JOK and his post-election defeat syndrome – Written by Eagle Okoro, a public affairs analyst


Re: Between Peter Mbah and Alex Otti: When Experience and Character Make the Difference

Amongst all the Commissioners that served under the Okezie Ikpeazu-led administration, which terminated on May 19, 2023, John Okiyi Kalu (alias Sidon dey weep) and his chameleonic friend, Eze Chikamnayo, seem to be the most traumatised, especially with the inauguration of Dr Alex Chioma Otti OFR as the Governor of Abia State.

The duo, who incidentally served as  Commissioners for Information, never imagined it would ever come to pass that Otti would be Abia Governor, while they lived.

So, during his inauguration, they locked up themselves in their covens drenched in agony, while the rest of the Abia citizenry at home and in diaspora as well as other well-meaning Nigerians were rejoicing and celebrating Abia’s moment of freedom from the hellish era of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) reign.

It is, therefore, no surprise that they are still weeping their hearts out and yet unable to accept the stark reality of the colossal electoral defeat suffered by their darling, presumably invincible party and its ultimate exit from power for good.

For anyone that has followed through their serial lamentations in the media space, regarding the performance of the present administration since its inauguration, one feature that stands out is their show of phobia symptoms.

Indeed, the past six months have been nightmarish to them, hence they have made themselves captives to cancerous and destructive phobia, which they have developed for anything good and transformational that comes from the administration of Gov. Otti and his Labour Party (LP) – Abian’s new beautiful bride.

Thus, they continue to display a flagrant and unrepentant bias for fabricating blatant lies, cheap blackmail and propaganda against the government.

Ironically, as they continue to swim against the tide, dancing naked in the public place in their self-contrived opposition, the larger majority of Abia citizenry of good conscience and progressive minds, home and abroad, are busy celebrating the New Abia that is unfolding everyday under the watch of God’s special vessel, after 24 long years of stunted growth and development of the state.

Incredibly, the two have sustained their progressive aggression toward the LP government, in spite of its obviously outstanding performance due largely to their warped perception of the personality of the enigmatic Gov. Otti from their blurred prism.

This is the reason they describe him in awkward terms scarcely ever in tandem with the person of Otti. They are far from him and do not know him, his idiosyncrasies, indulgences, likes and dislikes but pretend to do.

I know this story will shock them. Recently, a member of the Press Unit, Abia Government House, told the story of how she and her colleagues were served by Gov. Otti in his banquet at his Umuehim Nvosi country home during lunch, when they attended an assignment. This was incredible to the entire journalists present!

“It was the governor, who personally served us plates and insisted the ladies must first take their turn to be served before the males,” the journalist said.

The same journalist, who covered Ikpeazu for eight years, also recounted her personal experience for the period.

According to her, she could not remember ever being served food in the ex-governor’s palatial home in Umuobiakwa, Obingwa.

“You could be there for donkey hours as you may wish, he (Ikpeazu) would be moving in and out, but would never bother whether you had food or not.

“Even to have water to drink in the place was wahala,” the journalist said, while drawing a comparison between Ikpeazu and Otti.

So, never mind the distorted picture of Gov. Otti being painted by his jobless PDP detractors, who see him as their nemesis, which he truly is, indeed.

So, their actions, agitations, lies, propaganda and cheap blackmail are clear manifestations of acute phobia and prejudice against the sterling qualities and performance by this awesome, highly cerebral, mentally alert, fully-prepared, most equipped and most confident man to ever mount the saddle of political leadership in Abia since its creation, with demonstrable capacity to deliver good governance to meet the burning desire of the people.

No doubt, every piece by JOK, particularly the latest, depicts a heart full of lamentation and ceaseless wailing over his sudden and unexpected exit from the corridors of power.

To him, his stay in power for only one tenure was regrettingly shortlived! He wanted more years in order to continue to feed fat via the PDP “feeding bottle”.

Unfortunately, too, he didn’t seem to realize that no amount of his vicious attacks on the governor and LP would diminish their soaring profile and popularity within Abia and beyond.

