A Call to Serve
- Let me begin by congratulating the newly sworn-in commissioners for scaling through the State House of Assembly Screening Exercise and most importantly, for being found worthy to serve as key partners in our collective mission to build a New Abia.
- I am glad you have answered the clarion call to serve your state and bring home your wealth of experience and unique skill sets as we work to rebuild Abia from the ruins of the past.
- I am also optimistic that you will deliver on your various assignment and justify the huge expectations of the Abia public who would be watching your every move to see how your decisions align with our vision as captured in our campaign manifesto and promises to our people.
- You will be the most watched and scrutinised commissioners in the recent history of the state in the light of what you have achieved in your various callings before now. I expect you to bring in those hallmarks of excellence, commitment to the greater good and sense of duty in your new assignment.
- I acknowledge that things may be a little different as you begin your new roles and you may be encountering some unpleasant realities as you go about your tasks. However, you must stay the course, refusing to be distracted or give in to the cynicism of naysayers, and understand that in the end, you will be judged by the courage you brought to bear in doing what is right and not by the unfair criticisms of others.
- So I invite you to brace up for what lies ahead. It is not going to be entirely smooth but you can be assured that you will always have my full support and the prayers of well meaning Abians who have long prayed to have a team of dedicated men and women prepared to make the right sacrifices for the future of our great state.
- Building a New Abia that works for all is the founding mission of our government. Our target is to expand the frontiers of opportunities so that our people can live their dreams by leveraging the promises of the 21st century environment, live in dignity and work to hand a more functional society to those coming after us.
- As you begin your work as commissioners, you must, while not forgetting the exigencies of today, keep an eye on the future. How do we prepare our children to take advantage of the opportunities that are opening up within the wider global community? How do we insulate our pregnant mothers and new-borns from tragedies that can be prevented with more meticulous planning and honest use of our resources?
- Individually, we must be prepared to ask critical questions on what impact we seek to make in our roles as senior government appointees. Thankfully, you are already aware that you have not been appointed to represent the interests of individuals or clans.
- You must therefore spend your waking hours thinking about the entire state as a single constituency; made up of men and women who yearn for better opportunities to advance themselves economically and socially.
- Do not betray the trust of our people who have remained patient and loyal to our course by toeing the same path that brought Abia to the sorry state we met it. The privilege of your appointment must never be seen as an opportunity for self enrichment or advancement of unwholesome interests. There would be zero tolerance for any of those.
- We are here to work for the whole state and anyone who entertains any doubts about that may have found himself in the wrong room. The New Abia we are currently laying its foundations shall be one where the interests of the whole state supersedes the selfishness of any individual or entity.
- We have our work cut out for us and I am already aware you have some ideas of what is expected of you in your new roles. Our state is not in a good place on several important frontiers and our people are in a hurry to start seeing changes, especially as it relates to the things that matter most to them.
- Job creation, poverty alleviation and measurable improvements in the living conditions of the average Abian shall be the centrepiece of our policies and we must focus on the essentials in order to begin to demonstrate to our people that we are indeed, the team that would get it right.
- The development of critical infrastructure such as quality roads, effective drainage system and robust energy distribution networks to power our homes and industries are also key responsibilities and assignments that shall not be taken lightly under the new administration and developing an effective framework to achieve these must move at a faster pace now.
- The responsibilities are huge you can neither afford to delay nor fail. Resources are limited I must admit but you must be prepared to make the most of whatever is available to you to drive the outcomes that we seek. Excuses shall not be tolerated and you must be willing at all times to demonstrate that you deserve to remain in this great team.
- Sycophancy as I have repeated severally shall have no place in my administration. You shall be judged strictly on the basis of what you are bringing to the table, how you are contributing to improving the material conditions of our people. I do not expect you to achieve everything in one day but there must be a daily commitment to fulfilling the promises that got us elected.
- Again, it shall not be easy; you will be misrepresented, attempts would be made to sabotage your best efforts and there would be that tiny but powerful minority who would be prepared to do everything to see that you fail. Your only job therefore is to see that you don’t fail.
- It is my prayer that you shall receive the guidance, wisdom and courage you need to do what is right at all times. Never relent and do not forget that Abians and Nigerians in general are looking up to us. We must never disappoint them.
- Thank you for accepting to serve and once again, congratulations.
Dr. Alex Otti, OFR
Governor of Abia State