The first step to the imminent defeat of oppression and bad governance in Abia State ~ By Okey Amuta
By Okey Amuta
A few weeks ago, I was engaged in a minor argument with an old friend of mine. His stand was that integrity and honour were dead in Nigeria, even among children. He used many short stories and anecdotes to prove his point and despite my concerted effort to prove otherwise and restore some hope, my friend stuck to his belief that the only thing that would restore sanity in Nigeria was the mass elimination of what he called the ” old brigade who have held this country by the balls for decades ”
To be honest, I could see a lot of sense in my friend’s line of argument. Nigeria has been most unfortunate with leadership of the “old brigade”, according to my friend, and the conclusion by pessimistic, well meaning, common Nigerians is that all is lost, and the only remedy is a bloody revolution.
The events in the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, in the months and weeks leading to the nomination of candidates for the 2019 general elections were not only surprising and painful to then supporters of Dr. Alex Otti, but also frustratingly killing. The time was perilous and the future was gloomy and bleak. It was easily obvious that all stumbling blocks had been laid to ensure that even if Dr. Otti secured the nomination to run as governorship candidate of APGA, he was bound to fail at the general elections. He was facing artillery from both within and without. It was obvious that his own party, the APGA, for some inexplicable reasons, was not working for the success of the party in the South East, and, the opposition PDP was fully loaded, waiting in the flanks.
This situation persisted and prevailed, when Dr. Otti’s friends in The All Progressive Congress, APC, and even outside the party, began to reach out to persuade him not only to leave APGA, but also with assurance that he would secure the ticket to run in APC. Many who belonged to Otti’s inner cabinet where frantic in urging him to jump ship without further delay. But Dr. Alex, Chioma, Otti, the humanitarian with loaded integrity and honour, remained adamant. He argued that the whole issue was not about Alex Otti only, but also about all those who joined APGA, to run for various political positions, because of him. Any such move would not only smack of betrayal but would hurt his conscience, integrity and humanity for ever. He ultimately decided to fight, fall and sink with his followers, as a trusted leader and hero.
The 2019 general elections have come and gone, and “winners and losers” known. A lot has happened to APGA which has literally lost its identity. Some of those who contested at various levels have left politics entirely, and moved on to other endeavors but a good majority tarried, awaiting the decision of their leader, Dr. Alex Otti.
That decision came early this year, 2020, when Dr. Otti abandoned APGA for the APC, a significant move and mark of respect to his well wishers, friends and colleagues in business and politics, who spent time and energy trying to persuade him to decamp to the APC.
Dr. Otti’s move to the APC, has come with consequences. APGA has literally collapsed as more than 250, 000 of its members have left with Otti, at various LGAs in Abia, and more than that number are moving sooner than latter as a mark of respect and loyalty to their leader. The PDP camp in Abia State is in confusion because of the obvious consequences of Otti’s move.
Dr. Alex Otti has also been presented to APC party members at the Ward, LG and State levels. At a well organised and attended ceremony at the various levels, Dr. Otti assured party members that although he was joining with a huge number of loyal followers, the intention was not to disturb or upturn the existing rules and order in the party. He enjoined his followers to remain loyal and abide by existing rules in the party. Dr. Otti further decried the state of infrastructure in Abia, pointing out that among the States whose governors have suffered from the Covid-19 pandemic, Abia was the only one whose governor was treated outside his State because of lack of adequate facilities. He however pointed out that he continuously prayed for the governor during his ordeal, and also thanked God that the Governor was well again. In conclusion, Otti assured the party leaders that his major reason for joining the APC, was to help build the party, and also to team up with people of like minds with the capacity to change the evil leadership in Abia.
On their part, the leaders of the party, at various levels, expressed joy and satisfaction that Dr. Otti finally took the long awaited decision to join the APC. They assured him and his followers that the APC has a standing order to treat and accord every member, both old and new, with equal respect and opportunities.
Dr. Otti’s journey from the Ward to the State was led by Chief Victor Amuta, a pharmacist and member, Board of the National Hospital, Abuja, who extolled the qualities of the person of Dr Alex Otti, all the way.
Now, the final journey to route out evil and restore sanity in governance in Abia State has just begun. The dice is rolling and there is no sitting on the fence for any well meaning Abain of honour and integrity. 2023 is by the corner. Preparation must start now. This noble task and struggle belongs to all of us. We are all invited and welcome.