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In this battle of the Past versus the Future, what type of new leader does Abia need? Another politician or a first-rate technocrat who manages financial balance sheets and what I call definable outcomes?

It is in that context that I believe the fight over who will be and ought to be elected on  Saturday of April 25, 2015 as the next Governor of Abia State of Nigeria is a showdown between those who masquerade as apologists for a mediocre Past versus the majority who insist that Ndi Abia and the great city (Aba) where I was born and bred deserve a better, technocratic, accountable and productive Future.

Second, the Abia Pharaohs, the Abia Philistines, the overlords of Abia Babylon foolishly held Aba, Abia's most important city and the region's economic engine in criminal neglect,  and sheer abandonment of Aba, our Aba. It changed Abia's politics because every Abia community has someone in Aba! No wonder Alex made Aba, strategically, his candidacy's spiritual home. The Past, the Present and the Future were all set in Aba.

Third, operationally, the theology of the failed Past is the worship of clay-footed, incompetent gods of cronyism, godfatherism and hideous nepotism. In Abia State, it is therefore a stark choice between the 'Ochendo Global' brigade, defenders of a squandered Past led by the Abia Gov. T.A Orji with his handpicked “successor” Okezie Ikpeazu in tow versus Dr. Alex Otti's sound roadmap/manifesto/plans for creating a greater Abia, alongside his deputy Mrs. Uche Eme Uche projecting the Future.

There are no god-fathers under Otti.
Dr. Ikpeazu is a good man but Abia needs and deserves a sharp break away from god-fatherism. Plus, the fact that Otti's works and credentials are, substantially and credibly, way ahead of Ikpeazu's in the twin arena of public service and leadership!

Fourth, Dr. Otti understands it is an existential fight for millions of Abia youths who reject the inadequate agenda of the Ochendo team made more remarkable by fake and false promises, punctuated by fruitless cajoling, undermined by lack of transformative industrial projects and the pathetic serio-comedy which have reduced even the most solemn official events to laughable but sad theaters of farcical drivel.

Fifth, the battle lines could not be better drawn than between the old-guard (the Past) and the Future of Abia than to x-ray the painful situation of the retirees and government workers of Abia State. They are in the fights of their lives and livelihood; many of them are owed their paltry salaries for more than 6 months with families to feed, with children to cater for in schools and with…. Dr. Otti has set forth a comprehensive set of commitments to pay workers.

Sixth, as someone who started out under modest circumstances but has through scholastic distinctions and hard work secured several achievements and reached the pinnacle of banking, Dr. Alex Otti embodies a unique story of inspiration, grit, determination, discipline and countless blessings. Especially, the power of education. He believes the great words of Nelson Mandela that “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

The foundation for his education and early indicators of the stellar brilliance of Dr. Otti's were evident in his primary and high school records in Ngwa land where he was born and raised. He would go on to etch his name on the honors rolls when he graduated from the University of Port Harcourt with a First Class Honors Degree in Economics in 1988. He was awarded best graduating student in the Department of Economics, best graduating student in the Faculty of Social Science where he won the Dean’s Prize, and the overall Best Graduating Student for the Year and emerged as the Valedictorian. He got an MBA from the University of Lagos in 1994.

This change agent and technocrat was appointed Group Managing Director/CEO of Diamond Bank Plc on March 1, 2011, from a strategic clout and position as  Executive Director in First Bank Nigeria Plc (Head of Commercial Banking and Head of the Regional Businesses in the South-Southern and South-Eastern Geo-Political zones). He led Diamond Bank to a robust, optimized multi-billion balance sheet thereby making the bank more profitable and attractive.

In recognition of his outstanding and distinguished services to Nigeria and the world through banking, on Saturday May 11, 2013 at the 20th Anniversary of USAfrica in Houston, he was honored with the 1st USAfrica International Banker of the Year,

Will the world witness the movement of another Chief Executive Officer from the corporate boardrooms of one of Africa's top banks in Lagos to the Governor's office in Umuahia?

On this Saturday of April 25, 2015, with the convergence of historical circumstance and providence, grit and substantial armada of resources, Abia's vote for its greater, better Future, in tandem with the emergence of a fresh crop of technocrats in government across Nigeria should be cast for Dr. Alex Otti.

***Dr. Chido Nwangwu who appears as an analyst on the CNN and SkyNews, is the Founder & Publisher of the first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet, and author of the forthcoming book Mandela & Achebe: Footprints of Greatness. He served as an adviser to Houston's Mayor on Africa business.

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