No fewer than 100 million people across the world including Abians in the diaspora are expected to witness the inauguration of the Abia Governor-elect, Dr Alex Otti on May 29.
Coordinator, Alex Otti Inauguration Committee, Hon. Iheanacho Obioma, who disclosed this during a press conference Wednesday in Umuahia, said the audience included those who would join the ceremony virtually and physically.
He explained that Otti’s emergence was so unique and of special interest that so many people would be interested to witness his swearing-in ceremony.
Obioma further noted that “Abia is the only state won by the Labour Party,” hence, ” the whole world including all the ‘Obedient family’ everywhere will like to follow up with the ceremony in Abia”.
The former House of Representatives member further explained that the committee decided to make the inauguration elaborate because “it marks the beginning of a new dawn in Abia where the masses will no longer be treated as prisoners of war.”
He, however, disclosed that the Governor-elect and his friends decided to fund the inauguration expenses privately to prevent the outgoing Government from cashing in on it to lavishly spend public funds.
Obioma said that with the coming of Otti, it would no longer be business as usual in the state, assuring that the era of due process, accountability and frugality in public spending has set in.
Responding to a question on whether the committee was receiving the needed cooperation from the outgoing Government, Obioma answered in the negative.
He, however, explained that ” it will be expecting too much to think that the out-going Government which is still in pains for losing election will give us any meaningful cooperation”.
Obioma further assured that Otti’s administration would not discriminate against any section of the state, saying he will be Governor for all Abians including those who contested against him.
The Inauguration Committee Chairman appealed to Abia workers to call off the indefinite strike declared by Labour in the state before the inauguration day as part of their sacrifice for the quest for a new Abia, assuring that the in-coming administration will address their various grievances.
He disclosed that a number of music icons and legendary comedians would feature at the swearing in ceremony slated for Umuahia Township Stadium, and a luncheon later at the International Conference Centre Umuahia.
“Some of Nigeria’s best and globally acknowledged stars in music and comedy have been lined up to perform in the events of the inauguration. Topping the headlines in music is international award-winning singer, David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido, while our own son of the soil, Bright Okpocha, aka Basketmouth, will lead the front of comedy artists as Host of the events.
“Other celebrated singers on the bill include Mr. Raw, Ruff Coin and Rugged Man while Nedu Wazobia, Diamond Okechi and Funny Bone make up the comedy cadre.”
Obioma further disclosed that massive renovation work was going on simultaneously at both venues at the expense of the Governor-elect.
“Already, the venues for the inauguration events have received a facelift, preparatory for the grand showing. Extensive renovation works have been carried out at the Umuahia Township Stadium, where the State Box gallery have received a new layer of floor tiles, away from its usual pot-holed surface.
” Also, the broken spectator’s plastic seats have given way for a more befitting set of furniture. The weather-beaten walls have equally received a coat of fresh paint while the grasses around the playing pitch and surroundings are being mowed to give the effect of the carpet.
“As in the Umuahia Township Stadium so is the International Conference Centre (ICC) at Ogurube Layout, Umuahia, where the exteriors of the event centre have been refreshed with brilliant white-coloured paint. Broken flower kerbs littering the massive landscape have been revamped and coated with glossy white and black paints.
“Some have asked us why we are doing all of this, a burden that is supposed to be born by the government of the day. Our response has been simple: we will eventually do them, anyway. The only difference now is that these renovations are being done with private citizen’s money and are being executed at very reasonable cost.”
He also said that a water-tight security arrangement had been put in place to ensure a hitch-free inauguration.