By Foster Obi
“I’m an enigma, an unknown. You can’t really figure out what I’m going to do next. I like it like that..” Emmitt Smith
By all standards, reputed first class economist and banker, Dr Alex Otti remains an enigma in the political calculation of Abia state.
This is why his withdrawal from APC guber race has created confusion as more than half of the party members are waiting for his next move.
Already there is this current tension that Otti may empty the party if he decamps.
From opinion sampling, the APC has destroyed its political future in Abia state by imposing an unpopular candidate, forcing the likes of Otti to consider withdrawing from the race.
With this action, APC has decided on its own accord to wait for another four years to try again in Abia because the current candidate the party has chosen, from his antecedents stands little chance.
From analysis, out of all the aspirants that APC paraded before the coup of imposition of Ikechi Emenike, none has the capacity to defeat other party candidates than Otti.
So it was baffling to see that with facts that were so bare for everyone to see, APC still went ahead to impose an unpopular candidate on the people.
Time will definitely confirm this fatal political error.
From every indication, Otti is taking a big leap, and APC will be the worse for it.
He gave his reasons which will again be restated below.
For his next move, the whole Abia is waiting for this enigma to unravel.
The whole atmosphere is getting turbocharged and the fire works are enveloping the political environment of Abia. We will see where this will take Abians.
In his reason for withdrawing, Otti alleged that his withdraw from the governorship primaries stems from the fact that the outcome of the election was already predetermined.
He said the decision was taken after due consultation with his supporters, stakeholders, and respected leaders of the APC within and outside the state.
He revealed that a memo from the National Legal Adviser of the party to the state chairman dated May 18, 2022 had imposed a strange sharing formular on APC aspirants in Abia state.
Otti, stated that more than 90% of the aspirants, leaders and stakeholders of the party had opposed the decision and subsequently appealed to the leadership of the APC to allow an open contest that would give room for the emergence of popular candidates who would also enjoy the support of party members and the electorate during the general election.
He added that unfortunately, the party stuck to its decision to go by way of imposition of aspirants.
The governorship hopeful informed his supporters and well wishers that having been roundly blessed and equipped by God, there was no cause for alarm over the development, maintaining that he was resolved to pursue his ambition on another platform and would give it his best to convincingly and legitimately win the mandate of Abia people come 2023.
The statement partly read, “The constitution of the party and the electoral act have no room for coercion and imposition of candidates, hence the wise provision for either Direct Primaries, Indirect Primaries, or Consensus as acceptable modes of electing candidates.
“While the rest of the aspirants had agreed to rally round and support any aspirant that wins the governorship primaries through a free and fair contest, a particular aspirant who obviously believes that he doesn’t stand a chance in a proper contest, rather chose to align with outside forces to be imposed on the party. But because we know that any product of imposition for the governorship ticket in the APC at a time like this in Abia would stand little chance in the general election, we strongly opposed it.
“That it’s my firm belief that anyone who wants to govern Abia state and Abians, must be someone who has been democratically chosen by the people, and not one imposed by undemocratic or external forces pursuing self serving agenda that would undermine the welfare and wellbeing of Abians at the long run.
“That because I know that no true revolution has ever taken place without hitches and hiccups, my dogged determination and avowed commitment to ensuring the dawn of a new era of progressive and people oriented leadership has rather been emboldened than dampened.
“That because we are on a voyage of Abia redemption, and because the leadership calamity that befell Abia since the return of democracy in 1999 has not abated, we do not intend to quit midway, as that would represent a tragedy of immense proportion for our people who have been on a long search for good governance that would give them a well deserved reprieve.
“That in the light of the above stated facts, I hereby withdraw from the predetermined governorship primaries of the All Progressives Congress slated to take place in the next few days.
FOSTER OBI is editor, DFCnewsng.com
Pic: Dr Alex Otti