Abia State, Nigeria – In a surprising revelation, former Commissioner for Trade and Investment in Abia State, John Okiyi Kalu, has debunked claims that former Governor Okezie Ikpeazu used bulletproof cars during his eight-year tenure. According to Kalu, despite facing security challenges in the South East, Ikpeazu preferred riding in Innoson branded cars, a Lexus Jeep, and a Toyota Sequoia.
In a comprehensive 13-point response to an article penned by Rev Fr. Christian Anokwuru Uche, a member of Alex Otti’s transition committee, Kalu clarified that Otti’s team did receive cooperation from the Ikpeazu administration contrary to previous claims.
Kalu commended Ikpeazu for his prudent management of Abia State resources, which led to his preference for less expensive vehicles, even in the midst of a risky security environment. “Permit me to place on public record that throughout Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu’s eight-year tenure, he never procured or used a bulletproof car paid for by Abia taxpayers. He never indulged in such needless flamboyance at the expense of the people. Indeed, his most regular official vehicles were an Innoson branded Jeep, a Toyota Sequoia, and a Lexus Jeep,” stated Kalu.
Having served as a member of the Ikpeazu handover committee, Kalu asserted that the proper handover of working documents from Ikpeazu’s administration to Governor Otti’s representative, Pastor Caleb Ajagba, took place on the morning of May 29, 2023. He found it perplexing that accusations of hostility were being made against the former government.
Kalu revealed that the Ikpeazu transition committee provided a brand new Lexus Jeep and a Hilux van for Governor Otti and his Deputy. However, shockingly, these vehicles were rejected by Otti’s transition team.
Advising the new administration in Abia State, Kalu urged them to focus on governance and refrain from engaging in unnecessary propaganda.
Rev Fr. Christian Anokwuru Uche, in his 20-point article, expressed disappointment over the alleged lack of cooperation and arrogance displayed by members of the transition committee set up by the former Governor. These claims have now been disputed by Kalu’s response.
The revelation of former Governor Ikpeazu’s preference for affordable vehicles amidst security challenges is both informative and intriguing. It highlights his commitment to prudent resource management in the face of adversity. The decision to utilize local automobile brands such as Innoson further promotes indigenous industries in Nigeria, reflecting a vision for sustainable growth and development in the automotive sector.
As the new administration takes charge in Abia State, it is crucial for them to remain focused on governing effectively. By concentrating on the needs and aspirations of the people, the new government has an opportunity to build upon the progress made by their predecessors and lead the state towards a brighter future.
This revelation serves as a reminder that political transitions should be based on mutual respect and cooperation. Accusations without substantial evidence can lead to unnecessary tension and hinder the process of governance.
In conclusion, the assertion made by former Commissioner John Okiyi Kalu sheds light on the choice made by former Governor Okezie Ikpeazu regarding his official vehicles. The decision to use affordable cars, even in the face of security challenges, emphasizes Ikpeazu’s commitment to responsible governance. As Abia State witnesses a new era of leadership, it is crucial for the administration to prioritize efficient governance and refrain from engaging in unproductive propaganda, focusing instead on the development and progress of the state.