Few days ago, Abia Facts Newspaper published the response of Abia State Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi kalu to the 28th Abia State Anniversary message of Dr. Alex Otti OFR. He titled that reply, ALEX OTTI IS A DESPERATE FATHER OF LIES, DECEIT AND DESTRUCTION, but in a reply to the responses authored by Ferdinand Ekeoma the Media Aide to Dr. Alex Otti OFR titled IKPEAZU, TIME TO STOP THESE INFANTILE AND DIVERSIONARY RESPONSES, Ferdinand attacked some of the issues raised by the Commissioner..
IKPEAZU, TIME TO STOP THESE INFANTILE AND DIVERSIONARY RESPONSES
BY FERDINAND EKEOMA
The piece written by the Abia State Commissioner for information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu in response to Dr. Alex Otti’s 28th Anniversary message to Abians convinced me that even though we should as a matter of pro-people altruism continue our critical task of asking salient questions and demanding answers as to why Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has chosen to remain a disaster in governance, we must also be sympathetic to the usurpers in Abia state Government House, because they have boxed themselves into a difficult corner of confusion to the extent that they are still embracing their failed 2015 strategy of systematic bullying through the fabrication of kindergarten lies that have neither impacted on governance, nor conferred them the championship crown of acceptability in the hearts of Abians, as they desperately desire.
Rather than critically examine, and provide the necessary answers, with verifiable and acceptable evidence to the few posers raised by Otti in his message, or honourably accept that he has failed, Okezie Ikpeazu once again embarked on a cantankerous voyage of frivolities that avoided the message and sought to destroy the indestructible messenger.
Some of such off point submissions were that, Alex Otti will never be governor, but we make bold to say that, Otti will be governor, because Ikpeazu and his allies have failed woefully to attend to the problems for which Otti came to the rescue, so the arrogant and negative declaration of a mere mortal cannot alter what God has decreed.
They alleged that Otti hobnobbed with every government since 1999, and we boldly wish to remind them, that as an Abian, and a respected bank Chief executive, Otti could not have refused to use his position to offer the necessary assistance to the governments then when they came calling, having extended similar assistance to other state governments. It wasn’t his fault that those in charge of Abia refused to take the advantage and serve Abia well.
Sadly, while Otti offered such patriotic assistance using his network of contacts and position as either an Executive Director or GMD/CEO, without any form of direct or indirect involvement in the governance of the state, or utilisation of the resources of the state, Okezie Ikpeazu was deeply and officially involved as an appointee of each of the governments, and was known as an active sycophant in the said governments.
Once again, Okezie Ikpeazu and his men went low as usual, by alleging that Dr. Alex Otti misrepresented his place of origin and abandoned his multi million naira mansion in Arochukwu and relocated to Isiala Ngwa South. For the sake of those they intend to misinform and mislead, we proudly state that Otti neither mispresented his place of Origin nor abandoned his beautiful mansion in Arochukwu; he couldn’t have done that, when he had no reason to do so.
He is a very proud and respected Igbo son and an Abia indigene. That is what is required to seek the mandate to lead Abia people. He has never denied his proud Aro heritage quite unlike Ikpeazu who has never acknowledged his Utu Etim Ekpo, Akwa Ibom heritage. Stretching the argument, since Aro is in Abia State and Utu Etim Ekpo is in Akwa Ibom State, it is understandable why Ikpeazu will continue to deny his ancestral home as not doing so would mean that he was not qualified to run for Abia governorship in the first place. Be that as it may, we believe that if Ikpeazu was performing, where he comes from would remain irrelevant quite unlike the Ikpeazu led group of rabble rousing uninformed desperados, who are at a loss as to what good to do with political office, except to eat, get drunk, frolic and tell shameful lies against the citizens.
Still journeying through the same rudderless route and seeking to dishonestly bamboozle our people, they fabricated once more that Otti claimed in 2015 to have attracted a loan of $100 Billion from the International Financial Corporation (IFC).
Alex Otti as a certified and international respected financial expert is neither ignorant nor reckless like Okezie Ikpeazu in financial matters, and thus could not have made such a claim. We believe that the Ikpeazu crew are ignorant and that’s why they continue peddling this garbage. Responding to this is like talking to the deaf and dumb. We are glad that the body that Dr. Otti spoke to in 2015 understood what he was talking about. The very ignorant illiterates that Ikpeazu surrounded himself with will not understand and there is no need speaking any further on this. The fact remains that given Dr. Otti’s pedigree, he is in a better position to attract and mobilize both local and foreign investment for the state than the charade of foreign trips and estacode scam that has been the trade mark of the Ikpeazu administration with nothing to show for it, except lies and deceit.
