Understanding Otti’s transformational leadership


Ebere Uzoukwa Ph.D

It has become evident that Gov. Alex Chioma Otti OFR assumed political power sufficiently prepared. He never advocated for the continuity of the corruption infested system that grossly invalidated common values of the people and development in Abia. Aside dismantling the retrogressive system, which was the hallmark of the past administrations, the governor has boldly and within a very short period demonstrated thoughtful desire to approach governance differently for positive deliverables and transformation.

Dismantling a corrupt system that alarmingly promoted corruption, underdevelopment, criminal diversion of public funds and nepotism was no doubt a clear signal that Gov. Otti is ever determined to promote and institutionalise transformational and people-driven leadership.

It is on record that upon his inauguration, he activated a crucial step aimed at repackaging the unproductive Abia workforce. The civil and public service were strategically rejiged, repositioned and motivated to effectively drive government policies and programmes.

Expectedly, the effort helped to revive the dampened spirit of the workforce as regular and prompt payment of monthly salaries and routine entitlements became a frontline charge.

This, of course, was never the situation prior to the emergence of Gov. Otti as there was an avalanche of unpaid salaries, gratuities, pensions and other statutory allowances to workers.

With regular payment of monthly salaries, the governor consciously sets the pace to offset the billions of naira accumulated gratuities and outstanding allowances inherited from the past administration. This remarkable step of Gov. Otti no doubt restored substantial confidence with reasonably improved productivity in the public service.

On the issue of infrastructure development, he equally changed the trajectory as he turns Abia into a construction site. A visit to Aba, the state’s centre of commerce and entrepreneurship, the Umuahia capital city and other parts of the state, will practically prove the governor’s ingenuitey and sincerity of purpose to transform the infrastructural landscape of the God’s Own State.

Beyond the earlier completed and inaugurated roads in Aba and other parts of the state, Gov. Otti is massively reconstructing dilapidated and critical roads, including the Port Harcourt and Omuma Roads. The over 60km Umuahia-Ohafia Road awarded to three different construction giants is another landmark project that further defines Gov. Otti’s transformational leadership.

What then would be said about the governor’s reinvented approach to sanitation and waste disposal, which strips off Enyimba City the notoriety of a dirty city? This underscores Gov. Otti’s readiness for the task of rebuilding a badly destroyed state.

It is further gratifying that the immesurable gains of transparency, accountability, incorruptibility and sincerity of purpose wheeling the New Abia have significantly elevated the God’s Own State to a model
for transformational leadership and epicenter of good governance.

Also strategic to the economic revival and industrialization under Gov. Otti is the need to ensure steady power supply and critical enablers to accelerate commerce, trade and entrepreneurship. As the hub of economic activities, Gov. Otti without hesitation provided every necessary support for Aba Independent Power Plant (AIIP) built and powered by Geometrics for efficient take-off.

He dismantled every bottleneck that hindered the realization of the project. With the historic inauguration of the project a few weeks ago, the governor practically relaunched Abia to the global business arena with abundant potentials of attracting massive local and foreign direct investments to the state.

Also worthy of mentioning is the functional synergy the governor fosters with security agencies and paramilitaries that has sufficiently restored security as cases of kidnapping and other forms of crimes gradually become history in Abia.

Through intelligence gathering, effective collaboration and stakeholders engagement, the governor has obviously made security everybody’s business. Abians are giving every support to Otti’s administration given its unprecedented performance.

There is no gainsaying that the governor’s promise to return Aba as the economic hub of the south east and south south; and equally the Japan of Africa, given the enterprenueral prowess and discretion of Aba people, is coming to fruition. The transformational leadership is working and the chequered history of Abia being re-written.

What is the ideology behind Gov. Otti’s transformational leadership, one may ask? What exactly does he intend to achieve in Abia? Why is his leadership style attracting attention in the country and beyond? Do the people understand the nitty gritty of the transformational leadership of this ebullient, honest and workaholic first class economist and former bank chief?

Suffice it to say that Gov. Otti came to power adequately prepared to clean the rot without resorting to complaints. He knew the past administrations destroyed the state as there was no genuine intention to develope the state and advance the common welfare of the people. The governor has through his unique approach to governance proven his commitment to deliver quality projects and good governance which, according to him, is no rocket science. That the governor makes possibile things that were obviously impossible during the corrupt era of the past administration is an indication that Abia is transforming under his visionary leadership.

It also underscores his determination to return Abia to the glorious path of progress and development through massive infrastructure and well thought-out socio-economic programmes impacting positively people’s lives.

The inability of the opposition to understand that Gov. Otti came to power to do things differently for different results will continue to pitch them against Abians. The few disgruntled among them whom out of anger and jealousy refuse to appreciate the ongoing projects and people-oriented programmes of Gov. Otti are notoriously unmasking themselves as the real enemies of the state and its people.

And for the ever supportive and good people of Abia, Gov. Otti’s transformational leadership is and remains a welcome development.

Dr. Ebere Uzoukwa is policy analyst and media consultant. He writes from Obingwa.