Abia indigenes should not expect a government of flamboyance and waste but a prudent lean and reasonable government, that would pass all the monetary decisions and spending through the fine-comb of official scrutiny, incoming Governor, Alex Otti, said on Thursday.
Otti, who made the revelation two days after being declared winner of the March 18 governorship of the election on the platform of the Labour Party (LP), said he would model his administration on the template of Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the party.
Obi, who started as Governor of Anambra State in 2006, was very popular for not only running a prudent administration, tailored towards eliminating official sleaze and waste, but saving money for the state to the extent of leaving a whopping N75billion in Anambra State coffers at the end of his tenure in 2014 after two terms of four years.
Otti, who said he was going to copy part of the template to a reasonable extent, told his host on Politics Today, a current affairs programme on Channels Television: “My presidential candidate did very well in Anambra State because he reined in the cost of governance. And it’s the same kind of model that we are going to run in Abia. There are only so many jobs you can create in the public sector. The appointment of 12,000 personal assistants and special assistants who basically don’t have an office creates a problem for oneself.”
Otti, speaking a day after he was declared winner in the hotly contested election, which outcome was disputed for about five days, also said he would not delve into probing previous adminstrations, as it was a distraction, adding: “I know that the enormity of work that is required in Abia is a lot and I wouldn’t want distractions. I’ve stayed there long enough to know that whenever you start a probe, you begin to get distracted.”
Citing an example of how a former governor used a chunk of his tenure to prosecute a former governor and how it took only six months for the Supreme Court to reverse the conviction slammed on him after being found guilty by a lower court, he said it was almost a waste of time and a distraction the government would not go into.
But he added: “If you have taken any money, and it’s still with you, return it. But I’m actually not going to dissipate energy chasing real or imagined criminals, real or imagined looters, but I will not allow corruption. I will not allow our money to be shared. I’ll like our money to be used to work for our people.”