Group describes Otti as clear departure from Abia’s ‘sordid past’
Abia State has always been dealt a bad card in terms of leadership since the advent of the Fourth Republic, but that is about to change, a group, Integrity and Transparency Promotion Initiative (ITPI), has said.
The Abia State chapter of the group, which described the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) leadership of the state since 1999 as the worst in the country, said in a statement that it envisages a clear departure from the ‘sordid past’ if Dr. Alex Otti of the Labour Party wins Saturday’s gubernatorial elections.
According to ITPI, Abia State cannot make the desired progress and meet the aspirations of the founding fathers “if we continue to recycle the same set of people who have nothing to offer” other than meet the expectations of their godfathers.
It urged voters in Abia State to be wise and vote massively for candidates, who have the character, competence and integrity to provide the leadership needed to rebuild the state and help restore its dignity and that of the Abia person, irrespective of political party affiliation.
“For us in the Integrity and Transparency Promotion Initiative, of all the candidates in the March 18, 2023 governorship election in Abia State, Dr. Alex Otti of the Labour Party represents the current aspiration of the people to build a new Abia State.
“He has the character and competence to do this, and we dare say that if there is any of the contestants that has superior credentials in managing men and resources, which are critical to rebuilding Abia State currently, we would support the person irrespective of place of birth and ancestry, as long as such a person is an Abian,” the group said in the statement signed by 14 members, including its State Coordinator, Dr. Caleb Ajagba and Secretary, Dr. George Chidozie.
ITPI frowned at what it described as “dangerous and utterly divisive clannish sentiments” that some individuals, groups and politicians have been expressing in the run-up to the governorship and state assembly elections.
It said: “As a result of the foregoing, we are compelled to warn all well-meaning Abians to be careful of these class of opportunists, many of whom have no verifiable means of livelihood.
“We say, enough of stoking of clannish, sectional, religious and other primordial sentiments aimed at manipulating the emotions and consciences of Abians for personal gains.
“For instance, there is no verifiable evidence that Ukwa La Ngwa nation has benefitted more than other sections of the state from the administration of Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, neither did those from Umuahia benefit more than other sections of the state when Chief Theodore Orji was governor between 2007-2015. If anything, all Abians have been victims of maladministration and mindless looting of the state’s resources since 1999 to date.
“We, therefore, urge the good people of Abia State to disregard any call by anyone, no matter how highly placed, who purports to represent any section of the state, but beneath the bare-faced representation is a clandestine and wicked plot to defraud them,” the group advised.