Ekeoma: Otti and misplaced aggression of Abia oppressors
SINCE his audacious but people-driven decision to venture into the 2015 governorship election in Abia State, the man of the moment, Dr. Alex Otti, has not only stolen the political show in Abia, but has engineered a new atmosphere of rare political consciousness amongst the Abia populace.
Certain factors could be attributed to this development. First, Dr. Otti is not only held in high esteem by Abians and Nigerians because of his impeccable record and huge achievements in the private sector as a renowned banker, but also because of the commitment, seriousness and sincerity he has shown so far in the pursuit of his governorship ambition, which many Abians view as a task that must be collectively accomplished.
Another major reason is the fact that Abia is in dire need of responsible leadership, hence the yearnings of Abians for a leader that does not only possess the leadership qualities, but one that has the passion to lift Abia and Abians from their present pitiable political State.
The people have seen these qualities in Dr. Alex Otti, and have therefore taken his aspiration as their own project.
To inspire him ahead of the election, millions of Abians, ranging from workers, students, traders and artisans have formed formidable force of supportive groups working for the actualisation of Dr. Otti’s governorship ambition.
Such volunteer organisations and groups are seen in schools, churches, market places, and at functions preaching the gospel of change while identifying and giving Dr. Otti heroic ovations where ever he goes.
Unfortunately, those who feel threatened by Dr. Otti’s support base and his very huge chances of winning the governorship election come April have resorted to defamation, gospel of hate, threat, and outright violence against this man of peace and his supporters.
After failing to halt the wild fire-like support Abians have been giving to him since his declaration, and after failing woefully to suppress the media and stop them from giving publicity to Dr. Otti’s messages of hope and change, the Abia oppressors have embraced outright violence as their only strategy to stop Dr. Alex Otti and the change he is bringing to Abians.
Outside their direct state sponsored verbal attacks through the electronic and print media, they have also gone on destruction spree of Dr. Alex Otti’s billboards, posters, and campaign facilities.
The latest desperate but uncivilized acts of violence is the threatening of traders with seizure of their shops should they fail to vote for the candidate being projected by T.A. Orji, while Keke operators and commercial bus drivers with Dr. Otti’s posters and stickers on their tricycles and vehicles are beaten up and forced to remove such posters.
One is then forced to ask, why have these Abia oppressors failed to channel this misplaced aggression against the many bad roads and collapsed infrastructures scattered all over Abia? Why have they not deployed their destructive energy in rendering quality leadership to Abians? Why have they not put half of the present anti-Otti effort in the payment of workers’ salaries? The reason is simple, they are the enemies of Abia, they are the slave masters, they are afraid of change.
Despite destroying campaign facilities and materials worth millions, Dr. Otti’s spirit has remained resolute and undampened, and he has, to the surprise of even the nihilistic Abia oppressors, refused to toe their path of violence by not retaliating.
Dr. Otti’s resolve to continue to carry out his ambition and message of change in a decent manner despite obvious provocation from the Abia oppressors is because of his belief that violence is the strategy of little minds, who lack the maturity and mental fitness to preside over the affairs of sane people, especially God’s Own People.
From the violent, lawless, and primitive actions of those who feel threatened by Dr. Otti’s ambition, it has become clearer to even the most doubting Thomases that these destroyers of Abia have not and cannot change. Because of their desperation to cover up their atrocities of many years while holding Abians in perpetual bondage, these Abia oppressors are putting in every stolen resource and anti democratic strategy to intimidate and instil fear in the minds of the Abia electorate ahead of the forthcoming elections. Unfortunately for them, Abians are more than ever committed, prepared, and ready to cast their votes, defend same, and bring the positive change we desperately desire and deserve.
It is important to remind Abians that no positive change has ever taken place without some hitches and sacrifices, hence the need for them to remain committed, firm, and fearless as the force of change must triumph over the force of violence, lawlessness, and mediocrity.
Abians must borrow a leaf from the event of 2011 in Imo State when Imolites who yearned for change, came out in their numbers, voted for the candidate of their choice, and fought gallantly until the change they desired was actualsed.
This time around, that spirit of divinity attached to the Abia nomenclature must come to play. Again, the 1929 Aba women riot spirit of resistance must be employed and deployed by Abians to resist any and every lawlessness and injustice being planned by the Abia oppressors. Above all, the Enyimba spirit of positive solidarity for which Dim. Odumegwu Ojukwu fell in love with Aba people must be invoked for Dr. Alex Otti in his quest to genuinely liberate Abia.
To the Abia oppressors, the message is simple: Abia is God’s Own State, Abia is ripe for change, and the force of positive change can never be stopped. Change is the message and Alex Otti is the messenger.
• Ekeoma writes from Abia State.
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