Alex Otti Flags Off LG Campaigns, Gets Royal Blessing

/ politics

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<p>It was a day of massive outpouring of
emotions at Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia State, as Dr. Alex
Otti, the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance
(APGA) in the state, flagged off his local government campaigns at the
weekend and got royal blessings and endorsement.</p>
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<p>First, it was the duo of elderly
pensioners who took the stage to lament how the state governor, Okezie
Ikpeazu and previous PDP governments, had maltreated them, by denying
them their pension and gratuities.</p>
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<p>“Pensioners are grieving,” Elder S. O.
Onwudinjo, who spoke for himself and on behalf of pensioners in the
local government, announced in a voice laden with pain.</p>
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<p>He continued, “We worked for this state
and today they call us dead woods. Some of us are owed 46 months, some
others 15 months. The last time gratuity was paid to retiring civil
servants in Abia State was 2001.”</p>
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<p>Turning to the APGA governorship
candidate, Onwudinjo, he declared unequivocally, “We are going to vote
for you. We will vote for APGA,” adding with optimism, “We know that you
will pay us our outstanding.”</p>
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<p>Speaking to the large crowd that over-ran
the venue of the rally, Otti told them that the problem Abia had was
the fact that political leadership in the state had been handed to a
greedy few.</p>
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<p> “The problem we have in Abia State is
that we gave leadership to greedy people, brigands. When they finish,
they hand over to their godsons,” he said.</p>
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<p>He said it was because of the suffering in Abia State that he decided to join politics.</p>
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<p>“Today, I bring you good news. You have
heard about the pensioners. But I tell you, the Egyptians you see today,
you will see them no more,” he announced, as the excited crowd burst
into praise singing.</p>
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<p>He wondered why Governor Okezie Ikpeazu
was asking for a second term in office, when he could not fulfill the
very basic of his function which is payment of workers’ salaries.</p>
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<p>“He can’t have another four years,” Otti
fired defiantly, adding, “Abia is owing N91 billion. Is there anything
in the state that suggests that N91 billion has been spent in the state?
Abia has been mortgaged and they will tell us to read the sign (Ikotala
sign), are we dumb that we cannot speak?”</p>
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<p>At the palace of His Royal Majesty, Eze
Prof. S. I. Nwankwo, the Digbo 1 of Umuaku, Umunneochi Local Government
Area, where the council of Ndi Eze from Umunneochi, gathered to receive
Dr. Otti, it was another round of open declaration of support.</p>
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<p>Addressing the capacity-filled royal
hall, venue of the reception, Eze Nwankwo, the Chairman Umunneochi
Traditional Rulers Council, thanked the APGA candidate and his team for
being the first set of political groups that would visit his domain.</p>
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<p>He praised Dr. Otti for his doggedness
and for continuing to pitch his political tent with APGA, unlike some
politicians who easily change parties when things do not go their way.</p>
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<p>He recalled that the people of Umunneochi voted&nbsp; for
APGA for the gubernatorial election in 2015 and assured that they were
going to do the same, this time around. “But one thing we ask of you is
to please defend our vote,” he appealed, in a rather subdued tone.</p>
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<p>Eze Nwankwo told his visitors that the
traditional rulers were suffering and pleaded with Dr. Otti that he
should not forget them, when he eventually gets to the Government House,
in May 2019.</p>
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<p>He also recalled how Dr. Otti was instrumental to the establishment of the only First Bank branch in Umunneochi.</p>
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<p> He asked his fellow Ezes and all others
present to stretch forth their hands and pray for the APGA governorship
candidate, his wife, Mrs. Priscilla Otti and his entourage, including
the deputy governor candidate, Dr. Uche Eme-Uche, APGA senatorial
candidate for Abia North, Chief David Ogba Onuoha, the candidate
Isuikwuato Federal House, Chidera and the candidate, Umunneochi State
House, Chaka Chukwumerije.</p>
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