By John Okiyi Kalu
“There are six things that the Lord hates and seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devices wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, false witnessing that breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.”
I make bold to state that the above scripture captures exactly why the serially defeated Governorship candidate of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Alex Otti, will NEVER be the Governor of God’s Own State, Abia.
God cannot be mocked and the scripture will never be broken. Just like I believe, power belongs to God, and the same God that hates “a deceitful heart, lying tongue and devices of evil plan” will never give what is His (power) to Alex Chioma Otti.
Since his desperate quest to appropriate for himself the coveted seat of Abia State Governor after many years of hobnobbing with every government in power in Abia since 1999, the political path of Otti is copiously marked by attempts to deceive, lie and destroy.
Otti started his political journey with attempts aimed at deceiving and misrepresenting his actual place of origin by abandoning his multi-million Naira personal country home in Arochukwu where he lived to relocate to Isiala Ngwa when he learned that the 2015 Governor of Abia State would emerge from Ngwa area of Abia State in line with Abia Charter of Equity, and since then he has perfected the art of lying, deceit and destruction of whatever he touches.
As if his well known place of origin crisis is not enough, when Otti finally bought the Governorship ticket of APGA in 2015, after realizing that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) would not give him the party’s ticket, in line with its unwavering stand on Equity which favours the Ngwa axis of the State at the time, and having been registered as a member of the party in Arochukwu ward 3 in the old Bende axis of Abia State with card number, 016, Otti launched his campaign at Aba by lying to the people that he, as a private citizen, obtained a loan of $100bn from International Finance Corporation (IFC) to rebuild Aba even when, as a former banker, he must have known that individuals cannot obtain loans on behalf of a state government. Since then he has not accounted for the money even after he claimed that he only borrowed $100m as against $100b.
That was only the beginning of the putrid litany of lies, deceit and sheer mischief that characterized Otti’s dead on arrival attempt to appropriate the Governorship seat by all means. Obviously the people of Abia State saw through him and decided that they cannot trust him with the office of Governor of Abia State, leading to his serial defeat in 2015 and 2019. While he lost with about 78,000 votes in 2015 to place second, by 2019 he lost by nearly 200,000 votes to come a distant third, with Governor Ikpeazu scoring 261,127 votes while Otti scored 64,366 votes. It is important to note that in 2015 Governorship poll, Dr Ikpeazu polled 264,713 to defeat Alex Otti who polled 180,882 votes.
Without consideration for the progress and well-being of Abians, Otti ill advisedly chose to challenge the re-election of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu in court to principally remain relevant in Abia politics, distract the Governor from performing his duties and indeed punish the people of Abia State for refusing to elect him their Governor.
As expected from a desperado, Otti’s latest judicial challenge is premised on lies and deceit that he hoped will help him achieve his objective of canceling the election in the 15 LGAs he lost while upholding the result of the 2 LGAs he marginally won. In his desperate mind, even the APC candidate, UCHE Ogah, couldn’t have won in his own LGA of Isuikwuato but he (Otti) must have won in Arochukwu LGA where he actually comes from but publicly disowned.
The latest attempt to lie and deceive by Otti is aptly captured in his latest press statement that “Ikpeazu-led government has weaponized hunger in Abia”, wherein he lied, as usual, that the Governor hired a crowd of supporters to attend the tribunal adoption hearing on Thursday September 29, 2019, who abused him for desperately seeking to be Abia Governor.
As someone who was at the tribunal sitting of that day, I personally found Otti’s attempt to once more deceive the people and reading public laughable.
Video and picture evidence abound to show that Otti hired buses of his supporters dressed in his party uniform to the court complex to sing and dance for him. Even his media aides posted those pictures online to show his supporters “cheering Otti at the tribunal”. For the same Otti to turn round and complain about Governor Ikpeazu’s supporters cheering him at the same tribunal is symptomatic of a man who the spirit of lies and deceit has taken full control of. Governor
Ikpeazu has no apology to offer Otti for his popularity with common folks in Abia State or the fact that he is loved by members of PDP in Abia State.
I have it on good authority that Otti also sponsored renegade pensioners and protest-for-cash urchins to mount a failed protest on the day of the tribunal sitting in order to embarrass the Governor in the media and score cheap political point that surely won’t have any bearing to the ruling of the tribunal which is expected to be based on law and evidence adduced by the parties in the matter. It is a fact that the members and leaders of Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Abia State Chapter, are currently discussing with the government on how to clear their outstanding wages, some of which obviously did not emanate from this administration as Otti’s hired protesters also unwittingly mentioned outstandings from 1998-2007 and beyond. Officials of NUP in Abia State have also come out to disown the protesters and protest mounted by less than 100 persons, including non pensioners, paid to leave locations as far as Arochukwu LGA to Umuahia and later seen receiving protest participation payments at a location along Bende road Umuahia afterwards.
On Saturday, 31st of August 2019, Abia State workers in state Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) who make up more than 70% of the state workforce started receiving their August 2019 salaries and I make bold to state that they are not owed any month of salary arrears. Yet Otti will deceitfully have you believe that “Abia workers are owed 32 months salary arrears”. There is no doubt that Otti is aware that those MDA workers are the group statutorily paid directly by the state Government but he will rather embark on his mission of deceit and lies to attempt to destroy his opponent.
I challenge Alex Chioma Otti to show where the law permits state or federal governments to directly pay wages of workers in parastatals. Yet we have made interventions to support our ailing parastatals through payment of subventions and others even as we also place on record that more than 60% of our state parastatals are up to date with salary payment. These facts account for why Governor Ikpeazu continue to enjoy the goodwill and support of majority of Abia workers who also know that they are better remunerated than their counterparts in other south east states, to the chagrin of Otti.
A federal parastatal located in Abia State ran into murky financial waters and owed workers months of arrears, cut wages to 70% whereas the MDAs of the federal government were up to date and paying 100%. The management of that institution pleaded for patience, worked hard and ultimately paid off the arrears and balance of 30%. Otti probably does not know this and hence continue to celebrate his ignorance in public sector administration. Just like his allegation that we have received the last tranche of Paris Club Refund and mismanaged it bother on mischief making. We are yet to receive the last tranche of Paris Club Refunds and we are proud of the fact that both ICPC and members of Nigeria Governors Forum applauded the transparent management of previous refund receipts.
Otti’s destructive footprint is already legendary and I need not highlight them. The former owners of Diamond Bank are better placed to narrate their ordeal in his hands. Suffice it to state that the national and state executives of APGA are now regretting the day they accepted Otti into their party and handed him the party’s ticket.
Abians will not accept the fate of Diamond Bank and APGA in their state.
In all these, followers of Abia politics know for a fact that while the administration of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has not solved all Abia problems in four years, the state has certainly made appreciable progress since he became the Governor. Also, God cannot lie or be mocked by any individual. In the Bible book of Psalm 5:9, God said concerning men like Otti: “There is nothing reliable in what they say; Their inward part is destruction itself Their throat is an open grave; They flatter with their tongue.”
Also in 2 Timothy 3:13, God said: “But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” No wonder lawyers and hired publicists continue to deceive Mazi Otti into believing that he will ever win the Governorship seat in Abia through lies, deceit and destruction of every thing he touches.
-John Okiyi Kalu writes from Umuahia