If Nwandugbom wants to test the acceptability and popularity of the Otti-led administration, he should move around in cognito in commuter vehicles, engage the operators and passengers in conversations on their impressions about the current administration and he would be shocked by the responses he would get. This is empirical survey and I engage in it from time to time.

Another irony in all of that is the fact that the more Nwandugbom and Chikamnayo spew their venom through the paid media platforms, the more popular Otti becomes in the hearts of the people.

And contrary to their mundane speculations, Gov. Otti certainly does not need any media propaganda and cannot spend a dime to secure the admiration and love that are already lavished on him by his people!

He has always been loved because of his forthrightness, genuine commitment and doggedness in the struggle to liberate the state and its good people from PDP’s enslavement since the return of democratic rule in 1999.

I dare to say that his magic wand for winning the hearts of Aba residents was defying all odds to do those things that Ikpeazu and others before him lacked the will and capacity to do as a governors.

Again, JOK’s reactions to the unfolding developmental strides of the governor cannot be interpreted differently from those of a witch, who would never see anything good in the successes of his enemy. And, obviously, he perceives the governor as his nemesis for the rest of his dormant political career.

It is good to also remember the Igbo proverb that says: “When a man fetches more firewood than his age mate, it is regarded to have been fetched from the evil forest!”

The performance of the governor has elicited an outpouring of love and commendation from the generality of the Abia citizenry, residents and thouroughfarers and this is to JOK’s utter confusion and   disappointment. He cannot comprehend because he has intentionally blindfolded his eyes and heart to good things happening in the New Abia.

Today, scores of Nigerians, who commute through Abia to other neighbouring states, can rightly attest that something positive and enduring, never seen before, has started happening in the state.

The narrative has begun to shift  from “is Abia cursed?” to “Abia is now undergoing rapid transformation”, with the tell-tale signs of greater things to happen under Gov. Otti’s watch.

But all of these make no meaning to the PDP predators, who are still living in denial, sorrowfully grappling with the reality of watching their political life unfortunately tumbled in fatal summersaults.

It is this reality that has irredeemably heightened Nwandugbom’s hatred for an administration that is genuinely espousing fundamental economic policy reforms as well as executing breathtaking projects that have already begun to change the unpleasant Abia narrative for the better.


Going through his beautiful epistle and eulogies on Gov. Peter Mbah of Enugu State and his predecessors, who he acknowledged to have offered quality leadership and good governance during their tenures, without sparing a line to point to one good thing in Abia in the past 24 years of PDP reign, truly spoke volume about how idiotic and ridiculous Nwandungbo has suddenly become.

Unknown to him, his jaundiced analysis further buttressed the consensus that Abia truly came under vicious attack by a holocaust never experienced in its Enugu sister-state during the same period under review between 1999 and May 28, 2023.

The article was nothing other than an outright indictment on PDP’s hold on power in Abia for 24 years with nothing tangible on ground to show for it.

And while it was easy for Gov. Mbah to leverage the well laid structures by his predecessors for the progressive development of Enugu State, Nwandugbom could not say the same of Abia, which was administered by gold diggers, who only plundered the state resources for their personal aggrandisement.

This is the reason he spent ample time and space to praise the good governance in Enugu State to high heavens by two previous administrations to the scorn of Abia leaders of the same time and political dispensation.

But it does smack of malice and wickedness to compare Enugu State that “is in God’s hands” (according to ex-Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi) with Abia that was conversely in the hands of serial looters, whose consciences were already surrendered in satanic covens.

Indeed, Abia was truly unlucky to have been captured by pretenders in power, who were merely after their personal and family comfort, while they abandoned the larger society to slide deeper into poverty.

For 24 years, the state was ruled by insensitive politicians, who only transformed from their middle class status to muti-billionaires in their eight years in office as governors, acquiring multi-billion naira sprawling edifices. I stand to be corrected but check them out, beginning from Orji Uzor Kalu to Theodore Orji and Ikpeazu.

