Abia State Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for the 2019 elections, Dr. Alex Otti, has declared that he and the party are closer to taking over the State Government House in Umuahia than in 2015, when Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was declared winner in controversial circumstances.
“We are confident that we will not only win as we had won before, but that we shall take over the Abia Government House in 2019 and begin the long-delayed process of transforming our beloved state,” Otti, OFR, said in his acceptance speech after his nomination on Friday, October 5, at Umuahia, as the APGA standard bearer for next year’s gubernatorial ballot.
Quoting copiously from the Bible, the astute banker and administrator lamented the deplorable state of affairs in Abia and promised to lead the team to restore hope to the people of the state if they give him their mandate in 2019.
Reflecting on the events of the past over three years, Otti said: “Nearly four years ago, you had unanimously given me your mandate just like you have done today. We all set out on that crusade, which, you will all agree, yielded positive results. We were victorious in the field and were ready to take our dear State from darkness into the bright light of development and prosperity. Unfortunately, the process was truncated by the enemies of progress led by the same evil and egotistic cabal that has held the state down for decades now.
“It is necessary to remind us that in spite of that robbery we did not get discouraged nor did we lose hope. Most importantly, we held on to our belief in the sacred promise of God; that evil may persist but only for a short while as victory is assured for those who have their trust in the Almighty. As we were getting ready for this day, our opponents know that they are waging a war against the progress and well being of the millions of Abia citizens and residents. Deep down in their minds, they know they are waging a war against natural justice, equity and good conscience. They know they are like Pharaoh that kept God’s own people in bondage and slavery.
“As you can tell, in their heart of hearts, they are afraid of you, the citizens of Abia, because of the injustice and suffering they have brought down on you all these years. They are mortally afraid of the forces of the Almighty whom they know their selfish and despicable actions challenge. As part of their plot, they had laid out several plans to ensure that we do not show up on the ballot. To realise these plans, they committed so much of our collective resources to their devilish project. They sponsored evil-minded people to sneak into our midst with the design to hijack our party in the childish hope that this day of glory does not become a reality. They came in the night and planted their tares among our wheat. Today, we have harvested our wheat and we shall send the tares to the biblical fire!
“For some time now, we have been fighting one battle after another, in a bid to ensure that our party is not destroyed. We all know who have been lighting these fires. Little did they know that you, the owners of this party, are so resilient and that a large majority of you cannot be bought with money. They were in for a rude shock. When you resisted their attempt to take over our party, they came up with another landmine. This time around, they resorted to using a compromised judicial officer in the state to hijack the party. In the last one week, a strange court order was procured which made failed attempt to impose someone unknown to us as our party chairman in the state. The stranger invaded our party secretariat exactly a week ago to effect the so called court order which has not been served on us, even as we speak. Many of you mobilised and routed out the impostor. The rest like they say is history.”
Otti thanked Abia APGA faithful for their support and commitment to the party. “We have just crossed the first hurdle,” he said. “This is like the Israelites crossing the Red Sea. We still have the Sinai Desert before us and we are yet to cross the Jordan River. Our story is like that of every other society that won its victory. When you look at the challenges, they may seem huge but nothing can stop a band of determined people such as we have in ourselves. I therefore enjoin you to keep faith as we go into campaigns and election proper. Please be assured by the words of Joshua and Caleb, when they gave their report to the Israelites: ‘We are able to go up and take the country; and possess the land from Jordan to the sea; though the giants on our way may try to hinder us; the God we serve will surely give us victory!’
Sounding upbeat about his chances in the 2019 polls, Otti said: “We are confident that we will not only win as we had won before, but that we shall take over the Abia Government House in 2019 and begin the long-delayed process of transforming our beloved state. Everyone knows that prior to 2015, the state had performed woefully, but we never bargained that we will get to the level of decadence in which we find ourselves, just in 3 years and a half. This is the price of poor choice in leadership. Today, salaries are not being paid, healthcare delivery has become virtually nonexistent, education is decrepit, infrastructural decay has become our companion, environmental sanitation receives no attention and everywhere has become a refuse dump including roads in and around the state capital. Like Thomas Hobbes would say, life in Abia has become solitary poor, nasty, brutish and short.
“We all know that all these are man made. We can change them by bringing in good government. We know that our state is not poor. We know that our people are not lazy. We know that our youths are not idle. We know that our women are not lousy. We know that our entrepreneurs are not unimaginative. We know and we know. So, what is the problem? We lack a government with vision and action. The Bible says “my people perish for lack of vision” and “when you fold your hands, the roof of the house leaks”. Our past and present governments refused or neglected to create the enabling environment for our people to excel. A lot of our people have set up businesses elsewhere and those that were here had relocated to more business friendly environments. No amount of sloganeering will bring them back or make them act differently if the right things are not done by government. The critical difference that we will bring to governance is the understanding of how these things work.”
Otti raised hopes about the future of Abia under his expected leadership. His words: “We, as tried and tested technocrats have the required experience and skills to manage the economy and all its intricacies very well. We also come without godfathers and have no one to funnel our commonwealth to, but for the entire Abia people. In deed only God Almighty is our Godfather!
“We also, like many of you know, have been blessed by God and have no need to dip our hands into the resources of the state to further personal interests. I have made a promise on that to God. Everything a successful person needs to accomplish in life, yours truly have done, even if I say so at the risk of sounding immodest. So, as we go into the race, we must resolve some of the following questions. Are we better off with the way we are now as against the way some of our neighbors including Ebonyi and Anambra are? Are we better off leaving our common patrimony in the hands of those who have raped our state in the last two decades or should we finally begin to seek the happiness, security and prosperity of our people? Are we better off with very little to show on the ground while the government is run on billboards the television screens and radio stations? Are we better off knowing the truth or would we better live a life of falsehood, deceit and propaganda? Do we like the stench that oozes out in different parts of the state or do we want a clean environment? Are we happy with our state being one of the most indebted states in the country with nothing to show for it or do we want to bring some discipline, transparency and expertise into the management of the economy?.
“I believe I know how every well-meaning Abian would answer these questions. It is, therefore time for our voices to be heard. It is time for us to rise as one body and say, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! It is time for us to collectively say to our oppressors, never again shall a small clique impose its will on us. It is time for us to rise and take back our state. It is time for us to take our destiny in our hands. It is time for us to usher in light so that darkness would disappear. Here I am, ready to lead you all into this battle according to this sacred mandate you have given me today.
“Ndi Abia, it is time to make Romans 13:11-12 your companion thus: “The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”