Dr. Alex Otti, the 2019 governorship candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in Abia state, has alleged that the present administration of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu inherited external debt profile of $33.79m and Domestic debt of N25b in 2015 from his immediate predecessor and the current Senator representing Abia central district in the National Assembly, Theodore Orji.
The APGA chieftain revealed that there was looming collapse of governance in Abia over the huge debts incurred by the immediate past and present administrations of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
Otti, an ex-Group Managing Director (GMD) of defunct Diamond Bank, now Access Bank Plc, in a worded statement signed by himself and obtained by newsmen on Monday night, also attacked the Ikpeazu-led government for allegedly allowing Abia state to be confronted by the misfortune of impassable roads and heaps of refuse that had made life nasty and brutish.
According to him, “While the State government takes pictures and spends millions on celebrities projecting Abia falsely on Television, radio stations and in the newspapers as one that is experiencing massive infrastructural development and environmental turnaround. The present government in Abia state has consistently lied to the world that there is a state government sponsored agricultural revolution in Abia, including the nonexistent Abia rice and Abia mushroom products.
“The government faced its biggest embarrassment a few days ago during its kangaroo media tour when the picture of the governor commissioning a dirty and substandard two-room local rice mill was released to the world, causing outrage and condemnations. Today, unlike the propaganda promoted by Ikpeazu, there is nothing like Abia rice anywhere. The government knows it and the populace knows this as well. So, what were the lies for?
“Aba has deteriorated badly. All over Abia state, the tragic failings of the Ikpeazu government are self evident. His ineptitude, lack of vision and indifference to the task of governance are legendary. Obviously his core interest in government appears to be jolly jolly. He is permanently on a charted flight jetting out of Abia to frolic with friends and associates. Most of the time he is abroad, deceiving those that listen to him that he is in search of foreign investment, while the few existing local ones are closing shop”.
Otti further said, “Between the time the present Okezie Ikpeazu led government came on board and today, the state has received over Three hundred and Fifty five Billion Naira (N355 Billion) in Statutory monthly allocations and Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). These funds are aside the bail out funds, Paris Club refunds, ecological funds and loans from Commercial banks taken by this government.
In addition to the above funds, Governor Ikpeazu inherited an external debt profile of $33.79m and Domestic debt of N25b in 2015. Regrettably, this government had ramped up our debt to $100.2m and N63b in external and domestic debt respectively. This means that the state has increased total borrowing from N35b in 2015 to over N100b at the moment if the entire loan was to be expressed in local currency”.
“Abia is too big and rich in human and material resources to be surrendered to jesters for destruction on the alter of sectionalism and petty partisanship while vulnerable men and women who look up to us as leaders wallow in daily pain and penury. I also wish to state again that this is not political. It is about the love of our state and our people. We must rise to the challenge now as ours is now virtually a failed state,” the APGA stalwart added.
Contacted to react to the claims by Alex Otti, in a chat with DAILY POST Monday night, Commissioner for Information, John Okiyi Kalu, promised to address the press soon pertaining the issues raised by the APGA chieftain.