• Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Otti’s footprints

Otti’s footprints (III)

By Godwin Adindu

Today, I begin a seminal series on the one-year anniversary of Gov. Otti in power.

Building of a Nation State

Many may not have noticed this! One remarkable footprint of the one-year stride of Governor Alex Otti is the death of the Abia dichotomies, the main being the Old Bende and Old Aba Divisions. These two groups presented a consistent pattern of struggle over the years. There were other intra clannish and intra group bickering that shaped the tempo of politics in Abia State. There was the Ibeku versus Ohuhu superiority contest. There was the Igbere hegemony over the rest of Bende. There was the Ukwa suspicion of dominance by the Ngwas. There was the Isuikwuato parade of Generals and their claim of “It’s our turn”. Among the markets and motor park associations, there were struggles of control with non-indigene sentiments flying in the air. Abia State was torn by individual group interest and acts of self-determinism.

Read also: Otti woos CSS global farms to Abia

Governor Otti has, perhaps inadvertently, buried these sectional struggles that once decimated Abia. Only discerning minds would have observed the near extinction of any form of sectional or clannish pre-disposition in Abia since the ascension of Otti to the pedestal of power. While we celebrate the physical infrastructure of construction of roads, street lights, security and rebuilding of public structures, we must also appreciate the aspect of social re-engineering and pyscho-political re-orientation. We must recognise the rebuilding of Abia into a nation state. This is indeed a historical progression, change and growth in action.

As Karl Marx noted, societies evolve from one stage to another. Our modern communities have risen from agrarian values to an egalitarian status. A nation also rises from primordial sentiments of clan, tribe, religion, etc, to nationhood. A nation is a community of people united by one aspiration and one destiny, where the diversity of cultures and people become a source of strength. A nation is led by a statesman who sees the entire territory as his constituency and the entire citizenry as his subjects.

Governor Otti is standing tall today as a true statesman. He has been intentional in ensuring fair play, equitable distribution of resources and allocation of value. All road construction projects are spread across Abia. One has been earmarked to pass through my Mgboko community. Appointments are distributed on merit. Otti is standing on his feet as a leader without encumbrances and looking at Abia as one territory which must be developed. There are no more dichotomies and silent grumble about marginalization. “Our people must develop. We will continue to build roads. We will continue to clean up the environment. We will continue to put our state on the map. Our educational system must be completely revamped. Our hospital system must not only work but will be to that level where the rest of the world is today,” declared Governor Otti.

It is, indeed, obvious that Governor Otti is approaching governance, at least in the first phase of two years, as an emergency situation. This is the ideological framework that has positioned Abia as one territory in need of the necessary intervention. A State of Emergency is not only declared in a situation of war, national danger or disaster. It could also be declared when there is actual breakdown of public order and public safety in the federation or any part thereof to such extent as to require extraordinary measures to restore peace and security. In his strides and style, Governor Otti is deploying extraordinary measures to tackle the challenges of the state. Or you might call it breaking the norms to restore order. This is evident in some of his policy implementations so far. The government has radically moved from the era of even spread, ethnic or regional balance to a new era that emphasizes meritocracy and competition. The government does no longer pay attention to sectional balance but gives premium to merit, capacity and ability.

Read also: Governor Otti and bearers of false witness

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 collapsing of Abia into a united nation-state of one people united by our common ancestry

I therefore, encourage our Governor to remain solidly on this track. Thus, as we celebrate our one-year anniversary, we must also remember to celebrate the rebuilding of Abia into a nation state. This is a great milestone.


.Adindu is a Media and PR Consultant