By Ferdinand Ekeoma
“Whenever I’m doing any thing, I’m always with my facts; people would accuse me, but cannot accuse my facts.”
The above legendary quote from the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo truly serves as protective apparel that has continued to cover every action taken by the Abia political jinx breaker, Alex Otti.
One can say it without any fear of contradiction that if there is any man, who has come to equity with absolute clean hands, as far as the Abia governorship legal tussle is concerned, that man is Alex C. Otti. Abians need no tutorial about what happened in Abia during the 2015 governorship election; they know who their choice was, they know who they voted for, they know who remains their hero; so when the nay sayers try to bamboozle them with adulterated anti-Otti gospel of distraction and desperation, the discerning public are quick to dismiss their idiotic puerile with the wave of the hand. Like the saying goes, you can lie to the blind about oil being in the soup, but definitely not salt.
It takes only those who do not appreciate the Supremacy of God to assume that the whole Abia political imbroglio is entirely man-made; no, God works mysteriously to bring man to his senses, when it seems he’s completely dwelling on his own knowledge, and acting as if there is no God.
For those who are lost on the recent political history, especially where it concerns Otti, the facts remain that after the abracadabra during collation of governorship results in 2015, and which resulted in the reversal of the cancellation earlier announced by the State Returning Officer, Prof. Ozumba, and subsequent acceptance of results from Obingwa, Osisioma, etc., giving room for the declaration of Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu as the governor, Otti and his supporters never resorted to violence or threats, but expressed their grievances and disapproval through the most acceptable form, which is litigation.
When he lost at the tribunal, we responsibly proceeded to the Court of Appeal, and when the five-man panel of Court of Appeal found merit in Otti’s appeal and declared him the governor, Otti didn’t make any illegal attempt to be sworn in as governor because he understands our law, and respects it to the fullest, even though Abia State government didn’t stop at hiring hoodlums, who went on rampage protesting the judgment, but in their panic and fear also made dozens of ridiculous announcements on the radio and television on a daily basis against a purported move to swear Otti in as governor, not knowing that Otti bears no lawless resemblance with them, as he was already before his God in appreciative tranquillity.
Again when the Supreme Court heard the appeal brought by Ikpeazu and subsequently ruled in his favour, all that Otti did was to console his heart-broken supporters through a press statement, and later held an earth-shaking but emotional Thanksgiving Service during, which he and his supporters shook the foundation of Aba, as they returned praises and thanks of gratitude to God, even though agents of Abia State government made violent attempts to stop the programme.
The tax legal battle, which was originally initiated by one of the PDP governorship aspirants, Barr. Friday Nwosu, created new grounds for all the interested parties to present their cases and lay necessary legal claims. Alarmed by the consequential orders issued by Justice Abang, which ordered that Dr. Uche Ogah be sworn in, Otti and his party, APGA, through their lawyers, sought to be joined in the suit. Can any right thinking person from the two camps question Otti’s right to be joined in the on-going legal tussle? Also does it make any sense for any person to accuse Otti of distracting Ikpeazu when his prayers border on the consequential orders?
Otti approached the Court of Appeal seeking for leave to appeal the Federal High Court judgment, which ruled that Ogah be sworn in. The court of appeal panel presided over by Justice Helen Ogunwumiju, dismissed the appeal referring to Dr. Otti as a “meddlesome interloper.” Well, I think that the Supreme Court has answered all the questions by overruling the Appeal Court in the joinder issue raised by Otti on January 27. This simply means that Otti’s position is just, as usual.
No matter what happens on the substantive matter still pending at the Supreme Court, it would not be a new thing. Indeed, as we wait for the Supreme Court’s final judgment schedule for May 12, 2017, one thing that is new and would always ring a bell in the minds of Abians is that a man called Otti graced the Abia political firmament, came, saw, conquered and dismantled the hitherto unbreakable yoke of political docility and impunity, and that because of his involvement, Abians became more politically conscious, while the government became a bit more reasonable and cautious. Of course, his party, for the first time, divided the House of Assembly seats into almost two equal halves and won 11 seats out of the 24 despite all the falsification and rigging tactics of the ruling party in the state. This is the first time this is happening in Abia State. The truth remains that owing to the entry of one man and his supporters, Abia politics has changed forever.
He who comes to equity must come with clean hands, Alex Otti and supporters have come to equity with clean hands and hearts. They have come to equity with the same peaceful and lawful mien, and as usual, their potion is just before God and man. I only hope his opponents would learn one or two lessons from this complete but principled gentleman
• Ekeoma, a media practitioner writes from Aba, Abia State.