A Call for Decency: How Governor Otti's Remarks Undermine Leadership, Integrity | #NwokeukwuMascot


Re: Deaf-Blind - Don Norman Obinna Needs Help and Support by Agu Ibeku | #NwokeukwuMascot

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My dear Governor Alex Otti, it piqued some apprehension how you rebelled against the notion of noblesse oblige concomitant with your revered office with those preposterous profanely indecent words in your response to my article, titled, Otti: Abia’s nemesis, not messiah.

With all modesty and rationality, let me remind His Excellency that the seat of power is a fountain of knowledge, nobility and good judgment. It is not a hotbed of blackmail, dissension, falsehood and deceit, as we have seen since you assumed leadership. 

Though I find them repulsive to recap, using these words - deaf-blind, disabled and mad people - to describe opposition leaders for questioning your claims not only exposed you to critical opprobrium but made vulgarity look like a common denominator we all share as Abia citizens.

If you succeeded in subjugating your staffers in the private sector with such villainous words and imperatorial schemes, they would only incur pervasive odium to you in the public sector because of the distinction between the two subdivisions.

I implore you to espouse gregariousness and pacifism in conflict resolutions, not combativeness and haughtiness to the already brewing yuck factor. That is the only way to endear yourself to the people and arrest your dwindling popularity and respect.  

Having given my little advice, I'll address the gravamen you subtly avoided in your inessential vituperation against me.

His Excellency, I maintain that one cannot find a completed or ongoing project in Abia State worth N2 billion. The 5.8km Port Harcourt Road, Aba, is a trunk B uncompleted project you inherited from your predecessor.

Every road construction comes in Stages. These are site clearing, excavation and removal of topsoil or unwanted materials, filling with suitable earth materials (laterite) to the required road level, overlay of Stonebase mixture, priming with bitumen extract and river sand as binder material and asphalt overlay.

Former Governor Ikpeazu completed these stages, including clearing and surface stabilisation, before you took over in 2023. Despite these, you re-awarded the road to your crony at a criminal sum of N30 billion. In other words, each kilometre costs an average of N6 billion, making it the most expensive one-kilometre road in the entire world.

The same applied to the 3.5km Ossah Road, Umuahia. It had a strong carriageway without drainage before you added approximately six metres of expansion to it. That small expansion and drainage cost approximately N8.4 billion.

Even if you compensated the Ossah Road property owners with N1 billion, it does not justify the N7.4 billion you claimed on a six-metre expansion. The amount is mindless and beats every road construction logic. 

The basic requirements for road construction are laterite, river sand, cement, Stonebase mix, bituminous extracts, asphalt concrete mix, iron bars, chippings, sharp sand, marine boards/woods, equipment/machines hire, labour, supervision, contingent bills (water, fuel, local trans, accommodation and utility charges). 

N150 million is sufficient to deliver a Solid one-kilometre road in Abia State with drainages on both sides, no matter the contractor handling it. A far-sighted governor would spend N2 billion to complete the Port Harcourt and Ossah roads, which were not fresh projects from scratch.  

But my governor, who preached and promised to practice transparency and accountability, is bamboozling us to accept contract inflation, opacity and abuse of process as the new Order in Abia State. My governor, you owe us an apology, not intimidation and name-calling.

I am ashamed to read that Otti mentioned and ascribed to himself the ongoing Umuahia - Isiukwuato Road reconstruction by Craneburg, Isiukwuato - Abiriba by Ferotex, Abiriba - Ohafia by CCECC and Abam – Arochukwu.

What else could be more than witchcraft than ascribing the glory of your predecessor to yourself? What will it cost you to tell Abians that these road projects were part of the roads enlisted in the $50 million RAAMP loan Ikpeazu attracted and paid the counterpart fund also?

No matter how you deceived your blind supporters and gullible Abians into believing you are the architect, the truth is that the RAAMP loan will deliver 500km of highways across the state. The roads you mentioned above, including Ohanku, Obohia and others, are part of it.  

Although you have continued to deny it, you inherited two facilities from Ikpeazu, the $50 million RAAMP and $115 million AFDB for roads and sanitation projects. He also left N3.4 billion in the state coffers to aid your successful take-off.

For the record, no former Abia State governor got more money at inception than you. You got N600 billion in your first year, yet nothing substantial to show for it. You are even patching the Umuahia-Uzuakoli Road instead of reconstructing it.

My governor, you are setting bad precedence as legacies. That is why you chose vulgarity over effective communication and praise singing from paid agents and gullible Abians over objectivity. Do not allow disenchanted youth, workers and pensioners to barrack you before retracting your steps.

Don Norman is the Abia State chairman of the African Democratic Congress (ADC).


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