Following the repeated desperation by a few disgruntled elements in the state to undermine the mandate given by the people to Dr Alex Chioma Otti as the governor of Abia State and final shaming of such people by the supreme court, Governor Otti has sent his greetings to all Abians that stood solidly behind him since and even as the proceedings were unfolding.
He also thanked the various categories of people that made the victory possible.
In his speech after the victory at the apex court, the governor started by thanking God for the victory that actually started in 2015 and “was affirmed today.”
“We also want to thank the Abia people who have stood solidly behind us since we took the principled stand of contesting for elections to rescue Abia State from decay and dilapidation.
We also want to thank Nigerians who have embraced our governance model and have at different for a said positive things about what is happening in Abia State today.
We want to thank the judiciary for being firm and not letting itself be derailed by smart arguments from lawyers. Today, the judiciary has affirmed that understanding that it is the last hope of the common man.
We want to also thank the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for remaining firm to the resolve that the judiciary should be independent. If he had not done that, perhaps some of the verdicts that we’re getting today may have been different. I want to encourage him to continue in that light.
I believe that his non intervention in the judiciary has produced positive results for the country today. A few places people were getting ready to burn down places today have sheathed their swords because the rule of law prevailed.
We want to as well thank our party, the Labour Party, and its leadership for remaining steadfast and prayerful. Today, that effort has been rewarded with success, given the verdict from the Supreme Court.
We will not forget our lawyers, led by the learned silk, Abiodun Owonikoko SAN, for the good job he did from the tribunal through the Court of Appeal and this time the Supreme Court. There is Prof Fatoke SAN; there is Onyechi Ikpeazu SAN, representing the party; there is Ken Ahia SAN; Sonny Ajala SAN; Echezona Etiaba SAN; and many other Senior Advocates, who have stood behind us, some of them had rendered their service gratis and we want to just say thank you to all of these people.
We will not forget INEC, which in Abia State ensured that the right thing was done. That is why we have this victory. We should not forget that in 2015, we also had the same victory but unfortunately those at the helm of affairs at that time succumbed to pressure and declared the wrong result. But today INEC insisted and declared the result as recorded in the different collation centres.
I want to use this opportunity to thank all the governorship candidates of the various parties, particularly those ones that did not go to court and I would like to start by congratulating and thanking Engr Enyinnaya Nwafor, who actually came third in that election and he didn’t go to court.
I want to also thank Prof Gregory Ibe of APGA, who came fifth in that election. There were other candidates like Bishop Sunday Onuoha of the ADC and Iro Ukpai of the NNPP. These candidates not only congratulated us but have been supporting us.
I also use this opportunity to thank our anointed men and women of God, who had supported us and continually lifted us up in prayers. Members of the National Assembly, who have supported us wholeheartedly, some of them are here present, my prayer is that God will visit you.
I will not forget my family, my wife, Lady Priscilla Chidinma Otti, my three wonderful children, the extended families; I want to say thank you to all of you, a lot of friends, a lot of relations, I want to say, thank you. Wherever you are, we are not forgetting you.
Although the series of litigations were a distraction somewhat, the governor said, “Now, we have refused to get distracted by some of this litigation all over the place. Our promise is that we will never get distracted. This is the time to give ultimate good governance to our people; to redeem our people; to take our people from the back waters and we must do it because that is why we were elected.
“We want to restore the dignity of the Abia man. We want any time Abia is mentioned that people will say good things about us. That is the reason why we are here. Any time we’re building roads, any time we’re retrofitting schools and hospitals, we want our state to reckon positively in the comity of states in Nigeria,” he declared.