The new Governor of Abia State, Alex Chioma Otti and his Deputy, Ikechuckwu Emetu of the Labour Party, LP, has been sworn- in by the Chief Judge of Abia State, Justice Lillian Abai.
Otti, who defeated Okey Ahaiwe of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the March 18 governorship contest, was sworn-in, in the presence of a crowd of jubilant supporters that filled the Umuahia township stadium to the brim.
Otti took over as the Governor under a tight security arrangement.
In his first speech to Abians after collecting the mantle of leadership, the former Chief Executive Officer of defunct Diamond Bank vowed to operate from his re-election campaign platform which would in return, transform Abia State even as he said that his team of appointees would be made up of men and women of integrity who are also dedicated to service.
He commended the courage exhibited by INEC officials whom he said, made the wills of the people prevail and praised the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi and members of the Labour Party for their contributions to his victory.
He lamented the poor conditions of workers and pensioners in the state occasioned by the non-payment of their salaries, pensions and gratuities by the former administration in the state but assured the workers that the new administration under his watch would systematically address their plight in due course.
The new Governor who promised to engage the services of qualified contractors and seasoned technocrats in the execution of projects, said the days of delivering shoddy jobs are gone.
He emphasized that unlike in the past, the rich resources of Abia State would be used to transform the State and assured that no part of the State would be left in his developmental policies even as education, agriculture, health and security will receive good attention.
He promised not to allow his personal life to affect his official duties while also promising to be magnanimous to members of opposition parties even as he solicited their support.
Otti who described the present state of Abia to be in quagmire, blamed the situation on mismanagement of the state’s resources and deep corruption.
Otti promised to holistically tackle infrastructure challenges in Aba, noting that a major construction company would be awarded the contract for the reconstruction of roads in Aba and Umuahia which had been in terrible condition.
Otti further warned that the days of stealing or diverting government funds into private pockets are over as every money released for projects would be utilized for the purpose it was mapped out.
The new Governor informed corrupt persons who looted the State resources that his administration would come after them through legal means.
”Abians have been freed from their bondage and today is the day Abians have been waiting for”.
“Let us not live under the illusion that the worst is over. We have only won a preliminary battle But we are certainly going to our promised land because we have resolved that we will no longer serve Pharaoh” Otti said while lamenting, “We have a treasure that has been ravaged.”
Otti promised to pay the May 2023 salaries of Abia State workers and entitlements while also abolishing the dichotomy between core and non-core civil servants even as he announced that 5,000 new teachers would be recruited into the State school system.
However, Otti said his administration would review the last appointments and recruitments made by the immediate-past administration of Okezie Ikpeazu.
Just like the day he was declared winner, Umuahia was agog with celebration as LP supporters, civil servants, traders and transporters danced around the streets.
The Vice Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, Ahmed Datti, National Chairman of the Labour Party, Julius Abure and former Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, former Governor of Abia State, Senator Theodore Orji, former Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi and other dignitaries attended the swearing-in.