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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State has called on Governor Alex Otti to set up an independent technical verification panel that will will be charged with thoroughly investigating his allegation that former Governor Okezie Ikpeazu spent ₦10 billion on Port Harcourt Road without working on it.
According to the PDP, such a statement represents a new low in the execution of Otti’s agenda of running his government via propaganda and demanded that the panel would include engineers from the Federal Ministry of Works, from the Otti and Ikpeazu administrations as well as certified projects.
Abia PDP Vice Chairman/acting State Publicity Secretary, Hon. Abraham Amah, said that Otti’s statement during last night’s media hangout does not present any fact regarding the Port Harcourt Road Aba project that was started by the Ikpeazu’s administration.
The PDP said that the role of the verification panel will include, ‘That the Port Harcourt Road was awarded to Hartland Nigeria Limited, at the cost of N9,882,752,246.40 only
‘That the total length of the road awarded for dualisation in 2017 is 5.9km and that the Ikpeazu administration implemented a total of 13.5km of drains (representing both sides of the road) along the road through Hartland Construction Company that was awarded the original contract.
‘Review and verify documents showing how much the Ikpeazu administration paid so far to Hartland Construction Company in lieu of the project and ascertain if the dredged Umuagbai and Uratta ponds to receive stormwater from Port Harcourt Road is still standing or not.’
The PDP said that the panel will equally try to “Ascertain and publish the scope of the current more than N30 billion work awarded to Julius Berger without due process and competitive bidding as well as budgetary approval by the State House of Assembly if any.
‘Ascertain and publish the relevant designs and cost of the contract awarded by the Ikpeazu administration as well as work already done and the design and scope of the over N30 billion project awarded to Julius Berger by Alex Otti.
‘Measure and confirm the total length of the road from Ngwa Road junction to Asa Nnentu Junction.’
The Abia opposition party said that Ikpeazu administration never spent anything near the Otti propaganda sum of N10 billion on the 5.9km Port Harcourt Road, Aba. He challenged Governor Otti to publish documentary proof of his claims or forever hide his face in shame for consistently trying to deceive the people of the state and country with false claims.
The PDP said it continues to wonder why a government will prefer to embark on constant falsehood with so much audacity rather than focus on delivering dividends of democracy to the people as it promised during election campaigns.
‘The good people of Abia are at liberty to go to the site and see the drainage or check the Umuagbai and Uratta works and also confirm the earthworks done from Uratta Junction to No. 1 Port Harcourt Road section of the road.
‘Even videos produced by the propaganda team of Alex Otti when they visited the road in April 2023 showed the drains and other works done, yet the Governor was not restrained by these facts to tell such brazen lies before journalists that have also visited the place at different times,’ the PDP said.
The party went further to challenge Otti to make available the humongous “compensation” purportedly set aside in the Julius Berger version of the project to the affected people rather than attempt to pocket the same.