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Abia Govt fires back at Alex Otti for accusing Ikpeazu of weaponzing hunger

The government of the state of Abia has rebuked Dr. Alex Otti, the champion of the Grand Alliance of All Progressives, APGA, during the last general election of the state, for his recent statement that the current administration of the governor Okezie Ikpeazu, has armed the hunger in the state.

The state information commissioner, chief John Okiyi Kalu, while reacting in a statement released to journalists in Umuahia, the state capital, on Tuesday criticized Otti for his ongoing media attack on the Ikpeazu led government, which he (Kalu) claimed that he intended to deceive the gullible man, as well as representing the governor as a non-functioning leader.

He insisted that the current administration improved the good lives of public officials, adding that most state workers were better paid than their counterparts in other southeastern states.

Kalu, however, claimed that the APGA chief’s erroneous statements in the affairs of the state of Abia were due to political revenge for his alleged failure (Otti) to fly the ticket of the Democratic People’s Party governor, PDP, in the 2015 elections .

Parts of the statement read, “Otti started his political journey with attempts aimed at deceiving and misrepresenting his actual place of origin by abandoning his multi-million Naira personal country home in Arochukwu where he lived to relocate to Isiala Ngwa when he learned that the 2015 Governor of Abia State would emerge from Ngwa area of Abia State in line with Abia Charter of Equity, and since then he has perfected the art of lying, deceit and destruction of whatever he touches.

“Otti launched his campaign at Aba by lying to the people that he, as a private citizen, obtained a loan of $100bn from International Finance Corporation (IFC) to rebuild Aba even when, as a former banker, he must have known that individuals cannot obtain loans on behalf of a state government. Since then he has not accounted for the money even after he claimed that he only borrowed $100m as against $100b. That was only the beginning of the putrid litany of lies, deceit and sheer mischief that characterized Otti’s dead on arrival attempt to appropriate the Governorship seat by all means.

“Without consideration for the progress and well-being of Abians, Otti ill advisedly chose to challenge the re-election of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu in court to principally remain relevant in Abia politics, distract the Governor from performing his duties and indeed punish the people of Abia State for refusing to elect him their Governor.

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“The latest attempt to lie and deceive by Otti is aptly captured in his latest press statement that “Ikpeazu-led government has weaponized hunger in Abia”, wherein he lied, as usual, that the Governor hired a crowd of supporters to attend the tribunal adoption hearing on Thursday September 29, 2019, who abused him for desperately seeking to be Abia Governor.

“I have it on good authority that Otti also sponsored renegade pensioners and protest-for-cash urchins to mount a failed protest on the day of the tribunal sitting in order to embarrass the Governor in the media and score cheap political point that surely won’t have any bearing to the ruling of the tribunal which is expected to be based on law and evidence adduced by the parties in the matter. It is a fact that the members and leaders of Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Abia State Chapter, are currently discussing with the government on how to clear their outstanding wages, some of which obviously did not emanate from this administration.

“On Saturday, 31st of August 2019, Abia State workers in state Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) who make up more than 70% of the state workforce started receiving their August 2019 salaries and I make bold to state that they are not owed any month of salary arrears. Yet, Otti will deceitfully have you believe that “Abia workers are owed 32 months salary arrears”.

“I challenge Alex Chioma Otti to show where the law permits state or federal governments to directly pay wages of workers in parastatals. Yet we have made interventions to support our ailing parastatals through payment of subventions and others even as we also place on record that more than 60% of our state parastatals are up to date with salary payment.

“Just like his allegation that we have received the last tranche of Paris Club Refund and mismanaged it bother on mischief making. We are yet to receive the last tranche of Paris Club Refunds and we are proud of the fact that both ICPC and members of Nigeria Governors Forum applauded the transparent management of previous refund receipts.”