Otti Rejects Ikpeazu’s Hand of Fellowship, Says Gov Not Sincere

Alex Otti

Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia

The candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the 2019 governorship election in Abia State, Mr. Alex Otti, has rebuffed the state Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu’s invitation to bring his ideas and join the present government to develop the state.

Otti, who mounted a legal challenge against the outcome of the poll up to the Supreme Court, which eventually affirmed Ikpeazu’s victory, said the governor was insincere in seeking to partner the opposition.

He made known his rejection of Ikpeazu’s hand of fellowship in a statement signed by his media assistant, Mr. Ferdinand Ekeoma, to formally react to the judgment of the apex court which ended his quest to nullify the outcome of the 2019 Abia State governorship poll.

Otti said he would have gladly accepted to work with Ikpeazu “if the governor was ready to accept and implement noble ideas.”

He noted that it was evident that the governor was not disposed to progressive ideas hence “his statement was a comical adumbration to hoodwink the gullible into thinking that he is sincerely reaching out and ready to work with those who don’t agree with him.”

The former banker turned politician recalled that he had always advised Ikpeazu’s administration on the right approach to governance “but all we receive in return are insults and name calling.

“For instance, we had in the past advised and pleaded with the Ikpeazu-led government on issues that bother on the welfare of the people, but on each occasion, we were replied with insults and defamatory attacks laced with executive recklessness and arrogance.”

“We had also advised the governor against mortgaging the future of Abia people by his penchant for local and foreign debts. Again, we were attacked and vilified for speaking up.”

The APGA governorship standard bearer in both the 2015 and 2019 poll further explained that his own idea of joining hand with the government was at variance with what the governor actually wants from him.

According to him, “If Ikpeazu’s understanding of support is the old system of joining them and clapping for them and singing their praises, we are sorry to disappoint him. We are not cut out for sycophancy. We shall never bow to Baal.”

On the rather ‘unfavourable’ Supreme Court judgment of January 8, 2020, Otti said it has in no way dampened his spirit and those of his supporters in their quest for a better Abia State, assuring them that “our spirit is high, and our resolve stronger.”

He insisted that Ikpeazu and his party, PDP, did not win the 2019 Abia State governorship poll, noting that they got an escape route through the defective Electoral Law on which the court relied on to resolve the dispute in favour of the defendants

The court dismissed our appeal mainly on technical grounds that revolved round the Electoral Act, and not on the basis of lack of evidence or inaccuracy of our facts,” Otti noted, adding that “we were also not surprised that Abians received the judgement with graveyard silence and sorrow while the governor and his allies celebrated the verdict, expectedly.

“However, in keeping to our democratic disposition as law-abiding citizens, we have accepted the judgement with equanimity, devoid of anger and bitterness. We also urge Abia people to accept the temporary setback and remain peaceful and law abiding,” he said.