Thousands of defecting members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Young Peoples Party (YPP) and Accord Party (AP) in Abia State on Wednesday dumped their parties and pitched tent with the Labour Party (LP) in Isialangwa.
The defectors who said they were fed up with the derelict state of development in Abia and have decided to join the league of progressives seeking for positive change, were received by the LP governorship candidate, Dr. Alex Otti, at Isialangwa South Local Government Area.
The two-day tour of Isialangwa – South and North – started on a very promising note for Otti, who led his entourage, including his wife, delectable Mrs. Priscilla Chidinma Otti; running mate, Engr Ikechukwu Emetu; Isialangwa South and North Federal Constituency candidate, Hon Ginger Onwusibe; Isialangwa South State Constituency candidate, Hon Ubani Dannie; State Campaign Council Coordinator of the Alex Otti Campaign Organisation, Hon Iheanacho Obioma, among others, to the palace of Eze Nelson Achilefu Nmerengwa, Eze Isiala I of Isieketa Ancient Kingdom.
Eze Nmerengwa and his fellow traditional rulers in Isialangwa South welcomed and prayed for the entourage. They specifically prayed for God to be with the team and grant Otti and the other LP candidates victory at the polls.
“We are with you. Go ahead with your campaign.The ground is very fertile for you this time.
“The suffering in Abia State has united everyone; the pastors and the native doctors. We have resolved that you are the one that will bring the change we desire. We have adopted you among all the other candidates.
“You have tried for Abia people. You’re not want for anything but for the wellbeing and good of Abia people. We continue to thank God for a man of your calibre. You are a gift to us in Isialangwa. We’re confident that God has already given you victory,” the council of Ndi Ezes told Otti.
Speaking earlier, Dr. Otti, a son of the soil, told the leaders that he had not come to campaign as Isialangwa is naturally his comfort zone. He however told the senior citizens that the year 2023 will define the way forward for Abia as a state.
He said: “2023 is going to be a defining year for Abia. We are going to start afresh because there is nothing working here. Workers are not being paid. Pensioners are not receiving their pension. Our tertiary institutions have lost accreditations. Our education system is not working, the judiciary is not working, the health system is run down and derelict. On top of all these, the state is laden with humongous debt of about N190 billion.
The top banker and renowned economist said it was as a result of the financial impudence he noticed on the part of the PDP government, led by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, that he had to write the African Development Bank (AfDB) some years back to turn down a $200 million loan application by the state government.
Otti said Abia is currently in a decayed state and needs a man with sound sense of economics like himself to salvage it.
He said he is coming to create wealth for Abia people and promised to pay off all outstanding salaries and pensions owed civil servants and retirees. He added that his government will ensure the implementation of the five percent statutory allocation to traditional rulers.
Otti’s message of hope to Abia people was wholeheartedly received by the people of Isialangwa South, who turned the entire tour into a carnival of sort.