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Alex Otti Loses Grip as Abia Descends into Anarchy – Michael Nwabueze

Governor of Abia State, Mr Akex Otti appears to be helpless as the state speedily descends into a state of anomie while grappling with several social crises and serious security challenges on multiple fronts.

On a day local government workers were losing consciousness and collapsing in Umuahia the state capital while protesting the non payment of their salaries since Otti became governor, Aba the commercial nerve centre of the state was thrown into an unprecedented bedlam as a serving commissioner’s convoy was attacked by gunmen leaving two policemen dead and a hilux vehicle belonging to the state ministry of trade and industry, burnt.

It is the first time in the history of the State that security architecture would so break down that a serving commissioner’s convoy is criminally attacked. It is also the first time in the history of the State that a commissioner would be driving about the state in a motorcade. All happening under the watch of the governor, Mr Alex Otti.

As if that was not enough, pensioners in the state took to the streets late last week to protest the ridicule the Otti government subjected them to by paying them a meagre 25 per cent of their monthly entitlement after all his pre-election promises of making their payments up to date and consistent. In an embarrassing volte face, the Otti government claimed that what they paid the pensioners was just their transport fare to go to Umuahia the state capital for a verification exercise.

Since the questionable emergence of Alex Otti as governor, the rate of violent crime has risen astronomically as people now suffer car thefts, losing their cars to armed robbers on a regular basis.

Kidnapping, murder, and attacks on government officials and security agents, the latest being the unfortunate incident of Tuesday where the convoy of the commissioner for trade, commerce and industry, Dr Chimezie Isaac Ukaegbu, was attacked leading to two policemen being gunned down by yet to be identified assailants.

In reaction, security operatives invaded the Ariaria international market on Wednesday and stopped traders from opening for business. It is also the first time in the history of Abia State that security operatives would be forced to clampdown on traders in arguably the largest market in West Africa following fatal attacks on their personnel. Brass street, Faulks road and other neighboring roads in Aba were on total lockdown on Wednesday as security operatives unleashed further mayhem on already traumatized innocent citizens while forcing them to close shop in a manner that is typical of invading ruthless Nazi army.

Sometime in June, a Professor at the Abia State University, Uturu, was kidnapped. An Eze-elect had also earlier been kidnapped in his domain in the Ngwa area of the state. The gory tales are endless as the people feel a sense of siege around them.

For those who are wondering why the sudden surge in crime and criminality in the state, the answers are not far-fetched as it can all be traceable to Alex Otti’s ill thought out and draconian policies that have seen to the collapse of socioeconomic fabric of the state. This is in addition to the already many failed promises of the governor that has extinguished any atom of hope in the masses.

While it is unfortunate that the state is fast descending into a state of anarchy and doom, Alex Otti does not seem perturbed as the citizens wait in vain to be reassured of government readiness and preparedness to tackle the bludgeoning monsters of crime and criminality in the state especially after the attack on the convoy of the commissioner which was followed by harassment of traders by security operatives.

Rather, Alex Otti is preoccupied with his politics of vendetta and vindictiveness embellished with propaganda, half truths and outright falsehood at the expense of quality leadership.

*Nwabueze writes from Aba

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