The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Bank, Dr. Alex Otti (OFR) has resigned his position and declared his intention to contest the Abia State governorship seat for the 2015 elections on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Breaking the news of his resignation to newsmen in Lagos, Otti said his decision to resign his position after it was recently extended by another six years by the Board, was borne out of his passion for his people and desire to see how he can touch the lives of the over three million citizens of the state.
Otti said he decided to take up the challenge of contesting the governorship of the state, because he refuse to be among the few good men who will sit by and watch things deteriorate simply because they don’t want to get involved.
The former Bank chief who said he is moved to contest the race because of the level of possibilities that he sees in the state and how those in authority are not taking advantage of what is possible to change the fortunes of the state, noted that Abia State requires very radical transformation.
He however said he would not blame those in authority presently because “ You cannot give what you do not have” adding that to really make a change in government one need to have some level of comfort before coming in, because “my state requires radical transformation, a transformation you handle with anger, not with hunger.”
The aspirant bemoaned the present state of Aba, the commercial nerve centre and industrial hub of the state, noting that “Aba is the major reason I take this decision, more than 50,000 shoe makers are idle in Aba because of the economic condition of the state.
“I was born in Aba and I know what Aba used to be, Aba was the Dubai of the poor, it was the place when if your parents cannot go to Bata to buy you shoe, you go there to buy your own which will be about 20 percent of the price of the Bata, and perhaps not of exactly the same quality, but my worry is that if that productivity had been allowed to continue till now you can imagine where Aba would be by now.
“As a banker I have tried to help through the many products that we created in Diamond Bank for small businesses and they have been very honest in repaying.
“As a part of my preparation for governorship I have been speaking with the management of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and I have already secured their assurances that they will come to Aba to build industrial park to house all these small businesses, to challenge their intellect and see how productive they can be.”
While also promising to focus on other parts of the state and ensure that he opens up the state to the extent that the internally generated revenue of the state will be able to sustain its economy, Otti promise that he administration will run Abia State as a business.
Expressing confidence that he will win the election, he discountenanced zoning formula, arguing however that by whatever criteria the race is considered he is qualified, but to him zoning is only a function of sharing the collective wealth of the state rather than to help build the state for the collective good.
He noted that it was because of his confidence that led him to resign his position, arguing that he was not scared about of aspirants, noting that the number of banks in Nigeria is far less that the number of states and that if he could manage to hold his own and head of the banks, then becoming a governor will not be too much of a problem.