By Ferdinand Ekeoma, Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Abia State Government

Following the controversy that erupted after the commissioning of Geometric Power Plant Project in Aba, last week, the Abia State government led by governor Otti through the Ferdinand Ekeoma, Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, to Abia State government has faulted the claim by previous administration under Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu which had in the last two years, publicly claimed that it invested the sum of $5 million (Five Million Dollars) which gave the state a 5% equity stake in Geometric.

Read full Response below 👇

ABIA STATE GOVERNMENT IS TOO FOCUSED TO BE DISTRACTED

Over the past one week, the failed PDP former government has been pouring invectives on the Abia State Government over the successful commissioning of the Geometric Power Plant in Aba. Even though we sympathise with them on their frustration we feel we must respond to the issues to avoid their intended deceit of unsuspecting public.

  1. The Issue at Stake:

Abia state government under Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu had in the last two years, publicly claimed that it invested the sum of $5million (Five Million Dollars) which gave the state a 5% equity stake in Geometric.

However, during a press briefing ahead of the commissioning of the integrated power project on Saturday February 24, 2024, a journalist asked Geometric to clarify the claims of the Ikpeazu government that it invested $5m in the project. Prof. Barth Nnaji, the MD of Geometric, responded to the contrary. My suspicion was that Prof was miffed by the irresponsible claim that such amount was paid when only a part of it was actually redeemed and in a currency other than the one the sale was denominated.
Shortly after this briefing the Ikpeazu team began for the first time to state what actually happened including the fact that the government made partial payment in Naira. They followed up with abuses and e banditry on Prof. Nnaji, insisting that he should recognise the investment.

Some questions are in order at this point.
A) Why did the Ikpeazu team dribble Geometric and refuse to complete their payment, even after several entreaties from the company, knowing that there was a timeline and that the Company needed the funds at that point to complete their equity raise?

B) If the government was not going to make further payments, why did it not communicate to the company instead of keeping them in limbo and almost frustrating the transaction?

C) Why was the government lying against the company by claiming in public to have invested $5m when it did not ?

D) Did the former government collect the share certificate for the portion of the investment it made? If yes, what happened to it and why was it not handed over to the present government?

E) Why did Ikpeazu have to wait for Prof. Nnaji to dismiss his lies before stating exactly what happened?

F) Would the officials of the former government have handled the transaction in such a tardy and irresponsible manner if it was their personal transaction?

G) Did it at any time occur to the officials of the then government that the way they handled this transaction exposed the state to the risk of losing the payment as they had literally breached the sale contract? What about the risk of naira depreciation which simply complicates this whole transaction as the outstanding N565m has suddenly become N2.3B today?
I’m still struggling to find a better word to describe these actions that wouldn’t sound like irresponsible or incompetent.

  1. The Jealousy Against Governor Otti.

Having played strategic roles in the realisation of the Geometric Power Project as a Bank CEO, Dr. Alex Otti, even as a private citizen, went further to play active role in the resolution of the protracted crisis between the management of Geometric led by Prof. Barth Nnaji and the EEDC led by Sir Emeka Offor over the ownership of the Aba Ring-fence Island.
As providence would have it, Dr. Otti became the Governor of the state and led from the front alongside the Chairman/CEO of Geometric, Prof. Nnaji, in ensuring that the final challenges hindering the effective take-off of the power project particularly, Gas supply was resolved, paving the way for the successful commissioning of the project.

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As a technocrat with sound mind and rich knowledge of how the economy works, the Governor knows that steady power supply is the most potent weapon in unleashing the economic potentials of Aba in particular and Abia state in general, and thus threw in everything required to make the project a success.

Restoration of security on assumption of office; direct engagement with top management of NNPC to resolve the problem associated with Gas supply and the rehabilitation and asphalting of the road leading to Geometric among other things were measures taken by the Governor to make the take-off of the project a reality.

While Geometric and Abia state government partnered to ensure that the commissioning would be a success, without either of them making any negative statement about the Okezie Ikpeazu government, the former Governor deployed his former aides and serving aides, including his former Chief Press Secretary, Onyebuchi Ememanka and the Garulous Lying Machine, John Okiyi Kalu to carry out politically motivated but poorly rehearsed image laundering using Geometric as a subject matter. The reason for this was easily understood. In their mind they were asking; why should Alex Otti be associated with this huge success story? As if Alex Otti has ever been in competition with clowns.

