April 22, 2024

Otti demarketing Abia in global arena – Abia PDP

Labour Party stakeholders pass vote of confidence on Gov. Otti

Governor Alex Otti

By Ugochukwu Alaribe, UMUAHIA

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has accused Governor Alex Otti, of demarketing the state during a public lecture in one of the universities in the United States of America.

The party said it had expected Otti to take advantage of the occasion to showcase investment opportunities in the State and emphasize on points like improvements on ease of doing business, availability,tax holidays and other factors that would entice foreign investors to invest in the state.

During the lecture, Otti had disclosed that he authorised a forensic audit on the financial records of Abia State when he assumed office and the report shows that a certain amount of money was paid to seven contractors by the immediate past administration in the State for non-existent airport projects.

However, in a statement signed by the PDP state publicity secretary, Elder Amah Abraham,the party reminded the Governor that he had set up a panel on inquiry on recovery of public properties and should focus on his job and allow the panel of inquiry to do its job without interference as well as stop witch hunting the operatives of the past administration.

It said; “By going to the global stage to make revelations about alleged acts of corruption looks to us as a media trial and an attempt to embarrass individuals who are yet to be proven guilty by the law.

“The Abia PDP had expected that Governor Alex Otti would take advantage of the occasion to showcase investment opportunities in Abia State and emphasize on points like improvements on ease of doing business, availability of raw materials and infrastructure, strong corporate governance structure, tax holidays, power supply and other factors that would entice foreign investors to come and invest in Abia.

“Curiously, there are different figures flying around in the media which casts doubt on the authenticity of the said report and its reliability for public consumption. At last count, the Abia PDP has seen three different figures which ordinarily should have made us dismiss the report but we are conscious of the gullibility of a lot of people and therefore deem it fit to respond to the media frenzy.

“The Abia PDP is not against setting up an audit to examine the financial records of the past administration. It is within his powers as Governor to do that but we are concerned that the same Governor also set up a Judicial Panel of Inquiry on recovery of public funds and properties soon after he assumed office. The said panel is still at work and has at various times invited operatives of the previous government and asked questions which answers were provided.

“If the Governor had received the report of the forensic audit, conventional wisdom dictates that he should have quietly handed it over to the panel of inquiry in order not to pre-empt its judicial work and allow it to further ask questions and incorporate it in its own final report.

“In the same video, Alex Otti put out verifiable tissues of lies regarding the payment of 10 years pension arrears. That is a lie from the pit of hell with the intent to defraud Abians, as pensioners have also confirmed that only nine months of a certain percentage of their monthly pension was paid. To avail a proof of intent to steal Abia funds, a simple calculation would show that 10 years amount to 120 months salary arrears deemed to have been cleared. If you deduct 9 months from the purported 120 months, the balance of 111 months pension as would be reported in Abia financial records is unaccounted for. If that is not an intent to defraud, then we wonder what it is.

“In all of this, Abia PDP is not disappointed at what is happening because it has become typical for Alex Otti to exhibit his deep animus for the PDP, especially the operatives of the immediate past administration at any slightest opportunity and we are already used to it. Unfortunately, while he thinks that he is attacking PDP, he is invariably making his own job difficult by demarketing Abia State. Unfortunately, a lot of Abians do not see the dangers in the propaganda being used by Alex Otti to destroy the fabrics of Abia’s governance structures.”

The party added that it is already concerned that the report of the panel of inquiry may be influenced by executive interference and urged the people to disregard the said news that is flying around because it is subjudice given that a panel of inquiry is already at work.