One of Dr. Alex Otti’s favorite and often mentioned refrain is that “the fish rots from the head” which is his way of making the point that when things get bad and continue to worsen in any organization or social setting look no further for the cause or source than the person at the top for he or she is the one who sets the tone for others to follow or copy.
A critical look at the ineptitude in job performance of both the Abia state Governor and his coterie of administrative misfits who work for and with him is one that could be best described as the “audacity of mediocrity”.
As the opposite of the saying about the fish rotting from the head, the stench of mediocrity in the Ikpeazu administration rots from both ends of the fish, that is to say, the Governor as the head and his underlings as the tail and the proof can be found all over the state in their policies, failing institutions, abandoned projects, garbage dumps, non-payment of salaries, etc., just to mention a few.
It is said “you can judge someone by the quality of people he surrounds himself with, if that is the case, this governor has surrounded himself with very low-quality officials whose competence and fitness for the positions they occupy is questionable.
For the past two decades, the Abia people have been in abusive relationships with a bunch of inept leaders who had been given the responsibility of piloting the affairs of the state and guaranteeing the social welfare of the Abia people but who unfortunately have proven to be mindless incompetents and irresponsible jerks.
It started with a Governor whose academic credentials was questionable and still in doubt, his Chief of Staff successor whose criminal inclinations did not only land him in jail before he became governor but was evidenced by his itchy fingers in the state’s treasury.
As if these two miscreants were not enough punishment on the Abia people there came again in 2015, with the help of the Supreme Court, another intellectually challenged former school teacher and garbage disposal reject whose Ph.D. acquisition makes you wonder how he earned it considering his governing ineptitude and moral bankruptcy not to mention the obvious fact that despite his “certificatedness” he has turned out to be no better than his predecessors.
Collectively and individually these three men will forever be judged by history and posterity as cancer that plagued the Abia citizenry for 20 years destroying their immune system, their optimism, their entrepreneurial spirit, their zeal for life and the denial of the benefits of good governance.
It is no longer news that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu is incompetent and his job performance, mediocre as revealed in his one and only debate performance in which he made his now-famous statement about salary payments not being something that should be taken for granted.
Not surprisingly, his mendacious Information Commissioner John Okiyi Kalu, in his fruitless attempt to spin the governor’s poor performance, came up with his own analysis of the debate which contained too many misleading anecdotes that completely lacked essential context.
His verbal and social media inanities in their most insipid optimization betrayed his lack of effective communication skills. His smorgasbord of lies and misrepresentation of facts as reflected in his analysis appeared futile if not obsolete.
His diatribes were like a remote-controlled menu of lies. Lies were everywhere, truth not so much. T
he chief responsibility of any reader of an essay or press statement is not to fall asleep or get bored but that’s exactly what I did reading Okiyi’s Social media posting. His entire analysis of the debate was a mind-dulling distraction.
Judging from the dubious and wayward policy initiatives of Governor Okezie and the lack of visionary thinking, it has become painfully obvious that the quality and caliber of people this Governor has engaged to work for him are mediocre.
There is no doubt the Governor has surrounded himself with third rate hustlers, amateur grifters and mentally truncated liars who are not just simply dishonest political buccaneers who engage in wholly invented hypotheticals but men who think they have the moronic audacity to slander Dr. Alex Otti, whose league they do not belong to.
As a group that has never been regarded or seen as a trusted source of truth, there is absolutely no doubt the Abia people have become totally fed up, have had enough as well as exhausted by their spirited virulence, their divisive tactics and their unruly politics.
These intellectually limited hustlers who have come to preside over the affairs of Abia state keep pursuing a fantasy of imperial strength and self -sufficiency that has repeatedly revealed their hubris, mulishness, and ineptitude.
Their pattern of egotistic and destructive behavior, utterances, grand pronouncements and embellishment of false accomplishments further reveals an abysmally equipped group of court jesters who have been saddled with the responsibilities of governance they have no aptitude for but who continue to blunder through just like their boss.
