BreakingNews 23/3/15 - Okezie Ikpeazu, A Man After God's Own Heart To Lead Abia State

[ Masterweb Reports: Uchendu Precious Onuoha (Masterweb Special Correspondent-Spain) reports ] - The emergence of Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu as the PDP flag bearer for the government house of Abia state has a divine connotation. Most great leaders of the Bible time and in the world have always passed through the low ebb of their society as a preparatory ground, and emerged from the rubbles and dust to glory. The likes of Jesus, Moses, Joseph, and in the modern time, Mandela and Obama went through the rungs as a preparatory ground to acquaint them with the suffering and needs of the people and the down trodden masses they would lead.


According to the lyrics of the song by Bette Midler, “from a distance the world looks blue and green and the snow capped mountains white…God is watching us.” But in the case of Abia, the world did not look blue and green; rather the land looked black, gloomy, and was covered with filth, dirt and refuse. And God was watching the reaction of every Abia person dwelling under the inhuman condition and environment. An environment the deadly Ebola, was scared to enter knowing full well that the filth in Aba and its environs were more dangerous and deadlier than Ebola itself. Aba and Abians groped under the now giant of a cemetery known as Enyimba city before.


The parable of the Good Samaritan tells a story of a man who was robbed of everything he had and beaten to a state of coma, abandoned to die in a treacherous, windy and favorite hideout for robbers and thieves. The priests and scribes whom by nature of their positions were supposed to have compassion and to help others showed no love or compassion for the man by failing to help him. They turned their eyes elsewhere and passed on the other side of the road so as not to get involved. Aba and Abia state was in that condition. The rich and those who were in position to help, among them are those who are scrambling to occupy the seat of the government house now, non saw the need to help before now. But someone decided to do the odd job without minding. The Good Samaritan saw only a person in dire need of assistance and went beyond common decency and decorum to assist him.


Okezie Ikpeazu, like the Good Samaritan, and Jesus who chose to wash the feet of his disciples, stripped himself of his position in the ivory tower, and picked up his broom, shovel and truck to sweep and carry the garbage for the people. “But among you it will be different; whoever wants to be a leader among must be your servant” Mathew 20: 26. Okezie saw Abia in need and humbly offered to serve the people by becoming a street sweeper, a menial and unattractive job many would not like to do. It takes a man with a humble disposition, discipline, patience ,tolerance and love, which are ingredients and qualities a good leader should have to do that. The things men do tells about them and speaks for them.


While Okezie Ikpeazu became like “onye eburu”, (night soil man) sweeping the streets of Aba and environs under rain and sun, and carrying the dung and refuse for the rich and poor while others were enjoying the posh comfort of their offices and homes, God was watching from a distance. Just like Moses and David great leaders after God’s own heart were prepared in the bush for years as shepherds taking care of sheep in the wilderness. Like Moses, Okezie received and obtained the best education, training and preparation that Nigerian Universities could offer. In terms of education, he is sound and well tutored, having a doctorate degree in Biochemical Pharmacology. Armed with that, and as is akin to Nigerians, many would have thought he would have set his eyes only on juicy and plum jobs befitting his status.


Okezie refused and ran from what the vast majority of people and his contemporaries spend their lives trying to attain riches and fame. He gave up pleasures, treasures and self pride because of love for his people. From the ivory tower, Okezie watched and saw his own Abia people living in a slump. He saw the rot, decay and refuse in Aba and environs. Something stirred within Okezie, like the American philosophy that says, don’t ask what America will do for you, but what you will do for America. He became aware that Abia is his own state and he has a duty to perform for his people. He decided to do the odd job and became a street sweeper. According to Ralph Waldo Emerson, “A great man is always willing to be little”.


From a distance, God was watching and observed how Ikpeazu carefully, lovingly and humbly was sweeping the streets for Abians to enable them enjoy a better life. God in his tradition of judging men from heart and not from outward disposition approved Okezie Ikpeazu as the kind of servant He needed to take charge of Abia state. Okezie Ikpeazu’s story fits in the Biblical portion that says, “He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump. He sets them among princes, placing them in seats of honour. 1 Samuel 2:8.


Ikpeazu is a man of the people, with a humble spirit, approachable and gives a listening ear to people. A colleague who had a meeting with him, reported that he was highly impressed with the kind welcome and respect he accorded to him even without knowing him. His aides welcomed him cordially and offered him cola. Okezie greeted him as father when he came to meet him, not knowing who he is. And he gave him a very warm welcome when he disclosed his identity and status. An attitude contrary to his contemporaries who are already playing God before the people they are aspiring to lead could see them. An egg that will hatch into a cock could be spotted from day one.


From all indications, Okezie is set to harmonize the state of things in Abia, and the signs are already echoing through the land. There is the voice of hope, there is the voice of peace and it is the voice and wish of every Abian. Abians, Okezie has played the Good Samaritan to you before now like Moses from prince to pauper for your sake. “He who sacrifices a whole offering shall be rewarded for a whole offering; he who offers a burnt offering shall have the reward of a burnt offering. But he who offers humility to God and man shall be rewarded with a reward as if he has offered all the sacrifices in the world”. The Talmud. Abians, this is the time to reward Okezie for his service and humility.


With Okezie, the state of Abia will look blue and green, and with him the ocean will meet the stream, and the eagle will take to flight in Abia. With Okezie, Abians will sing a new song, songs of peace, songs of hope and the voice of peace and love will be the voice of every Abian. Diseases will not have a place to dwell as the dirt, dung, and refuse will not occupy the land. Abians will be an instrument marching in a common band, playing songs of hope and peace for our children. There will be a new song in the lip of every Abia man.


Abians like Moses, God has sent a man after His own heart to you, embrace him and you will sing the Lords song in God’s own state.


*Photo Caption -  Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu

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