One of the deadliest battles in this world is the battle to acquire power and retain power. In a democracy, people have power to vote people into power as well as the power to vote the same people out of power. But most often the will or the power of the people to vote out bad leaders hits stone walls because the attempt is usually resisted with all manner of intrigues, manipulations and force by the people in power. The people in power may even try to harm, kill and destroy the same people who voted them into power if the people try to vote them out from power. That has been the case in Abia state all along until 18th March 2023 when Dr Alex Otti through the power of the people became stronger than those in power.
For the past twenty four years or so, the people of Abia state in Nigeria have voted Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) into power. But the same people the people had voted into power for six consecutive times have continued to hold the people of the state in deadly bondage and captivity for these long years. And the people of the state kept suffering and dying in silence in the midst of plenty. Their state resources and commonwealth were blatantly stolen, looted and misappropriated with impunity by those in power. And the people of the state appeared helpless and hopeless as their state was captured and held to ransom by the people in power.
Abia state kept decaying, stinking and sinking in rots and ruins. The people of the state kept wallowing in poverty and misery in the midst of plenty. The state has been without any progress or development. The people have been in fears and tears in the state. The rogues in power under the watch of the PDP government in Abia state kept have causing their people the worst troubles and pains all these 24 years of their being in power. But 18th March 2023 has broken the chain of captivity and bondage on Abia State and ABIA people.
All these 24 years of captivity and bondage are indeed wasted years. The People in power in Abia State have succeeded in putting the state under siege with arrant arrogance and impunity. In the process they stole dry the commonwealth of the Abia people. They denied Abia Pensioners their retirement gratuity and monthly pensions. They sent a good number of Abians to their early graves through frustrations, poverty and misery. They denied teachers and other workers in the state their regular monthly salaries and wages. They owe pensioners up to thirty months of pension arrears and some workers a lot of salary arrears. And these ran into billions of Naira.
Yet the people in power still borrowed beyond their ability to repay. Worst too, they squandered all the money they had borrowed without showing any tangible projects, development, or investment for the money they had borrowed. They left a stock of huge debts unpaid with compounding interests complicating the situation.
As at Feb 2023, Abia state is believed to be owing both local and foreign lenders about a Hundred Billion Naira in debts. The debts were acquired carelessly and wasted recklessly with careless impunity without any projects on ground to show any prudent utilization of the borrowed money for the benefits of the people. Now they are leaving the huge debts behind for the good people of Abia state and their generations yet unborn to pay. It is indeed a shame! It is hurting; it is very sad and an unfortunate thing.
Abia state is the least developed state in the South Eastern region as at this March 2023. But Abia is naturally well endowed with great human capital and rich natural resources. Abia state enjoys an extra Federal Government Allocation monthly as one of the oil producing states in Nigeria. Yet there is no single good road in the state. There are no visible physical infrastructures and developments anywhere in Abia state to show for it. There are no viable industries despite Aba having huge potentials to be the China or Japan of Nigeria. Abia State Schools and hospitals are in deep rots and ruins. All these are so, because Abia has been unfortunate with having incompetent leadership. The state had continued to have bad leadership with poor governance for the past 24 years under the PDP watch till now.
It is unfortunate that some people who many people had believed were respectable and honorable leaders and elders in the state were indeed very horrible and dishonorable people. Because these people shamelessly joined the rogues in power in fleecing the good people of Abia state of their money. They joined in the looting of the people’s commonwealth by collecting some unmerited monthly allowances in millions of Naira as “blood tonics” from the people in power at the expense of the poor masses of the state and without their doing any work of value for the state to merit such earnings. It is fraudulent.
Many jobless political cronies in their thousands were been recruited as special assistants of various grades or designations for fraudulent sharing of Abia people’s money. Those dubious jobless special assistants were also been paid huge allowances monthly without rendering any justifiable services to merit the payments. All these were wasteful leakages created by those in state power to defraud the people of Abia state of their commonwealth. All these fraudulent leakages and wastages in the system will be effectively eliminated by the incoming administration of Dr Alex Otti. And a lot of money will be saved from the effective blocking of all the many identifiable leaks and wastes.
While the stealing and looting were going on, pensioners and workers in the state continued to die in misery because their entitlements were denied them. The Abia people groaned and suffered in deadly silence. Those in power in the state for the past 24 years under the watch of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) intimidated and manipulated the people into submission. The good people of Abia state have never really been happy with those people in power that had created all the problems for them.
Now all the stealing and looting, and the many of the fraudulent and corrupt practices will come to an end as from 29 May 2023 when the new Governor-elect, Dr Alex Chioma Otti of the Labour Party will be sworn in.
On the 18th March 2023, majority of the good people of Abia state woke up from their intimidation induced long slumber to demonstrate their power in their anger over the people in power. They casted their votes in the general elections for both the governorship and state House of Assembly positions. They used the power in their votes over the people in power and voted the PDP in power out of power. The people came out boldly and stood behind Dr Alex Chioma Otti of the Labor Party and massively voted him in as their new Governor-elect. And they stood firmly behind him to defend their votes. The people of the state have now proved to the PDP in the state that the power of the people is greater than the people in power. The people therefore boldly voted the PDP in Abia state out of power in shame.
