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By Nnamdi Ojiego,

As the administration of Governor Alex Otti of Abia State clocked 100 days in office, Abias and political watchers have described as unprecedented, the gradual and steady positive changes that are taking place in the state.

State of Emergency;

The governor in a haste to put the state on the path of recovery, declared a state of emergency in all the critical sectors of the state economy. He introduced a new dynamic to leadership while laying a solid foundation to recover the state from the mess it was plunged into over the years.     

To many Abians, the task to rescue God’s Own State, specifically, Aba, from its stinky, decrepit and ignominious past commenced on May 29, 2023, when Otti entered into a new social contract with the people and pledged to use every attribute that God has given him to serve them.

Otti had in his inaugural address declared a state of emergency on the clearing of heaps of waste that littered the streets of Umuahia, the state capital and Aba, the commercial city. To achieve this, the governor immediately set up a Taskforce for the emergency cleanup of both cities.

The Taskforce had made a lot of progress in evacuating tons of refuse that had hitherto taken over many streets in the state. While men slept, the task force team headed by Mr. Ogbonnia Okereke, were working. The two cities are today cleaner and more conducive for people.

The governor also declared a state of emergency on Education, Health and Security and earmarked appropriate funding to match the commitment. He knows that the present and future of Abia depend on the quality and scope of education provided by the state. Given this, 17 schools across the 17 LGAs of the state have been marked for reconstruction and renovation.

“Education for us is the future and it is our goal to see that every child gets the opportunity to be taught and mentored to take advantage of the opportunities that abound in the 21st century economy which favours mostly the skilled and properly educated.

“We will intentionally prepare our children to be skilled participants in the global village, where science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are used as productive tools for work and play”, he assured.

Free Medicare;

The new administration came in when doctors working in the public health facilities in the state were on strike and the system was in a state of general collapse as the hospitals were shut down for months and patients, even those in very critical conditions, were turned away. Before declaring a state of emergency in the health sector, the governor appealed to the striking doctors to call off their strike and gave them his word that it would be an anathema for any health worker in the state to be refused their legitimate entitlements under his watch.

The government commenced free medical services across selected general hospitals in the state last July and this, according to the governor, would continue until the end of the year. This exercise covers free medical checks and examinations, provision of drugs and medicated glasses for eye patients at no cost, subsidized surgery and a variety of other medical services as part of efforts to give the population, especially the indigent, an opportunity to access quality care for themselves and their families.

Since the exercise commenced, thousands of people across all demographics, pregnant women, nursing mothers, newborn babies, infants under the age of five and several other groups with varying medical conditions have all benefited and thousands more will still be reached in the weeks and months ahead.

Operation Crush;

The security challenges facing some parts of the state, especially the prolonged cases of kidnapping at Lokponta in Umunneochi LGA, have been contained. Otti is leaving no stone unturned, he was aware that all that he intends to do could only come to fruition if the state is secure and open for business. Therefore, the government put measures in place to ensure that criminals are flushed out of the state. It collaborated with security agencies internally and adopted a more robust approach, “Operation Crush” to nip the activities of criminals in the bud.

Operation Crush is a joint task force comprising various security formations to swiftly address threats and make Abia unsafe for criminals and their cohorts. “I made it a priority to work with major stakeholders across frontiers to set up a robust system for tracking and smoking out criminals from their hideouts. By committing significant resources to set up the taskforce, we are boldly telling residents and investors in the state that we are determined and ready to keep them safe”, the governor stated.

Fulfilling promises;

In Abia, the condition of so many important roads had been terrible for years and on assumption of office, it became clear to the governor that he would be failing the people if he did not make those roads a priority. In fulfilment of his electoral promise to fix dilapidated roads and create more access routes to ease traffic, Otti attacked the roads with the seriousness they deserve. He engaged reputable construction companies, such as Craneburg, FCC, and MCC to handle the road projects. So far, the governor has delivered Emelogu Road in Aba, ABSUTH Road Junction, Shalom Road Aba and Obehie Road. Work has commenced, and at different levels of completion, on over ten roads across the state including the abandoned Umuimo Road, Owerri Road, and College Road, among others.

Decayed Value System;

To serve as a catalyst for driving change in Abia, departing from old norms and a decayed value system that has hindered progress, the governor has launched the Abia State Orientation Agency, ABSOA. Speaking during the launch, Otti said: “Our goal is to bring about disruptive and transformative changes in our dear state.

“With ABSOA, we envision a vibrant and tech-driven public service, a robust economy, a clean and green environment, strong and functional institutions, an employable youth population and an investor-friendly Abia State. We are confident that with ABSOA spearheading the move towards achieving these goals, Abia will take its rightful place among leading states in Nigeria.”

A New Aba;

Speaking during the Abia Day celebration, the governor said: “Our plans and programmes for Aba are far more strategic and as the days go by, you will be seeing demonstrable proof that indeed, Aba’s time has come. From business digitization processes that would put Aba on the global enterprise map to structured real estate developments, urban renewal programmes and investments in energy and power infrastructure for improved industrial output, you will, before the end of the year appreciate that indeed, we are going somewhere. I am pleased to report that in the last two months, we have got hundreds of very interesting proposals from national and global conglomerates that are seeking to do business in the state”.

Building partnership;

In the last 100 days, the executive branch of government has continued to forge special but respectful relationships with the other arms to strengthen the democratic experience. The state chief executive has met with the National Assembly lawmakers from the state. The meeting was aimed at consolidating what could be described as a bipartisan relationship. All three senators and eight House of Representatives members were in attendance and pledged their cooperation and support to the government to build a united and progressive Abia.

The new administration is also partnering with relevant agencies, organisations and businesses in realizing its vision and mission of rebuilding the state. The governor has interfaced with the heads of various security agencies in the state; World Bank Country Director, Professor Shubham Chaudhuri and his team; Nigeria Medical Association led by the state chairman, Dr. Isaiah Abali; a team of senior management staff of MTN, led by the Chief Enterprise e-Business, Lynda Saint Nwafor; Management team of Access Holding Plc., led the CEO, Mr Herbert Wigwe; executive of the Nigeria Institute of Town Planners; Association of Retired Permanent Secretaries, and Association of Abia State Traditional Rulers.

Governor Otti also hosted renowned business tycoon and investor, Obinna Iyiegbu, popularly known as Obi Cubana, and his brother, Ike, where he promised to set up a major part of his business in Aba. He also hosted the top management of Zenith Bank plc; the UNICEF team; former Minister of Power and Chairman of Geometric Power Limited, Prof. Bartholomew Nnaji, and his team, and former Treasurer and a Vice President of the World Bank, Arunma Oteh.

Digital system;

In line with his campaign promise to sanitize methods of revenue collection and stop all kinds of extortion, intimidation and harassment of motorists, the governor introduced a revolutionary digital tax system that is designed to curb fraud and augment revenue. This system incorporates a free medical insurance scheme for all commercial vehicle operators, enabling the government to fuel entrepreneurial growth and progress within the state.

The digital platform will simplify tax compliance and unlock substantial revenue for development projects, thereby strengthening the state’s economy. It offers easy payment options for both transporters and traders and promotes transparency.


Furthermore, the government has concluded plans to transition to a Treasury Single Account, TSA, system. This move will centralize all state revenue and payments, enhancing transparency and efficiency. This system will fight fraud, streamline tax payments, empower our citizens, generate employment and attract investors.

As Governor Otti pledged to continue to do his part in repositioning the state, it is incumbent upon every Abian to do their part because getting it right is a collective obligation.

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