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ABIA: How Gov. Alex Otti Can Avoid The Pitfalls Of His Predecessors – Ako Obioma

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ABIA: How Gov. Alex Otti Can Avoid The Pitfalls Of His Predecessors – Ako Obioma

Abia born indigenous contractor and Chairman of Daman Group, Sir, Dr. Ako Obioma, has advised Governor Alex Otti to review the circumstances that led to the failure of his predecessors in office, to avoid becoming another Moses, as he might fail to take Abians to the Promised Land he has been chosen to lead the people into.


According to Obioma, former governor T.A Orji “failed because his son hijacked power”, while Dr Okezie Ikpeazu was allegedly “a puppet to T.A Orji’s son.

For Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, Obioma linked his alleged failure to “his role in making Abia an extension of the OUK dynasty.”

Sir Ako Obioma made these assertions in an open letter he addressed to Governor Alex Otti titled; “Why Gov Alex Otti Should Be Open Minded And Genuinely Move Abia Forward” dated 6th December 2023.

Obioma advised governor Otti to be weary of emerging praise-singers whom he said, may make the governor lose focus and end like his predecessors.

“Orji Uzor Kalu was an action governor and had joy in generosity with intent to carry everyone along, but became exuberant with power that he saw the state as an extension of Orji Kalu dynasty”.

“Senator T.A Orji rose with the mantra of liberating Abia from ‘Pharaoh and Mamacracy’. He carried everybody along and eventually won the peoples heart. He brought all past and present contractors, dialogued and carried them along and they felt at home even without been commensurably paid. They relied on trust and worked for the improvement of the state.

“Unfortunately, after just two years of liberating Abia, like his predecessor, his son hijacked the governance from him and his government became a disaster.

 

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“Unlike his predecessor that found an escape route to liberate from his predecessor, Ikpeazu was a victim of fear to the protocol through which he was installed. He never allowed his family to exact any influence in his governance.

“From my perspective as an engineering professional, Dr Ikpeazu performed better than his predecessors, especially in Aba which had no single motorable road before he became governor.

“Though in his quest to play a fast one on World Bank and African Development Bank, he lost the glory he would have gained on Port Harcourt road which he started and executed reasonable works in his first tenure.

“His lust for ethnicity and inability to sustain the payment of salaries like in his first tenure with Mr Obinna Oriaku as Commissioner for Finance became his greatest albatross. I was quite shocked to see him owing civil servants and teachers up to 13 months’ salary and yet he was acting as if nothing was wrong until his exit.

“I wondered what happened to the oil derivation windfall which other oil producing states leveraged on in doing massive infrastructure and paying both outstanding salaries and contractors’ debt.

Apart from the non-payment of salaries as his greatest albatross, his complete abandonment of debt owed contractors by his predecessor and virtually all projects started by his predecessor (Godfather) worsened the situation, and he paid dearly for it.

This resulted to lots of litigation that contributed to the loss of the World Bank loan and delay in approving the African Development Bank loan, and even when it was approved, many forces made sure he was not in power to superintend the disbursement and this has become Dr Alex Otti’s gain.

“I once advised him (Ikpeazu) to have a rethink making reference that even Chief Nyesom Wike, when he took over the mantle of leadership from Chief Rotimi Amechi, despite their differences he completed and paid off all projects and debts inherited from Amaechi because governance is a continuum. My advice fell on deaf ears, and he forgot that most of these contractors who are not only chieftains of PDP are also the powerhouse of their various constituencies and wards. So, they paid him back and made sure he not only lost his senatorial bid but equally his candidate for the governorship was defeated” Obioma wrote.

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The letter further read;

Dr Alex Otti

The tortoise was asked how many times will something happen to you for you to learn your lesson, he said I will use what happened to others to learn. This is my advice. However, I don’t think your critical commissioners are getting it quite right. Even at the federal level, the first thing my good friend and minister of works, Engr Dave Umahi did was inspection of all the ongoing projects and, after which he invited all the contractors’ zone by zone and even discussed with them one on one.

Please direct your works commissioner to avert early crisis and litigations. This abandonment or termination of projects over political differences with past regime is killing Abia and its citizenry. There should be very cogent reason for abandoning /terminating projects and which should be explained to the contractor after which he should be paid off for executed works.

Finally, ignore this praise-singers, they were instrumental to the failure of your predecessor. There is so much hope on you to make Abia better, so remain focused and carry everyone along. Mr peter Obi’s style in Anambra state could be added advantage. Remember, there was no Labour Party, LP, structure on ground that made you governor, it was Abians of all political parties that needed a change.

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