Traders of all the markets in Aba, the commercial nerve of the state have endorsed the governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu as their sole candidate for the Abia South Senatorial District in 2023 general elections.
The traders from all the markets in Aba North and South, Obingwa, Ugwunagbo, Ukwa East and West represented by their various Executives made this known when they paid solidarity visit on Gov. Ikpeazu at the Aba Governor’s Lodge.
The traders who spoke through their representatives, Deacon Obioma Daniel, the chairman Aba North Shoe Industrial Market and chairman Abia State Market Chairmen, Chief Lucky Akubueze, ASMATA President, Deaconess Ihechi Anugom and Lady Akudo Aaron, the woman President ASMATA paid glowing tribute to the governor Ikpeazu’s giant stride in the office which they said has promoted ease of doing business.
According to Daniel, the campaign of governor Ikpeazu on made in Aba shoes has rubbed off on them and their businesses positively.
“Governor Ikpeazu came to power and made the promotion of local content especially made in Aba wears; shoes and clothes a priority for his administration.
“The governor told the world that what he will be wearing throughout his stay in office as the governor of the state will be made in Aba wears and I can tell you that he has not reneged on that.
“We have attended so many exhibitions shows within and outside Nigeria courtesy of the effort of governor Okezie Ikpeazu.
“There are shops in Europe, Asia and other countries of the world where only Aba made products are sold.
“You are aware that through the governor, Nigerian army, Customs, Navy and other paramilitary organizations have turned to shoe makers in Aba for the supply of their footwear.
“Go to places like Kent and other parts of the city, you will see that clothing business is booming. This has made us confident and proud in what we do.
“I can tell you that there is no idle shoe maker or tailor in Aba. Any tailor or shoe maker that is idle, is either lazy or doesn’t want to work.
“The governor took some of us to China and the outcome of such exposure is unprecedented.”
Speaking further on some of the reasons that made the traders to endorse Ikpeazu as their sole candidate for Abia South Senatorial District seat, Chief Akubueze who noted that the people of Abia South could not have asked for a better candidate to speak for them in the senate than Gov. Ikpeazu.
Akubueze who recalled the ugly state of some of the roads leading to the markets before the coming of Ikpeazu’s administration, thanked the governor for coming to rescue of the traders, stated that the accessibility of roads leading to various markets have helped to enhance mobility within and outside markets in Aba and its environs.
“Unlike in the past, when traders find it hard to have access to markets in Aba, our customers can now drive in and out of the markets with ease.
“We have come to say a big thank you to the governor for what he has been able to do for us over the years. We have come to tell him that we are solidly behind his senatorial ambition in 2023.
“It will be our way of showing him our love and sending him up there to go and do more for us, the state and the country at large.
“He has proven himself as a governor and we have no doubt that he will deliver as a senator. Anyone who thinks that Gov. Ikpeazu is going to the senate to sleep will be disappointed because I know that it is another higher calling that will give him the opportunity to deliver more democratic dividend to the people of Abia South and also speak more about his love for Aba made goods.
“I am sure that he will convince his colleagues in making sure that what we do here gets necessary federal government attention and as such help to improve our businesses.”
For Deaconess Anugom, the peace and security brought to the state by the Okezie Ikpeazu led government has ensured safety of the traders and their customers who now come to the state to do their business without any fear of intimidation.
Responding, Gov. Ikpeazu who described their visit as unique and special recalled his relationship with the traders even while he was the DG of the Abia State Environmental Protection Agency (ASEPA).
According to Ikpeazu, his decision to live at the Aba Governor’s Lodge, instead of the Government House in Umuahia since 2015 that he emerged as the governor of the state was for him to be able to oversea the progress of work in Aba.
Ikpeazu who used the opportunity of the solidarity visit to assure his supporters of his resolve not to leave the PDP, promised to deliver as a senator, having delivered as a governor.
He assured that he was going to use the remaining months of his last four years in office to complete some of the ongoing projects in the state.
“No good leader ignores the people that make up 75% of the people that he governs.
“My interest in constructing good and durable roads is to ensure ease of doing business in Aba and the state at large. That is why we have been able to ensure that roads like Eziukwu that have been impassible in Aba in the last 30 years are motorable today.
“The truth is that my story today will not be complete without the traders.
“At Omuma road, you will notice that we are doing cement pavement technology and will be asphalting it before handing it over for use.
“Let me also thank you for your support. People should ask those coming to ask them to vote for them to point to what they have been able to do for the people in the last years before coming to seek your votes.
“You can only show us the one that you have done and if we are pleased with it, we can then ask you to go and do more for us.
“I am assuring you that we are going to use the remaining few months to touch some of the areas that we are yet to touch.”