By Barr Onyebuchi Ememanka.

Onyebuchi Ememanka(Ururuaja).

Quite frankly, I chose to concern myself with the business of tidying up our exit from government from my own little angle. I chose not to engage in any media show with the supporters of the incoming administration in Abia State.

The reason is simply because it will serve no useful purpose. Elections are over and Alex Otti is the incoming Governor and by the 29th of May, God willing, he will take the oath of office and assume Executive Powers as Governor.

Let me restate here that I wish Otti well and I want him to succeed. I do not want him to fail. If a leader fails, the State fails and we all will be affected. 

However, certain actions of the man himself make it impossible not to chip in a word or two.

Yesterday's show with Julius Berger is one of them.

Let me say here that I will be personally delighted to see a construction company like Julius Berger do jobs in Abia. Their pedigree is top is their bill. 

It is also true that I would love to see PH road completed. It is one of those projects we started but couldn't finish. Government is a continuum. No matter how much he tries, Alex Otti will not construct every road in Abia State during his tenure as Governor. He will do the much he can and his successor will continue from wherever he will stop.

Besides, real progress will be achieved when succeeding administrations do better than their predecessors.

So for Abia to continue to make progress, Otti has to do better than Ikpeazu. 

My worry, however, is that Otti keeps displaying acts of desperation and I honestly don't know why. A Governor Elect isn't a Governor yet until he is formally sworn in. So, in what capacity did he pull that Julius Berger stunt?

Was that show necessary?

The answer is No.

Governing a State is serious business. There are laws, rules and procedures that must be followed. Otti was elected under a set of laws. He has a duty to show respect for laws. 

Upon take over, a new Governor receives briefings from relevant officers in the State. Even before full take over, the Transition Committees set up by both sides will be having preliminary interfaces and exchanging ideas and comparing notes on key areas.

Dr Alex Chioma Otti.

What did Alex Otti seek to achieve by what he did yesterday?

This was something he could have done on May 29th. After the swearing in, he could have moved straight from Umuahia stadium to PH Road with officials of Julius Berger. That would have made lots of sense.

PH Road is an ongoing project duly awarded to Hartland Nigeria Ltd. This has legal implications.

That it has lasted long doesn't mean that it's no longer an ongoing project. Otti is yet to receive official briefings from the State Ministry of Works on the current status of the project. He needs to see the papers and know exactly what has happened and then decide on what to do.

If he wants to bring in a new contractor, which he can, he needs to formally and properly terminate the existing contract, else law suits could be in the offing.

I honestly don't understand why he is in a hurry. It's just a little more than one month now. The tenure of a Governor in Nigeria is four years from the day he is sworn in. This tenure can neither be abridged nor extended, except by Operation of Law.

Yesterday's show was not only needless but extremely provocative and a ruthless affront to the office and authority of the Governor of Abia State. But beyond these, it provides an insight into the personality of the incoming Governor as a man who has no little or regard for processes, procedures and the rule of law.

This is the first time I have heard this kind of thing anywhere.

You want to inspect PH road, you started from Osisioma Junction?

Then made announcements all over the place?

In a State where there is a sitting Governor? 

When Otti was named Managing Director designate of the defunct Diamond Bank some years ago, Emeka Onwuka was still in office as MD and a date was set for Otti to take over. He waited till that day and allowed Onwuka to tidy up and leave. Why didn't he embark on inspection of branches of Diamond Bank weeks before Emeka Onwuka left office?

The signs are worrisome.

I remember what my late dad used to tell me years ago...


Like I once said here...

An incoming Governor is a potential former Governor, and history has a funny way of repeating itself.


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