By Okechukwu Keshi Ukegbu
Less than two months to May 29, when incoming administrations are expected to take over from the outgoing ones, there is raging battle between the incoming administration of Dr Alex Otti and outgoing administration of Gov Okezie Ikpeazu(PhD) of Abia State. This situation is posing serious concern to followers, analysts and watchers of Abia politics who are worried that this may affect a seamless and harmonious transition. An analyst is of the opinion that” the fight is too early and uncalled for and may affect the capacity of the incoming government to deliver on its mandate.
At the center of the fight, which has generated exchange of intense media blows from both camps, is the purported Court Exparte Order freezing the state accounts with various financial institutions.
Since then, the media spaces have known no peace as both parties have engaged in sucker and counter sucker punches. Abia State Government was the the first to throw the punch through its Commissioner for Information, Barr. Eze Chikamnayo. In a release, the state noted that its attention has been drawn to what it desribed as”a mischievous, contrived and careless Court Exparte Order purporting to shut down the Government of Abia State through the freezing of all its accounts in various financial institutions”
The release further reads”This thoughtless move by misfits ostensibly acting a mendacious script written by a cowardly cacophony of overzealous political turncoats is aimed at grounding the Government and in so doing instigate civil unrest in Abia State.
“As always, close allies and lackeys of the Governor – elect, Chief Alex Otti and their Media accolytes have been openly celebrating this mutinous , devilish and deliberate act of subterfuge thereby lending credence to the belief in some quarters that this is a judicial coup d’etat: targeted at subverting the Government and or it’s institutions in a manner not provided for in the Constitution. As we all know, no arm of government has a lawful right to ground the other for any reason whatsoever.
“Moreso, a newly elected Governor should know that he was elected for 4 years and cannot interfere in the Administration of an incumbent ! Respect for rule of law and constituted authority is a prerequisite for being a Democrat. Talking from both sides of the mouth , sending conflicting signals, saying one thing publicly to appear sanctimonious while copiously being fingerered as the one actively instigating the opposite behind the scenes and all such acts of duplicity are not the temperament required for such an exalted office”.
Chikamnayo noted that” ironically, as people who are primarily out to settle personal scores, elements within the Labour Party are now spurning this statesmanship of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu while making statements that butress the notion that they have been merely seeking office to selectively cheery pick key opposition political players for vendetta and persecution”.
He(Chikamnayo) is worried that id the situation lingers,”sooner than later, the atmosphere of peace and security carefully sustained, enjoyed and even taken for granted by some Abians will suddenly evaporate – giving way to a new wave of killings and persecution under the gestapo style of an imperial impetuous leadership This disaster, foretold by all well-meaning members of the Abia Community is now unravelling , albeit too quickly, before our very eyes”.
In a swift reaction, Otti”s camp, through the Governor-elect”s Media Adviser, Ferdinand Ekeoma, denies involvement in the act.
According to Ekeoma,”The Abia Governor-Elect, Dr. Alex Otti is neither insensitive nor cowardly. He is not known for acting through subterfuge and thus could not have initiated such an action in secrecy, and in a manner that would affect the welfare of Abians, especially workers.
“For accusing Dr. Alex Otti falsely in a bid to misrepresent him and mislead the public, the governor-elect will now get involved to get to the root of the matter, since the outcome would affect his administration which takes effect from May 29, 2023.
“Abia state government should be bold enough to tell the world that those they entered into fraudulent contract with and tried to shortchange before leaving office were responsible for the litigation. Is it a difficult thing for the failed Okezie Ikpeazu led-government to publish the court documents for the world to see?”
Some quarters are highly bothered and are not comfortable with the allegations that some contractors are responsible for freezing the accounts. They are of the opinion that this smells a rat of Governor-elect, Dr. Alex Otti’s camp of being privy of transpired. They are of the opinion that such speculations are not palatable coming from a camp accused of masterminding the actions.
What generates more sensitive concerns among well-meaninh Abians is the allegation that the incoming government is on vendetta. Majority opinions are calling on the incoming government to a retreat if the allegations are founded or prove the state government wrong id the allegations are unfounded through its subsequent actions as to retain the confidence of the Abia populace.
All the same, whether the incoming Dr. Alex Otti’s government is on vendetta or not, remains a puzzle which unfolding events can only resolve.