The governorship candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance in the 2019 election in Abia State, Dr Alex Otti, on Monday urged indigenes of the state to reject a proposed $200m loan being sought from the African Development Bank.

Otti said the rejection of the loan was imperative to save the future generation of the state from being mortgaged.

The former Group Managing Director of Diamond Bank, who said this at a press briefing in Lagos, noted that Abia State was at the brink of collapse following several months of unpaid salaries and pensions.

He said, “I noticed some irregularities in the documentation for the loan. I had stated that the documents sighted by me showed that the National Assembly might have been misled into approving a loan that is different from the one recommended by the presidency. I had indicated that on May 25, 2017, a Presidential request for $100m regarding the Abia State Rural Access and Mobility Project was sent to the National Assembly.

“However, on July 18, 2017, the then Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, sent a request for $200m to the National Assembly in respect of Abia State Integrated Infrastructure Development Project which curiously is the same request that the Abia State Government submitted on October 2015.

“I had asked then how Abia State RAMP became Abia State IIDP. How $100m became $200m and when the request was presented to the state House of Assembly for approval before proceeding to the National Assembly?

“My opposition to the loan paid off as the authorities saw merit in my posers. But recently, the state government has been boasting that it was going to secure the $200m loan I stopped them from accessing two years ago.

“I, therefore, call on Abia elders, royal fathers and other stakeholders to rise to the challenge posed by the current destructive leadership ravaging the state.”

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