Alex Otti Needs our Collective Help

-Iheanyi Ogbonnaya

Those who know the defeated 2015 All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) Governorship candidate in Abia State, Dr Alex Otti, should extend help to him before he totally unhinges and destroy the last of whatever is left of his public image.

Otti’s desperate quest to become the Governor of Abia State is speedily turning him into a troubled schizophrenic man clutching at political straws and burning every goodwill ever bestowed on him by groups and individuals in Abia State and Nigeria.

People do crazy things when they become desperate and surely can throw away everything for momentary relief. But Otti must remember Douglas Horton who said that “Desperation is like stealing from the Mafia: you stand a good chance of attracting the wrong attention.”

Following the February 3rd, 2016 Supreme Court declaration of Dr Okezie Ikpeazu (PDP) as the winner of the 2015 Governorship election in Abia State, deep throat sources close to Dr Alex Otti disclosed that he was rushed to an Abuja hospital for emergency medical attention as he was said to have lost his faculties and started rambling prior to losing consciousness.

Even after the expected finality of the ruling, Otti apparently continued to hallucinate on becoming the Governor of Abia State, to the extent that he told APGA members ferried to Etche road field Aba in 2016 that he heard voices assuring him that “something will soon happen” and he will be made the Governor of Abia State. In fact, he assured his propaganda overdosed party members, some of who came to the event expecting to hear his congratulatory message to his vanquisher, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, that before the end of 2016 whatever it was will happen and he Otti will become “Governor Otti” of real Abia State as against Abia’s Facebook Governor they know him to be.

Dr Ikpeazu is still the Governor of Abia State and most of Otti’s supporters who were at Etche road field that day are now members of Ikpeazu’s PDP.

It was the same political desperation that led Otti to join a suit instituted by Dr Uche Ogah challenging primaries of PDP that had nothing to do with him. Justice Walter Onnoghen, Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), who was in the Supreme Court panel that decided the Ogah case in 2017 took note and urged Otti and other politicians in Abia State to stop adopting divisive means to clinch power and “allow the laws to be our compass as a nation”.

Sadly, Otti is still in the Supreme court today, despite also campaigning for 2019 Governorship election. In between, he has worked actively to sabotage the administration of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu in ways that are unprecedented in the history of Nigeria and democracy.

One instance was Otti’s furious attempts at scuttling the approval given by the National Assembly to Abia and 10 other states to access International funds for developmental projects.

Fearing that a prudent Governor Ikpeazu will deliver unprecedented dividends of democracy with a $200m low interest facility with 10 years moratorium, otti embarked on a coordinated campaign of calumny to derail the aspiration of the good people of Abia State for rapid infrastructural development.

Realizing that the availability of such facility to the nationally acknowledged high performing Governor Ikpeazu will make it impossible to challenge him in 2019, Alex Otti flew to Abidjan to campaign against this rapid development facility for the people of Abia State. He also spent his personal resources to lobby public officials in Abuja to unravel the facility. When his nocturnal schemes failed, he resorted to using the media to attack the people and government of Abia State whom he wanted to punish for his electoral woes in 2015.

Yet, it was the same Otti that assured Abians during the 2015 Electoral campaigns that he, even as a private citizen, had “secured $100b IFC loan to develop Aba”.

While he was busy looking for ways to paralyze the administration of Ikpeazu, he was shocked to discover that everything he made campaign issue in 2015 has been achieved by the incumbent who has gone ahead to deliver 60 completed road projects in the state alongside 78 other ongoing road construction projects within 33 months of his administration.

After his subsequent attempts to pass off Ikpeazu projects as “existing only on Facebook”, where Otti apparently resides and sources information on Abia State from, failed in the face of hard evidence and confirmation of the projects by Media executives, Abia stakeholders and community leaders, he is now attacking individuals and communities that has decoded his desperate quest for power as dead on arrival.

In a recent interview granted Sun Newspapers, captioned “Abia 2019: I’ll beat Ikpeazu again”, Otti manifested the usual signs of acute schizophrenia when he deluded himself with claims of winning the 2015 election in Abia State.

It is a settled fact that Alex Otti was roundly defeated by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu in 2015 and the Supreme Court affirmed that without equivocation. Only a troubled mind will insist on a contrary claim even while preparing for 2019 polls.

The more worrisome angle of that interview was the scathing attacks the Arochukwu born Otti launched against his benevolent hosts of Ukwa/Ngwa extraction who he called “ritualists, marabouts and native doctors”. He was unsparing of even the respected Ngwa Traditional and political leaders whom he claimed were “conflicted” and “bribed” to declare their support for the incumbent Governor.

This desperation driven hallucinations of the one time Managing Directior of Diamond Bank is fast making him an object of caricature with one public affairs analyst advising him to stop thinking of defeating Ikpeazu and concentrate on regaining APGA’s ticket from the more formidable Chikwe Udensi who is seen by many as the likely APGA candidate in 2019. No serious political party will hand over its gubernatorial ticket to a man who snatched defeat from possible victory and went ahead to throw away 8 state legislators handed over to him to lead.

It will be recalled that prior to 2015 election Otti lived in his palatial Arochukwu house he christened “no place like home.”

There is indeed no place like home but Otti must see the entire Abia as his home. Scuttling the hopes of Abians in far away Abuja and Abidjan is not the best way to promote his home. If Otti loves Abia State as he claims, he should start investing in the state or at least execute one project to match his words with action.

Overwhelming majority of Abians have already agreed to give Governor Ikpeazu additional 4 years to continue his transformative leadership in the state. Alex Otti is better advised not to waste his time and remaining resources on a mission impossible in 2019.

-Iheanyi Ogbonnaya, a public affairs commentator writes from Uzuakoli in Bende LGA of Abia State

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