Contradictorily, Ikpeazu’s former CPS Ememanka who wrote a preemptive but ridiculous politically motivated piece crediting Ikpeazu with every success story associated with Geometric days before the commissioning, is one of those now accusing the government of politicising the project commissioning. What a provocative hypocrisy!

A commentator on his Facebook wall had asked him why he did not give Governor Otti any credit for his well known roles in realising Geometric, he dismissed the guy and told him that what he wrote was their own story and told him that we should go and tell our own story.

Of course, Governor Alex Otti mounted the podium and told his Geometric story which was both thrilling and inspiring, to the excited audience, but painful and piercing to Dr. Ikpeazu and his heartbroken aides.

They are angry, frustrated and jealous that Governor Otti has moved Abia away from the nauseating and mediocre old way of treating important issues.

They couldn’t believe that Otti deployed men and resources to support Geometric to make a strong statement to Nigerians and the world that Aba the Enyimba City is getting ready and prepared to be a Global player.

  1. Insulting Expectation from a Lying Machine, John Okiyi Kalu and others.

John Okiyi Kalu and other agents of the failed PDP government have continued to express their anger and frustration that the Alex Otti government chose to believe and align with Geometric rather than the former government. The question is:

How can we doubt a globally celebrated and respected gentleman and a senior citizen in the person of Prof. Nnaji and believe a group of political rascals who reduced governance to a thing of joke while they held Abians by the jugular?

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How can we believe a government that sent many innocent civil servants and pensioners to their early graves? How can we believe a Lying Commisioner who mocked and bullied workers with the instrument of lies?

How can we believe a notorious Liar who bullied residents of Port Harcourt road, Aba, lied against them and blackmailed them to a standstill just to prevent them from asking for compensation over their properties that were destroyed by an unserious government?

Why have Ikpeazu’s former Commisisoner for Finance and the Accountant General respectively distanced themselves from the ongoing nuisance? I believe they know that the government messed up, hence the deployment of lovers of mess to go and employ primitive propaganda to seek to redeem their sank image.

How can we believe a fellow who deceived his own people, lied and intimidated them to accept that a non-performing Governor had transformed their Local Government even when their Local Government headquarters was overgrown with weed?
John Okiyi Kalu and his boss should visit Ohafia and see for themselves the verifiable and visible transformation projects being initiated and executed by his kinsman, Mayor David Ogba Onuoha (Ugoena) aimed at wiping away the tears of the people they betrayed and fooled.

The Lying Machine John Okiyi Kalu should have realised by now that if his insane fabrications and countless defamatory lies against Governor Otti and his family in 2015, 2019 and 2023 could not deter and stop God from fulfilling his promise to Ndi Abia by making Otti the Governor, then there’s no way his inconsequential and kindergarten lies can stop the massive progress being made in the state. After all, the 67 kilometer Umuahia-Uzuakoli-Abiriba-Ohafia Road is being done to make life liveable for our people while putting him and others who built the road on social media to perpetual shame.

John Okiyi Kalu claimed that they didn’t complete the payment to Geometric because of paucity of funds, but verifiable evidence shows that between the period the Geometric transaction started in 2020 and when Ikpeazu left office in 2023, they still accessed over N200 Billion inflows, yet they couldn’t pay the sum of N565M!

Meanwhile, as at this period, a bottle of Hennessy Paradis was being sold for N516,000 (Five Hundred and Sixteen Thousand Naira) and the undertakers of Abia were alleged to be consuming nothing less that 20 bottles every week. If you multiply this by 14 months out of the 36 months left for Ikpeazu to finish his tenure, you’ll get N578M, an amount higher than what was required to complete the deal with Geometric.

Well, no one would expect those controlled by excessive alcohol to think outside the box and have genuine inspiration to serve the people.

  1. The Real Plot To Distract.

Having seen the nationally acclaimed giant strides being recorded by the Alex Otti government and which are attracting massive goodwill and accolades, the agents of the failed government decided to come up with a strategy of 3D to wit: diversion, distortion and distraction. Unfortunately for them, we are too busy and pre-occupied with the task of rebuilding Abia state which was destroyed by these enemies of the state.

Finally, those who think they can use campaign of calumny to stop the Alex Otti government from bringing them to justice for every act of infraction, including looting of public funds, illegal grabbing of government lands and facilities and carting away of government properties, should know that the government is just starting.

The Bush that fears cutlass should not grow trees!

Ferdinand Ekeoma
Special Adviser
Media and Publicity,
Abia State Government.

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