The Abia PDP has read the unintelligent and uninspiring assessment of Alex Otti’s 100 days in office by Mr. Umeh Kalu, former operative of Abia State government as Adviser and Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice for more than 10 years during the governments of Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, Chief T. A. Orji and Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu. In the said interview, Umeh Kalu tried very hard, still unsuccessfully, to change track after he had openly scored Otti low by saying that 100 days was not enough to judge Alex Otti’s performance because he met Abia in a difficult situation.
Having established a pattern of high propensity for Umeh Kalu to misunderstand core issues of debate, the Abia PDP will once again, as usual, take the liberty to educate him on the finer points surrounding the celebration of 100 days in office; the issue at the centre of discussion and not the performance of PDP in 24 years.
The “100 Days in Office” activity is used to assess the performance of an executive office holder and how the person has put the right foot forward within that time threshold to give hope to the electorates and citizens that he will take them far into the journey and to a successful completion of tenure.
Resorting to brickbats that has become his stock-in-trade and those in the Labour Party, including Alex Otti who rather than face the delivery of tangibles, would always dwell on how PDP ran Abia for 24 years, Umeh Kalu once again, tried to bring in the PDP into the mix rather than show what Alex Otti did to give Abians hope in his 100 days in office.
According to Umek Kalu, *“100 days may not be enough time to make any meaningful assessment given the enormity of the problems we have in Abia State for those who understand. I understand what is on the ground. They have taken off; he has appointed Commissioners and some principal officers of government. But you can still say we have some kind of problems and challenges- and it is a very serious one facing him”.*
With these words, Umeh Kalu justifiably said that Alex Otti is apparently facing problems bigger than him and that was a direct indictment on his capability if appointing Commissioners and Principal Officers has become a yardstick to measure performance of a governor in his 100 days in office.
That said and without joining issues with Umeh Kalu, Abia PDP challenges him to publish his scorecard as Adviser and Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice under the governments of Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, Chief T. A. Orji and Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu for Abians to see the roles he played in moving Abia forward.
We challenge him to tell Abians how he can possibly absolve himself of any blames or wrongdoings in his purported misgovernance of Abia State in the 24 years of the PDP. It is only on the basis of such disclosures that Umeh Kalu can have the effrontery to condemn Abia PDP.
Abia PDP does not have to assess the performance of Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu because it would amount to a self-assessment and may be termed subjective by naysayers and contrarians who do not want to accept the reality of the superlative performance of Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu’s administration. In Abia PDP’s stead, two external bodies have recently assessed Dr. Ikpeazu’s performance and we have taken the liberty, once again, to present them to Umeh Kalu to educate him further on the achievements of Dr. Ikpeazu while in office.
The National Bureau of Statistics, NBS in its regular Multidimensional Poverty Index, MPI, released in October 2022, during Dr. Ikpeazu’s tenure put Abia as one of the best States and the best in the South East ahead of Anambra, when measured against the four key sectoral indices of education, health, standard of living and security. This assessment by the national statistical body was a testimony to the fulfilment of Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu’s promise to Abians in 2015 when he campaigned to be governor and told them that he will make their lives better.
Just a fortnight ago, an international human rights organisation, the highly regarded think-tank on international affairs, The Council on Foreign Relations, CFR, released its report on insecurity in Nigeria which covered the period 2020-2022. According to the report, there were a total of 14,168 deaths arising from insecurity in Nigeria with the South East accounting for 1,178 deaths with Abia State recording the lowest with 72, Imo 183, Enugu 125, Anambra 317 and Ebonyi 391 deaths. As the record shows, and very clearly too, Abia was the least affected in the South East and this excellent record continued until the exit of Dr. Ikpeazu on May 29, 2023. Umeh Kalu can take this home and stop having sleepless nights about the performance of Okezie Ikpeazu.
We are not surprised that Umeh Kalu now doubles as the Coordinator of Alex Otti’s legal team and the government spokesperson at the same time, because, certainly that was also what he did for governors Orji Uzor Kalu, T. A. Orji and Okezie Ikpeazu until his inglorious exit in the last government.
While the majority of Abians, Alex Otti’s handlers and members of the Labour Party have all admitted that Alex Otti is overwhelmed with the weight of governance in 100 days, having not passed the route before, Umeh Kalu’s interview did the best for the PDP by putting to rest the argument about Alex Otti’s performance in his 100 days in office because he succinctly passed a vote of no confidence on him instead of the damage he felt he was causing the PDP with that unintelligible interview.
We call on Abians, members of the Labour Party, especially handlers of Alex Otti to be wary of Umeh Kalu and his likes because they are career politicians who swing with the political pendulum. And to Umeh Kalu, thank you for vindicating our position that in the past 100 days that Alex Otti has not offered any hope and will never do so.
*PDP – Power to the People!*
*Hon. Elder Abraham Amah*
*Abia PDP Vice Chairman/Acting State Publicity Secretary*