Just read this written communication from Governor Alex Otti, as tpublished by his Spokesman, and see if you can understand the type of personality that will try to mislead a whole community and pit them against their own son simply because they disagree politically.
“I didn’t need any funny publications from Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu and John Okiyi Kalu to know that Ohafia Local Government where John Okiyi Kalu comes from received over 18 Billion Naira (Eighteen Billion Naira) in LGA monthly allocations during Ikpeazu’s eight years as governor, yet you cannot see a project of 200 Million Naira in the entire LGA.
“Out of this money, Abiriba Kingdom where Okiyi Kalu hails from was supposed to receive at least N1.6 billion for the three wards. Note: I’m talking about local government allocations and not funds from the state.
“What if the revered and accomplished people of Abiriba decide to sue Ikpeazu and John Okiyi Kalu today for alleged diversion of their funds? Abiriba people are known for detesting internal sabotage so i think they should bring their son to justice for being an accomplice in the betrayal of the Kingdom”
– Alex Otti, Governor of Abia State, 12th October 2023.
It is sacrilegious for a sitting Governor and leader of government in a state to engage in this type of manipulative communication all in the name of propaganda and retaliation against a perceived or real political opponent.
Anyone who is unschooled in public sector leadership and management will certainly draw any or all of the following erroneous conclusions from the above statement issued by Alex Otti:
1. That at the end of every month Governors in Nigeria share LGA allocations to every ward and community in an LGA through appointed or elected government officials from the wards and communities.
2. That the portion purportedly belonging to Ohafia LGA (N18bn) and the 3 wards in Abiriba community (N1.6b) in eight years were given to one John Okiyi Kalu who was a commisioner of Abiriba origin.
3. That the people of the community should ask or sue the same John Okiyi Kalu to recover their supposed due N1.6bn in 8 years from him and the then Governor since they are the ones holding or keeping the money in their private banking accounts.
Obviously Otti is a master manipulator who sanctioned the above statement released in his name as a way to silence the said John Okiyi Kalu whose only crime is calling on him to keep his electoral promises as it relates to transparency in government. His desire is obviously to run Abia as he wishes without anyone questioning him since he is an unquestionable “messiah” sent from heaven. But as then opposition leader he and his hirelings asked similar questions and demanded answers from Government as of right. Yet this individual who tasks him on transparecy is considered an enemy of a messiah sent from above.
Permit me to make the following unequivocal assertions as known to me:
1. LGA allocations from the federal government are not shared to wards in communities but are received in the Joint Account maintained by the State and Local Governments, and then disbursed to LGAs for the purposes of paying salaries and running the affairs of the LGAs every month. Every LGA prepares annual budget and decide on projects to execute from funds available to it.
2. Outside the commissioner for LGA affairs (and/or) his permanent secretary and possibly that of Joint Projects as well as the LGA chairmen, no other commisioner is involved in supervising the allocation of resources to LGAs from the JAAC account. Of course, the commissioner for finance might make inputs from time to time but he is not a member of JAAC, to the best of my knowledge.
3. In the whole period I was commssioner I never attended any JAAC meeting or received one naira from JAAC account for myself, community or for official purposes.
4. Nobody ever shared any LGA money on a monthly basis to any ward in Ohafia LGA and Abia State, as insinuated by the current governor, to the best of my personal knowledge.
5. In the 8 years of Ikpeazu, there were 4 Ohafia LGA chairmen: 4 from Ohafia South, 2 from Nkporo and one from Abiriba. I am not aware that any of them ever shared LGA funds to communities or wards as insinuated by Otti.
6. If Alex Otti produces a shred of evidence that one naira (N1) was allocated to any ward in tf Abiriba community and I took it, I will voluntarily surrender to Police for prosecution the same day no matter how late.
Having made the above statements, I wish to ask Governor Otti to now respond to the following queries if he cares a hoot about transparency in government.
A. How much has Ohafia LGA received from the Federation Account since you became Governor of Abia State?
B. How much of the total receipts has he given to the LGA (Ohafia) from the JAAC allocations he received since becoming Governor?
C. How much has Governor Alex Otti shared to Abiriba community and/or wards directly or through his appointees since he was inaugurated?
D. Can Governor Alex Otti name the exact government official of Abiriba origin he handed the money over to so that the community or wards can sue the person and recover the funds?
I am waiting to read the Governor’s transparent information on the above devoid of manipulation. Yesterday I stumbled on the following statement from the Governor and wish to also ask for further clarification:
“ If the government Okiyi Kalu served and defended didn’t turn the Local Government system into an enclave of corruption where the most heinous heists took place, Governor Otti would have found a decent and organised Local Government system to deal with, sadly Okiyi Kalu expected the Governor to have hurriedly started dumping the LGA allocations without sanitising the place so that their cronies would continue to use the tainted template of fraud left behind by the previous government to receive and divert funds while the LGAs suffer underdevelopment.”
Please Mr Governor is the above statement a confirmation that you have actually not been releasing LG allocations to them since you were inaugurated? If yes, are you aware that it is not legal to withhold the allocation of LGAs for any reason at all? Furthermore sir, is there any truth in the rumor that you seized Local Government seals and kept same away from your preferred administrators of the LGA system? Who exactly is currently in custody of and disbursing LGA funds sir?
If it will help you sir, permit me to also state that I do not have cronies in any LGA, MDA and parastatal in Abia State. You are free to administer the state according to the law and with transparency without bothering about my cronies.
When a leader chooses the path of propaganda and deliberate deceit there is something fundamentally wrong somewhere, and alarm bells should ring in the people’s heads.
Whether you like and support Otti or not, all I will ask of you is to put on your thinking cap, if you have any. You made no mistake in supporting him because anyone can fall victim of desperate political posturing but it is your duty to monitor and hold the individual accountable from get go or else you will end up with a leader you will not be able to identify with in due course.