Mr. Akex Otti, the governor of Abia State, appears helpless as the state rapidly slips into a state of anomie while struggling with severe social crises and serious security issues on several fronts.
On the same day that local government workers in Umuahia, the state capital, were losing consciousness and collapsing in protest of the non-payment of their salaries since Otti became governor, Aba, the state’s commercial nerve center, was thrown into unprecedented chaos when a serving commissioner’s convoy was attacked by gunmen, killing two policemen and burning a Hilux vehicle belonging to the state ministry of trade and industry.
It is the first time in the State’s history that security architecture has failed to the point that a serving commissioner’s convoy is illegally attacked. It is also the first time in the state’s history that a commissioner will be driving around in a motorcade. All of this is taking place under the supervision of the governor, Mr Alex Otti.
As if that wasn’t enough, pensioners in the state came to the streets late last week to protest the mockery the Otti administration put them to by paying them only 25% of their monthly entitlement despite all of his pre-election promises to make their payments on time and consistently. In an embarrassing U-turn, the Otti government claimed that the pensioners were only compensated for their transportation to Umuahia, the state capital, for a verification process.
Since the dubious election of Alex Otti as governor, the rate of violent crime has skyrocketed, with individuals now losing their automobiles to armed robbers on a regular basis.
Kidnapping, murder, and attacks on government officials and security agents have become commonplace, with the most recent incident occurring on Tuesday, when the convoy of the commissioner for trade, commerce, and industry, Dr Chimezie Isaac Ukaegbu, was attacked, resulting in the deaths of two police officers by as-yet unidentified assailants.
In response, security personnel stormed the Ariaria international market on Wednesday, preventing dealers from starting for business. It is also the first time in Abia State’s history that security forces have been obliged to crack down on traders in what is likely West Africa’s largest market following fatal attacks on their personnel. Brass street, Faulks road, and other nearby roads in Aba were completely shut down on Wednesday as security operatives rained further mayhem on already traumatized innocent civilians while ordering them to close shop in the manner of an invading cruel Nazi army.
A Professor at Abia State University, Uturu, was kidnapped sometime in June. An Eze-elect has previously been kidnapped in his domain in the state’s Ngwa region. The gruesome tales are unending as the people feel surrounded by a siege.
For those who are wondering why the sudden surge in crime and criminality in the state, the answers are not far-fetched as it can all be traceable to Alex Otti’s ill thought out and draconian policies that have seen to the collapse of socioeconomic fabric of the state. This is in addition to the already many failed promises of the governor that has extinguished any atom of hope in the masses.
While it is unfortunate that the state is fast descending into a state of anarchy and doom, Alex Otti does not seem perturbed as the citizens wait in vain to be reassured of government readiness and preparedness to tackle the bludgeoning monsters of crime and criminality in the state especially after the attack on the convoy of the commissioner which was followed by harassment of traders by security operatives.
Rather, Alex Otti is preoccupied with his politics of vendetta and vindictiveness embellished with propaganda, half truths and outright falsehood at the expense of quality leadership.
*Nwabueze writes from Aba