The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Abia State, Dr. Alex Otti, has called on the citizens of the state to stand up and be counted as the nation approaches general election in the first quarter 2019.
While wishing the people of Abia, a happy and prosperous new year, Otti described 2019 as the year of restoration for the state. “God has promised in Joel 2:25, that He will restore the days that the locust has eaten, the cankerworm and the caterpillar and the cankerworm. The time for our restoration is now. The year 2019 is our year of restoration. Let us break the evil chain that has held our State bound. Enough is enough,” he declared.
In a statement laced with references to the Bible and signed by the Director, Media and Publicity of the Alex Otti Campaign Organisation, Mr. Kazie Uko, the APGA gubernatorial candidate recalled how he had won the election in 2015, before the victory got truncated. He said, “As you well know, we won that election before the then governor led a gang of PDP brigands and compromised security agents to INEC collation centre and intimidated the INEC Returning Officer into truncating our victory. We tried to defend the mandate freely given to us by the Abia people, using the due process. We got victory at the Appeal Court, but the Supreme Court in its wisdom reversed it.
“But this is 2019. We are wiser now and affliction shall not arise a second time. Our promise to Ndi Abia is that we will not allow the event of 2015, where our mandate was stolen, repeat itself this time around. We will do all within the law and humanly possible to defend our victory, against any threat by marauders. We are certain that God is on our side and Ndi Abia are with us and together, in 2019, we shall overcome”.
While calling for prayers and support from the church and all Abians, Otti said he was already in a covenant relationship with Abia people, with the publication of his manifesto. According to him, “I have already entered into covenant with the Abia people, with the release of my manifesto. I promise to bring back joy, peace, and happiness, which are necessary ingredients for human development, that have eluded our people for about two decades of bad governance. I will achieve this by implementing the laudable programmes that I have enumerated in my manifesto. The Bible says in Proverbs 29:2, that when the righteous is in power, the people rejoice but when the wicked doth rule, the people mourn.
“I implore you in the name of God to join hands with us, as well as support us with your prayers, as we embark on this arduous task of dismantling the principalities and powers and the rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness in high places that have ravished our State and held her bound. It is high time we reclaimed our beloved Abia State from the occultic and devious politicians and god-fathers who have sold their souls to the devil.
“I have no iota of doubt in my mind that Ndi Abia are conversant with the fact that Abia remains the least rated among her peers, in the Southern part of Nigeria. The reason is not far-fetched. Abia, from all indices of development has performed woefully, not only in the last four years of Okezie Ikpeazu, but in the last 20 years of misrule by the PDP, which has been in power in the state. It might interest us to note that Abia State grosses close to N10 billion, from both Federal Allocation and internally-generated revenue monthly. This does not include refunds from Paris Club Debt and bailout funds. So conservatively, one can say that in the last 43 months of Okezie Ikpeazu’s regime, Abia State has earned over N400 billion.
“Now, the question is, what has the government done with over N400 billion, in three and half years? With such humongous amount of money accruing to the state, why has it remained a herculean task to pay salaries and pensions of civil servants and pensioners who are being owed upwards of six and 13 months, in arrears, respectively? The only reasonable answer I can imagine is wickedness. It is sheer wickedness for a worker to be denied his or her legitimate wages, month after month. Even the Bible expressly admonished that a labourer is worthy of his wage! The government of the day would rather implement this admonition in the breach.
“Our roads, highways and bye-ways, have remained death traps. Most of our roads have remained impassable, particularly during rainy season. Our public health care system is almost non-existent, as government hospitals and health centres are replete with stories of inadequate personnel, obsolete equipment and unsightly environment.
“Youth unemployment has given rise to crimes of different kinds, including, kidnappings, armed robberies, ritual killings, baby factory, human trafficking, 419, prostitution and all such vices. Our major towns, Umuahia (the state capital) and Aba (commercial nerve centre) have become one heavy refuse dumpsite. Despite the multiple environmental levies and taxes imposed on the citizens of the state, the state government has failed to clear the environment of refuse that are threatening to overflow the roads.
“I can go on and on. Our ill-fated educational system, lack of portable pipe-borne water, adulterated foods, beverages and drugs; lost values, love and care for the less privileged, elderlies, widows and physically challenged have become our permanent companion.”
By Nseobong Okon-Ekong