Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo, governor of Anambra State, says the emergence of Dr. Alex Otti, as the Governor of Abia State is not just an answered prayer for the people of Abia State but for the South East and the whole of Nigeria.
Gov. Soludo spoke on Thursday at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike (MOUAU), Ikwuano Local Government Area, Abia State, where he delivered the keynote lecture at the 30th Anniversary of the creation of the institution and Founder’s Day ceremony.
Referring to Gov. Otti as the “New Abia” Governor, Prof. Soludo said: “The election of Governor Otti is not just an answered prayer for Abians but for the South East and the whole of Nigeria.”
He told the audience that he had no doubt in his mind that Abia, in the hands of Dr. Otti, is very safe and on a path to greatness.
“You ain’t seen nothing yet, it’s about three months now, he is just starting. We are all starting. South East will not be the same again,” Soludo, a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) declared.
In a keynote lecture titled, ‘Leadership, Agriculture And Enterpreneurship: The Dr. Michael Iheonukara Okpara Model For National Growth and Identity,’ which he retitled, “Our Future is in our Past,”
A statement from Kazie Uko, the chief press secretary to Governor Otti said Prof. Soludo extolled the exemplary leadership qualities and selfless service of the Late Premier of Eastern Nigeria, who hails from Ohuhu in Umuahia.
The Anambra Governor highlighted some of the legacies of the Late Dr. Okpara which include farm settlements in all the provinces of the Old Eastern Region, provision of pipe borne water, electricity, well-planned clean cities, good road networks, among others.
In his remarks, Dr. Otti described Governor Soludo as an erudite scholar, and an economist of repute. He thanked the Michael Okpara University leadership for taking the wise decision to invite Prof. Soludo to give the keynote lecture.
While inaugurating the endowment fund established in honour of Dr. Okpara, by the University, Governor Otti said he remains a student of Dr. Michael Okpara’s brand of economics, which he has demonstrated by appointing experts in various fields in his cabinet.
Governor Otti, who said he would help the university secure the certificate of occupancy (C of O) for its land, used the opportunity to address the issue of illegal conversion of public schools in Abia to private properties.
He warned those who have converted school lands for private use to return them or face the consequences of their action.
Speaking earlier, the university’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Maduebibisi Iwe, told the gathering that the university strives to contribute to Nigeria’s greatness through self-sufficiency in food and fibre production through teaching, research training and extension.
He appreciated Governor Otti for his support and pleaded with the Governor to issue land titles to the university.
In his goodwill message , the President General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, described the event as very important, saying that a look at what Dr. Okpara did would tell the people today whether they are doing well or not.
He called on the people to reflect on what Dr. Okpara did and apply it, while
expressing hope that Governor Otti would fix the poor road infrastructure in Abia State.
Also speaking, virtually, the Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said Dr. Okpara was an incomparable role model in his accomplishments in agriculture, health, politics and maintained that he left legacies in all fronts that all should follow.
The Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Chinedu Nwajiuba in his address thanked the Vice Chancelor for the vision to introduce the lecture series of Dr. Michael Okpara, saying that Okpara deserved the honour.