Still carrying out their assault on the sensibilities of Abians, Ikpeazu and his boys boasted that they defeated Otti in 2015 because Otti lied to Abians. Even satan would question this audacity of falsehood. The basic question is, what did they then do with the victory. All they have achieved is backlog of salary arrears, mismanagement of the state economy, infrastructural decay, impassable roads and plunging the state into a debt trap. According to the DMO, Ikpeazu has almost more than doubled both our External debt and Domestic debt in the last four years. He inherited external debt of $41.50m in 2015 and by 2019, he had increased it to $98.58m, a growth rate of close to 140% in 4 years. In addition to this, he has also ramped up Domestic debt from N33.53b in 2015 to N62.85b in 2019, a growth rate of almost 90%. In essence, the state is owing close to N100b. These are in spite of the Federal allocation, internally generated revenue, bailout funds, Paris Club refunds and other receipts. We are still asking the question, what did the Ikpeazu government do with all the money?
Even though we had since put the 2015 election behind us, Ikpeazu himself knew and knows that he did not win. How could someone who functioned like a robot during the campaigns, defeat the vibrant and phenomenal candidate who intelligently unfolded his manifesto, sold himself to the masses and became the choice of all? What did Ikpeazu tell the electorate that could have made him win in 2015? Was it the demeaning clannish mumbo-Jumbo of “I am an Ngwa man, and its out turn to rule”? Ikpeazu could not have defeated Otti because he didn’t tell anyone that he wanted to be governor, and thus was not recognised by the masses. He was merely a rookie of a rudderless godfather who wanted an &Oh yes& stooge to hold forte for him.
They alleged that Otti is very desperate, hence his decision once again to challenge Ikpeazu’s victory in court. But we’re very thankful to them, and humbly admit that Otti is very desperate to actualize the people-oriented noble objective of salvaging Abia, which was the reason why he left his plum job in the bank and why Abia people voted for him.
He is very desperate to end the disgraceful misrepresentation of Abia by Ikpeazu and his men in the comity of states. And of course, he is in Court once again, because an Abia under Ikpeazu has no direction, and has no hope of economic recovery. Again, whenever someone steals what does not belong to him, he should expect to have his day in court.
Once again, they repeated their joke by insisting that “CORE” Abia civil servants are not being owed, and that it was Otti who sponsored the protest by pensioners in Umuahia.
Because it’s our duty to help them overcome shamelessness, we therefore educate them that no institution of our civil service is inferior to another, and no civil servant should be owed. The fact that Okezie Ikpeazu chose to destroy our civil service through the creation of such ludicrous dichotomy shows his lack of empathy and humanity in governance.
Okezie Ikpeazu and his men accused Otti of sponsoring the recent protest embarked on by pensioners, but they are yet to tell us who sponsored the protest by staff of Hospital Management Board (HMB) a few days ago. We hope that they will avoid the sponsorship of future protests by paying off both the pensioners and civil servants, whether “core or noncore”
In concluding their demagogic ranting, they alleged once again, that Otti destroyed his last place of work in the bank.
For us, this would have been a hilarious comic relief if it was an ironical eulogy, but to understand that the clowns of confusion in Government House Umuahia, have chosen to consciously and callously mislead our people by misrepresenting one of Abia’s finest gentlemen, makes us feel very sad and ashamed that such characters are actually presiding over our affairs. It also reminds us boldly why the Okezie Ikpeazu led government is generally considered as one made up of idle mind jesters who have excitedly chosen the cap of buffoonery in place of cap of honour.
While Ikpeazu and his men fabricate their fantasies of falsehood aimed at silencing progressive Abians, they must be reminded that such anti democratic gangsterism cannot erase Otti’s record as once a first class banker, and number one bank CEO as former Chairman Of Committee of Bank CEOs in Nigeria, whose historic record remains undisputed and unblemished.
His intimidating exploits in the banking industry which were all products of intelligence, hard work and discipline remain engraved in the annals of Nigeria’s financial industry and have continued to speak for him whenever the Creme de la crème of the financial world gather.
This cannot be said of Okezie Ikpeazu who was forced out of the institution he was working with to become a sycophantic L.G.A Transition Chairman where he left zero legacy to become an Assistant without an office to a former governor, and continued to helplessly hang around the corridors of power until the barton for Abia destruction was handed over to him.
Yes, Ikpeazu and his men have accused Otti of everything bad including being shameless, jealous, sad, and jobless, but Otti is not bothered by such primitive ranting, because he knows that when one battles with pigs, he will get dirty, while the pigs will get happy. However, such shenanigans can’t change the known fact that Okezie Ikpeazu is not Alex Otti’s class, and certainly cannot acquire the character, comportment, civility and other individual traits and accomplishments that conferred class on Otti.
Otti cannot be a liar for speaking up for the oppressed and challenging the leadership atrocities ravaging Abia, rather the dangerous and unrepentant liar is the man who has promised everything, got everything, but offered nothing.
We understand that the Ikpeazu led government cherishes passionately and rewards effectively the ‘3S’ practices of Silence, Submission and Sycophancy in Abia, however, we the progressives have chosen a different path of honour, and are encouraged by Richard Steele’s historic injunction that &Whenever you commend, add your reasons for doing so; it is this which distinguishes the approbation of a man of sense from the flattery of sycophants and admiration of fools&.
We are neither sycophants, nor fools, and thus cannot flatter or bow for failure, because being a governor, is devoid of honour without good governance.
Ferdinand Ekeoma is Media Assistant to Dr. Alex Otti OFR
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