VETERAN journalist, Mr. Godwin Adindu is Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the Governor of Abia State,
Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu.
In this exclusive interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly’s Associate Editor, UCHE OLEHI, the respected pen pusher and public affairs analyst chronicles the highlight of Dr. Ikpeazu’s administration in the last 60 days, having been sworn in as 4th Abia Executive Governor on Friday, May 29, 2015.
The amiable CPS who spoke on sundry issues also opened up on his new job, work experience,
Sir, could you please, enumerate the projects Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has embarked upon since he assumed office on Friday, May 29, 2015?
The Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has hit the ground running. He started his first day in office with the flag off of the construction of seven major roads in Aba, the commercial nerve centre of the state, to give the city a face-lift. The roads which are to be completed within the first 100 days of his administration include the Umuocham Road (1.7km) awarded to Ferotex Construction Company Limited, Old Express Road (6km) awarded to Irishgreen Global Concepts, Ukaegbu (1.4km), Umuola (1.4km) and Ehere (700metres) Roads awarded to Macol Construction Company Limited. The rest are Kamalu Road (1.5km) awarded to Raycon and Faulks Road by Ariara (5.5km) awarded to Bills Limited Civil Engineering.
Speaking while flagging off the roads, the Governor assured that quality job will be done on the roads while street lights will be installed on them. He also said work will be going on simultaneously on all the roads. According to the Governor, though work has been done on some of the roads without much success in the past, more durable work will be done this time around.
Which of these roads would ease traffic in Aba?
The completion of Kamalu Road which will link Okpulo Umuobu in Osisioma LGA will ease traffic in Aba. And those who have attachments on the roads where construction is going on have been directed to remove such attachments immediately to quicken the pace of work.
When are these roads expected to be completed?
We expect they will be completed within the first 100 days.
Why did the Governor establish the Office of Aba Urban Renewal?
The reason Governor Okezie Ikpeazu established the office of Aba Urban Renewal is to demonstrate the high premium he has placed on the rebuilding of the ancient city of Aba. The rebuilding of roads and the general infrastructural renewal of Aba is a top priority of Dr. Ikpeazu administration. The vision of the governor to bring Aba back to its old pride of place also finds eloquent expression in this policy.
Like I told members of Aba Progressive Youth Movement who paid me a courtesy visit days back, the city of Aba is dear to the heart of the governor and this informs the reason he has decided to operate from the city in the meantime so as to be close to the people and personally monitor the on-going projects that have been flagged off in the city.
Can you shed more light on the agency?
Th Aba Urban Renewal Office will be a key driving force of the administration and the governor will show personal interest and commitment to the activities of the office in order to ensure it performs to the utmost expectation. A Special Adviser, oversees the office. The Governor has also appealed to the residents of the city to cooperate with the administration as many drastic measures will be taken for the general good of the people and the state. While some of these measures may seem harsh initially, the people will be happy at the end.
What does Dr. Ikpeazu want to achieve in 100 days in office, having spent almost 60 days, so far?
The first 100 days,the governor would have succeeded in charting a new course for Aba. He would have possibly completed the on-going projects and given the people a clear picture of the direction of the administration.
Some political appointments have been made. So, can you give us a breakdown of his appointment?
The Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has made the following appointments: Some of the appointments include Chief of Staff, Mr. Chijioke Nwakodo; Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr John Nwagborogwu; Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Godwin Adindu; Special Assistant, Media, Mr. Ojo Maduekwe; Special Assistant Media, Mr. Ugochukwu Emezue; Special Adviser Project Monitoring & Implementation, Engr. Emma Nwabuko; Special Adviser Political (Aba Urban Renewal), Dr. Solomon Ogunji; Special Adviser on Special Duties, Chief Ukpai Agwu Ukpai; Director of Protocol, Mr. Valentine Ifeanyi Okpechi; Special Adviser on PPP and Investment Promotion, Mr. Austin Ufomba; Special Adviser on Economic Planning, Mr. Obinna Oriaku; Special Adviser on Due Process, Chief Hon. Kalu I. Udoma; Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Eme Okoro; Special Adviser on Security, Captain Awa (Rtd); Special Adviser on Legislative Matters, Rt. Hon. Barr. Chinedum Elechi.
These appointments take immediate effect.
With less than 50 days to 100 days in office, you think he’s on course?
I think it’s too early to start assessing the new government. Don’t forget Dr. Ikpeazu is not up to eight weeks in office.
How’s life as Abia CPS?
We are doing our best with all the challenges.
So, what’s one of the major challenges?
Getting people to understand our communication module. We want do things in a different way, a radical departure from the past.
ABOUT GOV IKPEAZU’S CPS, GODWIN ADINDU
Godwin Adindu is a veteran journalist and public relations consultant.
He is bringing to his new job over 25 years experience as a print journalist, public relations consultant, social critic and government spokesperson.
Before the appointment as Governor Ikpeazu’s Chief Press Secretary (CPS), he was a Special Adviser on Media and Communication to the former Governor of Abia State, Senator T.A Orji.
A 1991 graduate of Andrews University, Michigan, USA, Adindu also holds an M.Sc in Media and Communication from the Pan African University/Lagos Business School and a Post Graduate Diploma in Public Policy Analysis from the University of Calabar. He also trained with the British Broadcasting Cooperation (BBC), in Specialised Political Reporting.
Adindu started his career as an Assistant Lecturer in the Language and Communication Department of the Adventist Seminary of West Africa (now Babcock University) and later joined the defunct Post Express Newspapers, where he rose to the position of Features/Metro Editor.
He would later join the pioneer team of the Insider Magazine and left in 2002 to serve as the Head of Covers and Investigation of Daily Independent Newspapers.
In 2004, Adindu made a foray into Media/Public Relations Consultancy and served with the C and F Porter Novelli as a Senior Manager, Media Services. The job exposed him to the agency side of media operations. Later, he joined TaijoWonukabe Ltd, another PR agency with specialization in Custom Media, as the Head of Custom Media.
In 2007, he founded his own marketing communication agency, Goodwill Communication Company Ltd and served as the Managing Partner until 2011 when he joined the media team of the former governor as a Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communication. He was promoted to Special Adviser in 2013, the position he held till his current appointment.
Godwin Adindu is married with three children.