The governorship ambition of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Abia State, Dr. Alex Otti received a major boost on Wednesday when notable personalities drawn from different walks of life contributed to support his electioneering.
Otti used the occasion to promise better days for the people of the state if voted as governor on February 28.
He said it was high time the state was rescued from those who are only interested on their wellbeing and those of their families.
The event which attracted the likes of the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, the Obi of Onitsha, Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe; businessman, Dr. Deji Adeleke; former Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the defunct Oceanic Bank International Plc, Mr. John Aboh; the governorship candidate of the Nigeria Advanced Party (NAP) in Anambra State, Mr. Ifeanyi Okwonkwo; Group Managing Director of Nestoil Plc, Dr. Ernest Nnaemeka Azudialu-Obiejesi, Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank Nigeria Plc, Mr. Jubril Aku; Chief Executive Officer, Diamond Bank, Abdul Yunus and a host of others who supported Otti, who was CEO at Diamond Bank Plc.
Speaking at the event tagged: ‘An Evening with Alex,’ which was a combination of fundraising and the launching of his book titled: ‘Saving the Future: Agenda for Economic Development and Prosperity,’ Otti, who expressed gratitude for the support he had received in the pursuit of his ambition, said he was compelled to join the Abia State governorship race because of the desire to reverse the dwindling fortunes of the state.
“Somebody described insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expect different result. If we sit back in the next four years, things will remain the same. So, what I did was to bring eggs so that we can make omelette. Some said I should have my head checked for leaving my job as Diamond Bank CEO, but I can assure you that my interest is to put my experience to work in my state.
“The poverty in Abia State is too high. More than 80 per cent of the people live below poverty line. It records the highest infant and maternal mortality rates. Abia is in a sorry state. I wonder how our people have been able to cope. It is a state that has been ruled for nearly 16 years by leaders that are clueless.
“The state requires somebody with a vision; somebody who knows what to do. Someone with capacity, track record, character and the experience to move the state forward,” he said.
Otti promised that if elected as governor of the state, he would embark on radical reforms that would have meaningful impacts on the standard of living of the people of the state.
“I promise free and compulsory education. It would be a crime to keep a child of school age at home doing menial jobs. I promise the kind of opportunity I had to the youths and it will produce the best generation of youths in the state. I have said I don’t want a kobo. I don’t want salaries. I believe when God has blessed you, you should bless others.
“I can assure you that I have not joined politics. What I have come to do is to show how a state should be governed. I’m not a governor who after eight years would want to go to the Senate. I don’t have a wife who wants to be local government chairman. I’ll take eight years to transform Abia State and come back to join you,” he told his colleagues in the banking sector
According to him, his quest to become the next governor of the state has brought him face to face with intimidation, “Where fools rule, those people have ways of perpetrating themselves and keep the intelligent people out of the way by creating violence. But when you agree that one must die, it doesn’t matter what kills someone.
“That is why I entered the race. They tried to intimidate us but they found that these are people that cannot be intimidated. All the attacks on me are coming from the incumbent. They are fighting me with state resources but I’m very convinced that the change will happen.”