Gladly, this cannot be said about Gov. Otti, who had already acquired for himself a magnificent home from his personal resources as an astute and highly-reputable businessman, an oil merchant and banker, who finished at the top echelon of the banking career as Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer before volunteering to join partisan politics to be able to liberate his state and its citizenry from captivity.

An egghead with a First Class Honour’s Degree in Economics from the University of Port Harcourt, Gov. Otti, contrary to the picture painted by Nwandugbom, never ever pretends to know it all! Therefore, to repeatedly describe him in the words of Nwandugbom and Chikamnayo as “Eze onye agwalam” (the all-knowing king) is, to say the least, slanderous, opaque and indiscrete.

Having had a stint with him, I can attest that working with him is always a delight. Manifestly intelligent, yet he would always ask for your opinion on any issues of general concern. He is readily prepared to accept any convincing and superior argument at any given time.

That is Otti for you! So, it amuses me when these two PDP blackmailers and mischief makers engage in vain and futile attempts at defaming his unblemished and unassailable personality as a jolly good fellow, which he is.

Of course, were he vicious and vindictive, people like Nwandugbom, Chikamnayo and Don Ubani (who also served as Commissioner for Information) and a host of other political merchants  that railroaded Ikpeazu into the pit of political failure, should by now be languishing in the Correctional Centre for all their wicked and malicious contributions in dragging Abia to the base of global development rating.


It is still not clear to me on what basis Abia could be compared with Enugu State, as JOK personally acknowledged himself that Enugu State had consistently been governed by committed and visionary leaders, dating back to ex-Gov. Sullivan Chile’s administration. Yet, he could not say the same of the former Abia leaders that governed the state within the same period.

What happened in the case of Enugu State is that successive administrations had made consistent and meaningful impact in laying the building blocks for the sustainable development of the state.

Each administration strives to leave a legacy of serious commitment to the development of the state.

Unfortunately, this had not been the case with Abia, God’s own State.

That JOK could in all sincerity compare Abia with Enugu State after their wicked and marcantile approach to governance, which brought the state literally to its knees in the economic sense, causing so much rot and decay in the system, unlike Enugu State, further shows how hypocritical and unrealistic the man, Nwandugbom, is.

Of course, it amounts to sheer hypocrisy and public deception for him to now pretend to be an advocate for Abia development to the point of claiming to have restrained himself from “weeping” over the state of stifled growth and gross underdevelopment of his dear Abia for a mere six months, when he never cared a hoot for eight years, especially at a time his master heartlessly pulled down people’s buildings on Port Harcourt Road, Aba, ostensibly to rehabilitate it only to abandon it for many years, unperturbed about the  many families he rendered homeless as well as the multi-billion naira business and industrial concerns in the area that he permanently ruined.

And while many had been forced back to the village by Ikpeazu’s bulldozers, some relocated to other parts of Aba and other states. It was also learnt that some died out of frustration and heart attacks.
And the pertinent question is: where was Nwadugbom when all those were happening in his own Enyimba City?

It may suffice to do a quick retrospection into the immediate past administration, in which JOK was a prominent kitchen cabinet member, in case his memory has failed him about how they liquidated Abia, leaving it grossly insolvent among the comity of other states.

Recall that after his eight years of misrule, Ikpeazu left a whopping N191 billion naira debt for his successor, Gov. Otti.

A breakdown of this humongous  debt profile showed a loan balance of nearly N78 billion obtained separately from three old generation banks and the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Abia’s domestic debt stood at over  N71 billion, comprising about N19 billion salary and N21 billion pension arrears.

There were also outstanding arrears of gratuities of over N27 billion and nearly  N5 billion owed to contractors, while external debts stood at more than N42 billion.

These facts are verifiable and could not have been brought to the public space but for God’s intervention through the March 18 Governorship poll.