Yet the PDP leadership desperately fought back and plotted to use their usual fraudulent Obingwa votes to rig the election and steal the Abia people’s mandate from Dr Alex Otti again as they did in 2015. But this time around, the people of the state strongly resisted them and stopped them before any harmful act is done.
God brought in an angel, an Amazon to resist them at the Election Results Collation Center at Umuahia. She rejected all manner of fraudulent inducements to lure her to do the wrong thing. She stood firm and resisted all the threats and pressures from the “power above” that wanted to force her to do the wrong thing. She insisted on doing that which is right before God and man. Collation of the results had to stop as all the parties were summoned to Abuja by INEC for further investigation on the logjam. At the end of it, all the parties were told to go back to Umuahia to complete the collation of results and the declaration of the eventual winner based on the BVAS accredited votes. It was clear that Dr Alex Otti who was already leading with over 93,000 votes in the 16 out of the 17 Abia LGAs results that had already been declared would win the election. And he eventually won to the glory of God.
The INEC Election Returning Officer in Abia state had said that the God in her and the mother in her would not allow her to do anything wrong that would affect the future of the people and children of Abia state. That she would declare the winner of the governorship election without fear or favor based on the true results of the valid votes cast in line with the relevant provisions of the Nigerian Constitution and the Election Guidelines as pre issued by the INEC. That the mandate of the Abia people must be respected. She finally declared Dr Alex Chioma Otti of Labor Party the winner having scored 175,467 valid votes to beat his closest rival Mr Okey Ahiwe of PDP who scored only 88,529 votes. Dr Alex Otti of Labor Party thereby beat Mr Okey Ahiwe of PDP with a wide margin of 86,938 valid votes to win the election.
That angel of a woman is Professor Nnenna Nnennaya Otti, the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) Returning Officer in charge of Abia state gubernatorial and state assembly elections of 18th March 2023. She is from Afikpo in Ebonyi state.
She is the current Vice Chancellor of Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO). She is indeed the heroine of this victory which the Abia state people through Dr Alex Otti have had over the PDP people in power. Abia people and their generations yet unborn will remain grateful to her. History will be kind to her too.
Dr Alex Otti will be sworn in as the Executive Governor of Abia state come 29 May 2023. He will be the people’s governor employed by the people to serve the people. He knows that the power of the people who voted him into power as their governor is greater than the powers he will be exercising as the Executive Governor while in office. He knows that the power he holds while in the office belongs to the people who gave him the power through their votes. He only holds the power in trust for the people of Abia state and should always be ready to be accountable to them. To he who much is given much more is expected from him.
The time of looting and stealing the Abia state money is now over and finally gone at least in the next 4 to 8 years when Dr Alex Otti will be in power. The time to begin the healing of all the wounds of misery and pains the people have had from PDP has come. The time to clean up the ruins and rots in the system has come; the time to begin the rebuilding of the state has also come. Dr Alex Otti is expected to begin immediately the massive work of cleaning up the mess, the rots and the ruins the expired PDP leadership had left in the state.
Dr Alex Otti is expected to begin to pay off all the pension and wages arrears immediately and complete the tasks within eight months of his being in office as the executive governor of Abia state. He is expected to create opportunities for jobs and wealth creation for the people and by the people. He is expected to develop Abia state in practical terms across the 17 Local Governments in the state and quite beyond the mere bill boards and media propaganda developments of the past PDP Administration.
I believe the incoming Governor will create a special Ministry or Agency that will be responsible for urban renewal and developments with special focus on Aba, Umuahia, Arochukwu, Ohafia, and other urban cities and townships. Flood controls through proper channelization of rain waters in Aba should be part of his priority to ensure any roads done in Aba stand the test of time. Various Inland waterways in the state may be improved through collaboration with the relevant Federal government agencies responsible for that.
Roads reconstructions and building of new ones, bridges and flyovers, using the Ebonyi State models are massively expected. Roads linking major communities from each Local Government Area Headquarters, like the Ozu Abam road to Arochukwu which the past PDP administrations had used to siphon Abia state money to some private pockets for the past 24 years should be embarked upon and delivered within 24 months of being in office. The incoming governor had already promised the people of the area during his campaign tours that the road would be one of his main priorities. Dr Alex Oti is most likely to achieve in 24 months for the joy of the people much of the things the PDP administration could not achieve in 24 years. The expectations are high!
Gladly Dr Alex Otti has a well articulated robust manifesto which is already in the public domain. His manifesto if effectively followed, will address the needs of the people. We urge him to follow his manifesto to the letter and even go beyond what he has in it as an extra bonus to the people. By so doing, the power of the people of Abia state who voted him into power will continue to strengthen him and support him for the next eight years.