Abia State Governor-Elect Dr. Alex Otti says the mandate given to him by the people of Abia is sacrosanct, declaring that he will be sworn in on May 29, 2023.
Otti spoke on Sunday while receiving the report of the Transition Council he set up last month to forge a direction for his incoming government.
The 101-member Council is led by the Managing Director of PWC, Mr. Victor Onyenkpa and former executive chairman of Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Mrs. Ifueko Omogui-Okaru.
Speaking for the first time, since last Friday, when a fake news rented the air that a Kano State based Federal High Court had nullified his candidature of Labour Party (LP), the Governor-Elect advised Abia people not to lose sleep over the weird court order.
“My lawyers are doing something about it, I can assure you, but I don’t think it’s something to worry about. However, eternal vigilance is what is required, when you have enemies around you.
“So, I want to reassure you that the mandate that Abia people gave us is sacrosanct. Nobody should lose sleep. We will be sworn in on the 29th of May, and we will complete our four years and we will seek the renewal of the mandate and I can assure you that Abia people will renew the mandate and we will do another four years and Abia people will be happy and all these are by the grace of God,” Otti affirmed.
He thanked members of the council for a job well done, saying that they had made the job of implementing his policies in the governance of the state easy.
“On listening to the presentation of the Chairman, I will say that this job has been made very easy by the job that you have done. Granted some of the things that you have recommended are things that we have talked about, but a lot of them are also things that are new. And even the things that we have talked about, you have brought in a sharper relief and focus. So, it becomes easier to implement. I must say thank you to all of you.
“I want to thank you for the energy, I want to thank you for the time you put into this. I want to thank you for doing a job without pay. I do know how important your time is. You can rest assured that we are not going to take lightly the efforts you have put into this.
“You will also be very proud, I can assure you, that the recommendations that you have made will be implemented,” he assured.
On his plans to create a ministry dedicated to the redevelopment of Aba, the incoming Governor said he would look at the nomenclature again, in line with the recommendation of the council to redesignate it for the fear that a ministry with its bureaucratic bottlenecks may vitiate the laudable objective of the Aba renewal agenda.
He said: “When we talk about disruption, when we talk about digital economy, when we talk of about Aba, and I agree with you when you say, may be the creation of a ministry is not the solution, we’ll go and look at it again. The reality is that I want an agency that will report directly to me, that is in charge of Aba.
“So, if calling it a ministry will take away from what we want to achieve, we can call it anything and if the ministry with all its bureaucracy can be a problem, I can be a commissioner in charge of Aba.”
He promised to restructure the council and retain it for the period he will be governor of Abia State.
According to him, “I will like to say, on the final note, that this Committee will not be dissolved. This Committee remains a Standing Committee. The only thing that will change is its name. The leadership remains and with your permission, I will like to transform the committee into a Special Advisory committee, unlike what happens in a few other places. We will reorganise it but it will be a standing committee for as long and as I’m the governor of state.”
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