“Labour party model leader Gov. Alex Otti has taken the lead to show Nigerians the kind of leadership Labour Party was projected to bring into the Nigeria political and economic system.
The Bible teaches; when the righteous is on the throne, the people rejoices; I do not want to go into a sermon on when the wicked is on the throne, I may go off emotional and revisit the heartbroken and painful situation residents of Abia State were subjected to in previous times.
The excitement I witnessed at the site of Aba-Port Harcourt Road yesterday almost evoke tears of joy from a wholesome deliverance of a people in political and environmental captivity for decades.
What happened; Aba-Port Harcourt road, one of the most commercially viable link between the coastal oil rich city of Port Harcourt to South East center of industry and commerce, Aba, has been in sordid state and abandoned in filth leaving residents and business owners to desert the region for over 24 years of previous political administration.
Yesterday, without undue ceremony, construction giant, Julius Berger registered their presence on this site in what would be one of the most remarkable legacies of the Alex Otti led Labour Party government.
I was at Ukwa land during the Ground Breaking ceremony of Abia Industrial Innovation Park (AIIP) projected to house a complete Export Processing Zone, residential town, manufacturing base, refineries and most fulfilling, a mini seaport. The sight of Ukwa East driving over to the West will only evoke a sense of shame and guilt at what previous political administration did to this rich land of natural resources.
At every turn you choose, driving to Ukwa West, the entire land and its people appeared completely abandoned for years despite the sight of NDDC sign posts at every 100 meters. I heard the youth group and women singing God Bless Alex Otti, God Bless Alex Otti for remembering us, Ukwa land is favoured, Ukwa Land is blessed.”
It took over 3 good hours from Aba to drive to the site of AIIP for a journey that will naturally take 20 minutes or less, we had a tortuous journey for the record to and fro.
That road that will lead to the site of AIIP from Aba in less than 30 minutes is what the construction giant Julius Berger has come to commence work on in less than 3 weeks AIIP was inaugurated. Alex Otti said, beyond quality, the road is going to be lit by solar powered Street Light from the city going towards Port Harcourt. This is worth the excitement and the commendation for the Labour party leader to show example of what the new Abia is about to look like.
The Enyimba Economic City, (EEC) an ambitious project of another Economic Processing Zone that is projected to house a dry port, medical facilities and cottage industries that appeared stalled due to community wrangling and neglect received a boost from the Alex Otti administration when all 3 communities of Obingwa, Osisioma and Oil-rich Asa clan of Ukwa converged at his residence to resolve whatsoever the lingering differences that appeared to scare away investors and funders from committing to timely delivery of the over 500billion naira project.
Started by previous Okezie Ikpeazu administration, it is one thing to have an idea and a complete different ball game to have the political will and economic acumen to achieve your ambition.
Gov. Alex Otti, no doubt possesses the economic managerial acumen and enjoys the support of the citizens to reopen every doors that were shut against the hardworking people of the state that have been relegated and abandoned for too long. A young man came to visit me with a model design of the Nsulu games and Entertainment Village, A wonder to behold and part of the Alex Otti campaign manifesto. The young people want to see this happen, and they took it upon themselves to build a model for the Labour party leader to work with. Whether he accepts the offer is another decision altogether but it embodies faith and confidence in the people that a true leader genuinely committed to the success of the south east region has emerged.
During the campaigns, the leader of the Obedient Movement and proponent of New Nigeria fame Mr. Peter Obi, the Labour Party Presidential candidate had visited Aba and remarked; Aba and Port Harcourt shall become one large city of commerce and industry, a darling hub of the economic strength of South East and most importantly Nigeria.
While Mr. Peter Obi continue to pursue his stolen mandate at the supreme court, the Labour party model leader at the state level Gov. Alex Otti of Abia State has taken the lead to show Nigerians the kind of leadership Labour Party was projected to bring into the Nigeria political system.
With speed, Gov. Alex Otti is reopening south east to businesses, investors and returnees who have long yearned to bring their businesses home from the Diasporas are making frantic enquiries at what opportunities is imminent.
While work commences at AIIP, EEC, all located within the Ukwa and Ngwa land, a Diaspora group in partnership with the United Nations Alliance for the Sustainable Goals (UNASDG), is taking the first leap to explore the agrarian community of Ohafia in Abia north in what would be considered as economic expansion of the third commercial viable semi-urban region in Abia State to construct green energy hub and Agro based industry for export to neighboring states and nearby West African countries.
One of the most remarkable statements made by Gov. Alex Otti at the ground breaking ceremony of AIIP in Ukwa land is the availability of fund for all quoted projects and the 90% support by private investors. More so, during his campaign tour across the 17 LGAs, Alex Otti had continued to hamper on paying out all outstanding debts of civil servants owed for over 42 months by previous political actors in the state, including pensioners, and one of the recurrent questions was where is he going to get all that money running into tens of billions.
Without submitting to political campaign rhetoric, Alex Otti had responded “Elect us and see the difference.”
This is how the journey of the new Abia began by introducing a difference into the political culture of Abia state, uprooting the old system of negligence and ignorance of how the economy operates. Alex Otti came with a template that will pave way for the economic survival and prosperity of the people of Abia State.
It may suffice here to state that, 90% of most of the economic revival projects coming from the Alex Otti team are 90% private sector driven with the government providing policy support and security. This is where credibility and integrity of the man in the saddle becomes a priority; no investor will stake up to 90% into a future business or a region without assurance of the credibility and viability of the potential managing partners. Alex Otti has proved that credibility over time and Abia state has for all the years proved to be one of the most viable center of commerce and industry, albeit under the grip of myopic political actors until the emergence of the Alex Otti Labour party government.
I have spoken with proponents of other ambitious projects named Eastern Nigeria Development New Jerusalem City, another Private sector driven ambition that seeks only a minimal support of 10% non financial commitment from the state government while they provide their own funding and management, they are pleased to explore forest farmlands and convert it to new cities build from the scratch with all basic economic infrastructure in partnership with the Alex Otti Labour party government.
This is what happens when you have a man prepared for the herculean job of leadership; all indices of progress will naturally flow towards his programmes.
Till date, interests of foreign investors that has indicated willingness to partner with the Alex Otti Labour party government continue to grow revisiting every abandoned structures including the Enyimba City Hotel being considered by Swissotel International, the remodeling of the Aba metropolis by a friendly consortium, Henken International and the partnership by Google Nigeria with the Alex Otti government to introduce trainings in Digital economy to the youths in the commercial city exposing them to knowledge beyond dress making, leather works and trading.
People of the region should not take for granted such a golden opportunity to reposition Abia state from its past shameful leadership and environmental situation, this is not a time for cheap politicking and jive talking, Abia has all the time to work and be recognized and it behooves all and sundry to join hands with the Alex Otti government and achieve the ultimate dream of people of the South east Nigeria.
Njoku Jerry Ajike is the State Publicity Secretary of Labour Party, Abia