creation of Abia.
He also admitted that there was a huge infrastructure deficit in every section of the state begging for attention.
“This is so because Abia is a multi-city state asking for attention simultaneously,” he said, with a pledge to redirect investment in that direction.
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“Our resolve is to build infrastructure that will last, infrastructure that will serve Abia people long after we have left office.”
“I promise that the state government will complete every project it started.
“I apologise for the slow pace of work and urge the people of Abia to be patient.
“Our strategy in getting infrastructure done might be slow but that is because I do not believe in palliative and I want our infrastructural stock to be solid,” he said.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the governor’s plea for forgiveness was coming against the backdrop of recent criticisms by some prominent Abia indigenes against the perceived lacklustre performance by his administration in the area of infrastructure.
Speaking on the anniversary, Ikpeazu paid special tribute to the founding fathers of the state and promised to work toward the realisation of their ideals and aspirations.
He prayed God to give him the ability to leave footprints that would not be forgotten in history.
“Abia is a candle handed over to this administration by the founding fathers to keep aglow and take to the highest pinnacle to reach every citizen.
“The task of state building is not an easy one and it is for me to pay tribute to those who have served as governors and other capacities in the past,” Ikpeazu said.
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He expressed happiness over the prevailing political stability in the state, saying, “peace and unity played a pivotal role in evolving socio-economic development initiatives in the state.”
He urged Abia people to be law abiding and endeavour to engage in acts that would promote peace and unity in the state.
In his speech, Dr Anagha Ezeikpe, the Chairman, Abia Advisory and Merit Award Council, called on the state executive and the legislature to make concerted effort towards legislating on the Abia Charter of Equity.
Ezeikpe, who is one of the few living founding fathers of Abia, said, “We formulated the Abia Charter of Equity to guide the distribution of political offices and social amenities to quell the fear of domination among the different units.”
In his lecture, Prof. Madu Iwe, described Abia as a unique state created on a pedestal of friendship and cooperation.
Iwe said there was need for leaders to always protect the interest of the citizenry and giving a sense of belonging to the people they govern. (NAN)