Otti Explains Working from Private Residence Six Months after Assuming Office

Otti Explains Working from Private Residence Six Months after Assuming Office

Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo in Umuahia

It has emerged that Abia State Governor, Mr. Alex Otti, did not inherit any habitable Government House when he assumed office on May 29, 2023.

The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Kazie Uko, disclosed this yesterday while explaining the reasons Otti chose to work from his private residence outside Umuahia, the state capital.

The opposition in the state has accused Otti of abandoning a multi-billion naira new government house left for him by his predecessor and continued to stay outside the capital city, six months after he came to power.

Responding for his principal, the CPS explained that neither the temporary government house nor the new one “hurriedly” inaugurated by former Governor Okezie Ikpeazu was fit enough for habitation.

He noted that Ikpeazu had fooled Abians by bringing his fellow governors to inaugurate “a new government house when it had not been completed,” adding that the old government house was completely vandalised and looted.

According to him, both the old and the new edifice would gulp billions of naira before they could become habitable due to the condition the former governor left them.

He said: “Contractors were bringing quotations that ran into hundreds of millions, and some close to N1 billion just to renovate the Government House.

“And the governor said it was not a priority when Abia pensioners were being owed, civil servants not paid, and our hospitals in ruins.”

The Abia governor’s spokesman conducted journalists round the new government house at Ogurube Layout for a first hand assessment of both interior and exterior sections of the edifice.

It was observed that only the ground floor of the two-storey edifice was partially furnished and fitted with some air conditioners.

Both the first and second floors are devoid of any furnishings and electrical installations, including the elevators while a section of the fence had collapsed.

“This is the multi-billion naira Abia State new Government House they said Governor Otti abandoned,” the CPS said, adding: “You have seen the inside. It’s like a carpentry workshop and a showroom.”

He put the opposition to task to explain why Ikpeazu did not live in the new government house if he had sincerely believed that it was completed and ready for habitation.

“Why on earth will any sincere person (inaugurate) that project when it’s obvious it’s far from being completed?” he queried Otti’s critics.

Uko noted that: “Some PDP governors were imported into Abia State to inaugurate that project by the last administration on the eve of its exit but it’s now clear it was all politics.”

Recalling the genesis of Otti’s decision to operate from his private residence, the governor’s spokesman said: “When he came on board, Otti wanted to operate from Government House.

“He visited the facilities but his findings were at variance with the impression in public that his predecessor had built a new Government House.

“The simple question is this: If truly the place is habitable, why didn’t the former governor who (inaugurated) it live in it?

“He (Ikpeazu) spent most of his tenure at the Governor’s Lodge in Aba, and only moved into his private house at Umuobiakwa after building it.

“Then on the eve of his handover, he came and hurriedly inaugurated this building that looks like a huge carpentry workshop with cables dangling everywhere without power supply.”

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