Ndi Abia, Ndi nwem,
It gives me great pleasure to address you today. As you all know, the ban on electioneering campaign was lifted during the early hours of today. Today therefore, marks the beginning of the painstaking journey that will ultimately herald a new dawn for our dear state. The general election that will take place in the first quarter of next year will be the most important event in our history. This election offers us the opportunity to change the leadership of our state and replace it with a better focused, more development-oriented one. This election which is slated for March 2nd 2019 is an existentialist election for many reasons.
Since the return of democracy in our country in 1999, the PDP has been in power in our state in one form or another and has established an unprecedented dynasty of corrupt, incompetent, selfish and occultic ruling class. This group has held our state hostage and pillaged her resources only for themselves and their generations unborn. Today, everyone agrees that Abia is the worst state in the South/East geopolitical zone, and among the worst in the country. This is a crying shame considering the enormous human and natural resources God has blessed us with.
The story the government of Abia state tells, especially on paid TV commercials and bill boards is that Abia State is working and all things in Abia are bright and beautiful. In numerous TV commercials, the impression is created that the government is working, that roads are being constructed and that new markets are being built; that schools are being rehabilitated, that workers’ salaries are being paid and that pensioners are being paid. Nothing can be further from the truth. The reality is that Abia is in trouble. Abia is in a sorry situation. Abia needs help.
Salaries are not being paid regularly to workers who toil under the sun and in the rain, to make the state work.
Pensioners who sacrificed their lives to build the state are being owed for several months. Abia State has the worst road network in the whole country. There is virtually no part of Abia state where the road is motorable. I was in Aba a few days ago, to visit the market that was burnt by fire recently. What I saw on ground made me shed tears. There was no functional fire truck to respond to the emergency, even if there were, the roads are too bad to support any swift movement. Aba looks like a city ravaged by war.
Every month, the government of Abia State earns billions from internally generated revenue, Federation account and various other capital injection funds from the federal government, either as bailout funds, Paris Club refunds or other reimbursements.
Since the inception of this republic in 1999, over nineteen years ago, Abia state has been governed by the PDP. During this period, the successive governments have earned over two trillion naira. The question we should all be asking is, what did the governments of the PDP in Abia state do with that money in the years it has been in power?
Just a weeks ago, I heard on the news that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, arrested one of the former governors and asked him to account for over N27billion; monies which he allegedly stole. As you also know, one of The Godfathers has also been answering questions as to what he did with the monies belonging to Abia State. The information available to me is that what happened under the godfathers is a child’s play compared to what is happening now in the government of their godson. As they say in Abia, it is from grandfather to father and to son. If we do not do anything, the godson will also install his own stooge when he leaves. We shall not allow it. We must break the chain of godfatherism in our state. Enough is Enough!
The successive governments in Abia state have created a dynasty of corruption, of poor governance, of looting and made the governance of Abia State a family business.
It is common knowledge that Abia state has one of the highest debt profile in Nigeria today. What that means is that our generation and future generations of Abians, are already in bondage.
Today, Abia has one of the highest rates of unemployment among the educated class in the country. Thousands of well-educated youths roam the streets in search of non-existent jobs. There are many families in Abia with three or more graduates, all of who are unemployed. Instead of creating jobs, the failed government creates useless political appointments, SA this, SSA that!! The whole idea is to use them to rig elections. When the election is over, they would sack all of them and keep only their relations and cronies.
The questions we all should be asking is “what is the future of Abia state? What is our future? What is the future of our children and grandchildren? When will things improve in Abia state and all these sufferings stop?”
Our people, it is time we all rise up and say again,, “Enough is Enough!!!”
We cannot continue to allow evil to thrive. Twenty years is enough time for a system to change. For 20 years, PDP has ruled Abia State and for 20 years they have failed woefully. Enough is Enough!
My brothers and sisters, we all occupy important positions in our various families, villages and communities. We all have a role to play. We are molders of opinion, we are influencers. We must show the light for our people to be free. I implore all of you to get involved. We must rise beyond the handouts: the bags of rice, the bags of salt and the chicken change they throw around during elections. We must make the right choices on March 2nd, 2019, we must vote for APGA and Alex Otti to create a new Abia state.
When our party APGA takes over power and I assume office as the Executive Governor of Abia State, I will immediately ensure a paradigm shift in the way things are done. I have set out a clear programme of action to achieve the following objectives:
• Make the payment of salaries a first item in the budget
• Make Abia state safe and secure
• Create a new future for the youths
• Transform Abia into the Dubai of Africa
• Launch a revolution for SMEs and large scale industries
• Create export free zones to stimulate industry and commerce
• Guarantee free and compulsory education up to secondary school
• Promote sports and culture as a vehicle to creating jobs and recreation for the youths
• Establish and run and accountable and transparent government you can trust
• Establish the Abia safety net, a social welfare scheme designed to cater for the aged, widows and the poor.
I will build a new Abia State which will be a pride of all of us. I urge you to join hands with us and rescue our dearly beloved state; for our sake, for the sake of our children and for posterity.
I am sure that during this period we shall encounter each other as we take our message of hope to all corners of the state, I will use the opportunity to take your questions and share thoughts with you on how to make Abia state great.
Thank you and May God bless you all
Chief (Dr) Alex Otti OFR
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