Governor Alex Otti : Destroying Clannish Politics In Abia Through Inclusive Governance

0


By: Nwahiwe, Chinonyerem Cleverson

“When everyone is included, everyone wins.” Jesse Jackson

One of the major banes of Abia’s retrogressive past was politics and governance characterized by clannishness. The cabal and merchants of clannish politics were not even doing it for the good of their ‘ethnicities’ but to prosper a selected few thereby strangulating the progress and development of their so-called ethnic groups whom they played on their sentiments to corner the governorship seat.

What the men who took the turns of ‘Abia North, Abia Central and Abia South’ from 1999 to 2023 could not do for their people and the entire State, Governor Alex Otti, OFR, is doing.

There is no Senatorial District or Federal Constituency of the State that does not have strategic presence of the 8-month-old administration of Gov. Alex Otti through completed or ongoing infrastructural development project

Like Rick Riordan opined, “Fairness does not mean everyone gets the same. Fairness means everyone gets what they need,” the Governor is not sentimental but strategic, inclusive and fair with his development policies and programmes across the State.

This article focuses on completed or ongoing strategic projects and not the ones the State Government is about to flag off because many strategic projects will soon be flagged off across the State. The Governor has repeatedly said that the visible achievements of his administration being celebrated across the State and beyond are just mere dress rehearsals.

ABIA CENTRAL SENATORIAL DISTRICT

Abia Central Senatorial District has had its fair share of completed and ongoing strategic projects, some of which include the renovated and retrofitted Abia Specialist Hospital and Diagnostic Center; Eye Center; and Amachara General Hospital, all commissioned on the 27th of September 2023to offer affordable and quality healthcare services to the public.

The renovation and retrofitting of the Abia State University Teaching Hospital (ABSUTH) and restoration of the accreditation to train medical doctors lost 3 years ago during the previous administration.

The ongoing construction of the six-lane Ossah road expansion project, from Okpara Square to Express Tower in Umuahia, the State Capital. This would be extended to Onuimo the Abia State’s Boundary with Imo State.

The reconstruction and commissioning of Udeagbala, Umuimo and Shalom roads in the Osisioma Local Government Area of the State which have made it easier for commuters to easily connect Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway from Afule/Living Word of Aba Owerri Road without necessarily having to go through Osisioma Junction.

The reconstruction and commissioning of the MCC road for public use and other internal roads currently ongoing in Osisioma and other parts of Abia Central Senatorial District.

ABIA NORTH SENATORIAL DISTRICT

Last two weeks, Gov. Alex Otti flagged off the reconstruction and dualization of the deplorable 67.64-km Umuahia-Uzuakoli-Abiriba-Ohafia road network in the State; divided into 3 sections and awarded to 3 different capable contractors to ensure quality and timely completion. The 3 sections are Umuahia to Uzuakoli – 22.64km, awarded to Craneburg Construction Co. Ltd; Uzuakoli to Abiriba junction – 22.5Km, contracted to Ferotex Nigeria Ltd; and Abiriba Junction to Ebem Ohafia Junction – 22.5Km, awarded to China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), totaling 67.64 km.

Before the flag-off of the 67.64 km road, Governor Alex Otti-led administration had already flagged off the construction of the 19.5 km Okai-Akaeze Item Road in Bende Local Government Area that links Akaeze Ebonyi State. The road will boost economic activities in the area and the ease of doing business with neigbouring States like Ebonyi, Enugu and others.

The renovation and retrofitting of the Umunneato General Hospital in Bende Local Government, which has also been extended to other General Hospitals in the zone as part of the administration’s policy of retrofitting all the 15 General hospitals in the State to address the healthcare needs of the people.

ABIA SOUTH SENATORIAL DISTRICT

The strategic Port Harcourt Road Aba that collapsed and was impassable for decades was flagged off for reconstruction on the 12th of October 2023 to Julius Berger by the administration of Gov. Otti. Work is speedily progressing there. Also, the first phase of the strategic Cemetery road abandoned for decades has been reconstructed and commissioned by the administration of Gov. Otti within five months in office. Work is speedily progressing on the second phase too.

Emelogu Road has been reconstructed and commissioned for public use. Massive construction work is ongoing at the abandoned deplorable Omuma Road in Aba. Presently, there are no fewer than 3 roads done by the present administration that will soon be commissioned in Aba.

On the 30th of September 2023, Gov. Alex Otti, OFR, performed the groundbreaking ceremony of the Abia Industrial and Innovation Park (AIIP) in Owaza, Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia State. Ukwa is where the State derives its oil revenue from, but there is nothing much to show for the oil wealth in their backyard. The administration of Gov. Alex Otti, leveraging on the presence of oil and gas in the area, has brought the AIIP to usher in massive socio-economic development of the area and permanently quench the thirst of a people drowned in the ocean of oil wealth but thirsting for socioeconomic development.

The renovations of three model schools selected in each of the three senatorial zones are ongoing. The Governor is passionate about bringing back the lost glory of public schools during their days when functional and qualitative education was obtainable in public schools. No region is left out in this policy drive.

Like Karen Draper rightly said, “Diversity doesn’t look like anyone, it looks like everyone,” Governor Alex Otti has carried every political region of the State along in his development programmes and policies. His development agenda is targeted at unlocking the economic potentials of communities, Local Governments and the entire State which previous administrations failed to do.

Governor Alex Otti has in the last 8 months demonstrated through his service-oriented leadership, anchored on stewardship and egalitarianism, that he is not representing the interests of anyone but the interests of everyone. This is one of the reasons his achievements are being celebrated in the economic, social, religious and traditional circles across the State and beyond.

By the time the 8 years governorship of Governor Alex Otti would be winding up in 2031, what Abians and residents would be looking out for, from those that would be aspiring to succeed him would be character, competence, trust, capacity, patriotism, compassion and someone that will become a point of convergence for divergent interests like Gov. Otti is today.

Nwahiwe, Chinonyerem Cleverson 20/2/2024