Governor of Abia State, Alex Otti has told the past gov. Okezie Ikpeazu that Joining APC won’t save him from accounting for the huge debt his administration plunged the state into.
Recall, that Ikechukwu Iroha, a former media aide to Ikpeazu, was reported to have claimed that the former governor left some billions in the state coffers before leaving office on May 29.
However, Otti stated that the Ikpeazu administration bequeathed to him a debt of over N191,239,307,593.67.
The governor spoke through his Special Adviser on Finance, Mr Mike Akpara, on Thursday at the state capital, Umuahia and also refuted claims by Ikpeazu’s aides that the former Governor left N24 billion, and another $250 million for the incumbent administration.
The prepared speech entitled:” Abia Financial Status: Separating Ikpeazu’s Fictions”, said there was no iota of claims in the ex-Governor’s “fictitious claims”.
He said: ”The Alex Otti led-government woke up to the shocking news of the several billions of naira allegedly left behind for the Alex Otti led-government by the former government of Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu.
“We waited to see if Ikpeazu or his Spokespersons would refute the false and offensive claims, but to no avail, rather we saw astronomical increase in the number of his allies and former aides circulating the fake news with the intention to misrepresent facts and deceive the public, especially workers and pensioners whom he treated with utter disdain and disregard.
“For the records, the public should note thus: The Okezie Ikpeazu-led government did not leave any N24 billion in the account of Abia state government as they falsely claimed.
“The $200 million and $50 million dollars they claimed they left for the new administration are loans they were pursuing which is yet to crystalize.
“Outside the humongous financial liabilities left behind by the Ikpeazu-led government, they also left physical liabilities in all our key institutions. For example; our University Teaching Hospital lost accreditation for the first time in history.
“Our only state Polytechnic also lost accreditation. The regulatory authorities predicated their action against these institutions on non-payment of salaries, lack of equipment and lack of infrastructure.
“Poor internal generation of revenue, with the little they generated frittered away in payment to consultants for no added value. They pay as much as 20% which is highly unethical.
Poor internal generation of revenue, with the little they generated frittered away in payment to consultants for no added value. They pay as much as 20% which is highly unethical.
“Doctors who have been on strike since February 2023 just called off their strike, and they emphatically stated that they based their decision on their conviction that Governor Otti would solve the problem that necessitated the strike action.
“The elementary question is: if Ikpeazu had the billions he claimed to have left behind for the Otti led-government in April and May, why did he not pay workers and pensioners before leaving office, since Governor Otti just took over from him on the 29th of May 2023?
“If Ikpeazu is trying to preempt anti-corruption agencies by making such provocative false claims, he should know that they work with facts and figures, therefore, even if he runs into the APC to seek refuge as he is planning to do, these anti corruption agencies would pursue and bring him to justice from there.
Otti further said that the Ikpeazu administration looted the state treasury and even “picked N2.8 Sure-P fund that dropped into the State’s account three days before Ikpeazu left office”.