July 19, 2024

The Claver Magazine

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Group Pledges Support For Abia Governor-Elect, Dr. Otti, Tasks Him On Infrastructure, Economy, Job Creation, Others

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….Recommends Prof. Chinenye Otti as next INEC chairman for her transparency, integrity

Peterclaver Egbochue

The Coalition of Abia State Youth Leaders and Stakeholders made up of Students of tertiary institutions in Lagos, has pledged their support for the governor-elect of Abia State, Dr. Alex Otti, and urged him to bring his many years of experience in the banking sector into bear in the governance of Abia state.

It also recommended the INEC returning officer for Abia state, Professor Chinenye Otti for INEC national chairmanship position for her diligence, transparency, honesty, and firm character to do the right thing.

Cross section of members of Coalition of Abia State Youth Leaders/stakeholders in Lagos during a press conference in Lagos on Tuesday.

The group, in a press conference in Lagos on Tuesday congratulated the governor-elect on his well-deserved victory in the just concluded governorship election in Abia state and expressed confidence that the 24 years narrative of maladministration in Abia state would change for good given his capacity, integrity, and competence in administration.  

The group maintained that Abia people spoke unambiguously through the polls that they desire a change and that change is Dr Alex Otti of Labour Party as Governor-elect.

The Spokesperson for the group, Mr. Okechukwu Nzekwe, explained that the Coalition of Abia State Youth Leaders and Stakeholders comprised leaders of youth Organisations, market /trade groups, students of institutions of higher learning, businessmen and women of Abia State origin who are resident and conduct their business in Lagos State who are united together by the myriad of challenges in Abia State.

L-R: Spokesperson (2nd left), Mr Okey Nzekwe, President of the coalition, Prince Obinna Ehumadu and others at the press conference.

The spokesperson noted that the coalition was unequivocally calling on Abians to support and cooperate with Dr. Alex Otti’s incoming administration and that he has a popular mandate.

“This mandate comes with high expectations and we call on Dr Alex Otti to hit the ground running immediately after he is sworn in as Governor of the State. Dr. Otti’s desire to govern the state did not start yesterday. It has been a chequered journey and struggles to Government House, Umuahia. So he has picked enormous political experience along the way to enable him to meet the aspirations of a greater number of Abians. Dr. Alex Otti must never fail on this premise,” he stressed.

The group urged the opposition parties and groups to eschew bitterness and hatred and make sacrifices for Abia State, adding that they should shun unnecessary and unwarranted litigations which would distract the new government from focusing on delivering good and quality governance to the good people of Abia.

It disclosed that Youth leaders would not hesitate to mobilize a One-Million-man march to proceed to court in support of Dr. Otti’s mandate.

Prince Obinna Ehumadu, President of the Coalition.

On the need to improve on the Internally Generated Revenue, IGR of the state, the group said Dr. Otti being a known banker at the highest level of Banking in the financial system having retired as MD/CEO of former Diamond Bank, Abians expect him to bring his vast experience to bear on the economic fortune of the state, stressing that the internally generated revenue (IGR) must witness a turnaround, plug leakage, wastage and grow.

The group called on the incoming government to make youth inclusiveness a matter of priority in order to sustain the support and cooperation of the critical mass of the population.

“The Coalition of Abia Youth Leaders is willing and ready to work with the new government. We pledge to remain active and participate in all sectors of the government,” it said.

Speaking on the abysmal performance of the outgoing administration of Okezie Ikpeazu, the coalition said, “We restate the consensus of Abians in and out of the state and the Diaspora that the performance of Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu’s led PDP administration leaves a sour taste in our mouths. Hence, the resolve to reject them at the polls. The litany of roads constructed, under construction, and planned in Abia State is mostly paperwork and news to the gullible. The Implementation is another story.

Cross section of members of the Coalition of Abia Leaders/stakeholders in Lagos at a press conference.

“Civil servants and other workers in the employ of the state government and its agencies are continually being owed earned salaries and arrears running into months. Pensioners are major victims of payment failures by the government. The effect is stoppage of work and constant strikes or threats and ultimatums. Non-payment of salaries and pensioners is now an embarrassing constant in the affairs of the State.

