The recent visit of Alex Otti to the wife of Igbo iconic leader and first civilian governor of Old Imo State, Chief Sam Onunaka Mbakwe has as usual generated a needless furore because of the way it was mishandled by the inexperienced, incompetent and uneducable handlers of Alex Otti, especially one Ferdinand Ekeoma who functions perfunctorily as his Adviser on Media and Publicity.
What happened is not surprising to the Abia PDP because Alex Otti’s handlers have continued to function as neophytes in their duties. Without knowing how to manage their mistakes, their first and last resort and the only channel they use as an escape route is to blame former governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu and the PDP for all their mistakes. It has become a laughable de javu because even in their sleep the only ones they see causing their problems are the PDP and Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu. What a pity!
The Abia PDP had seen the rowdy and disorganised visit of Alex Otti to late Chief Sam Mbakwe’s wife as a publicity stunt to shore up his flash-in-the-pan popularity which is dwindling precipitously with each passing day and how they bungled the exercise but decided to ignore it and allow them wallow in their ignorance until as usual, Ferdinand Ekeoma tried to scapegoat the PDP for their endless mistakes in trial and error.
Before blaming the PDP as usual, there are fundamental questions Ferdinand Ekeoma should have asked himself; did Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu and PDP accompany Alex Otti and his team on the visit to Obowo and was it Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu or the PDP that made public the picture of the miserly and beggarly bags of rice and tubers of yam? Was it not the same media team headed by Ferdinand Ekeoma that made the pictures public in an attempt to buy cheap popularity until it backfired in their faces?
The Abia PDP would never be against any public officer who visits the wife of our former governor to show gratitude for his efforts in steering the ship of State in his time. What the PDP frowns at is Alex Otti’s public display of items meant to appreciate Mrs. Mbakwe in order to chase popularity or show how prudent he is in managing resources when it is obvious to the general public that he is not.
The Abia PDP even finds it more distasteful and embarrassing that the said materials by any stretch of evaluation was not only miserly but does not also speak to our culture of giving in humility, authenticity, selflessness, modesty and avoiding pride and ego. By broadcasting the gift items to the public Alex Otti failed the test of those virtues outlined above and once again, brought to the fore his penchant to massage his ego.
In the conduct of official government protocol, the established norm and convention of such visits is for the media to be available only for photo ops and allow Alex Otti, a very few of his aides, if need be, and Mrs. Mbakwe to meet behind closed doors, after which the media would be allowed to interview the woman and ask her a few questions for use in different channels. While the private meeting is going on, the Special Duties team would keep the item somewhere in the woman’s house while the governor tells her privately that some items have been made available for her.
We challenge Ferdinand Ekeoma to produce a picture of Okezie Ikpeazu giving Mrs. Mbakwe items in public during visits or any other State governor in Nigeria past or present, displaying gift items in public during a visit to an elder statesman.
Alex Otti and the operatives of his government should concentrate on the work they are supposed to do. One had expected that after 12 years of waiting and struggling to become governor, he should have under-studied the internal workings of government to know how to hit the ground running without this cut and join operations he is using to embarrass himself publicly.
And to Ferdinand Ekeoma, the earlier you understood that Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu is a man who served eight years as governor of Abia and has nothing to compare with Alex Otti who is less than 120 days in office, the better for you. Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu is an accomplished man who would never waste his precious trying to pull down Alex Otti.
It is also good for you to note that Dr. Okezie Ikeazu was never in the ballot with Alex Otti as governorship candidate, so the usual refrain of ‘Okezie Ikpeazu is a bad loser’ actually portrays you as ignorant and it would do your image a lot of good if you stopped using that line and face the job of promoting the good works of your principal (if any) or his many mistakes if you wish. Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has since moved on and is not in a position to join issues with you.
PDP – Power to the People!
Hon. Elder Abraham Amah
Abia PDP Vice Chairman/Acting State Publicity Secretary