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Alex Otti: Building a nation state

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Many may not have noticed this! One remarkable footprint of the one-year stride of Governor Alex Otti is the death of the Abia dichotomies, the main being the Old Bende and Old Aba Divisions. These two groups presented a consistent pattern of struggle over the years. There were other intra clannish and intra group bickering that shaped the tempo of politics in the state. There was the Ibeku versus Ohuhu superiority contest. There was the Igbere hegemony over the rest of Bende. There was the Ukwa suspicion of dominance by the Ngwa. There was the Isukwuato parade of generals and their claim of, “it’s our turn”. There were struggles of control in the markets and motorparks with non indigene sentiments flying in the air.

Otti has, perphaps inadvertently, buried these sectional struggles that once decimated the state. Only discerning minds would have observed the near extinction of any form of sectional or clannish pre-disposition in Abia State since Otti’s ascension to the pedestal of power. While we celebrate the physical infrastructure of construction of roads, street lights, security and rebuilding of public structures, we must also endeavour to appreciate the aspect of social re-engineering and pyscho-political re-orientation. We must recognise the rebuilding of Abia into a nation state. This is indeed a historical progression, change and growth in action.

As Karl Marx noted, societies evolve from one stage to another. Our modern communities have risen from agrarian values to an egalitarian status. A nation also rises from primordial sentiments of clan, tribe, religion, etc, to nationhood. A nation is a community of people united by one aspiration and one destiny, where the diversity of cultures and people become a source of strenght. A nation is led by a statesman who see the entire territory as his constituency and the entire citizenry as his subjects.

Otti is standing tall today as a true statesman. He has been intentional in ensuring fair play, equitable distribution of resources and allocation of value. All road construction projects are spread across the state. One has been earmarked to pass through my Mgboko community.

Otti is standing on his feet as a leader without encumbrances and looking at the state as one territory which must be developed. There are no more dichotomies and silent grumble about marginalisation. Every Abian is now talking about Abia for the good of Abians.

I challenge our Governor to remain solidly on this track as history will be fair to him.

Thus, as we celebrate our one-year anniversary, let’s remember to celebrate the rebuilding of Abia into a nation state. This is a great milestone.

Adindu is a media/public Relations consultant

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