The governorship candidate of Labour Party in Abia State for the 2023 general election, Dr. Alex Otti, has promised to restore the financial autonomy of local governments in the state, when he assumes office in May.
Otti said this is part of his plan to devolve power to the third arm of the federation as governor of Abia State and bring governance closer to the people as well as accelerate development in the grassroots.
The front-running gubernatorial candidate in Abia spoke on Friday at a townhall meeting with the people of Uzuakoli, Bende Local Government Area, in continuation of his campaign tour of local governments in the state, for the March 11, 2023 governorship election.
He repeated same at the palace of Eze Hardy Onwuegbulam, the Agho III of Ndi Agho Autonomous Community, Ozuitem and Deputy Chairman of Bende Traditional Rulers Council, where he further promised to ensure that the traditional rulers in Abia are paid their statutory five percent allocation of the local government fund.
“Local government money belongs to the local governments. First, is for us to get good leadership at the local government level. You know, when we get into office, those that will still be in charge are the already elected local government chairmen and their councillors. But due to the way and manner the current state government conducted the election that brought in the local government leaders, we will not release the monies to the LGAs.
“However, once we have credible leadership at the local government level, we will not touch one kobo of the local government fund. We have to be sure that the people at the helm of affairs at the LGAs are people who are credible, just like us at the state,” Otti declared to the ecstatic crowd that milled inside the community hall at Uzuakoli.
The top banker and renowned economist restated his position that the problem with Abia State is lack of credible and competent leadership with good understanding of the workings of economy, adding that he has a comprehensive programme on how to rebuild the state and restore the dignity of the Abia person.
He reiterated his plan to revamp the moribund industries in Abia and establish new ones to create employments for the teeming number of the unemployed.
According to him, by the time the army of unemployed youths in the state are meaningfully engaged in productive activities, crimes and criminality will become a thing of the past and peace will reign in Abia.
He praised the hard working women and youths of Abia State, promising that his government will support them in their businesses, be it trade, agriculture or cottage industry, through the disbursement of interest free loans.
Otti, who was accompanied on the campaign tour by his amiable wife, Mrs. Priscilla Otti; running mate, Engr Ikechukwu Emetu; Bende South State Constituency candidate, Barr Chijioke Nwankwo; State Campaign Council Coordinator of the Alex Otti Campaign Organisation, Hon Iheanacho Obioma and a host of other party and campaign leaders, was warmly received by the various communities he visited.
The traditional rulers, elders and the people of Bende South (Ikwu-Ishi) said they had always voted Otti and prayed for his victory at the polls and those of other Labour Party candidates across the state and national level, vowing to defend their votes from being stolen in their various polling units.
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