Gov Alex Otti, miserable opposition and power of vision

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By Foster Obi

 

One of the takeaways of the one year in office of the Governor of Abia State, Governor Alex Otti is that power could be demystified. It shows that the man in the driving seat defines the direction of the government.
If the man is a man of vision, the fortune of the state takes a new turn. If the man is a dullard, the people become miserable as the supposed chief strategist “wobbles and fumbles.” (Apologies to ex-football coach, Fanny Amun).
For Abia State, the latter had been their experience, especially in the last eight years of the PDP government. Nobody will ever live to wish for such a government to happen in the State again. It was a horrible experience.
But like they say, what goes around comes around. We are seeing a supposed opposition that has been overwhelmed by jealousy and misery and they have nothing good to offer. Because they have this dark cloud cast over them, you already know what they want to say before they say it, and their miserable opinion is thrown into the dustbin of history even before it is released. You don’t expect any good thing from a warped mind, do you?
Recently we have noticed an intimidation tactic being foisted on the State by a yet-to-be-identified group of unknown gunmen. This is unfortunate because even to the layman, you would have noticed the kind of stuff that Governor Otti is made of. Shakespeare’s Julius Ceaser branded it ‘Stener stuff.’ As an analyst rightly pointed out, if it is a style adopted by the opposition to intimidate him, they lose it. You can never, stop a man with a vision. Governor Otti is like a moving train and like many Abians have said, in the next eight years, he will still be in that driving seat firing from all sides.
Take a look at this. On May 30, 2024, at least 11 people were killed in the Aba killings, including, 5 soldiers from the Nigerian Army, and 6 civilians. Another civilian was injured by a stray bullet.
The attack happened at a military checkpoint at Obikabia Junction. Unknown gunmen attacked soldiers with cars having tinted windows, burnt patrol vehicles, and took away weapons. The Nigerian Defence Headquarters threatened severe retaliation against the perpetrators.
Also, two policemen were killed in Aba, in June 2024. On June 29, 2024, gunmen attacked a police checkpoint at Opobo Junction, killing two policemen and injuring one. Four policemen were attacked in total, and two survived with wounds.
The security operatives are digging into this and from what everybody knows, these perpetrators will be smoked out to face the grave consequences. It’s just a matter of time.
Governor Alex Otti has in one year done what the PDP government could not do in 20 years. One could only imagine how far he will go in eight years.
Analysts while scoring his performance after one year summarized that Nigeria would become a tourist destination if other governors could emulate him. He will always be remembered after his tenure as the man who buried the Abia State PDP forever.
Since assuming office in May 2023, Governor Alex Otti has implemented numerous transformative initiatives in Abia State that have given him even international mention. The initiatives include but are not limited to:
– Economic Revitalization: He implemented reforms to boost economic growth, reduced corruption, and increased state revenue by 15% in his first year in office.
Abia Economic Development Plan: He launched an all-inclusive strategy to diversify the state’s economy through manufacturing, technology, and agriculture investments which has attracted more than $200m in private investments.
Infrastructure Development: Completed significant projects, including road reconstruction, construction, and tourist ventures.
– Enyimba Economic City project: Revived a previously dormant project, which is expected to strengthen the state’s economy and provide new employment opportunities.
Education: Boosted school financing, enhanced teacher training, and modernized infrastructure, with over 5,000 students benefiting from the Abia Scholarship Programme.
Healthcare: Upgraded hospitals, ensuring adequate staff and equipment.
Governance: Enhanced transparency and accountability, established the Abia State Anti-Corruption Commission, and promoted citizen engagement through town hall meetings.
Digital Tax System: Introduced a digital tax system to streamline revenue collection, reduce fraud, and provide medical insurance for commercial vehicle drivers and riders.
Waste Management: Addressed waste management issues in Aba, the commercial hub, and implemented a state of emergency for refuse clearance.
Road Infrastructure: Initiated various road projects, including the dualization of Ossah Road and the initial renovation of nine roads in the Aba metropolis. Now over 30 road construction projects are ongoing same time in the state that people have become so overwhelmed. Abia had never seen it like this before.
– Payroll Fraud: Implemented a biometric verification process, resulting in the removal of over 2,300 ghost workers and 7,000 illegally employed individuals, leading to significant monthly savings.
Governor Alex Otti made significant progress in the Abia Industrial Park project since taking office in May 2023, including
– Performing the groundbreaking ceremony for the Abia Industrial Innovation Park (AIIP) at Owaza in Ukwa West LGA.
