Sunday, June 12, 2022 4:00 pm
By Godwin Adindu
By May 29, 2023, the reign of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu as the executive Governor of Abia State will come to a glorious end. There is a beginning and there is an end. There are seasons. But, after the curtain is drawn and the poor player exits the stage, there is one distinct legacy or trademark for which he will be remembered. This trademark is so disguised, so isolated, so shrouded in mystery that it will only take a man of deep hindsight to identify it. Ikpeazu is a man who stoops to conquer. (A man who stooped to conquer.
Many will remember him as the Rebuilder of Abia. The memory of the Rebuilder of Abia will remain aglow in our minds forever. For we shall always remember Aba before Ikpeazu and Aba After Ikpeazu. We shall remember the fallen city for which a folk musician sang: “Aba is stinking”. We shall remember Aba of Flyovers and multiple boulevards constructed with cement technology. Good.
But, a man of deep hindsight will go further to reason about the tact, diplomacy, compromise, sacrifice, craftiness and seeming foolery which Ikpeazu brought to bear and deployed to surmount the many challenges that confronted him in power. Like Hamlet, he was a man, “faced by a sea of troubles”. His greatest dilemma, I suppose, was the time-honoured demand of the Ukwa Ngwa for equity and balance of power. This he has achieved today without losing a bullet.
Only a man of deep hindsight will unravel and appreciate the rare wisdom he brought into statecraft to manage all sentiments and lead his people to the promise land. He took to the road less traveled and played the simpleton. His traducers took him for granted as an “Untutored youth unlearned in life’s false subtleties” (Shakespeare: Sonnet 138). They called him a mugu, dondi, olodo, a stooge – all manners of name. But, unknown to us all, he was wiser. He held the four aces. He knew when to run and when to walk away… (apologies to Kenny Rogers. May God rest his soul)
Ikpeazu is the philosopher king. The philosopher king must be a man of great wisdom. From day one, he weighed his options and the limitations of his people. He realized that the battle can not be won through a frontal attack. Military science teaches that when your enemies overwhelm you with a higher firepower, you do a tactical withdrawal and save the day and save the lives of your troupes. So when everyone was urging him to fight, he withdrew and tactically stooped low and bidded for time.
Given the circumstances of his journey, the only arsenal left in his hand was the element of SURPRISE. He deployed it at the right time when his traducers were assured they have held him down on the ground. The result has been too devastating. Today, “All their voyage is bound in shallows and in misery”
Give it to him. Ikpeazu is a master of the game of indiscretion. In Obingwa, they call it Mgba Ngwodo. This is just a preface. After May , 2023, I shall write about the man who stooped to conquer.