Wednesday, June 12, 2024



By Edmons Chijioke Adindu

In his book  THE TROUBLE WITH  NIGERIA  published 40 years ago,  the renowned  Nigerian late author and novelist, Chinua Achebe,  opened  with the words :     

" The trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely, a failure of leadership. There is nothing basically wrong with the Nigerian land, climate or water or, anything else. The Nigerian problem is the unwillingness or inability of its leaders to rise to the responsibility, to the hallmark of true leadership."

In  a country grappling with challenges of poor leadership,  Abia State Governor, His Excellency, Dr. Alex Otti, is standing out as a symbol of good governance. In all ramifications, his powerful intellect, innovative ideas, efficient allocation and use of resources, transparency and accountability, outstanding management   skills, sincerity of purpose and passion for service, are redefining leadership paradigms in Nigeria. Hence, his determination to develop and transform  Abia into an enviable State is being celebrated in the State and beyond by all men and women of goodwill.

When he assumed office as Governor on May 29, 2023,  his Administration was confronted with so many challenges.  Undaunted by the enormity of what he met on ground, he promised  to restore the fortunes  of the State, to restore the years the "locusts had eaten " In his words:  "We as  Abia citizens, have had our times of tribulations and pains, of darkness and  doubts. 

To the Glory of God, this is now a time for  us to wipe our tears. It is the time for rebuilding, not just the State's physical infrastructure  and  fiscal buffers that are in a sorry state of decay, it is time to rebuild  our individual and collective values.It is now the time to take back our society. ...I have abiding faith in our ability to conquer the challenges of decades of poor-quality governance; the decades of stunted growth and development; the decades of deprivation,   injustice  and loss of self -dignity; the decades of hopelessness, anguish, and pain."

In one year of  remarkable               leadership, Governor Otti has repositioned Abia  State on the path of growth and development. Simply put, it has been a return to order, a return to progress, a return to new values, a return to new  hope and a hope for tomorrow for our children. A revered Igbo Traditional Ruler and Obi of Onitsha, HRM Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe,  testifies to this fact . While inaugurating three roads reconstructed by the Otti Administration in Aba (Ehi, Kent and Old Court  Roads), the foremost Traditional Ruler and accomplished statesman noted that relief has come  to Abia State after 24 years of decadence and wandering in the wilderness. He stated that "Otti is God - sent."

In his words: "It is a thing of great joy to me to be in Abia State today with you. Your son, Dr. Alex Otti, the pride of Abia, the pride of Nigeria, is God-sent at this time  to rebuild Abia, to rebuild Aba for us. You know that Aba used to be number one in Nigeria, in enterprise, in commerce, industry,  and.creativity. Just one year after Gov. Otti assumed office in Abia, you can see that things have begun to change for the better, and it will  continue to get better and better  after he does the first term of four years and another term of four years."

Recently, the International  Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International  Idea), an  intergovernmental  organization  with a mandate to  support sustainable  democracy worldwide,  came to Abia State on  a working visit.  While addressing the Governor of Abia  State, Dr. Alex Otti, the Head of    Programmes of  the organization, Mr. Danladi  Plang, commended the Governor on his leadership qualities . He noted thus: "For us, it confirms what has been said about Abia, since His Excellency, the Governor,  Alex Otti, assumed  leadership. It is a testament to the good work that you're doing and also a testament to the fact that the people of Abia State  did not make a mistake  in electing you, seeing the support that is coming from the other development partners". 

Truly, Abia State charts a path towards progress.

Born into the family of a Seventh - day Adventist missionary  worker, Pastor and Mrs Lazarus Otti, Governor Otti was christened  'Alex'

(Alexander) and 'Chioma'

 at birth by his parents. These names have rich history, positive connotations, and widespread  appeal. Indeed, a name is a powerful thing ;  It is a symbol of individuality. Beyond being an identity mark, it carries meaning, heritage , and a world of significance  that shape  the person bearing it. While a name does not determine destiny, it can certainly be a source of inspiration and pride for the child throughout his life. It can subtly shape the child's self - perception. Alex is  a shortened version of Alexander. The name Alexander has deep - rooted Greek origins derived from the Greek name 'Alexandros'. Historically, Alexander has been a name of prestige and virtue. In Greek mythodology, the name was borne by their heroes.However, the name gained immense popularity  following the rise of Alexander 111 of Macedon , commonly known as Alexander the Great  (July 356BCE- June 323 BCE) - King of the Ancient Greek Kingdom of Macedon, and one of history's iconic leaders.

