The governorship candidate of Labour Party (LP) in Abia State, Dr. Alex Otti has returned to the campaign turf, restating his promise to pay all workers’ outstanding salaries and pensions before the end of December 2023.
The PDP government in Abia, led by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, has continued to owe workers and retirees many months of salary and pension arrears. Recently, doctors in the state employ embarked on indefinite strike for non-payment of salary arrears of over 25 months. Pensioners are reportedly owed up to 56 months in arrears.
Otti’s campaign train made a quick stop at Uzuakoli, Bende Local Government Area on Wednesday, where the front-running gubernatorial candidate in the March 11 governorship election met and interacted with a group of locals, the Alex Otti Support Group, at the Uzuakoli Community Hall.
The group described itself as an independent body without any relationship with the Alex Otti Campaign Organisation but made up of ‘ordinary’ locals from Uzuakoli and some surrounding communities of Nkpa, Imenyi and Ozuitem, working and deploying its resources to ensure the election of the Labour Party candidate as governor of Abia State.
Led by its Convener, Rev Okechukwu Obioha, the group declared that the communities making up the group have resolved to vote only Dr. Otti and the LP State Assembly Constituency candidate for Bende South, Hon. Chijioke Nwankwo, for the governorship and House of Assembly elections.
They presented different campaign materials, including posters, fliers, T-shirts and caps which they had produced to Otti, saying that the people of the area will file out in large numbers for the March 11 election, just like in the presidential election where they voted massively for the LP candidate, Mr. Peter Obi.
Otti thanked the group for spending its resources to support him and the Labour Party in the state. He described Uzuakoli as a prominent community in Abia but has been deliberately underdeveloped by successive governments. He promised that under his watch as governor of Abia, Uzuakoli would take a place of pride as he would work to implement the town’s masterplan which has been confined to the shelves.
The top banker and renowned economist, accompanied by Hon Nwankwo, was back in Bende LGA on Thursday, where he addressed large crowds of locals at Mkpa, Ozuitem and Itu-Mbauzo.
He reiterated his campaign promise to rebuild the economy of Abia State through industrialisation, creation of wealth and jobs, improve the human capital of the workforce in the civil service and pay all outstanding salaries and pensions owed by the government, before the end of December 2023.
Otti told the people not to be discouraged by the non-declaration of Peter Obi as the winner of the presidential election, held February 25, saying that it was not yet over as Obi has sworn to reclaim his mandate.
He assured the cheering communities at every stop that the Labour Party Presidential candidate has a history of always bouncing back to reclaim his mandate. He made reference to Anambra State, where Obi, on two occasions, recovered his mandate as elected governor through the courts.
Dr. Otti, who led Labour Party in Abia to a massive win in the National Assembly election, where the party won six out of the eight Federal Constituency seats and one out of three senatorial slots, called on the people to troop out enmass and vote for Labour Party in the March 11 governorship and state assembly elections.
“When we do this, we would have completed the redeeming of our state from the hands of those who have underdeveloped it for 24 years and then we will begin the process of restoration and redevelopment,” he told the locals who expressed happiness at the honour of his presence in their communities.
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