Six months after taking office, Abia State Gov. Alex Otti has finally revealed why he continues to run his office out of his own home.
The governor stated he would have preferred to operate out of his private home in order to save money rather than using taxpayer dollars to rebuild the governor’s lodge. This came after an internet publication revealed that he had abandoned the multi-million Naira Abia New Government House.
Otti called the publishing “mischievous and misleading,” and he asked people to ignore the item in question.
He clarified that he made the decision to forgo his personal comfort in order to address the state’s pressing demands in a way that would benefit the majority of people.
The current state of the Old and New Government Houses, according to Otti, “require serious funds” to be put in order. Otti made this statement through his Chief Press Secretary, Kazie Uko.
On the eve of his handover day, the immediate previous governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, had commissioned the construction of the New Governor’s lodge, which he grieved was still unfinished.
During a tour of the Ogurube Layout facility with media, it was found that only the ground level of the two-story building had air conditioning units and furniture.
There were no appliances or electrical fixtures, such as fans or other fittings, on the other floors.
It was also noted that the building’s elevators have not yet been built, and the electrical work has not yet been finished.
It was also noted during the visit that a portion of the fence separating the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs complex from the Governor’s lodge had collapsed.
Rebuilding the fallen wall was being done by a few laborers.
Speaking to reporters on the scene, the governor’s CPS expressed dissatisfaction that the previous government had rushed the building’s commissioning without seeing it through to completion.
The multibillion-dollar Abia New Government House, which they claim Governor Otti abandoned, is this. You’ve had a look inside. It resembles both a showroom and a woodworking workshop.
You can observe how a portion of the parapet is starting to come off. There was already some collapse in the fence, and you could see people reinforcing it.
When it’s clear that the project is far from finished, why in the world would any genuine individual commission it? On the eve of its departure, the previous administration sent some PDP governors into Abia to start that project, but it’s now obvious that it was all political.
He claimed that Gov. Otti had wanted to work out of Government House when he first joined the team, but after seeing the facilities at both the Old
He added that Governor Otti had wanted to run the government out of Government House when he first joined the team, but upon touring the amenities at both the Old and New lodges, he found they were in poor condition.
He claimed that the Governor chose to work out of his own building in order to save money because the quotes from contractors to repair the lodge were outrageous.
Upon his arrival, Governor Otti desired to function out of Government House. When he examined the facilities, his observations contradicted the public perception that his predecessor had constructed a New Government House. The straightforward query is this: Why didn’t the previous governor, who ordered the building, move in if the location is indeed habitable?
He only moved into his own home in Umuobiakwa after building it, having spent the majority of his time at Governor’s Lodge Aba. Then, on the eve of his handover, he arrived and quickly put this building—which has cables hanging everywhere and resembles a sizable carpentry workshop—into service without a power supply.
“You saw the debris and dust everywhere, which is a blatant sign that he did not set aside any space for his successor.”
When asked if the governor had not had enough time to reconstruct the Government House to his liking and use it as his headquarters, Uko responded that Otti had not given mending his official lodge top priority given the state’s numerous crises.
For the simple task of renovating the Government House, some contractors were providing quotes that amounted to hundreds of millions of Naira, and some around N1 billion. The governor added that it was not a priority given the state of our hospitals, the unpaid salaries of public employees, and the unpaid pensions owed to Abia.
He chose to use the money to take care of these urgent matters first. Rather of receiving appreciation for his selfless service to the state, the opposition is actively promoting false media claims with the intention of blackmailing an innocent man.
In Aba and Umuahia, the operation zero pothole has begun, workers are paid on the 28th of every month, hospitals are undergoing renovations and retrofits, and significant infrastructure development has begun. The governor is concerned about these things rather than residing in or conducting business from the unfit Government House. It’s not a priority right now, but when things get better financially, he will undoubtedly fix it and move in!
The governor’s desk, television, and other security equipment had all been taken out of his office, according to information obtained during a visit to the Old Government House.
This is where the governor’s office should be, as you can see. However, do you see any single pieces of furniture here? Where’s the governor’s desk located? Do you want the Governor to remain in this location? Or should he spend the money meant to improve the state on remodeling his own office first? This is a distraction that the governor does not deserve.
Remember that the New Government House building was constructed by former governor Theodore Orji prior to his resignation in 2015, and that former governor Ikpeazu officially opened it in May 2023.
Due to the appellant, Aliyu Abdullahi Ilela of the All Progressives Congress (APC), alleging over voting, the court ordered a repeat of the election in certain of the constituency’s polling units.
Before selecting the winner, the court also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to get the Certificate of Return that had previously been given to the Deputy Speaker and hold another election in the impacted polling places.