Can Unrepentant Abia Sinners Of Yesterday Do An Honest Fact-Check Today? 


By Ferdinand Ekeoma 

ONE of the funniest things we have seen in the media in the last few weeks is the attempt by some notorious former officeholders, who literally brought a curse upon Abia State, to attempt to rewrite their very sad history of the destruction of our state and aggression against our people through rabble-rousing and despicable conjectures that have the propensity to challenge the dishonest prowess of Satan. Thank God our people are vigilant and very wary of them.

These onslaughts are driven by fear and fury. Fury for being dislodged from power, and fear of being brought to justice for the destruction of the state.

One of the characters at the forefront of this inglorious voyage is my brother and Dr Okezie Ikpeazu’s former Commissioner for Information, John Okiyi Kalu.

As a Commissioner, Okiyi Kalu viciously deployed the instrument of naked lies to defend the atrocious performance of the government he served which ranked as one of the worst in the history of Nigeria.

He adopted the strategy of intimidation to bully and shut up protesting and dying workers and pensioners.

He applied the absolute tool of defamation to confront those who disagreed or challenged his boss.

On many occasions, he would call his social media e-bandits and instruct them to go to opposition platforms to insult and abuse them.

He and other propagandists in the government seized the now liberated Broadcasting Corporation of Abia (BCA) to blackmail and abuse Alex Otti for having the effrontery to contest for the governorship election.

They played God and believed that as long as they had enough public funds, they would always have their way in every election to perpetuate themselves in power and plunder the resources of the state. However, God saw through their ego, arrogance and primitive aura of invincibility and decided to decimate and put them to shame by liberating the state.

A few hours ago, Kalu released another anger-induced puerile piece of deceit, wherein he pretended that he was running a fact-check on the submissions and statements of the governor and the government. 

Some of the hilarious “false-checks” in his mendacious piece include:

  1. The claim that some of the humongous debts left behind by Ikpeazu were inherited from the old Imo State. Unfortunately, Kalu could not mention the particular debt that was inherited from the old Imo State. The essence of this barefaced lie was to find a justifiable excuse for the humongous debt they left behind which cannot be explained as key sectors of the economy remained broken after their eight-year inglorious reign.

Even as Commissioner for Information, Okiyi Kalu didn’t know that the Paris Club wrote off all our debts under Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as Finance Minister before the end of former Governor Orji Uzor Kalu’s tenure as governor and before the emergence of former Governor T. A. Orji as governor. Funds written off were those incurred by the government of the Late Dee Sam Mbakwe.

He also didn’t know that these excess deductions were the Paris Club refunds of over N20 Billion that were later paid back to the Ikpeazu administration which was obviously squandered as the funds were never utilised to clear the pension and salary arrears as the government he served repeatedly promised.

As usual, Okiyi Kalu audaciously claimed that “the Ikpeazu administration did not leave any commercial bank loan debt to his successor as his administration liquidated all the loans including TODs before its exit on 29 May 2023″ This is false and baseless. Some of the banks on seeing that Ikpeazu and his candidate were going to be roundly defeated in the last election hurriedly got the CBN to assist them recover most of the loans from other banks through the withholding/deductions of some statutory allocations from FAAC, yet, Ikpeazu left billions of debt in a particular commercial bank. This does not include almost N190 billion borrowed from the Central Bank and foreign lenders which are yet to be repaid.

Kalu further alleged that the government of Okezie Ikpeazu handed over a facility of $50m obtained from RAAMP for the construction of 500km of rural roads to the Otti administration. 

It’s shocking that a former Commissioner doesn’t know how RAAMP works; this is an embarrassing ignorance that should not be manifested in public. Why was the administration of Ikpeazu unable to access the said $50m? It’s simply because the administration was notorious for squandering public funds and thus lost the trust of key donor agencies and institutions. The release of funds for RAAMP projects is usually predicated on performance and adherence to project execution guidelines. They are not free funds meant for merriment. 

Again, Okiyi Kalu wrote thus: “Ikpeazu administration suspended the reconstruction of the Port Harcourt Road project in 2022 when it received news that AfDB was ready to commence implementation of the deal. Unknown to them, Dr Alex Otti had gone back to the bank to demand that they delay the commencement till after the 2023 election”. 

Unfortunately, Kalu does not feel ashamed making these kinds of claims that ridicule his boss and make him look helpless and unexcellency. Well, it’s important to remind Kalu that any intervention from a private citizen that could convince such a reputable international financial institution to halt its agreed obligation must have had merit beyond every reasonable doubt. Kalu and his boss carried out governance like a comedy, thus subjecting the state to public ridicule. 

Again he wrote thus: “It has also been verified that all the recent projects flagged off in rural areas of Abia by the Otti administration are being funded with the $50m RAAMP facility left behind by former governor Okezie Ikpeazu. The much-trumpeted waste management project of Otti’s administration including the reconstruction of Port Harcourt Road Aba is also being funded through the $115m facility earlier mentioned”

First, it’s good Kalu and his boss have finally agreed that there are massive ongoing projects in the state, including in our rural areas.

It’s also very important that Kalu has confessed that they had resources to work but couldn’t because they were confused and clueless. Shouldn’t he just pause and applaud Governor Otti for having the vision and courage to do what they couldn’t do?

For the sake of the innocent, unsuspecting members of the public whom Kalu and his boss want to deceive, it’s important to state that this government has not drawn a dime from the AfDB loan contrary to the fictitious and deceitful figures of nonexistent loans, accruals and expenditures being circulated by different former officials of that failed government. 

The greatest undoing of the immediate past PDP-led government and her former appointees is their assumption that by peddling lies and churning out fake and unsubstantiated financial data to cause public opprobrium against the Alex Otti government, they would be able to stop the present government from investigating their horrendous and reckless financial activities that led to stagnation in the socio-political and economic development of the state. 

Those who wrecked Abia yesterday but have decided to play smart and look like saviours of today by carrying out senseless fake advocacy and distorted analysis in the media should know that there’s no route of escape for them.

  • Ferdinand Ekeoma is the Special Adviser Media and Publicity to Abia State governor, Dr Alex Otti.  


Eighteen+Eleven Media 

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