On December 9, 2018, Alex Otti, a factional governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), in Abia State, launched a book titled “Simply Alex” at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos. The book which was supposed to be a “A testimonial biography on the…life of Alex Otti ended up as an awry testament to what has now become an infamous and inglorious life of a man trying so hard by all means to paper over the many ugly expositions about his life.
Rather than achieve its aim of documenting those areas of his life he might have considered good enough in a book, the book launch actually ended up further exposing how Alex Otti has falling further down the pecking order in the ranking of men and women of integrity.
Following reports of the book launch on TV and in the print and blogs, one does not need a prophet to tell one that the event was not only ill intended but also poorly attended. While watching it on Channels TV the other day, the cameras focused only on the podium where few speakers mounted the rostrum to make their speeches. Unlike well attended events, the cameras deliberately refused to show other guests seated at the event for fear of exposing the scantiness of the hall. Not even pictures of the event in different blogs including pro-Otti ones could muster the courage to splash cross-section photos of guests at the event. In fact, to make up for these lapses, some pro-Otii blogs went as far as even posting a copy of the “Programme of Events” on their pages as part of their “Photo Splash” of the event just to make up for space. In my entire life as a media person, I have never seen such level of ridiculousness!
Apart from this, the only picture of the event one sees in the media space is that of a lineup of just 6 personalities including Alex Otti, his wife, Priscilla, Mr Martin Umeh of Petro-Base Group, the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe, Dr Nkem Okeke, Deputy Governor of Anambra State and Mutiu Sunmonu, a former Managing Director of Shell Petroleum. For a man who so desperately craves attention, this was no doubt another very poor outing.
It is instructive to note that nobody represented Diamond Bank at the event, the bank being the last one Otti worked for before joining politics as recently as 2014. As a highflying ex-banker he portrays himself to be, one would have expected that the hall would be filled with his former colleagues and even chieftains of not only Diamond Bank but also the entire banking industry. To get the picture clearer, compare the camaraderie and support of the banking elite when figures like Jim Ovia, Tony Elumelu etc, themselves former Bank MDs, are organizing an event in their personal capacities. The environment is always simply electrifying and the halls are usually filled to capacity despite that they are usually very large halls, with the crème de la crème and the doyens of the banking industry struggling to be counted among the guests for they are always many.
But why is it not so for Alex, I mean “Simply Alex” or is it now “Complex Alex”? The reasons are very simple. It is alleged that Alex Otti’s tenure as Managing Director of Diamond Bank was so tenuous and tortuous for the bank that no sooner had Otti left the bank than the cracks he left behind began to appear.
Shortly after his resignation, the bank declared an unprecedented 78% drop in profit for the nine months ended September 30, 2016.
The bank explained “cleansing its books” for operational efficiency and improved earnings for the business years ahead as reason behind the very poor returns.
While it is true that Alex Otti left Diamond Bank in October 2014, the bank started feeling the pressures of his corporate excesses and recklessness soon after as the new management could no longer continue with the rot they inherited from Otti, hence, the need to “cleanse its books”.
Also, the CBN recently fined Diamond Bank the sum of N250m for its involvement in fraudulent transfers it did on behalf of one of the nation’s leading telecommunications companies. According to a report monitored on “The Cable”, the CBN said that the illegal transfers for which the bank among others were being sanctioned happened between 2007 and 2015, a period which also covers Alex Otti’s tenure as MD of Diamond Bank.
It is also instructive to note that despite the threat of some Alex Otti’s followers to close their accounts with Diamond Bank if the bank did not come out to publicly refute the news making the rounds that Alex Otti was behind the bank’s recent financial distress as a result of his gross incompetence, ineptitude, financial recklessness and illegalities during his tenure as MD, the bank has called the bluff of such misguided supporters and has since ignored them since they (Diamond Bank) know that the news of Otti-instigated financial distress of their bank is true.
Also, looking at the roll call of the guests at his book launch, the question one should ask is why there are no prominent Abians at the event, not even from his own darling APGA in Abia? This goes a long way to prove that Otti is a divisive, garrulous, arrogant and toxic personality whose presence reeks of dishonesty, guile and deceit. He is one man no reasonable Abian wants to associate with except those who for pecuniary purposes are deceiving him into embarking on his ill-fated governorship ambition.
The same fate befell him when he organized a fund raiser with Abians living in New York. The hall was completely empty as Abians there shunned him to his consternation.
From Abia to Lagos, from Abuja to New York, the message from all Abians all over the globe to Alex Otti is, “Enough is Enough of your charade, of your deceit, of your desperation and of your insults on Abians. As for Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, we cannot have enough of him!”