The government of Abia State has refuted claims of apprehending youths and elders summoned for a peace dialogue.
Alex Otti, the Abia governor, reportedly detained several youths and elders who were invited for peace talks regarding the construction of the Port Harcourt-Aba Road.
The social media reports highlighted the actions of the youth and elders from a particular clan in the state, who barricaded a construction site in pursuit of a settlement.
They were said to have been invited by the governor to have a peace talk but were arrested, and the construction company was ordered to continue with the project.
What the Abia State governor said
Meanwhile, Dodoh Okafor, the senior special assistant to the governor on public communication, stated on Monday that the governor did not apprehend anyone about the commencement of the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Port Harcourt-Aba Road.
He said residents of the state are grateful for the governor’s efforts in rehabilitating the abandoned road after it collapsed in the 1990s.
“Our attention has been drawn to a trending social media report wherein the authors, for whatever purpose, alleged that Abia State Gov. had some young men & elders arrested after he allegedly invited them for peace talks in Umuahia.
“The fact of the matter is that Governor Alex Otti did not at any time order the arrest of anyone or group of people in connection with any remote or immediate event before and after the flag off of the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Port Harcourt-Aba Road in Aba.
“It is estimated that thecollapse and subsequent abandonment of Port Harcourt Road by previous administrations cost the city hundreds of billions of naira in earnings, job opportunities and other missed opportunities.
“It then beggars’ belief that anyone or group would wish to stand against the resolve of the Otti administration to fix that stretch of road, solve the perennial flooding problems in that part of Aba, and make the environment business-friendly once again as envisaged by Governor Sam Mbakwe of old Imo State who constructed the road to expand the frontiers of economic opportunities in Aba,” the statement reads in part.
Okafor assured residents that the government is committed to restoring the reputation of the state as a hub for economic activities.
“Governor Otti’s resolves to set Abia on a new, more progressive direction remains unshaken. He does not take the goodwill of the public for granted and would continue to respect the opinions of those who gave him the mandate to lead.
“Members of the public are especially encouraged to be wary of the antics of several mischievous characters whose stock-in-trade is to create divisions that only serve their selfish agenda.
“We are one people, sharing a common destiny and must remain united as we walk past the wilderness of yesterday into the glorious future that is our rightful heritage,” he added.
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I am a journalist and a political and socioeconomic analyst currently employed at Nairametrics. I pride myself on being a skilled wordsmith with a passion for delving into contemporary political issues on both a national and international scale. Additionally, I contribute research-based columns and op-eds to national publications.