We are aware of the unwritten Constitution of PDP that forbids every new administration from exposing the financial misdeeds and rot it inherited from a preceding PDP government. The reason is to avoid washing the party’s dirty linen in public, moreso, given that the old always rigged the new into office against the popular choice.

Talking about financial recklessness in the past six months  by Otti’s government as alleged by PDP propagandists exposes
Nwandugbom as a man freely given to dishonesty and with an incredible integrity deficit.

And truth be said that alleging financial impropriety against Otti is akin to telling the Abia people as well as Nigerians and non-Nigerians, who have known Otti for  decades, that he (Nwandugbom) knows very little or nothing about him.

His mischievous reference to N2 billion rebate from Julius Berger Construction Company over the Port Harcourt Road project, which the governor himself announced at a public gathering to flag off the project, clearly portrays him as merely second guessing about the governor and his administration. Gov. Otti, for those who know him inside out, can never offer nor accept gratification to compromise standard. Never!

But, while JOK can succeed in joggling figures coated with unsubstantiated allegations, which he throws into the media space to discredit the untainted records of the governor and bamboozle his unsuspecting audience, the hard fact remains that he cannot prove any financial malfeasance against the administration nor convince the discerning public about any financial impropriety by the renowned technocrat, financial guru and former bank chief-turned politician.

As lawyers would say, often quoting Lord Denning’s popular maxim, “You do not put something on nothing and expect it to stand.”

And although Gov. Otti was handed over a deficit treasury by Ikpeazu, he has so far deployed his astute managerial capacity and irresistible midas touch in placing Abia in an upward development trajectory never witnessed in the past 32 years of the state. This cannot be contradicted!

In the meantime, as a consumate and meticulous manager of finance, he has succeeded in regularizing the payment of workers’ salaries by the 28th of every month, in addition to their arrears, within the six months target he set for himself while canvassing for votes.

So, he has commendably acquitted himself on this particular test, which is a no mean achievement that truly compares to no other.

Only civil servants who luckily outlived Ikpeazu’s obnoxious and wicked policy on irregular salary payment can tell you the joy that radiates among the core and non-core civil servants at every month end.

The governor has also engaged in steady construction and reconstruction of dilapidated roads in the major cities of Aba and Umuahia.

Presently, Julius Berger is doing massive work on the abandoned Port Harcourt Road, Aba, while Craneburg, another globally acclaimed construction company, is working round the clock on the expansion of the major entrance to Umuahia from Abia Tower on the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway to Okpara Square from four to six lanes.

Unlike Ikpeazu, who pulled down hundreds of buildings in Aba without looking the way of their owners, Gov. Otti has fully paid N771 million compensation to owners of 130 structures demolished for the Ossah Road expansion.

Major health facilities in the state, particularly the Amachara General Hospital and Abia Specialist Hospital, Aba Road, Umuahia, have been fully renovated and retrokitted  for enhanced efficiency in healthcare delivery in the state.

These outstanding achievements and many others in six months have particularly endeared the present government to the hearts of the people and no amount of cheap blackmail by PDP and its hatchet men can obliterate this fact.

Also ongoing is the construction of a gigantic multi-million dollar Abia Industrial and Innovation Park at Owaza in Ukwa West, which is expected to give a quantum leap to the governor’s ambitious industrial revolution for a multi-billion dollars economy, job creation and overall economic growth of the state.

Of course, Nwandugbom is shy to reckon with these fabulous projects, considering that their own Enyimba Economic City, Abia Dry Port and Airport, all died at their point of conception, and indeed after they had been used to siphon Abia scarce resources through fraudulent budgetary allocations.

In conclusion, it is worth reaffirming the governor’s mantra that Abia and its finances are in safe hands with him on the wheels. Again, with him in the saddle, Abians should go to sleep with their two eyes closed.

And no matter the amount of propaganda and blackmail by PDP shenanigans, Abia has been navigated back to the path of sustainable growth and development. Make no mistake about that!

As Ndigbo would often jocularly say, “there is a difference between O and Ò!”

– Eagle Okoro, a public affairs analyst, writes from Umuahia