Votes may not count in Abia until Alex Otti win

By Eddie Onuzuruike

The former Group Managing Director (GMD) of defunct Diamond bank and two time contestant and two time loser of governorship contests in 2015 and 2019 in Abia State, Mr Alex Otti has been working hard to make his lies and illusions stick. The level of bitterness and animosity harbored by the man, many would not believe that Otti was a PDP insider who wanted the ticket at all costs. When faced with the facts, that of the PDP’s resolve to respect the zoning to Abia South, he took a night flight to the waiting hands of the people he now denounce as extortionists. The way he carried on, you would think that he was in APGA from inception and not for few months to the elections.

His antics were numerous including claiming to be from Ngwa Land which many from Ngwa disproved. His Interview with Sam Egburonu on The Nation, Sunday September, page 29, 2020, titled, ‘PDP has shortchanged Abia’ screamed of high hypocrisy as he has a staunch PDP support until he was advised to respect the zoning.

In paragraph 3, he stated, ‘what happened was that the then governor with a retinue of PDP stalwarts stormed the state collection [collation] center where results were being put together and insisted that the Returning Officer should admit fake results from basically two local government areas, Obingwa and Osisioma. Before then we were leading by a wide margin…..what they could not resist was a sitting governor and the PDP stalwarts aided by gun totting security men that brought the fake results and forced them to be accepted.’

What a shame and what a bare faced mendacity? Even in Nollywood, this story cannot stick. Otti may be in the wrong profession as he would certainly do better as a fiction writer. Now ponder these!

The scene of the story is INEC office in Umuahia, Abia State. INEC offices Nationwide are heavily guarded by security officers of many hues including quantum mobile police men, protecting the officers and electoral materials. When you storm a place, there are commotions and shootouts and some people wounded. Were there any reports of such in Abia in 2015? Was Professor Benjamin Ozurumba, the returning officer and Otti’s townsman for that matter, qualified to whimsically and unilaterally cancel validly returned votes? Is it acceptable to nullify votes from an opponent’s stronghold based on dubious reports without recourse to applicable laws and authorities? INEC had electoral officers, regular staff and ad-hoc who worked in the LGAs quoted, were they questioned about the votes they returned? Will Otti casually allow votes to be nullified in Arochukwu, Ohafia and Isuikwuto LGAs where he scored high votes? Talking about the governor storming the arena with security men is laughable and suggests a Gestapo type invasion which never was.

T. A. Orji as governor was entitled to orderlies and security men who for the eight years in power conducted themselves as well trained and highly courteous personnel and were never indicted for the use of brute force anywhere, but Otti wasn’t entitled to any of these, yet he illegally toured the state with pickup loads of soldiers and other uniformed personnel armed to their teeth who shot and wounded people like the case in Ndoro, Ikwuano LGA.

Otti has told this fallible story for six years and he wants the story to stick by all means but the truth is that Otti has gone as far as he could go politically except he retraces his steps. He betrayed the PDP he was part of and went into an oath with APGA revealing PDP secrets. As the son of a clergy, he should not be idolatrous as he did during the elections. He never associated with Ojukwu while alive but he hurriedly emblazoned his portraits in all his posters, an act known as séance.

In all, let it be noted that Otti cannot win any election in Abia even in Arochukwu LGA. His best was in 2015 because he deceived some Abia and PDP notables like Tony Ukasanya, Ferdinand Chinenye Ike, Damian Ozurumba and others. Would Tony Ukasanya leave the right-hand of Ikpeazu which he is now savoring for Otti’s false and empty promises of Eldorado that made him to temporarily leave the formidable structure he built as the pioneer PDP Chairman which earned him the name of Total Chair? A case Chief Charles Ogbonna will liken to a man carrying his concubine’s son on his back and dragging his son by hand.

Added to these, his political party mobility which has seen him fret from PDP, APGA and now APC has a moral question. Do rolling stones gather mosses? Does he have a chance of the governorship ticket in Abia North APC with the likes of Uche Oga, Mascot Kalu, Hon Ben Kalu and many others?

He leaves enemies wherever he goes and presents a saintly mien. Before he zoomed into APGA, there were candidates he shoved apart who went to court and the case is still unresolved till today. For some years now, he has been casting grave aspersion on PDP forgetting the Yoruba saying that the whip used on the senior wife is waiting for the junior wife. He has continued the same blame game on APGA. Hear him! ‘ But one thing I want to say is that a situation where a party has been turned into a Ponzi scheme, where people are defrauded and the leadership picks interest in betraying trust for pecuniary reasons, I cannot be found there.’ The above is certainly innuendoes for Victor Umeh but I am sure that the maverick can speak for himself.

Otti should do soul-searching for his own good, and should be reminded that he instituted a case which zigzagged through all the courts of the land, especially the Supreme Court which saw the huge lack of merit in his wild claims and threw out his case. Does he know that it amounts to contempt of court to denounce the judgment of the Supreme Court? Someone should tell him!

Onuzuruike is a public affairs analyst

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