All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) governorship candidate in the 2015 general elections in Abia, Dr Alex Otti, has advised Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu “to move away from the old order” to take the state to greater heights.
Otti gave the advice on Saturday during a civic reception organised in his honour by the Umunneato caucus of Abia First, his campaign organisation, in conjunction with APGA.
He urged Ikpeazu to chart new path and take actions that would address the challenges facing Abia.
“Our desire and thos of our supporters, friends and allies in APGA, Abia First and beyond is for our state to grow from strength to strength.
“And for it to grow, the present government has to succeed, and for the government to succeed, it has to enjoy the support and cooperation of a majority of Abia people, especially the honest and fair-minded ones.
“And for it to enjoy such honest support, the government must think outside the box and completely move away from the old order.
“It has to make comprehensive assessment of the challenges confronting the state and take critical and far-reaching actions that touch the foundation,” Otti said.
He urged his supporters and Abia residents “to cooperate and support every genuine and legitimate action of the government.
Otti, however, alleged that the ills that characterised the previous administrations were still noticeable in the state.
He cited the menace of kidnappers in different parts of the state and use of touts as revenue agents by the present administration as remnants of the old order.
Otti, a former Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Bank Plc, said the use of revenue touts had led to some ugly incidents, , including two fatal accidents in Aba.
He said, “Civilised societies do not use touts to collect taxes and levies.”
Otti also urged Ikpeazu to use the Federal Government’s bailout fund and Paris Club refund to pay workers’ salaries and pensions.
He said that the essence of the Federal Government’s interventions was to cushion the effects of the economic hardship on workers.
Otti said that the productivity of workers would continue to decline, “if government fails to give serious priority to their welfare”.
He expressed his resolve to continue to lead a viable opposition by offering constructive criticism to the state government.
“As a people, our resolve to stand firm as opposition cannot be shaken. We shall not join the queue of sycophants and hand-clappers. It is not in our character.
“Ours is neither a hostile nor cowardly opposition.
“We shall remain honest, firm and fearless in identifying those ills that retard development in Abia,” Otti said.
He thanked the organisers of the event for their show of solidarity, commitment and courage toward the project of “reclaiming and restoring Abia for Abians”.
The Coordinator of the Umunneato caucus of Abia First, Mr Uzor Nwachukwu, said that the reception was organised to formally welcome Otti back after his exploits in the 2015 governorship race.
Nwachukwu described Otti as “a great man, who has fought wars in the land of man and spirits and returned home full of life and vigour to tell the story”
Some of those who spoke at the event included the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Abia First, Chief Nnanna Ngwu, and Otti’s running mate at the polls, Dr. Eme Uche.
Others were the state APGA Chairman, Rev. Augustine Ehiemere, and a former member of the House of Representatives, Chief Damian Ozurumba.
The speakers saluted Otti’s courage, resilience and commitment.
The ceremony, which took place at Otti’s country home in Umuru Nvosi, Isialangwa North Local Government Area of Abia, was attended by his political and business associates, including the Chief Executive Officer of Nestoil Limited, Dr Ernest Azudialu. (NAN)