Gov Otti's Administration in Abia State: A Tale of Merits and Demerits | #NwokeukwuMascot

 Opinion 

…Merits And Demerits Of Otti's Administration In Abia State, By Sir Don Ubani; KSC, JP. | #NwokeukwuMascot 

 Dr Alex Chioma Otti 

Tuesday (Afor) 02-04-2024.

As a dispassionate Critic, I am impressed with Governor Otti's stride on quantifiable development of Abia State.

His agenda on Road Infrastructure is a focus well deservedly placed. Apart from the work going on on Port-Harcourt Road, Omuma Road and other Roads either already completed or ongoing in Aba, same in the State Capital, Umuahia, Nkpa in Isuikwuato, Umuahia-Uzuakoli-Ohafia Road, Arochukwu-Abam Road and Uzuakoli-Lohum Road, the Governor has done more than ten internal Roads in his native home of Arochukwu. In the case of Arochukwu, there appears to be a deliberate design not to give them any publicity. Probably, the Governor wants to pull a subtle one which could surprise visitors to Arochukwu in the next three years that Arochukwu has, indeed, become a Town booming with classical road infrastructure. This development is quite good because a land which son is a Governor should witness an exceptionally remarkable development even within the shortest duration of such governance.


I am also impressed with Governor Otti's bold determination to address with a note of finality the menace of insecurity posed by fulani terrorists who naturally paraded themselves as herdsmen in Lokpanta and its environs. That cankerworm affected almost every sector of Abia State economy, including but not limited to Students' enrollment at Abia State University, Uturu.


I was at Aba today when it was about to rain. Two hours before the rain, there was a combination of torrential wind and thunderstorm. I had anticipated that two minutes into the wind and thunderstorm, electricity would have tripped off but, unlike what it was before, electricity was not interrupted by the wind, thunderstorm and the accompanying heavy rain. This is courtesy of the Electricity Revolution in the State for which the immediate-past Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, had played a very prominent role.


Governor Otti's recently reported passion and consideration for Abia Pensioners is humanity that actually calls for appreciation. One of the things that made corruption to be instituted in the Civil and Public Service in Nigeria is the apprehension that on retirement it becomes very difficult, if not impossible, for Civil and Public Servants to receive either their monthly pensions or gratuities. Therefore, any State Governor that pays Workers and Pensioners as at when due, honestly deserves to be applauded.


It is obvious Governor Alexander Otti has scored many goals within his first eleven months of being at the helm of affairs of God's- own State. They are the merits of his governance.


On the other hand, and on a very sad note, it has become clear that Governor Otti neither has respect nor consideration for the Asa Man, that is Ukwa-West. His only interest in Asa is to grab their land, parcellate them, sell and make money out of them.

So far, he has grabbed more than One Thousand Plots of Lands from four Communities of; (1) Owaza, (2) Okohia, (3) Uzuaku and (4) Obibor.

Yet, Governor Otti does not have any plan to construct even a half kilometre of Road in Ukwa-West that enables his Administration to receive billions of Naira that is derivable from 13% Oil Derivation Fund from the  Federal Government of Nigeria.


Governor Otti has appointed 24 Permanent-Secretaries in the Civil Service of Abia State, giving Bende Local Government Area five slots. But he bluntly refused to let Ukwa-West have even one slot. Regrettably, Asa Sons working in his Labour Party Government appear not to have the capacity to ask the Governor to consider the strategic importance of Ukwa-West as the only Oil-Producing Local Government Area of the State and allow a slot to Ukwa-West Local Government Area. There is no School that teaches boldness. Timidity is a disease. I personally initiated and led Seven Delegations to former Governor Okezie Ikpeazu. Even if the Delegations yielded no positive result, I remain happy I was courageous enough to initiate and also lead them. No person can associate me with either timidity or cowardice.


Still on Governor Otti's  disdain for Ukwa-West, he has been withholding the 30% of the 13% Monthly Oil Derivation accruable to Ukwa-West Local Government Area. It is widely rumoured  that the 'General Manager' of Abia State Oil Producing Area Development Commission, ASOPADEC, whose wife is believed to have given close to half a billion Naira to the Governor in 2023 general election, has complained and complained, and has lost stamina to complain further. 


Since May 29th, 2023 that Governor Otti was sworn-in, he has, reportedly, released only N110,000,000.00 to Ukwa-West Local Government Council. What has happened to close to One Billion Naira that the Federal Accounts Allocation  Committee, FAAC, has allocated to Ukwa-West deserves to be explained.


One disturbing feature of the Otti's Administration is his penchant for Loans. By the quantum of Loans Governor Otti has borrowed in less than one year of his Government, the State will be enslaved and suffocated for, at least, the next Forty Years. 


Finally, with the current Recapitalisation Policy of the Olayemi Cardoso-led Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, the apprehension is very high in Abians that Governor Otti would like to ride on the collective resources of Abia State to Recapitalise his newly-established Signature Bank to the tune of N300,000,000,000.00.


The Demerits of Governor Otti's Government outweigh and overwhelm its Merits by far. By 2027, the most likely thing to happen would be that Governor Otti would lose election. This will be more so when considered that he is 'eating alone', while even those who fought hard for him to win in 2023 have been abandoned and relegated to the background.


Sir Don Ubani; Ihemba/ Ahaejiejemba of Umuiku-Isi-Asa Autonomous Community, Okwubunka of Asa, Oke Amadi Gburugburu and a Literary Celebrity, is a former Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Abia State and writes from his Native Asa Land beautifully situated between Aba in Abia State and Port-Harcourt in Rivers State.

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