If I had ever doubted the wisdom of God, if I had ever doubted His willingness to save His people from sin and death, it was perhaps I hadn’t taken time to appreciate Him for saving Abians from the disaster Alex Otti would have been had Abians made the mistake of electing him Governor of Abia State in 2015. My pity to myself stems largely from my misconception that if he wouldn’t have made a good Governor, he should at least proof himself of having more than the thinking power or a rock or the brain of a sponge.
Please do not misunderstand me. Otti may have graduated first class. However, he appeals to me as a man who would have done better in the boardroom (very rebuttable though) than this infamous act of venturing into politics which in my mind has succeeded in demystifying whatever is left of his aura. I will tell you how.
In a short but detailed interview, Okezie Victor Ikpeazu PhD, the sharply focused Governor of Abia State, the youthful Governor with the Midas touch, the prudent manager of men and resources, the man who has in three years placed Aba (the single most important city economy East of the Niger) and indeed Abia on the track of steady development, the man who mustered sufficient political will to tackle challenges hitherto seen to be impracticable and impossible, told the world that Otti is not an opposition to be worried about. Ikpeazu as a scientist had studied the quality of opposition presented by Otti and came out with the incontrovertible conclusion that he doesn’t feel challenged by the unlikely event of an Otti governorship candidacy in 2019. Instead of Otti and his team of clever by half, self serving busy bodies to give a superior argument, they ignorantly did a ten page reply. In all, they tried and regrettably too, to make good governance a slave to grammar. All through that adverse admission from Otti through his crony Nnanna Ijoema who resides in New York (not New Umuahia, not New Owerri, not new Aba), I did not read anything to invalidate Ikpeazu’s bitter truth to Otti. I was shocked (but not surprised) that in utter display of the most shameless disposition, Otti branded the Ikpeazu government, that of Flag Offs, Billboards and Jingles. Again I asked, how did any person arrive at the poor judgment that Otti could be a match to the highly cerebral Ikpeazu. Let us juxatopose idealism and realism.
1. Otti may not have encountered the word “flag off” in his uneventful (a story for another day) stint as a banker otherwise he ought to have known that any person who holds pubic wealth on trust, like Ikpeazu; has a duty imposed on him to give account from start to finish. The question is: is work completed or progressing at an enviable stage after flag off?. Yes! Let his cronies travel either by foot or car round Aba. Without Otti’s illusive N100b loan, Faulks Road and no fewer than thirty other roads in Aba alone are looking better than they had been in thirty years. This is not counting the various other great efforts at improving infrastructure across the State.
It is better than commissioning a rural road halfway like Otti did at Isiala Ngwa a fortnight ago.. It is way better than flagging off campaign just to open account for corporate begging in the name of sourcing for funds for electioneering.
2. Otti is not a governor. He has no single project to his name in Abia. The next time you visit Abia, you will notice that this man who was defeated roundly at the 2015 polls has no fewer than 100 billboards to his name. The one he has at his office along Bank Road Umuahia is large enough to be used by students of Advertising in the study of economic waste in marketing. And you begin to wonder, how did we give a hypocrite so much space to shoot himself on the foo?.
3. Otti is not a governor. He has no single project to his name in Abia. But, he has 30mins in five radio stations every week across Abia State. To do what? Propagate falsehood, peddle rumour and hoodwink the consciousness of unsuspecting Abians. Perhaps, in the unlikely event that he becomes governor, he will shut down all media houses to insult our intelligence.
Meanwhile, there’s a sitting Governor who has rejigged the industry spirit of Aba people, opened up access roads to critical business areas, ignited a revolution in agriculture, put Enyimba International on the world map of football by delivering a world class pitch, facilitated aggressive development in MSMEs, superintended aggressive rural electrification, improved infrastructure in public schools across the State and most importantly promoted a regime of enviable social investment imperatives. Yet! An aspirant Otti is on radio everyday saying nothing and creating confusion in the minds of Abians.
4. Otti is not governor. But, on the day of his charade called declaration, he shamelessly caused to be mobilized and had mobilized youths even from as far as Benue State paying each person a paltry N1000 just to give that false impression that he is on ground. Which ground?
Otti is an Old Boy of Ngwa High School where he chose as his venue for declaration. My friends of Class 90 did that entrance gate. Meanwhile, after over 30 years of graduating from that school, there is not even a single conical flask in Ott’s name. Yet, he wants us to believe that just by the unlikely event of being elected Governor, he would learn how to use his left hand at old age. A first class brain? How?
5. If Ikpeazu hadn’t given a facelift to raods that lead to Arochukwu, how come Otti stopped flying airplane to his native home? Why wouldn’t Otti tell the world that the first time he drove by road to his Arochukwu couthry home was after the strategic intervention of Ikpeazu. If he still doubts, then let him be conveyed to his village by his very many billboards along Arocukwu
6. At Ngwa High School and in less than one month, he has increased the alleged salary owed teachers in the State. At Ngwa School, it was 10 months and now 12months. A man who deploys a sharp blade to slice the pride of teachers just so he is elected Governor doesn’t deserve a chance at all. Otti may be first class but he needs lessons on how not to tell lies. He needs to be schooled thoroughly on what is called BUILIDNG TO LAST. Could this be why he applied mundane, rustic and outlandish policy directives in Diamond Bank so much that 2000 members of staff were laid off shortly after his exit? Is that the type of government he proposes to run in Abia? Where the law is made victim of fraud?
Otti and his retinue of propagandists, misdirected irredentists, radio rats, billboard maestros, jingle apologists, cheap blackmailers and busy bodies should first put their APGA house of commotion in order. That way, they shall have passed the first litmus test of preparation for governance. They should harmonize their multiple factions in Abia as a prelude to team work. Governance can never be a slave to drama. I believe and strongly too that given the same opportunity, Ikpeazu will reiterate that Alex Otti is everything but an opposition a hardworking governor should bath an eyelid righting off. If you doubt me, ask Alex Otti why he’s not able to denounce the conduct he claims is inimical to growth. May we have an opposition with sense joy the one it’s proponent constantly makes good governance a slave to grammar.
Udechukwu, writes from Umuahia