See no good in Alex Otti Driving Abia? Hear This! -An opinion by Prof. George N. Chima


Ma i naghi afu uzo, o bu inaghi a nu ife? These are the words of the popular prophet-comedian, Odumeje. The statement comes alive when one resonates the wranglings of political bubuyaya in our clime. Borrowing from the comedic rendition of Odumeje, I ask: even if you can’t see what is going on in Abia right now, can’t you hear what people all over Nigeria and beyond are saying about the reformatory moves in the state? I am not always keen on writing about certain issues in the land. But I couldn’t hold myself from briefly talking about the new wave of things and the hope it radiates for the God’s Own State.

Over the past nine months in Abia State since Dr Alex Chioma Oti, OFR, took the oath of office as the Governor of the state, the people, and by extension, people within the global sphere of the cyber community, especially those referred to as netizens, have observed glaring evidence of the strides aimed at refining the long-time Abia historical trajectory near abandonment, and to reposition the state to take the lead among the comity of states within the Nigeria’s politico-economic sphere. However, despite these positive oriented moves, the position of opposition and their ‘Halleluiah boys’ keep some of us in abeyance and confusion. One, therefore, wonders whether we want to break camp and advance in the type of biblical Israel during their bond days in Egypt or whether we want to still remain in a state without development.

Before Otti took over office as the governor, the Abia State was always seen through a bad lens that portrayed dissatisfaction among the people, caused by the then government officials and managers of government businesses themselves. The state was also threatened by hydra-headed challenges arising from kidnapping around Aba, Isuikwato, Uturu and Umunneochi areas, ailing economy, precarious infrastructural decay, dwindling revenue and leadership deficiency. These and many more were consequential issues that deserved immediate antidotes and determined political will to solve. Incidentally, God sent Governor Otti to the rescue of our dear state. But, with the ramblings of hired yeomen, I guess that the opposition who were displaced of their long-time feeding bottles are seeing this new wave from myopic, self-centredness. That is why they continue to wonder why Governor Otti is determined to get Abia running toward the better side of statehood and nation-building.

It is obvious that group of “don’t see any good in Otti” still found it strange as it sounds to their hearing and vision that Abia is on the path of development. Perhaps, it was factual impossibility to search deep into the citizenry of Abia South, Abia Central and Abia North, discover and appoint qualified professionals as Alex Oti doing since 29th May 2023. I also guess that maybe because the left-handed bands of opposition were used to, and happy with bad governance; and were synchronized with the old managers of Abia and the mismanagement of our collective common wealth, they will never come to terms with this cool breeze blowing all around Abia and being sought for by people of other states in the federation.

Maybe, we might be needing strangers from other states to school our brothers and sisters in the “see no good” in Otti’s movement that Governor Alex Oti disrupted the traditional way of doing things with an introduction of a working system that could save over N220 million monthly from Abia ministerial/agencies payroll – a departure from old Abia corruption system.
They would not see the construction of the long-abandoned Port Harcourt Road in Aba, the 67km road covering four local governments and spanning Umuahia, Bende, Isuikwuato and Ohafia, the Okpara round-about, the Ossa-Ibeku Six Lane Road, the flag-off to build Ndiokereke-Ozuabam-Arochukwu 30km road, to mention but a few.

These are testaments of sheer remarkability, consistently introducing ground-breaking initiatives that deviates from the old order. Thus each, day, Ndi Abia awakens to fresh and visionary initiatives by driver Alex Oti aimed at advancing the welfare, progress, and development of the state. Thus, it is this audacious zeal from “Abia First” and restoration agenda that we saw in Alex Chioma Otti since 2015, that made a good number of like-minds to follow him both in the falling and in the rising; and we will continue with the man committed to provide a safe, secure and peaceful Abia, where investors could find attractive, sink their capital, and hence move the state from public sector to private sector driven economy. Therefore, let all see the current “goodies” in Abia, while we expect more from the driver of the New Abia. Know this, and know peace.

Professor G.N. Chima, a Professor of Hydrology and Water Resources, is a Lecturer in the Department of Geography and Planning, Former Dean, Faculty of Environmental Studies Abia state University, Uturu and a Member of the Governing Council, Abia State University, Uturu