The Abia Freedom Alliance (AFA), an association of concerned technocrats, professionals, businessmen and religious leaders from Abia State, has offered to purchase the expression of interest and nomination forms for gubernatorial aspirant, Dr Alex Otti.
Otti, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), on Easter Sunday declared his intention to vie for the governorship seat of Abia State, in the 2023 election.
AFA said its members will raise the N50 million as approved by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of APC, to buy the form for Otti, who is making a third time bid for the top public service job in Abia State.
In a statement signed by the Convener of the group, Prince Uzor Nwachukwu, AFA said that it considered Otti’s aspiration to lead Abia genuine, well-meaning and altruistic, adding that these were the virtues that informed the association’s gesture.
It congratulated Otti for his courage and tenacity to once again throw his hat into the ring for the governorship seat of Abia State, despite “being rigged out” by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, in the last two elections – 2015 and 2019.
“We congratulate the indefatigable and irrepressible Dr Alex C. Otti OFR, for his tenacity and purposeful commitment towards the liberation of Abia people.
“For over 20 years, Abia has remained in the vice grip of fiendish and heartless group of people who arrested and imprisoned the development of the State, and castrated the hopes and lives of our people, through the rudderless and reprehensible rulership of the State, riding on the anti-people Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) train,” AFA lamented in the statement.
The group praised Otti, a former Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the erstwhile Diamond Bank Plc, now Access Bank, for being the most important opposition voice in Abia politics and not relenting in his effort at holding the state government to account.
According to AFA, “We believe Otti, when he said during his declaration of interest for the governorship of Abia State, that he will free Abia from their slave Masters. We also believe him when he said he will fast track the development of the State in all sectors of her economy, pay off years of arrears of salaries, pensions, gratuities, and rededicate the State back to God, as God’s Own State.
“We believe him because he has records of achievement in the private sector where he came from. As a former Chief Executive Officer of a financial institution, he took the organisation, a literally family concern, to its enviable glorious height, where it became the fifth most systemic important bank, out of over 20 banks, in Nigeria. He was also to become Chairman of the Bankers Committee, an umbrella association of chief executives of banks in Nigeria.
“We believe him because through his Alex Otti Foundation, he has been able to train and empower Abia youths and women, through award of university scholarships, skill acquisitions and granting of loans to small and micro enterprises.
“A first-class economist and philanthropist, Otti is the kind of leader Abia State needs at this time; a humane and purposeful leader, equipped with the right kind of intellect, who not only understands what it takes but has the mental energy, political will, national and global connection and above all the fear of God, to execute the tasks of rebuilding Abia and moving the state forward.
“We call on all truly progressive and light-filled Abians and friends of Abia, to join us and build great alliances in support of this divine mandate, as we support Dr Alex Otti, for the freedom of a people who have been so rapaciously raped over the years that they have lost both hope and consciousness.”