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The gubernatorial candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in Abia State, Dr. Alex Otti, has vowed that if elected into office in March, he will end the trend of ‘godfatherism’ in Abia State, which he blames for the slow development of the State.
According to him, political favoritism and the illegal distribution of state funds and revenues to people who serve as the godfathers and beneficiaries of elected officials of the State have become the norm, and as a result, those in charge of running the country owe no allegiance to the people.
When Otti talked to the Abia Media Forum over the weekend, its members pressed him on his ideas for Abia should he be chosen as the state’s next governor in 2023.
The governorship candidate further lamented that those who had been thrust as leaders of Abia over the years had been unprepared and incompetent to bring significant development to the State and make the people proud.
His words: “There is this culture of going to Abuja to collect allocation and coming back to share it. You know the sharer will have a larger chunk and the money that will be used for development is just shared among some people. This godfather thing which does not allow the godson to outperform his godfather.
“Right from the return of democracy, the State has always been passed from one godfather to a godson which doesn’t allow development.
“They don’t promise the people anything and they don’t feel they owe the people anything. That is the effect of stealing mandates and they feel the people no longer matter but I am here to reverse all those and make the resources of the State to work for the State.
“Poor and unprepared leadership without vision is the reason Abia is underdeveloped. Having wrong leaders who perpetuate themselves and replace with stooges.
“The culture of sharing money so that no matter the allocation, they still leave debts without work to show for the money spent.”
The former senior banker stressed that with him in charge, a culture of prudence and creating wealth would be institutionalised to ensure economic and human capital investments, improved employment opportunities and conducive environment for commercial activities for which Abia is known, to thrive.
Otti also pledged to exploit and create wealth with Abia’s natural resources like brown coal for power generation, phosphorous for fertilizer, limestone for cement production and ceramics, among others, while revitalizing moribund industries for economic growth and youth employment.
He further promised to clear the arrears of salaries, pensions and gratuities of Abia workers, which had been causing more hardship on the people generally.
On security situation in Abia and the Southeast, Otti lent his support to the clamour for state police but argued that in the interim, creating jobs and getting the youth gainfully engaged will lower crime rate