Dr. Alex Otti, Labour Party (LP) governorship candidate in Abia State, has called on lawyers in the state to not sit on the fence but take a firm position in deciding who leads the state as the nation approaches the 2023 general elections.
Otti said it is critical for the men and women of the bar to make their voices heard as Abia is in dire need of credible leadership to move the state forward.
“We’re talking about Abia State and we’re talking about the leadership and governance of our state. I think it was Plato (the German philosopher) who said that one of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. Plato refined it elsewhere and said that when smart and intelligent people keep away from politics that they give away their rights to complain when fools begin to rule them.
“We’re all very good people in our own right, but what we have not got right is leadership and it’s because we thought that before now, it should be for politicians.
“Former president of France, Charles de Gaule said that politics is too important to be left in the hands of politicians and he was right. That’s why people like us took that decision that we will break our own eggs to make this omelette, because as it is said, ‘You can’t make an omelette without breaking an egg’.
“So, coming into politics, for me is not the usual thing where people come to share money, no, far from it. If I’m looking for money, I know where to look. What I have come to do is to rescue us and restore the dignity of the Abia person. We have got to the lowest level; anything that happens now the state will just collapse.”
The LP governorship candidate took the lawyers on a lecture on the state of the economy of Abia and what he intends to do to deliver the state from the precarious level it has fallen.
He said his government will ensure the rule of law and independence of the various arms of government in the state.
“The judicial arm of government is an independent arm. Your judges do not need to beg before they are bought some few cars; judges do not need to beg to be given official quarters; they do not need to beg before they are given what is due to them constitutionally.”
He decried the non-payment of workers salaries and retirees pensions, some for as long as 46 months, saying that such has very negative effect on the economy of the state.
According to him, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government in Abia do not understand how the economy works and that is the reason they owe workers.
He put it in context: “The economy works with money. The economy is about demand and supply and not supply and demand. The easiest way to put money in the economy is to pay people. It has been documented that when the economy is struggling, you can actually distribute money to the people to generate demand; and it is demand that leads to supply. So, when somebody works for you and you do not pay him, you have cut him out of that chain.”
Otti explained that demand leads to supply while supply leads to production. Production in turn leads to employment generation and creation of other ancillary businesses directly or indirectly.
Earlier, while welcoming Dr. Otti to the event, the chairman of the NBA, Aba Branch, Mr. Innocent Egwu, said lawyers in Abia can no longer remain indifferent to the political development in the state, saying doing that would amount to “irresponsibility” of their social responsibility to the society.
“We cannot continue to be politically correct in our choices of candidates to steer the ship of the state or to continue in our selfish and sheepish attachment to political party, religious, tribal or clannish affiliations, which have been the bane of our political development in Nigeria,” Egwu said.
Otti led a team of other Labour Party candidates in the state, including Hon Ucheonye Stephen Akachukwu, Aba Central State Constituency; Hon Charles Emeruwa, Aba South State Constituency and Hon Dannie Ubani, Isialangwa South State Constituency, to the meeting.