By Nseobong Okon-Ekong
The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) governorship candidate for Abia State, Dr. Alex Otti, started his gubernatorial campaign at the weekend on a spiritual note, attending two church services in Umuahia, the Abia State capital.
Otti led a group of other APGA candidates for the National and State assemblies to worship at the Mater Dei Catholic Church and the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, Emmanuel Parish, both in Umuahia.
He told the congregations that he decided to begin his campaign in the church because he believes that power belongs to God and He gives it to whoever He wills. “The Bible says that all power belongs to God. The book of Psalms 62:11 says, ‘God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this, that power belongeth unto God,’” he quoted.
The gubernatorial hopeful said he was not seeking power for himself, unlike “some people”, but so he can work for the people of Abia State. He said Abia State deserves better after close to 20 years of PDP hegemony which has not amounted to any kind of development in the welfare of citizens.
“I have not come here to talk politics. I know that this is church. I have only come here to worship and commit my campaign into God’s hand because I’m a child of God,” he told the congregation at the Presbyterian Church. He, however, asked the parishioners: “Will it be politics for me to say a worker is worthy of his wage, yet our civil servants are owed so many months in arrears? Will it be politics for me to say that it is inhuman for government not to pay workers’ their retirement benefits and pension after they have spent their lifetime working for the state? Will it be politics that I spent several hours on the road trying to navigate my way to this place because the roads were so bad and narrow?”
Otti, an economist and successful former bank chief executive, promised to build “a new Abia State” that the people would be proud of, if they vote for him in the March 2, 2019 governorship election. “I urge you to join hands with us and rescue our beloved state; for our sake, for the sake of our children and for posterity,” he appealed.
The APGA governorship candidate in his speech greeted with ovation, promised to guarantee free and compulsory education for Abia citizens up to secondary school level; promote sports and culture as a vehicle to creating jobs and recreation for the youth; make the state safe and secure; establish the Abia Safety Net, a social welfare scheme designed to cater for the aged, widows and the poor; establish and operate an accountable and transparent government that the people can trust; make payment of workers’ salaries a first item in the budget and generally transform Abia State.
“Our people, it is time we all rise up and say, ‘enough is enough,’” he said. “We cannot continue to allow evil to thrive. Twenty years is enough time for a system to change. For 20 years, the Peoples Democratic Party has ruled Abia State and for 20 years they have failed woefully,” he sounded off.
The Priests praised Dr. Otti for his decision to commit his election campaign into God’s hand and for seeking God’s face, favour and protection for himself and all those working for him. They prayed that God will grant his request.