• Sunday, June 16, 2024
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Otti’s footprints (III)

Otti’s footprints (III)

By Godwin Adindu

Political re-engineering:

Rebirth. Regeneration. Renaissance. These three R-words, almost expressing the sameness of meaning, aptly capture the idea of the political reforms that have taken place in Abia in the last one year. Old things have indeed passed away! All things have become new! Governor Otti has caused a total political upheaval that has led to the abolition of old practices, the abolition of old political culture and the fostering of a new political climate. It is no more business as usual. There is a new outlook.

Governor Otti has caused a paradigm shift, installing new processes and procedures. There have been reform and transformation in all facets of the political institution. Chief Charles Nwangwa, an Aba-based politician and industrialist, outlined these reforms: “Political appointments are no more compensation or settlements for helping to rig elections. The Local government headship was more the reserved seats for chief thugs and Capones. Tax farming and touting are now put to a stop. There is ease of doing business. Today, when you mention Abia State outside Abia, you do not get derogatory remarks,” he stated.

Read also: Otti’s footprints

He also identified the restoration of the dignity of government seats. “For instance, the commissioner for works supervises road constructions, a seasoned professional civil engineer who piloted Federal Highways. There is now professionalism in the civil service and an end to arbitrary promotion to Permsecs or Directors. Mediocrity and impunity have been consigned to the dustbin. There is now prompt payment of salaries and allowances.”

Under Governor Otti, politics is no longer a profession or occupation and the youths have returned to their trades and the ones without handwork have all gone to learn new trades. Politics is no more a source of blood tonic and our elders and senior citizens have now made their well-trained children responsible and responsive to their aging parents. There is no more sharing of government money and political appointments is now for genuine people who share the Governor’s vision of selflessness and service.

Chief Nwangwa would hit at another fundamental cankerworm. “There is no more god-fatherism. No more IRI AHIA. Iri ahia is official or Governor’s authorised appointment fraud. It’s a system where an influence peddler promises a juicy political post in exchange for payment of huge sums and dropping of cows, etc even SUVs. No more RETURNS. There is no one to pay to at the end of the month part of your salary or remunerations,” he said.

There is now aura and confidentiality in government. “Today, list for appointments don’t fly out. Before now more than ten lists will be flying out for positions. If you go to Chief of Staff, SSG, Deputy Governor, Party Chairman, etc you see different lists flying out all to defraud appointment seekers. There is abolition of revelry. Merchants of champagne and expensive liquor are almost out of business,” declared Nwangwa.

Governor Otti has indeed created a new Abia. He has overhauled the system and installed new processes and procedures. He has overthrown an old order and established a new normal. Thus, I present his action of socio-political re-engineering, creation of a new political culture as a great achievement of his one-year stride.

Thus, while counting the blessings of the Otti administration in one year, we must not only give him accolades as a road builder, infrastructure constructionist, social reformist and an image builder but must also record his achievements in political re-engineering, in changing the political culture previously prevalent in Abia State. He has deployed the tools for system administration to influence the surroundings, change stereotypes about Abia and cause a new positive perception about our dear state. He has created a new Brand Abia, what Public Relations and Marketing experts describe as “the guarantee of consistent quality.” He has created a corporate identity, the relationship between image and behaviour. These tangible assets of quality are encapsulated in his overall leadership template which is anchored on rebirth and reconstruction.

It is, indeed, obvious that Governor Otti is approaching governance not from the political angle but from the delivery angle, at least, in the first phase of two years. It is only those who are clever enough to understand this trajectory that can effectively key into his vision and chemistry. For him, Abia is in an emergency situation that requires concerted measures. His eyes are on his promises to Abians. This is the ideological framework that has positioned Abia as one territory in need of the necessary intervention and that is fast regaining the lost glory of the past.

Read also: Otti’s footprints (11)

These approaches are outside of the box. Otti is leading a Special Force on a rescue mission with the agenda to elicit a rebirth and a total change of the Abia routine and fostering of a new political culture. Change is the only thing that is permanent and Abians are experiencing a change process, an innovation procedure and a kind of historical progression under the new government. One great achievement of these processes is the new political climate.

By assembling a crop of accomplished Abia professionals in different fields of human endeavour to drive the new change, the governor created a new face in the Abia leadership. Women in politics are no more vulnerable to the juggernauts. Thirty five percent quota for women is almost met in the spread of appointments. For Otti, the last one year has not been about a new government but about an intentional and calculated action of orchestrating a paradigm shift. The governor has engaged in a planned and deliberate action of overhauling the state with the aim of fostering a new political culture. He has created a polity that is clearly a departure from the status quo. Indeed, it has been one year of an overhauling and re-engineering process.

It has been an experience close to a revolution. Old things have passed away. A regime has indeed collapsed under the weight of its own errors and a new Abia is here!


.Adindu, a media consultant, writes from Umuahia