By Charles Uzoukwu
Four years ago, when politicians were on the hustings campaigning for our votes, the point was made that Abia’s glory lay in the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and Dr. Alex Otti, the party’s cerebral, committed and patriotic gubernatorial candidate. A vote for Dr. Otti was guaranteed to turn Abia’s fortunes around for the better.
Unfortunately, election riggers, unprincipled Bench arbitrators and political recidivists collaborated to ensure that Abia’s glory was postponed. Ndi Abia found at the Government House in Umuahia a man unprepared for the arduous responsibilities of piloting the affairs of a people specially blessed by God. Abia got a man that talked a whole heap but was diffident in delivering even the minutest of democracy dividends. It is little wonder that, in commencing this year’s political campaigns, Dr. Otti, the APGA flag bearer, decided on introducing a key point. He asked Ndi Abia to demand from outgoing Governor Okezie Ikpeazu what became of the N2 trillion that accrued to their state since the 19 years that his PDP has been in power in Umuahia.
Abians are far wiser today than they ever were. They have since done their arithmetic and arrived at the sum that, all the money earned by Abia for two decades simply went down the tube. That explains why they have sworn to put an end to the evil reign of the Locust. Monkey couldn’t continue with endless labour, while Baboon ensconced itself in perennial comfort and scandalous opulence. Ndi Abia will speak with one voice, they will speak loud and clear with their voice on 2nd March, 2019 election, shoving aside noisemakers who signally failed in road construction, failed in the payment of salaries, failed in the provision of security and failed in all other facets and indices of good governance. Otti is known nationally as a technocrat, and banker of international repute.
At the Tejusoho market in Lagos on Friday November 23, 2018 the people of Abia listened as Otti explained point-by-point his economic master plan for Abia State. It was a socio-political and economic expedition that convinced the people of a new dispensation of wholeness that will wipe away countless months of unpaid salaries and years of unremitted gratuities and pensions. It is his determination to lend a hand to lift up Abia State, that made Otti to quit his top-flight job as Group Managing Director of Diamond Bank Plc, to contest the Abia governorship election in 2015. The same determination not to let his people continue to wallow in abject conditions has sustained his ambition to offer himself again for their service.
In a recent newspaper interview Otti said: “There was a reason I came out in 2015. There was a passion; there was something I wanted to do which has not been done. And to the extent that it has not been done, I cannot quit. If the person who hijacked my mandate has done it, then I would have considered quitting. I wasn’t looking for a job; I was in a job. I deliberately quit to come and do service to my people; to ensure that our place gets developed; to give good governance; to run a transparent economic management system; to ensure that our people have the basic necessities for life; to reduce to the barest minimum the poverty level in the state, to build infrastructure; to rescue the heartbeat of Abia State, which is Aba. None of those has been done. So, to the extent that they have not been done, I had to offer myself again”.
He has promised transparency in government. He will clear the backlog through consummate husbandry of the economy. He has promised to focus on the city of Aba with the precision of a laser beam. According to Otti: “Aba is a town that combines the qualities of Nnewi and Onitsha. Nnewi is known for industrialization, Onitsha is known for trade and commerce. APGA Government will focus on industrialization, small and medium scale industries. We need to secure the place. We need to recreate those days, when people used to come from Cameroon and other parts of Nigeria to buy from Aba. We are also going to focus on agriculture and entire value chain.
Another message from Alex Otti to the electorate is that they must `shine their eyes’ to prevent the blatant robbery that denied APGA of victory in 2015. They stole Our victory the last time around because they were the party at the centre. Today, things have changed. People are sufficiently angry and indignant to prevent a second theft of Otti’s assured victory. With our collective vigilance we shall guarantee Dr. Alex Otti’s gubernatorial victory and introduce the dawn of Abia State’s day of glory.
*Uzoukwu is resident in Abuja.