MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Frank Oshanugor
The Governor-Elect of Abia State in the March 18, 2023 Governorship election, Dr. Alex Otti has condemned the reported looting of properties in various public institutions in the State by yet unidentified persons.
The Special Adviser to the Governor-Elect on Media and Publicity, Mr. Ferdinand Ekeoma in a statement on Tuesday said “the attention of the Abia State Governor-Elect, Dr. Alex Otti, and the Labour Party (LP) in the State has been drawn to multiple reports of looting going on in different public institutions and Government facilities, including the Abia State Government House and guest houses.
“When some of these reports were first made public shortly after the announcement of the governorship election result and declaration of Dr. Otti as the Governor-Elect, in March, by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), we had expected the government to act swiftly and arrest the ugly situation, but unfortunately, the situation has persisted.
“Only last Friday, April 28, 2023, the Abia State Branch of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) during a courtesy visit to Dr. Otti informed the Governor-Elect of widespread looting of government property at the Aba General Hospital. The NMA backed up its shocking disclosure with a written petition where it articulated what it described as “the destruction and looting of Aba General Hospital in the twilight of this outgoing administration”.
According to the statement, “aside the Aba General Hospital, some other public institutions and facilities where these barefaced lootings of government property have been reported are the Abia State Government House Umuahia, where choice cars, brand new buses and Sport Utility Vehicles acquired with public funds, have been removed; School of Health Technology Aba, Abia State Universal Basic Education Board (ASUBEB), Umuahia, and School of Nursing, Amachara, Umuahia.
“In the case of School of Nursing Amachara, Umuahia, multiple reports alleged that some of the important medical equipment in the COVID-19 Centre had since been illegally taken away by unnamed agents of the State Government.
“We consider these acts both insensitive and callous to the welfare of the Abia people and the socio-economic development of our State. These are public assets, our commonwealth and required to be protected, not plundered as spoils of war.
“Ethical orientation in public service requires every public servant to understand that the institution of government outlives every occupant of that office. In other words, government is a continuum. Therefore, no action should be taken by anyone, let alone officer of the State, to sabotage the existence of government as an institution at any point in time.
‘We are by this statement appealing to the outgoing government of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu to arrest this self-sabotage and ensure that every property belonging to the Abia State Government, which may have been illegally taken away, is returned.
“We also call on all present and former government appointees, civil servants, individuals and institutions who may have been part of this theft to, please, voluntarily return whatever they have in their possession that belongs to the people and Government of Abia State.”