By Ferdinand Ekeoma

The rising sun can dispel the darkness of night, but it cannot banish the blackness of malice, hatred, bigotry, and selfishness from the hearts of humanity” -David O. Mckay.

“Truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is” -Winston Churchill.

The above two quotes clearly captured the situation of the Abia PDP at the moment.

They need a word of prayer because they are presently driven by malice, and thus can do anything and everything to see to the failure of the Alex Otti government. Sadly for them, wishes don’t cause failure in governance, actions do, just like when they were in government.

For close to two weeks, they unleashed sustained media aggression driven by hate and malice in a desperate bid to paint the Governor of the state and the government as corrupt and irresponsible with the management of the resources of the state. Sadly, the harder they struck, the more pathetic they looked in the eyes of intelligent and discerning members of the public who have not forgotten or forgiven them for the horrendous havoc they wrecked on the state and the psyche of the people.

After attempting to insult the sensibilities of Abians with the needless controversy over Geometric Power, which they created ab initio with their initial false claims on the exact amount invested, the tardiness of the share acquisition they initiated and the media war they launched ahead of the commissioning, they moved to another hokum of a subject matter, alleging that the government borrowed N145, 000,0000,000. (One Hundred and Fourty Five Billion Naira) illegally and without the approval of the State House of Assembly.

We patiently waited for them to substantiate this reckless and irresponsible allegation with documentary evidence, unfortunately, they couldn’t. All we saw were nonsensical innuendos sensationally unleashed to create what does not exist and hoodwink the gullible.

They published a Contract Financing Loan Agreement document involving a Bank, a Construction company and endorsed by the state government.
As if that was not enough, they enlisted an online media platform, Sahara Reporters which published a screaming headline, lampooning the Late Access Bank CEO, Dr. Herbert Wigwe, his late wife and Craneburg Construction company. In deference to the solemn period, we reasoned that we should wait until after the burial of the 3 family members, who unfortunately lost their lives in a helicopter crash before responding.

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Happily, readers and followers of the media platform dismissed the poor hatchet job in a very unanimous manner. I’m sure they would be like; how did Alex Otti garner this kind of support and followership?

For the records, it is important to state the following:

  1. Abia state government did not borrow N145 Billion from any bank. We challenge the accusers to tender the documents they claimed they have.
  2. Either because the authors of the garbage were too much in a hurry or are ignorant of the workings of the financial system or both, they failed to understand that Craneburg was actually the obligor of the N50b loan while the government provided comfort based on the fact that the former was a contractor to the government. Contract Finance Facility is not new in the banking industry and we encourage them to get educated on this matter and avoid embarrassing themselves.
  3. The government has never taken a dime and will never do without the approval of the state House of Assembly.
  4. Governor Alex Otti clearly captured the amount the state intends to borrow in the 2024 budget and this was duly approved by the State House of Assembly.
  5. Contrary to the misleading falsehood being peddled by Ikpeazu’s aides that the former Governor never left any debt in any Commercial Bank, verifiable evidence showed that he left debts as follows:

(A) UBA….N8,012,830, 371.44.(Eight Billion, Twelve Million, Eight Hundred and Thirty Thousand, Three Hundred and Seventy One Naira and Fourty Four Kobo only)

(B)Zenith Bank….N21, 557, 168, 761.71.Billion (Twenty One Billion, Five Hundred and Fifty Seven Million, One Hundred and Sixty Eight Thousand, Seven Hundred and Sixty One Naira and Seventy One Kobo.

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(C)Union Bank…N597, 637, 399, Million ( Five Hundred and Ninety Seven Million, Six Hundred and Thirty Seven Thousand, Three Hundred and Ninety Nine Naira only).

(D)Over N40billion owed to Central Bank of Nigeria in addition to several billions owed foreign lenders, and over N50B owed in Salary, Pension and Gratuities arrears.
It is instructive that in the last 9 months, the Otti administration has paid off all the commercial bank loans listed A and B above. Monthly repayments of the remaining are being undertaken as they fall due.

It’s disheartening and at the same time hilarious that Otti’s predecessor and his former aides believe that the only way to stop the well deserved accolades the Governor is garnering over his visionary and purposeful leadership is to resort to campaign of calumny and disinformation against the Governor and his government.

They also ignorantly think that their malice and siege against the Governor in the media would have the propensity to derail his government and possibly prevent the government from asking genuine questions on the horrendous destruction and looting of government property under their watch. We have news for them: they are mistaken!

PDP should be reminded that having been in opposition in the past, we know how opposition works. We know that the essence of opposition is to achieve good governance and not to wallow in anger and frustration over electoral defeat. We know that opposition requires tact and tenacity.

We also know that we cannot waste our precious time responding to every mumbo-jumbo coming from them.

We are also convinced that the best form of response to the cantankerous vituperations is to serve our people with commitment, dedication and sincerity. That, we shall do consistently.

Ferdinand Ekeoma
Special Adviser to the Governor
Media and Publicity
March 13, 2024.

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