“The problem caused by 24 years of misrule cannot disappear overnight” and what Otti said | #NwokeukwuMascot

 Opinion 

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Let’s examine the above statement credited to Alex Otti’s supporters whenever they are confronted with critical comments on the missteps of the Alex Otti-led government in Abia State.

In reviewing that statement we have to assume that Mr Alex Otti was not part and parcel of the 24 years even though we know that to be FALSE and proceed to analyze the statement to see if it meets historic good leadership standard. For the avoidance of doubt, Mr Alex Otti was a member of PDP in Abia State registered at his ward in Arochukwu LGA. He did not only advise the Governors on financial matters, but also ensured that the banks he worked for, First Bank and Diamond Bank, benefitted by availing high interest loans to the government including facility that finally killed Modern Ceramics Umuahia and delivered Abiapoly to the emergency room.

For 8 years, Alex Otti sought the governorship of Abia State, campaigning on knowing the problems of the State and having the capacity to hit the ground running with tailor-made solutions. Even after his designation as Governor-elect, he continued to dish out promises on how he is going to turn Abia into an Eldorado once inaugurated. Indeed, he “assumed office” before he was inaugurated and hired a "Julius Berger" to reconstruct Port Harcourt Road, Aba that was at that time under subsisting contract with Hartland Construction company. Sadly, more than 100 days after, his Julius Berger is yet to start work anywhere in Abia State.

In his inauguration speech at Umuahia Township stadium, Mazi Alexander Chioma Otti stated that “our social contract with the good people of Abia State, is that ours SHALL NOT BE A GOVERNMENT OF EXCUSES & FINGER-POINTING. We have taken time to review the situation and we already have a clear understanding of what is expected from government. Abians will no longer need the media to tell them what the government is doing in their communities; they will directly experience real development themselves as it occurs".

It is either Otti and his supporters have discarded that portion so soon or the fact of their failure to deliver anything substantial in the first measuring window of 100 days in office, has made it necessary for them to adopt an aggressively defensive approach to public examination.

The undeniable fact is that Otti’s personal character flaws have made it difficult for him to achieve any reasonable thing so far. He is inherently arrogant,  bitter and a rancorous man, whose approach to leadership is fault finding only. For instance, Otti promised 3 new general hospitals while abandoning the multi billion naira specialist hospital done by his predecessor to rot away, and yet could not deliver even one new General hospital within the 100 days he personally promised.

According to sources close to Otti, he does not want to use anything done by his predecessor or work with people associated with that administration, but in the wake of his failure to start and complete any project in 100 days, he has resorted to claiming the road projects done by his predecessor openly and through subterfuge. Wherever his predecessor has delivered a good road, Otti will go to a location near there to patch and beautify an average 100 meters and then subtly claim the major work of his predecessor using social media influencers who are not Abia based.

The so called Emelogu and Cemetary road projects are classic examples of the deceit being employed by Otti to cover his ineptitude even while his supporters continue to rant that the rot of 24 years cannot be undone in 100 days. Dr Ikpeazu reconstructed 3km Eziukwu-Cemetary road and Otti decided to fix 200m of Cemetary-Ngwa road roundabout. In Emelogu, Ikpeazu did the 1.7km road from Opobo road to Ngwa road, while Otti decided to do the Emelogu-Opobo road junction rehabilitation of less than 50m and proceeded to falsely claim that he fixed Emelogu road.

The most scary part is Otti’s failure to run a transparent or open government, even when he promised that in his inaugural address. Obviously this cannot be blamed on his predecessors or past 24 years as Ikpeazu won many awards for running an open and transparent government. Not even once has Otti’s administration informed the people of any FAAC or revenue receipt and nobody in the state is aware of the contractors he is using to patch some roads at huge cost to the tax payers. A young man, Ikechukwu Iroha, who questioned the obvious linkage between Otti, his lawyer, Ken Ahia, and a contractor working for Otti for many years was slammed with a frivolous N1b suit to silence him.

If Otti cannot unmake the problems caused by “24 years of misrule” he can at least be expected to start on a clean note by setting proper structures for effective and transparent leadership. He should be able to at least show that he can do something original and different outside claiming the projects and programs of past administrations without acknowledging them. It is brazen wickedness to publicly claim that world bank has availed his administration a facility to fix more then 200 roads within 100 days in office without reference to the fact that it was Dr Ikpeazu that processed and obtained that facility and handed over to him even when he opposed the same facility.

The deceit of the past 100 days in Abia State has certainly trumped the supposed failures of the past 24 years and no amount of media hype will cover that in due course.

—Nwokeukwu Mascot Nnamdi

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