Otti’s Alleged Plan to Downsize Abia Workforce is Propaganda
*The Otti that I know…
By Sam Okoro
The Abia State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) recently embarked on an aggressive, fresh, ill-conceived and malicious propaganda to disparage the governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Dr Alex Otti and stir public disaffection toward him.
The ruling party is going about alleging that the former Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the defunct Diamond Bank Plc is harbouring a sinister plan to downsize the Abia State workforce, when elected governor.
This is obviously a clear case of blackmail and campaign of calumny. It is not only blatantly deceitful but a baseless and unfounded propaganda stunt from the pit of hell.
Indeed, such could only come from a wicked and evil imagination of a politically confused, frustrated and drowning political party as PDP.
This obvious lie was reportedly concocted in the last meeting of all the party chieftains at the Government House, Umuahia, convened by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu in the aftermath of the party’s woeful and shameless showing in the presidential and National Assembly elections of February 25.
It was reliably gathered that the meeting was convoked to enable the party stalwarts to deliberate on ways to perfect their plot to stop the LP’s rampaging whirlwind in next Saturday’s polls.
It was reliably learnt that the meeting encouraged members to embark on a dangerous propaganda to bring Otti’s untainted and blameless image to disrepute and paint a deceptive picture of a mean, ruthless, callous and insensitive leader in the eye of civil servants with less discerning minds.
Unfortunately, the plan was dead on arrival because Otti has over the years demonstrated his profound love and compassion for humanity and the Abia civil servants in particular.
In his manifesto, he has articulated welfarist programmes and policies, including commensurate reward and remuneration, which he believed would help to revive the spirit of industry associated with the Abia workers.
He has promised at different fora in his state-wide campaigns to defray the huge salary and pension arrears owed to workers by the mindless Ikpeazu-led administration, hovering around 35 months and above. This he promised to do in the first six months of his inauguration as governor.
It is therefore preposterous for anyone to engage in such a profound but ridiculous act of mischief and blackmail against him.
The Otti That I Know
Of course, men of good conscience, who know Otti closely can vouch that this First Class Honour product of the University of Port Harcourt could not in one breath promise to alleviate the plight of the impoverished, deprived and dehumanised Abia workers and in another breath harbour any vicious intentions against the same people. This is not in his character. He is truly not given to such evil machinations common with the deceptive and avaricious political class that populate the Abia PDP.
As governor, this son of a priest would rather expand the horizon and create a conducive work environment for every hardworking and ambitious Abia worker to excel and rank the best in the county in terms of competitiveness, productivity and quality service delivery with appropriate government reward and sanctions policy.
Otti has been consistent with this message of hope and as a reputable, globally acclaimed financial expert and banker, his word has always been his bond.
He is credible, trusted, dependable, compassionate and uncompromising.
He is certainly not given to vendetta and witch hunting. He is also not associated with deceit and double-speak.
He is not known for cowardice. No, far from it! He is courageous at all times to say his mind on any issues and move on.
The Frustration, Decimation of Abia PDP
The results of the March 25 polls obviously left the rag-tag ruling-PDP further decimated and dismembered with nothing left for it to cling onto to survive the imminent tsunami.
It also left the party and its disunited and disjointed chieftains with bruised, battered bloody nose. And so, for the party and its handful of die-hard members, it has been a horrible season of hopelessness, wailing and gnashing of teeth.
With LP’s sterling performance at the polls, it became more crystallised that Otti apparently remains the candidate to beat in the March 11 governorship poll in Abia. Indeed, the tale-tale signs can be seen and felt in every book and cranny of the state. And like a popular gospel song has it, “I can see everything turning around, turning around, turning around for my (Otti’s) good.”
The Peter Obi movement truly hit Abia’s political space like a tornado, which many have described in different ways, including “the Obi wave” and “Hurricane Obi”. It swept everything found on its route.
Indeed, the major casualty of the tsunami specifically was the Abia PDP, which had bragged itself going into the contest as the “landlord”.
At the end of the encounter, it was LP – eight House of Representatives seats, plus one Senate seat; PDP – one House of Representatives seat; APC – one Senate seat and APGA = one Senate seat.
No wonder that Abia PDP, which is currently on life support, gasping for breath, had to weave such tissues of malicious lies to sell in a futile attempt to discourage the Abia electorate from giving Otti their usual massive votes.
Unfortunately, this initiative is not only clueless but came late and at a time the people have made up their minds to vote en bloc for LP all the way.
It was PDP’s ever-growing envy against LP that has pushed it into plotting the unreasonable and doing the unthinkable, including the plot to adopt violent tactics to disrupt the upcoming polls.
It is common knowledge now in the state that the party plans to return to its notorious ways of snatching of ballot boxes. It also plots to ensure that the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System machines were rendered dysfunctional with the connivance of some unscrupulous INEC officials. The aim is for it to successfully manipulate the results of the polls through manual collation processes.
Unfortunately for the party, the angry obedient youths are also mobilising to counter any such sinister move and have vowed to march the party “bumper to bumper”.
We recall that it was the old order that produced the over 82,000 votes from Obingwa Local Government Area in favour of Ikpeazu in the 2015 governorship election.
It was their old order that gave Ikpeazu the puerile victory against Otti, who was comfortably cruising to brace the tape as the winner of the contest.
Ironically, Ikpeazu’s Obingwa magic failed him this time around and he failed woefully in his quest to go to the Senate.
In the election, which was conducted with the aid of BVAS, Ikpeazu was roundly defeated and merely came a distant third with 28,422 votes.
As a sitting governor, he was mesmerised by the youthful LP’s Chinedu Onyeizu, who scored 43,903 votes.
Meanwhile, as the party is still grappling with the shock from the elections results, it further got itself entangled in yet another mess, which is potentially threatening to finally “kill and bury” the party in the state.
The present infighting is between Theodore Orji’s loyalists and Ikpeazu’s camp over who should produce the party’s running mate to Chief Okey Ahiwe, the governorship candidate.
And, while the former governor’s camp insists it is its right to produce the deputy governorship candidate in the person of Dr Jasper Uche, a Lecturer at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, the party leadership seems to think otherwise, in line with Ikpeazu’s body language, which reportedly supports the choice of Chief Okey Ahiwe, who was late Prof. Uche Ikonne’s running mate.
In the interim, the party’s hierarchy seemed to have an upper hand, having prevailed on the party’s National Working Committee to forward Ahiwe’s name to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
This is the final battle that is destined to consume the party, ahead of the D-day.
So, while the macabre dance and public show of shame continue, Abia LP and Otti are busy strategising for the onslaught that would turn the apple cart against PDP once and for all.
Therefore, now that God has put an unending confusion and disorder in their midst, it is for Abia people, who have suffered tremendously under PDP’s 24 years of maladministration to rise and grab this rare opportunity to emancipate themselves from Pharaoh and his merchant of death. Indeed, no time can be better than now.
Let us therefore move out en mass on Saturday and vote for the most outstanding contender, in whose hands Abia’s destiny can be confidently trusted.
That man is Dr Alex Otti of LP. With him, Abia residents can go to sleep assured that their finances and future are in safe hands.
Vote for the party with the logo bearing Mama, Papa, Pikin for a brighter future.
Okoro is an Umuahia-based public affairs analyst