OPINION: ALEX OTTI AND HIS ONLY CRIME – By Chuks Akamadu
In my state, Abia, every fair-minded indigene and/or resident agrees that Dr. Alex Otti is the best thing that has happened to “God’s Own State” since 2014. Likewise, no one disputes the fact that since the creation of the state in 1991, Abia has never had an aspiring governor more prepared or as adequately equipped as Dr. Otti.
Quite frankly, even Dr. Otti’s most virulent detractors concede, in secret that truth be told, the technocrat-turned-politician is a rare gift to our dear state. As a scholar, Dr. Otti reminds one of erudite Prof. Ali Mazrui of blessed memory; as an economist, he could safely pass for a hybrid of Dr. Chu Okongwu and Prof. Sam Aluko whilst as a visionary leader, his antecedents compellingly invite one to an imminent replay of Dr. Michael Okpara’s superlative era.
But there is a cabal that perceive the coming of Dr. Otti, and rightly so, as the coming of the judgment day. So whatever it would take to stop the-man-whose-time-has-come from taking over Government House, Umuahia next year, is considered “affordable”. Bias apart, the cabal have a point; the mean men and women who constitute it have been part of government since 1999, in full charge of it since 2007, and all they can boast of is a legacy of rot that had, not too long ago, forced billionaire businessman Prince Arthur Eze to tell the leader of the gang in public that “Abia stinks”.
They impoverished the people and brought their state to odium. Somehow Abia, under their watch, was portrayed, unjustifiably, as a barren land, her diverse economic potential made to look like liabilities, strengths converted to weaknesses and worse still, the state treasury put under unending siege.
So, when Dr. Otti stepped forward to challenge the status quo in 2014/2015, they deployed all they could muster to truncate his aspiration, Today, history has come full cycle and once more, Dr. Otti has thrown his hat into the ring. Going by the abysmal three years performance of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu who the gang leader foisted on Abians in 2015, the 2019 governorship race is naturally looking more like a walk in the park for Dr. Otti, because the reverberating verdict of the ordinary people of Abia State is that theirs is a classic case of “from frying pan to fire”, and they cannot wait to have their own pound of flesh which begins with Dr. Otti’s coronation on May 29, 2019, as Abia Chief Executive. And for the APGA family nationwide, Abia is going to be one of their low-hanging fruits.
So, for the political profiteers who currently run the Abia shop, Dr. Otti must be stopped at all cost! In the past, they operated from a certain position of misappropriated strength having enjoyed the “proverbial” federal might, but the circumstances have since changed remarkably – and dramatically, too; hence, the desperation to shop for a bad name in order to hang the dog.
After an excruciating yet fruitless search, they had settled for the feeble, lazy and puerile argument that since Abia North senatorial district did eight years as governor, ditto Abia Central, and that since it is “the turn” of Abia South, Governor Ikpeazu should be allowed, even if he is busy writing the state’s epitaph, to complete eight years. Logic from the pit of hell!
Okay even at that, is Dr. Otti not a full-fledged Ngwa man – and by extension an Abia South man? Yes, his ancestral home is Arochukwu, but here is a man whose grandfather lived, died and was buried in Isialangwa and his father same. The man’s impact on Ngwaland as a private person would any day, anytime dwarf the combined achievements – if any – of the gang already making bad salesmen of this wrong-headed advocacy. Please do not forget that Ngwa people just like their Abia brothers elsewhere are the ones bearing the brunt of inherited legacy of poor governance under Governor Okezie Ikpeazu.
The tragedy of this attempt at criminalising Dr. Otti’s ancestral roots is that the good people of Ngwaland who are adherents of the “Onye Aghala Nwanne ya” creed know him as their brother, more than anything else as an illustrious Abian and are the ones insisting that 2019 would be the turn of visionary leadership which Dr. Otti epitomises. They are tired of being passed off, falsely, as a bunch of under-performers when they have an oven-hot cake like Dr. Otti they can proudly offer Abia State – for the lasting good of all.
Chuks Akamadu, (Nko Abia)
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