…receives certificate of return
…Advises Ikpeazu against awarding new contracts
By Steve Oko
Governor-elect of Abia State, Dr Alex Otti, has assured Abians that he would not disappoint them, admitting that huge expectations are on him.
Otti who made the promise after receiving his certificate of return at the Umuahia headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Wednesday, said that ” God had given Abia a new song”, and promised not to betray the confidence reposed in him by Abia voters.
” Your expectations have put a huge responsibility on us. I won’t fail Abians who have waited for opportunity like this for a new dawn.
” You will not be disappointed. I won’t betray the confidence you have in me “, Otti assured.
He commended his fellow contestants who had already called to congratulate and promised to support him to move the state forward.
The Labour Party candidate urged other contestants to put the election behind them and also rally round him for the good of the state instead of engaging in litigation against “a clearly won election”.
Otti thanked the out-going Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu for also congratulating him, and for advising other contestants again unnecessary litigation.
He, however, called on Ikpeazu not to create unnecessary tension in the state by awarding fresh contracts as doing so may not be in good taste.
The Governor -elect who said he would not be vindictive, again, asked anyone with looted funds belonging to Abia to immediately and voluntarily return same as he would not have time to be chasing anybody around.
” I call on those who have looted Abia funds to return it immediately. We can’t allow our resources to be converted to a private estate while Abians are wallowing in abject poverty.”
Otti used the opportunity to commended the Returning Officer, and Vice Chancellor of Federal University of Technology Owerri, FUTO, Professor Nnenna Otti, for being upright and refusing to be compromised.
He denied any affinity or blood link with her contrary to allegations by the ruling party, explaining that the Returning Officer hails from Ebonyi State, and is not by any means related to him.
Otti said she deserved commendation for standing on the side of truth.
” With people like her, there is hope for Nigeria”, Otti said.
He also commended INEC for conducting a credible poll in Abia, although he noted that Labour Party Leader and Collation agent in Obingwa attacked by thugs is still hospitalised.
Speaking earlier, INEC National Commissioner and Head Voter Education and Publicity, Festus Okoye, thanked Abians for being vigilant to protect their votes.
He noted that democracy needed to be nurtured to grow, adding that INEC alone cannot conduct credible elections without the collaborative efforts of other stakeholders including the citizenry.
Okoye said that huge expectations were on Otti and the Deputy Governor-elect, Emetu Lekwachi, and prayed God to grant them the grace and wisdom to deliver.
In his remarks, the INEC Administrative Secretary, Clement Oha, said the elections in Abia were successful and credible.
He noted that in some states INEC offices had been deserted after the polls unlike Abia where the INEC officials are still on ground because they discharged their duties creditably.
Some of the dignitaries sighted at the glamorous event included former PDP Chairman in the state and governorship aspirant, Senator Emma Nwaka; Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, in the state, Apostle Emmanuel Agonmuo; State Chairman of Inter Party Advisory Council, IPAC who doubles as LP Chairman, Ceekay Igara; Otti’s Campaign Council Director General, Hon. Acho Obioma; among LP Leaders and supporters.
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