Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu wants to make Abia State people follow the path of the indigene. He is showcasing Made in Aba products in the United States. Nor is he leaving China behind where he travelled to propagate the idea that citizens of his state have rival wares. He has become the apostle of local talent.
His is the ownership society. As he stood last week at the Bankers’ House in Lagos to deliver the annual Hallmark lecture, he was quick to point out that the gray local suit with white stripes he wore was made locally, with “Proudly Aba” embossed on its left sleeve.
“I don’t know Gucci. I don’t know Luis Vuitton,” he quipped as he kicked up his right foot to show that his pair of black velvety shoes was made locally and he knew the maker.
The dream is still a long way coming, but I have always maintained that the talents in Aba are too numerous to make them purveyors of substandard goods. Gov Ikpeazu spoke about standardisation and how to make the electronics, garment and footwear not only of good quality but also a big source of foreign earnings.
In concluding his speech, he referred to Moses’ dialogue with God when he was assigned to confront Pharaoh. God asked him, what’s in your hand? He had a staff with which he bested Pharaoh’s snakes, beat the enemy and crossed the Red Sea. This theme of Aba and local content will engage this page in the near future.