I listened with attention, but without ado, to the Abia State 32nd Anniversary Speech of Governor Alex Otti delivered on Sunday, 27 August 2023, titled Our Duty to the Next Generation.
The few takeaways from the speech, replete with brickbats and antipathy for the past administration, were the timely launch of Operation Crush to curb the recent upsurge in crime and the ongoing rehabilitation of a few unnamed streets in Aba.
Aside from these, the speech was obfuscated, bedraggled, random and provided no respite to Abians on tenterhooks or itinerary out of the chasm; a clear case of 90 days of leadership by trial and error.
An example of the randomness was in paragraph 26 of the speech, where Governor Otti claimed his administration had commenced the immediate rehabilitation of “three major secondary health facilities” across the three senatorial zones in the state and rehabilitation efforts have reached an advanced stage.
What do we make of the statement “rehabilitation efforts have reached an advanced stage”? It is an ambiguous assertion meant to conceal reality.
Again, his assertion in paragraph 53 is risible. The legislatures’ purported cooperation is contrived because collaboration provoked by repressive methods is coercion.
We can confirm schism in the HOS by the lawsuit instituted against the leadership by the PDP lawmakers and the hasty suspension of Solomon Akpulonu for challenging aberrations. These are indications that despotism is a common denominator in the Labour Party-led Abia State government.
Surprisingly, Governor Otti pledged to “remain prudent in the management of your resources and (do hereby) assure that accountability and responsibility shall remain central to my administration.”
The statement sounds like a mockery to Abians from the governor who flies a chartered private jet to and fro three times a week minimum. The cost of hiring a private plane is N18 million and above.
In summary, Governor Otti had spent a whopping N1.296 billion in three months on flights, i.e., N108 million weekly and N432 million monthly. It does not portray prudence in any way.
It is pharisaism for Governor Otti to preach accountability and responsibility when the cost of internal road repairs he embarked upon in Aba is shrouded in secrecy.
He also talked about the proper funding of education. But, I will stop here until the 100 days in office for a comprehensive critique of Otti’s government.
Don Norman Obinna is the Abia State chairman of the African Democratic Congress (ADC).