– Envisioning the park as a launchpad for Abia’s economic rejuvenation, leveraging the state’s oil and gas reserves, skilled labour, and strategic location
– Aiming to create over 10,000 direct and indirect jobs for Abians
– Partnering with Hungarian businesses to invest in the Owaza cluster.
– Emphasizing the park’s advantages, including reliable power, top-tier infrastructure, security, and access to Africa’s largest economy.
– Planning the park to be divided into four categories: large-scale industries, medium-scale industries, small-scale industries, and services and residential zone.
– Projecting the park to generate revenues of US$782.6 million.
– Commending the support of the host communities and villages who donated land for the project.
The Abia power project, also known as the Geometric Power Plant, is a significant development in Abia State’s energy landscape. Here are some key points about the project:
– The 188MW power plant is located in Aba and is expected to generate approximately 135,360,000 kWh of electricity per month.
– The plant has the potential to impact around 270,720 households, assuming an average consumption of roughly 500 kWh per household.
– The project faced several challenges, including regulatory, political, and legal issues, which were resolved in 2022.
– The plant was inaugurated in February 2024 by Vice President Kashim Shettima.
– Aba Power Limited Electric, a new electricity distribution company, has started drawing power from the plant and supplying it to Aba residents across nine local government areas.
– The project is valued at $800 million and includes the building of a 27km natural gas pipeline.
– The plant’s operation depends on a reliable natural gas supply, and addressing existing debts owed to Discos and establishing a cost-reflective tariff are significant challenges.
The Governor, to recover illegally diverted funds instituted a forensic audit of the immediate past government of Okezie Ikpeazu which revealed that the N10 billion budgeted for a supposed airport project was diverted with the approval of the Executive Council.
A notable feature of the envisioned project of this government is the Abia Seaport:
– The seaport will be located in Owazza, Ukwa East LGA, Abia state
– The groundbreaking ceremony for the seaport project was performed by Governor Alex Otti on September 30, 2023.
– The seaport is expected to be part of the Abia Industrial and Innovation Park, which will be located on over 1,000 hectares of land
– The park will host multiple businesses, including modular refineries and petrochemical and fertilizer plants
Abia Airport:
– A team from the Federal Ministry of Aviation inspected a proposed site for the new airport in Abia state
– The airport project has been included in the 2024 Federal Appropriation Act.
– The Abia state government is working with the Federal Government to upgrade the proposed airport from an airstrip to a full-fledged airport.
– Access Bank has expressed willingness to partner with the state government in developing the airport project.
For this which is just the tip of the iceberg, the people of Abia State have had a favorable view of Governor Alex Otti’s performance since he took office on May 29, 2023.
-Recently one was even amazed by this circulating update on the situation in Abia. As little as some of them may look, the immediate past PDP government could not attempt it.
Somebody wrote:
Are you aware that Abia state is now statistically the fastest-rising state in terms of development in Nigeria?
Are you aware that Abia State owns two A-List clubs namely Enyimba FC and Abia Warriors?
Are you aware that there are two Indigenous vehicle manufacturing, assembling, and servicing companies(Rossette and Innoson) domiciled in Abia state?
Are you aware that The Governor of Abia State has been rated by reputable individuals and polls as the most performing Governor between 2023 and 2024?
Are you aware that more than 30 roads have either been built to standard or are under construction in Abia State?
Are you aware that the opposition is still incessantly living and dishing out propaganda on a daily couple instigating pockets of violence in a bid to destabilize the incumbent?
Are you aware that Governor Alex Otti is the most accountable, scrutinized, and criticized Governor in Nigeria?
Are you aware that salary arrears and old debts are being paid by the present government of Abia state in billions?
Are you aware that Abia state is now an envy of every Nigerian to the extent that a lot of persons are asking for Governor Otti should be lent to them?
Are you aware that Governor Otti is the most social media-compliant Governor in Nigeria?
Are you aware that there is an ultra-modern eye clinic situated in Umuahia the capital of God’s Own State?
Are you aware that there is another power plant being built and will be commissioned before the year runs out? (Alaoji Power Plant)
Are aware that no approved loan has been disbursed to Dr Otti’s government?
Are you aware that there is a modular refinery being built in Abia state as you are reading this now?
Are you aware that there is an international market complex with over 500 stores being built at the ariaria of Abia state?
Are you aware that there
a top-notch bus terminal being built in Abia State? The responses were…We are aware!

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