Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
The committee for the inauguration of Abia Governor-Elect, Dr Alex Otti, has given reasons the ex-banker is personally, with the good will of his friends, bankrolling his inauguration ceremony slated for May 29.
Chairman of the Committee and former member representing Ikwuano/Umuahia federal constituency at the House of Representatives, Hon. Acho Obioma, who gave the explanation at a press conference in Umuahia, said that Otti did not want to give the out-going administration in the state the opportunity to waste public funds under the guise of handing over power to a successor.
He said that with Otti at the helm of affairs, the era of waste should be deemed over in the state.
Asked whether the committee was receiving the needed cooperation from the out-going government, Obioma answered in the negative.
According to him, “it will be expecting too much to think that the out-going government which is still in pains for losing election will give us any meaningful cooperation.”
He said that Otti’s administration would not discriminate against any section of the state, saying he will be Governor for all Abians including those who contested against him.
On the ongoing indefinite strike by workers in the state, Obioma appealed to them to call of the strike before May 29 as a sign of their support for the incoming administration which he assured, would address the workers demands.
On the expected audience at the ceremony, Obioma said over 100 million people across the world including Abians in the diaspora are expected to witness the inauguration.
According to him, the audience includes those who will join the ceremony virtually and physically.
He explained that Otti’s emergence was so unique and of special interest that so many people would be interested to witness his swearing-in ceremony.
Obioma further noted that “Abia is the only state won by the Labour Party, hence, the whole world including all the ‘Obedient family’ everywhere will like to follow up with the ceremony in Abia.”
The Committee Chairman said adequate security arrangement had been put in place to ensure a hitch-free inauguration.
He disclosed that a number of music celebrities and legendary comedians would feature at the swearing-in ceremony slated for Umuahia Township Stadium, and a luncheon later at the International Conference Centre Umuahia.
“Some of Nigeria’s best and globally acknowledged stars in music and comedy have been lined up to perform in the events of the inauguration. Topping the headlines in music is international award-winning singer, David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido, while our own son of the soil, Bright Okpocha, aka Basketmouth, will lead the front of comedy artistes as Host of the events.
“Other celebrated singers on the bill include Mr. Raw, Ruff Coin and Rugged Man while Nedu Wazobia, Diamond Okechi and Funny Bone make up the comedy cadre.”
He disclosed that extensive renovation work was going on simultaneously at both venues at the expense of the Governor-Elect.
“Already, the venues for the inauguration events have received a facelift, preparatory for the grand showing. Extensive renovation works have been carried out at the Umuahia Township Stadium, where the State Box gallery have received a new layer of floor tiles, away from its usual pot-holed surface.
“Also, the broken spectator’s plastic seats have given way for a more befitting set of furniture. The weather-bitten walls have equally received a coat of fresh paint while the grasses around the playing pitch and surroundings are being mowed to give effect of carpet.
“As in the Umuahia Township Stadium so is the International Conference Centre (ICC) at Ogurube Layout, Umuahia, where the exteriors of the event centre have been refreshed with brilliant white-coloured paint. Broken flower kerbs littering the massive landscape have been revamped and coated with glossy white and black paints.
“Some have asked us why we are doing all of this, a burden that is supposed to be borne by the government of the day. Our response has been simple: we will eventually do them, anyway. The only difference now is that these renovations are being done with a private citizen’s money and are being executed at very reasonable costs.”