The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan on Thursday told the Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Victor Ikpeazu that the progressives are waiting for him.
Lawan extolled the virtues of the Governor who is of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) that he is already a progressive in heart and actions.
The Senate President spoke in Aba in Abia State at a Grand Civic Reception in honour of Prince Paul Ikonne who is the Executive Secretary of the National Agricultural Land Development Authourity( NALDA).
The Senate President was in the state on the invitation of the Governor primarily to commission a shoe factory, Enyimba Automated Shoe Company(ENASCO), which is cited at Obingwa near Aba.
Shortly after the commissioning of the shoe factory, the convoy headed to Abia State Polytechnic in Aba, venue of the reception.
It was at the reception that the Enyi 1 of Aba, HRH, Eze I. A. Ikonne conferred on Ahmad Lawan the chieftaincy title of the Onyentukwasi Obi 1 of Aba in recognition of his “highly exemplary leadership qualities, meritorious service to Nigeria.”
In his response after the conferment of the title, the Senate President said: “I want to say a little about our Governor here, our friend. One of the earlier speakers said that the Governor will go to Senate in 2023. Amen.
“Your Excellency, it is necessary for me to speak about you here even though you and I are invited to attend a function meant to honour our young brother, Prince Paul Ikonne.
“Your Excellency, I want to thank you for the opportunity to be here with you. I have listened to the remarks of Prince Paul Ikonne on your relationship with him and I have also listened to your remarks on the relationship.
“The relationship is a progressive relationship. The relationship that is blind to differences especially in political persuasions. But all of you are wide awake and alert to one major responsibility: To make the lives of the people here in Abia State better. And that is what we need to do everywhere.
“You are a shinning example of a Nigerian that is pan Nigerian, that believes in coming together with everyone to ensure that the lives of the people they govern are improved and I want to commend you for that.
“Your Excellency, before you go to the Senate, it doesn’t matter how we are able to work to get ourselves into a progressive forum. You are already a progressive at heart. You are a progressive in action. Your Excellency, the progressive forum is waiting.
“Your Excellency, I’m not suggesting anything. I’m just stating the obvious. You are different. You are a very peaceful man. You are a very humble man. You are a very firm person. You are a very fair person. You believe in justice. You believe in everything that is ideal of progressivism.
“And therefore, for us, it’s not anyone leaving from somewhere to somewhere, you are already there. You are ours, we are yours and Your Excellency, our people look up to us in this country, regardless of their political beliefs, all they want is for us political leaders to put our heads together to salvage whatever situation needs to be addressed.
“You are indeed a great partner. I have a great deal respect for you and we in Abuja, will like to go with you more closely.
“You have demonstrated your capacity to bring change in the lives of the people of Abia. Your Excellency, we are waiting for you to go and contribute to the improvement in the lives of Nigerians at the center by the Grace of God.”
On the title conferred on him, the Onyentukwasi Obi 1 of Aba(the reliable one), Lawan thanked His Royal Majesty for the honour and dedicated the title to all his Senator colleagues.
“On behalf of all my colleagues in the Senate, my family and the good people of Yobe North who voted me to be a Senator in the first place, I want to assure His Royal Highness that I will remain committed and dedicated to doing anything within the law that will improve on the lives of the people of our kingdom here.
“This is a promise that I will stand by and from today onwards, I belong here.”
Speaking earlier at the Commissioning of the shoe factory, the Senate President commended the Governor on the project.
“I cannot commend you enough. What you have done here is to say nothing is impossible.
“I’m sure that we all know that the resources available to our states are so limited and yet to come up with this kind of project shows how prudent you are, how efficient you are with the resources of Abia State.
“I must commend you and I’m not surprised. I know your antecedent even before you became a Governor. Abia State is lucky to have Dr Okezie Victor Ikpeazu as Governor.
“This project, in addition to providing employment in the local communities and in Abia in direct way, indirectly, the leather industries in Kano and other places will also get more employment opportunities.
“I believe that this project deserves every possible support from Federal government agencies, the Bank of Industry, the Ministry of Industry itself. Indeed the Central Bank of Nigeria must be looking at this direction so that you will expand,” he said.
The Senate President was accompanied on the trip from Abuja by the Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu and Senator Yakubu Oseni.