Yesterday June 5, 2023 is exactly one week Dr. Alex Otti was sworn in as the governor of Abia State. Within the last one week, every decision that has come out of his desk reeks of hate, antagonism, vendetta and missteps and if other Abians are surprised, we in the PDP are certainly not surprised because that is typical Alex Otti who does not see anything good in whatever another person does.
On the day he was sworn in as governor of Abia State, he devoted 21 paragraphs of his 45-paragraph inaugural speech to preach hate, vendetta and antagonism against the Abia PDP when he ought to have preached peace and reconciliation among all people of Abia State. On the spot, he rejected a podium used by former governor Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu and said that he would not touch or use anything used by the former governor of Abia State and we wonder what level of unimaginable intolerance that could be.
The first few appointments he made are typically skewed in favour of a particular section of the State and this should not be so because every section of the State parades the best that can be used for any position in government. Making appointments that speak against our oneness is at best divisive and would not provide the conviviality needed to move the State forward.
The mistakes he has made show him as incompetent, bringing credence to the point we made during the campaigns that there is a huge difference between running a small financial institution and running a big public corporation like Abia State.
For instance, he disbanded the task force on collection of vehicle levies in Abia without first creating an alternative to those that earn a decent living from that sector and asked his deputy, Engr. Ikechukwu Emetu to lead the charge in enforcing the ban. We wonder how long the deputy governor would remain in Aba to enforce that. Maybe, he would relocate his office permanently to Aba. Creating an alternative avenue for collectors to earn a living and appropriate counselling on any menace their activities cause society would have been the appropriate approach to build a better ecology of social change that would provide a harmonious end to the menace. We seriously doubt if the braggadocio would bring any good outcome.
A few days after his assault on members of the task force, there was carnage at the Union Bank area of Aba when levy collectors unleashed mayhem and attacked some citizens, leaving not a few with serious injuries that may lead to fatality. While we do not support criminality of any type, we also do not approve of the half-measure the governor undertook because it would disturb the peace which became Abia’s trademark under the watch of the PDP led by Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu.
Last week, the new governor bypassed extant laws that established statutory boards in Abia State and dissolved them with executive fiat. The action of the governor is not only unlawful but also offensive, high handed, obnoxious and therefore actionable. As if that was not enough, he asked the Chairman of all the illegally dissolved boards to hand over to the most senior officers in the board but in the case of Abia State Universal Education Board, ASUBEB, contradicted himself by imposing an officer who is not the most senior over the due one. What manner of imposition is that?
And in a more disturbing move, he removed the performing rector of Abia State Polytechnic Aba, Prof. Hagler Okorie and replaced him with his deputy, Mrs. Chidinma Martha Ndukwe. Hagler Okorie, a renowned professor of Law was just appointed and confirmed in March 2023 by governor Okezie Ikpeazu and we begin to wonder the reason for his removal because he has shown capacity as a good manager in the last few months of administering Abia State Polytechnic.
If what we are thinking that he is making good his threat not to touch anything used by governor Okezie Ikpeazu is correct, then we are worried that Abians are in for a ride with an emperor not a governor.
The best Governor Alex Otti can do to move Abia forward is to rid himself of the excessive and deep seated animus against the PDP and those that did not vote for him. The day he was sworn in as the governor of Abia State is the day he became the father of all Abans. We expect that he should apply the best principles of good governance and not conduct himself as an intolerant leader. Unfortunately, that is the way he comes across to many people. Abia belongs to all of us and every Abian deserves to be treated fairly and equally.
Let us not forget that it was during the PDP government of Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu that Abia State was judged by the National Bureau of Statistics in its 2022 Multidimensional Poverty Index, MPI as one of the best five States in Nigeria and the best in the South East when measured against the key four sectoral indices of education, health, security and standard of living. The best any government can do for Abians is to maintain and surpass that record.
We call on the members of the PDP and the good people of Abia State to remain calm, peaceful and law abiding as we look forward for a better tomorrow.
*PDP – Power to the People!*
*Hon. Abraham Amah*
*Abia PDP Vice Chairman/Acting State Publicity Secretary*