“Politics and politicking have hindered government service delivery in our education and healthcare institutions. Where available, it is either inadequate or inefficient. Political considerations have taken precedence over professional advice and practices.

“Abia State is overdue to rejig its economic development plan and growth strategy. We are in a state of motion without movement hence the constant decay of road infrastructure and inefficient services. ABIA is blessed with highly skilled professionals, artisans, entrepreneurs, and a work population but coordination and willingness to do the right things are our albatross. Human resource management and enabling environment are required to harness our God-given resources.”

The coalition called on the governor-elect to, as a matter of urgency position Aba as a commercial growth hub to attract national and diaspora investment and tap into the new consciousness of ‘AKU RUO ULO’ being promoted by Ndigbo, noting that some members of the coalition had in the past championed and launched initiatives and programs in the state.

In separate interviews, some leaders of the coalition expressed confidence that the governor-elect will deliver and change the ugly narrative in Abia state:

Obinna Ehumadu, President of the coalition:

Abia state is a unique state, Abia state is supposed to be number one in terms of development in Nigeria, I want to use this medium to tell the world that Abians are happy with the governor-elect, Dr. Alex Otti and that he is holding the mandate of the people and we are going to give him all the necessary support to ensure he succeeds.

My expectation in the first one hundred days in office is for him to set up his cabinet with people who have the capacity and competence to deliver and change the narrative and not on the basis of political patronage. That is the beginning of success. Bringing Julius Berger to Abia state is good but they must go beyond that and ensure that work begins as soon as possible, let Abians see that things can actually work in the state.

On reviving the moribund industries in the state, the governor should bring the right people, if he cannot do it alone, they can go into public/private partnerships. Such an initiative will generate employment for the youths in the state. If you come to Aba, only textiles can create over two million jobs for the youth. The worst of Dr. Alex Otti is the best of PDP.

Dr. Oliver Akubueze, Chairman of Ohanaeze, Elders Council:

We are excited and happy that God has remembered Abia state. For over 24 years of three tenures of PDP in Abia state, nothing was happening. In fact, we were praying for God’s intervention in Abia state. Women went naked, and too many things happened where we were seeking God’s intervention but unfortunately, nothing happened.

So we are very much excited now that this new breeze has come through Dr. Alex Otti, the governor-elect. Why we are excited because God gave us the right person for the job. You could remember, Dr. Otti was the MD/CEO of Diamond Bank before he left to join politics to save Abia state from the myriad of problems we have had for over 24 years.

He was the lone voice that was speaking at that time, telling them that what they were doing was bad. But today we are very happy that God has remembered us through him because we know his capability and capacity, we know he can do the job very well. We are proud of Dr. Otti.

Our expectation is for him to give us all those lost glories; we need those things we can find in Lagos. For example, good roads, and potable water, we need all the infrastructure. Abia state is rotten, we need revival, we need redemption and we have confidence that Dr. Otti will do it for us.

Chief Mike Orji, Chairman of Chairmen Ohanaeze Lagos:

What we want in the first 100 days is for the governor-elect of Abia state to ensure that the dignity of Abia state is restored, we want him to provide all the needed infrastructures one after the other to restore the confidence of we Abians because many years now, our state has been lagging behind and we are ready to give him the maximum support that he needs to excel as our governor.  If it gets to where we are going to ask our people to contribute at least N1000.00 to support him, we will do so to ensure that he succeeds.

The first thing I will advise the governor-elect to do is to look at the roads in Abia state, the roads are too bad and you know the economy cannot develop where you have bad roads, farmers in the interior will not be able to bring their farm produce to the city to sale, that’s a big challenge. Power is another thing, we know that Abia people are commercial-oriented, they are business people and they need power to drive their business. If the governor could do that, we will be happy with him.

Ambassador Ken Ubah, CEO, Logic Ten Ltd., the Coordinator and adviser of Abia Youths in Lagos.

We want to partner with the governor-elect, Dr. Alex Otti, we have come together to pledge our support for him, and looking at his antecedence in the past, where he has been the MD of Diamond Bank, he did well and transformed the bank. We also believe that he will transform Abia state into an industrial hub and that is why we the business people in Lagos are teaming up to support him in any of the initiatives he has.