• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Why Otti must seize the momentum in Abia

Why Otti must seize the momentum in Abia

Like the Queen of Sheba who paid King Solomon a visit in Jerusalem after hearing the uncommon wisdom he exhibited in handling knotty cases brought to him, Governor Alex Otti of Abai State has been receiving great personalities from all walks of life who go to tell him ‘Igbaliala; jisie ike.”

In the middle of February, the leadership of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, led by its President General, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, was at Otti’s country home in Nvosi, Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area of the state to say to the governor, “You are doing us proud.”

Towards the end of the same month, a delegation of the joint body of South East Council of Traditional Rulers and representatives of Igbo Archbishops and Bishops, led by the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, were in Abia to see Otti. They not only commended the great start he has made, they encouraged him not to lose the steam.

In March, shortly after repealing the law that allowed former governors and deputies to collect pensions, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, went to see Otti.

Obasanjo said to Otti, “You are on the right track.”

A few days ago, this May, the General Superintendent of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry, William F. Kumuyi, who was in Abia for a six-day Global Crusade, took time off to pay homage to the governor.

He commended Otti’s leadership style and his achievements so far, particularly, in the area of infrastructure.

From the representation of various sectors that made the visits, it is safe to say that God and men have said “Amen” to the good work going on in the state.

Other prominent figures, including diplomats and business tycoons have been to Abia to see the good work the governor is doing.

Some of the visitors had the privilege to commission some of the iconic roads he has rehabilitated or built as the case may be.

In the last eleven months, Abia has been in the news for the good reasons. Even people who have never visited the state attest to the good news oozing out from Abia.

From the realisation of the Geometric power dream to the prompt payment of civil servants’ monthly salaries, the permanent solution to the protracted pension challenge that amounted to decades, and to the new face that Aba (the commercial nerve centre of the state) is wearing, nobody is in doubt that a new sheriff is really in town.

Governor Otti’s recent deft moves following the unfortunate incident of killing of five soldiers near Aba, saved what could have been a blood bath by the Military that had threatened fire and brimstone. His human nature disarmed the military apparatchiks. Otti simply stooped and conquered.

While he is doing great on his beat, no doubt, he also needs to take cognizance of important areas that would also win him plaudits if he addresses him well.

Need for stomach infrastructure

While he has scored the bull’s eye already in the pattern of governance he adopted, which is blocking the leakages through which revenues were being siphoned in the past, the governor must also realise that there is the need to apply the Boaz’s principle of deliberately leaving some wheat for Ruth to glean in the field.

“And when she rose up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, ‘let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her” (Ruth 2:15).

There are career politicians, who worked with the governor to achieve the victory. There are party men and women, who should be having some stomach infrastructure to make the party vibrant. If this is lacking, they will begin to develop cold feet in attending meetings and galvanising support for the government.

It is good that the governor has used the first year to work; this second year, stomach infrastructure must be provided as a policy of government.

At the moment, a number of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) heavyweights in the state are said to be decamping to the All Progressive Congress (APC) and other parties. They are not moving into the Labour Party (LP). It was gathered that the reason was because those in the LP at the moment are saying that they are not enjoying anything. A prominent politician of Abia origin based in Abuja has reportedly boasted that he would sink the PDP in the state and this appears to be coming to pass. The LP must do everything humanly possible to harvest from the PDP’s ordeals in the state.

The LP and Otti administration must do everything possible to shore up the morale of the party members in the state, by allowing some form of stomach infrastructure to reach them.

One of those who worked for the party during the election told BusinessDay that since the inauguration of the Otti administration, he has received nothing in the form of encouragement from the government.

“Some of us are politicians and politics is a game where every player is carried along. We worked for the party to ensure the victory of Dr. Otti. We are happy with his performance so far. It is a plus for every Abian, particularly, those who worked for the victory. The government should have a deliberate policy of releasing something’s to those who have followers at the local government and ward levels to enable them have regular meetings with the party supporters. At such meetings, little, little things should be distributed to those supporters. That way, the party’s support base will be enlarging and oiled. I have only had such a meeting once, and because of lack of resources, it is not holding again. We want Dr. Otti to continue to excel, but we all must be carried along,” the party man, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

Otti’s decision to receive visitors at his residence excites many

Since his inauguration as governor, Otti has drawn powerful individuals to his home country residence at Umuoro-Umuehim in Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area. What that has achieved is that many more people now know the state better and not just the state capital Umuahia. To make this possible, the governor has begun to open up the roads in that area. To ease such movements from Umuahia to his residence, he has tarred the road from Umuokorogu, Amaku, Eziala Nsulu to Ntigha. This is commendable. It is expected that in the second year, he should do some other important roads- from the railway crossing at Umuoro to Umuguru, Obuba, to join the Ururuka Road at Umunevo which goes straight to Aba. He will also do well to open up the road from Umuehim to Okpokiri.