OPINION: What is Mr Otti hiding from Abians?

Posted by FN Editor | 10 months ago | 741 times

By Ikechukwu Iroha 


On the 30th of May 2016, the incumbent Governor of Abia State Mr Alex Otti who was the then Governorship Candidate of APGA, in a widely publicised press statement, questioned why it seemed difficult for the government to publicize her expenses and income. According to him, the government owe it a duty to Abians to demonstrate transparency and openness in her financial dealings..


Hear him ; 


"They should explain to curious Abians how much the Governor draws as security vote and how it is utilized that the security situation in the state continues to deteriorate on a daily basis.


They should be transparent and responsible enough to give Abians details of their finances, so that they can know when and who to ask questions or hold responsible".


Today, it has become difficult to hold Mr Otti firmly to his words and promises, as he has continued to deliberately withhold information on Abia financial dealing despite agitations from several quarters including his own supporters who are gradually losing hope of seeing anything different from what he criticized while he was in the unsettled political wilderness.


He disregarded every statutory process and procedure by solely appointing contractors and mobilising same to site without recourse to procurement laws governing award of contracts.


It's on record that Abia State Government led by Mr Alex Otti awarded 9 internal roads to unknown contractors at unknown costs with unknown documents. Till date, all efforts to make them tell Abians the contract details have fallen on deaf ears. It seemed therefore, that the State Government that is more interested in silencing opposing voices through the threat of court actions, has mandated her staff to make it a top secret as regards awards of road contracts which has given room for several assumptions and presumptions.


What is Mr Otti hiding ?


No sane Abian who listened to campaign promises of Otti which was anchored on transparency and openness will be bullied with the threat of court action when important questions are asked. It's old fashioned. 


Journalists who should be in the know as regards the details are also asking same line of questions 


1. Who are the contractors awarded 9 internal roads in Aba ?


2. At what cost were the roads awarded ?


3. Where was open bidding done to select the contractors as promised by Mr Otti ?


4. Which State Executive Council gave approval to the Governor to award contracts above his #50m limit ?


5. How much is Otti taking as security votes?


6. How much did it cost the state to buy those bullet-proof vehicles, including many Chevrolet and LandCruisers that he recently took delivery of? Who approved the procurement or are we now in the era of “do and legitimize later”?


These issues will not be swept under the carpet as they bother on law and transparency in government. Otti vowed to run an open government and we must insist he fulfills that promise rather than tend towards dictatorship in a democracy.


Ikechukwu Iroha

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