In the twilight of his second term tenure in Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, the executive Governor commissions a landmark legacy project, nicknamed Okezuo Abia Bridge, a flyover in Osisioma- Aba commercial city, amidst accolades.

By Bruno Uche and Maxwell Ordor

For five years, the people of Abia state waited for it. Okezie Ikpeazu, the governor received wide ranging criticisms and name calling for alleged delay in seeing it through. At last, Okezuo Abia, the nickname for the first flyover bridge in the 31 year history of Abia state was delivered by the administration of Ikpeazu and commissioned, September 5, 2022. 

The signature project, commissioned by Nyesom Wike, Ikpeazu’s colleague governor from Rivers State, is a sight to behold and a monument of honour for which Governor Ikpeazu will be remembered, for ages.  The historic occasion also saw the commissioning of the newly reconstructed and dualised Aba-Owerri road built by the Governor Ikpeazu. The historic first ever flyover in the State, the Osisioma Interchange and the newly reconstructed and dualized Aba-Owerri Road in Aba built by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu have been officially commissioned for public use.

Speaking at the events which were part of activities lined up to celebrate the 31st anniversary of the creation of Abia State, Governor Ikpeazu stated that the interchange was constructed out of his desire to facilitate ease of doing business by ensuring that the traffic jam that makes traders to spend hours at the Osisioma  junction was controlled. He said that the interchange would bring about economic development of the State.

  Ikpeazu also used the opportunity to mock his critics who did not believe the flyover would become a reality. He said to his critics:   “Today is a sad day for those who taught that this flyover will never be completed. It is a sad day for those who called it a borehole and called it a center table. This is a sad day for the Sanballat and Tobiah (detractors) those who called this Flyover ‘Centre Table’, this is a sad day for them. I weep for them as they hide their faces in shame. All those who thought this Flyover will not come true, my word for you shame on you”.

Giving reasons why he invited Nwike to commission the project, Ikpeazu explained is the father of flyovers in Nigeria and that he understands the value of an interchange.

While commissioning the projects, Wike commended Governor Okezie Ikpeazu for changing the developmental narratives of the state. He said he was proud to be associated with Governor Ikpeazu even as he stated that Abians did not make a mistake in electing him as their Governor. He extolled Governor Ikpeazu for utilizing the meagre funds of the State to do projects for the people, saying that with the projects the Governor has done, his senatorial bid and election of other PDP candidates in the State are sure.

In his usual candour, however, Wike used the opportunity to lash at his political enemies, some of who described him (Wike) as a small boy in politics. He said: “They said Abia State Governor is a boy, Wike is a boy, Ortom, Ugwuanyi and Seyi are boys, but see what the boys are doing. Let them as men show us what they’re doing.

According to Wike, “politics is about delivering at the appropriate time (hence) when the jungle matures, we’ll know those who have the capacity to say this is where our state will be, adding that Abia governor “has the capacity.”

Earlier the state commissioner for works, Mr. Bob Ogu, disclosed that the flyover, which government officials erroneously refer to as “interchange” was conceived by Ikpeazu as soon as Ikpeazu assumed office in 2015 but its construction started in 2017. He said that he was happy that Governor Ikpeazu’s dream of giving Abia its first flyover has materialized. He congratulated all Abians on the ‘feat’ achieved by their governor.

The Executive Chairman of Osisioma Ngwa LGA, Chief Christian Kamalu described the commissioning of the first ever interchange located at Osisioma as historic. He thanked the Governor for constructing the interchange and highlighted its importance to the Aba business environment.

Deputy Governor ,Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, serving and former members of the National and State Assemblies from both states, Secretary to Government, Barrister Chris Ezem, members of the State Executive Council as well as the PDP Gubernatorial Candidate in Abia State, Professor Uche Ikonne and his running mate, Okey Igwe were amongst dignitaries that graced the event.

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