The clouds were clear, the weather was clement. The venue was abuzz and the people agog, sharing jokes and exchanging friendly banters, some greeting and embracing each other in an atmosphere of unmistaken conviviality. Not to be left out of the electrified environment, the trees waved their branches in the gentle breeze that ushered in the success that the day was even as the birds flapped their wings in exciting expectation of the special guest, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, the Executive Governor of Abia State.
His humble entrance to the venue elicited jubilation among the Abia State civil servants who had come to show solidarity and support to the governor and his reelection bid at the March 9 polls.
The civil servants turned out in their unprecedented large numbers, so large the governor admitted he was overwhelmed by the effusive show of love to him by the State workers.
Speaker after speaker eulogised the governor for his good works in the state despite the obvious peculiar challenges he had to grapple with especially after being distracted by several court cases, that are baseless and unfounded, by opposition figures in the state.
Although there have been several rallies and meetings of the same kind with the governor by several other groups in the past, what makes this one special and most resounding is that Abia civil servants have had their narratives unfairly woven and manipulated against the governor by opposition leaders in the state who, with the benefit of hindsight, obviously did not mean well for them, but just to score cheap political points.
Probably because the Abia civil servants do not have the privilege of being on radio, television or even have enough of their people on social media to counter these wickedly woven narratives meant to needlessly pit them against the governor, certain brazen lies were told and sold to the general public in their name for so long.
They must have been bottling up their anger against these harbingers of falsehood and peddlers of hate but had no real avenue to, as a group, prove that all the sophistry peddled against the governor particularly as it affects their welfare as workers did not have their imprimatur!
Alas, the opportunity came on Wednesday, March 6, for them to prove that, contrary to the impression aggressively created by these desperate opposition politicians in the state, they are very happy with the governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu.
The significance of the March 6 date is that it was Ash Wednesday, a day set apart in Christendom to begin the Lenten Season, reflect deeply about the past and start anew on the path of truth and fairness.
So when the workers hailed Ikpeazu as the best thing that has ever happened to them, it should not be taken for granted for it was a declaration made with the significance of the day (Ash Wednesday) in mind.
The large number of civil servants that trooped out to welcome Ikpeazu and pledge their support for his reelection bid must have left his opponents flummoxed. Their long term plan to use their false narratives to brew hate against the governor has, once again, failed, and fallen irredeemably flat on its face.
Having received firm reassurance of their unwavering support for his second term ambition, the governor expressed his heartfelt appreciation to them and promised to even Do More for them in his second tenure. Hardly had he finished speaking than the shout of “Kota Sign” (Ikpeazu’s signature slogan) rent the air.
Surely, Abia workers have made their choice. They prefer the one who has been working to those who have merely been talking. Come Saturday March 9, they will reelect Dr Okezie Ikpeazu to Do More!
By Jude Ndukwe
…firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @StJudeNdukwe