An acknowledged military genus, Alexander the Great was one of the world's greatest military leaders and strategists, who was famous for his innovative tactics and bold maneuvers on the battlefield. In addition, he was known for his unparalleled  conquests  and pivotal role in the spread of Greek culture across the regions he conquered. He destroyed the Persian Empire and founded several cities, such as Alexandria in Egypt, which later became a major centre of culture, learning, and trade in the ancient world. His military expeditions brought advances in geography and medical sciences and helped shift the major centres of civilization eastward. He built one of the greatest empires in the ancient world. He stood out above all others for  his military acumen, personal courage and intellectual brilliance. Alexander the Great's legacy is far - reaching  and profound. Simply put, his fame popularized  the name's use across the world.

The name transcended  its Greek origin to become a staple name in many languages and cultures  around the world, each adding its own twist while maintaining the essence  of its meaning.  For instance,  in Italian culture, the name Alexander is spelled  Alexandro;  Alexandre in French;  Alekander in Czech; Aleksandr in Russian; etc. The biblical references to Alexander in the Holy Bible further cement its widespread appeal. Thus, the name has been adopted by  christian cultures, adding a layer of  religious significance that appeals to many parents, including Governor Otti's parents. In the United States, Alexander has been a top 20 name for over two decades. Noble figures wih the name Alexander, such as Alexander  Hamilton( 1757- 1804), one of the Founding Fathers of the United States;  Alexander Graham Bell ( 1847- 1922)  Scotitsh - American inventor of telephone; and Scottish physician, microbiologist  and Nobel Laureat,  Alexander  Fleming (1881- 1955) - best known for discovering  the world's first effective antibiotic substance (pennicilin), have also played a major role in keeping the name in the public  consciousness. Indeed, the name's popularity can be attributed  to its rich historical background and the positive traits it embodies.

What does the name Alexander mean? From its Greek origin, the name Alexander ( Alex)  means "the defender of men" or  "protector of men." The name is synonymous with strength, leadership, intelligence, nobility and compassion, qualities that  many parents wish for their children. Writing on the personality of the name Alexander, Playground USA Inc., the organizers of  and lullapanda. com Competition (Baby Photo Contests for children up to 12 years in  the United States) notes:    

"The name Alexander is often associated with strong leadership qualities, intelligence,  and a natural charisma that draws people in. Historically, those named  Alexander are thought to possess a keen strategic mind  and a courageous heart, qualities that have been celebrated through tales of ancient kings  and conquerors . Interestingly, the name Alexander  seems to carry an air of nobility and distinction, perhaps a nod to its royal origins. Children  named Alexander are often described as being determined, capable of setting goals and achieving them with  remarkable blend of perseverence  and intelligence. The determination coupled with a natural  charm , makes them well - liked  and respected among their peers."

"The name Alexander conjures images of historical figures, noble leaders, and influential personalities. Traditionally, people holding the name Alexander are believed to  embody leadership, strength, and resilience. Beyond leadership, Alexanders are frequently described  as intelligent and compassionate.This blend of  intelligence and empathy makes for a person who is not only capable  but also caring      and considerate. ( ). 

It is evident that our dear Governor is embued with all these  qualities listed above : strong leadership  qualities, courage , and  empathy . 

The Governor's other name is "Chioma," meaning 'Good God.' Indeed, God has been gracious to him. Though he came from  a humble background, he was able  to receive good education, graduating with a First Class  Honours  degree in Economics from the reputable University of Port-Harcourt. He joined the banking profession, tranversed several banks, and rose through the ranks  by dint of hard  work, to become the Managing Director/ CEO of Diamond Bank Plc (now merged with  Access Bank). He left the banking  career to offer himself for public service. In 2023, he was elected Governor of Abia State  As Governor, he has provided  purposeful and transformative leadership. In all, he has been associated with excellence, hard work, and accomplishments. 

A new breeze of optimism is blowing across Abia State.Though we are  yet to get to our desired destination, the fact is that Abia State is changing for the better, as attested to by many, including non - political actors, and even honest partisan  watchers in the opposition camp. Governor Alex Otti has brought into play all the virtues God has endowed him with in an effort to reposition Abia State on the path of growth and development. We appeal to him to keep upholding those statesmanly virtues and leadership qualities, which have accorded him deserved  recognition, respect and accolades wherever he went.Indeed, Dr. Alex Otti is living true to his name.

🇧🇸Edmons Chijioke Adindu is the Secretary Abia Forum for Development and Economic Advancement (AFA).

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