They coast through their job responsibilities with bluff rather than experience, competence, and expertise.
As much as we are inclined to blame the governor for most of the failings of his administration it is not an exaggeration to apportion some blame on some of these half- baked somewhat educated callow beneficiaries of the Governor’s nepotism and compensatory job sharing formula not to mention his godfather’s intervening choices and preferences.
As a consequence what we find are eternal PDP underlings whose professional and intellectual weight is out of proportion to their numbers and over-representation in his administration. They contribute nothing to policy making because they lack intellectual depth.
You can see it in the many Special Assistants, heads of Parastatals, and even Commissioners none of whom can be credited with any innovative idea worthy of note.
Individually and collectively they have plunged Abia state into its worst socio-economic and humanitarian crisis while exposing their incestuous and self-serving political class like never before.
With this administration, if one has to place a bet between evil and sheer stupidity I guess you won’t lose your money betting on sheer stupidity.
In contrast, Dr. Alex Otti as the incoming Governor is a man whose management bona fides are well established. According to one former staffer of Diamond bank in a recently published essay, Dr. Alex Otti as the CEO of Diamond bank was a personification of a good judge of talent, who attracted and employed the best while empowering them to be better than they thought they could be.
As a man with extraordinarily high standards, he pushed his employees to be their absolute best. One other staffer of the bank once stated that Dr. Otti was so smart that you could prepare a report for him and he will ask a question that would make you realize you are looking at the problem the wrong way.
As a disciplined, empathetic and innovative leader, Dr. Otti is still remembered 5 years after he left by past and present employees as having created a happy workplace so much so that during his tenure Diamond Bank won accolades as ‘one of the best places to work” in the banking industry.
For that reason, the best and brightest in the banking industry sought their way to the bank.
As Governor, Dr. Alex Otti will reset the concept of the possible. His genius lies in knowing what people want before they know it, hence he has already studied the many problems bedeviling the state and has proffered solutions as elaborated in his manifesto.
In contrast to Dr. Okezie, Dr. Alex Otti will deliver the Abia people from their existing abusive relationship with this Governor whereby salaries will be guaranteed as worker’s rights.
Contrary to the present practice of hiring men of low intellect and ability, he will seek and secure the services of people with talent, expertise, experience, and drive.
There will be no moral dereliction of duty or delusion of fantasy in his administration. He will demand hard work, good service, transparency and accountability in his administration.
Unlike Governor Ikpeazu who continues to retain non-performing top management staff in his administration due to nepotism and the fear of offending his godfather and his son who actually picked most of them, Dr. Otti will demand competence and high job performance for anyone to keep his or her job.
In the performance of his job as Governor he will bring the strength of character, vision, financial prudence, a willingness to take risks and think outside the box-all relevant skills, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu lacks.
It is said that no one comes up with a good idea while being chased by a Tiger. Dr. Alex Otti is the Tiger that has shadowed Elder Ikpeazu for the past three-plus years hence he looks confused and devoid of vision.
After the second debate there is absolutely no doubt that Dr. Alex Otti has the antecedents of good management skills honed during his service in the banking industry, which will be translated to governance when he becomes Governor, something he tried to explain to the clueless Ikpeazu during the debate when he tried to school him on the difference between private and public sector management.
As the saying goes, “you have to carry a crown before you can wear one. Dr. Alex Otti has carried that crown of excellent financial and human resources management skills in the banking industry which has prepared him for the crown of state governance which is the opposite of Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu who while introducing himself during the debate deliberately failed to mention the fact that he worked as the director of ASEPA as well as Transition Chairman of Obingwa Local government council.
I guess he was ashamed of his record and poor job performance in those jobs. It’s time for change. Enough is enough.
Nnanna Ijomah is a Research and Strategy Adviser to Dr. Alex Otti and the Alex Otti campaign.