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(OPINION) Alex Otti: Setting The Abia Agenda – By Engr. Charles Omesie Ojukwu


(OPINION) Alex Otti: Setting The Abia Agenda – By Engr. Charles Omesie Ojukwu


It is no longer news that the 2023 Gubernatorial Election in Abia State has come and gone; a winner and losers produced therefrom.


However, the political discourse in the State before the handover date to the Governor-elect, Dr. Alex Otti, is Agenda Setting. Therefore, it is not out of place that the televisions and radios, the newspapers and social media platforms are buzzed with diverse requests on the Governor-elect.


Following the declaration of Dr. Alex Otti by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as winner of the March 18, 2023 Abia State Gubernatorial Election; diverse interest groups, and individuals have continued to bombard the Governor-elect with requests. Some have even proffered ways and means the Governor-elect can end the myriads of Abia perennial underdevelopment and maladministration. While it could be observed that some of these requests are genuine and people orientated, others are self-seeking and parochial and self-serving.


There is no-gainsaying the fact that it is within the rights of every individuals and groups in the State to make demands on the Governor-elect.  But it behooves that the common good of the people must form the background for every demand.  The long suffering people of Abia State have borne the burden of crass maladministration that has characterized governance in Abia State since 1999. Therefore, any agenda setting that is not predicated on changing the narratives of the common people of the State is not worth presenting to the Governor-elect.

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It is now common to see some of our elites, politicians and traditional Rulers throng the abode of Dr. Alex Otti to make pecuniary demands; order than what would impact the general masses of the State. The people have also read and listened to commentaries from different quarters of the State, tutoring the Governor-elect on how best to govern the State.

While there is nothing wrong with these suggestions, one needs to point that Dr. Alex Otti is not bereaved of ideas on how best to govern Abia State.


For one; Dr. Alex Otti has been in the political trenches of Abia State since 2015. He had contested the governorship election of Abia on three occasions; twice unlucky and the third time, lucky.


For a man with that dogged spirit, and perseverance towards pursuing the goal to govern Abia State means he has a big dream for the State and its people. And those dreams are articulated in his political manifestoes, under which, he campaigned for the governorship election.


It was based on his articulated manifestoes that the people of Abia State choose him from the lots of Candidates in the March 18, 2023 Governorship Election. His acceptability was reflected in the overwhelming popular votes of over hundred thousand he garnered during the election.

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Dr. Alex Otti, as it were, is not a new comer in Abia State and its politics. He is conversant with the ugly narratives of the decay in infrastructure in the State. The pathetic story of Aba city must have been a great source of concern to him. That Umuahia; the Abia State Capital City, needs to be tinkered with. And to develop the city to meet a 21st Century standard of a State Capital; must be part of his worries.


Dr. Alex Otti must have noted that Abia State in the past couple of years has the unenviable reputation as the State with the highest records of workers strike in Nigeria. This is due to non-payment of salaries, gratuities and pension. He must have noted also, that the major roads across the State are mere death traps; that have claimed innocent lives.


As a former bank executive, Dr. Alex Otti, no doubt, must have a knack for details. And we have seen a good sign of what his government would look like through the personalities he assembled as his transition team. To achieve his goals as Governor of Abia State, Alex Otti must have a blueprint and masterplan of how he wants to govern the State.

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What I think therefore, the elites of Abia State owe the Governor-elect, is to give him a free hand to form and run his government the best way he had planned it. There should be less emphasis on flamboyant courtesy visits. These visits are at best, distractive to the bigger picture and work at hand for the Governor-elect.


Any agenda setting for the Governor-elect must be based on the bottom-top approach. The Elites and Traditional Rulers must always consult with their town unions and the grass root people. This would enable them to ascertain the real need, not imaginary need of the people. The Reality of the Masses must count on every policy that must get to the Governor-elect.


The Elites, Traditional Rulers and Politicians must genuinely come clean of their intentions to assist the Governor-elect towards achieving a better Abia. The people have taken back Abia State; therefore, all hands must be on deck to achieve the ABIA of our dream.


Engr. Charles O. Ojukwu

(Ochikaruibe of Isuikwuato LGA.)

Engr. Charles O. Ojukwu is a UK trained Structural and Civil Engineer. He is a former General Manager, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), former Executive Chairman, Isuikwuato Local Government Council and also a former Commissioner for Environment, Abia State.

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