Alex Otti, Labour Party should stop Ongoing Public Posturing - Abia PDP


The Abia Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has observed with dismay attempts by Dr. Alex Otti and the Labour Party to assume the role of a sitting governor by taking steps that are inconsistent with the operational procedures of governance and this does nothing but reveal their emptiness and puts question marks on the prospects of the success of his administration.

These missteps are too many and bear the imprints of a man who at best is confused from the onset.

First, it was the inauguration of a bogus 100-man Transition Committee that was supposedly constituted to develop a document or blueprint that will be used to govern Abia State, a move which shows clearly that Alex Otti did not have an idea of what he wants to do in Abia prior to being elected and has been struggling for power since 2015 without knowing what he will do with it.

Second, was the unguided romance with the Nigeria Prays project of General Yakubu Gowon which Otti promoted without consultations. Another misstep that shows how insensitive he is to the aspirations of his people. 

And as the dust is yet to settle, he started inspecting both Federal and State roads in Aba with a construction company and the big question is why take that step and as who? What is the essence of this public posturing when Alex Otti would in the next few weeks assume office and have the opportunity to inspect all the roads in Abia State for the next four years? As a novice in government, Alex Otti should understand that there are extant procedures for bidding for road contracts and that the award of contracts must surely follow due process. 

First, the government agency responsible for road construction must evaluate the road in question and come up with a bid template which includes Invitations for bids which are publicly advertised for a stipulated number of days in recognised media, Evaluation of bids to measure the standard of compliance and the Final signing and Award of contract after due considerations by the appropriate authorities. 

What Alex Otti is doing with Julius Berger is inappropriate because he has bypassed the stipulated process and is seen to be favouring a particular company over others. 

This does not sound like due process to us and it projects a conflict of interests which negates the basic tenet of public procurement.

The first thing he should do after his swearing in, is to inaugurate the State House of Assembly to give impetus to the collaborative nature of the three arms of government. 

His going to inspect the roads in Aba without the first forming a government puts him across as someone who will operate more like an emperor than a governor. The legislative arm in actual fact is the one that gives credence to the legitimacy of government and anything done outside its purview is more like an act of insurrection against the people.

As he goes about inspecting the roads in Aba, let him also inspect the Osisioma Flyover, Ngwa, Obohia, Aba-Owerri, Umuola, Ehere, Ukaegbu and East Roads to find out their conditions. 

Perhaps he will discover that those roads have all been fixed if he removes the veil of pride covering his eyes. On the Port Harcourt Road, it is imperative to let Alex Otti know that the Abia State government has secured an African Development Bank, AfDB facility for the road project whose drainage have been done and that there is a subsisting contract for the road with an A-list contractor, Setraco Nigeria Ltd. 

It is unlawful and therefore actionable against any government that re-awards an existing contract to a different party without first terminating the subsisting contract.

The PDP wants to remind Alex Otti and the Labour Party that there cannot be two sitting governors at a time and that the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (As amended) does not give the position of governor-elect any executive powers. Democracy has its norms and principles and any true democrat must abide by the rules of the game.

While he goes about inspecting the roads in Aba, let him understand that he is still a private citizen without any executive political powers and should wait for the right time to assume office and do all that he wants to do in Abia. 

For now, Abia State has an executive governor in the person of Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu whose tenure will terminate on May 29, 2023. As we wait for the tenure of the present administration to elapse, we call on the members of the PDP and the good people of Abia to remain calm, steadfast, resolute and work to support the PDP administration of Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu for a seamless transfer of power to another political party on May 29, 2023.

Hon. Elder Abraham Amah

Abia PDP Vice Chairman/Acting State Publicity Secretary..

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