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Regional News of Friday, 13 October 2023


'What publication is he talking about?' - Drama as Ikpeazu’s ex-Commissioner, Otti’s aide clash over contract costs

Governor Alex Otti and former Governor Okezie Ikpeazu Governor Alex Otti and former Governor Okezie Ikpeazu

Ferdinand Ekeoma, the Special Adviser on media and publicity to Governor Alex Otti and John Okiyi Kalu, the former commissioner for trade and investment in the Okezie Ikpeazu administration have called out each other in what looks like a messy media war.

Okiyi Kalu a member of the previous administration in the state called out the Alex Otti administration over the cost of some road construction contracts awarded.

In a social media post, Kalu called for the publication of funds coming into the State from the federal allocations in the newspapers, which according to him, would tally with Governor Otti’s pre-election campaigns.

Reacting to the demands, however, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to Governor Otti, Mr Ferdinand Ekeoma, said that the present government does not need any media propaganda to tell Abia residents its achievements.

Ekeoma, who faulted Kalu’s claims that the former government he served was transparent in its financial dealings, alleged that Ohafia LGA where Okiyi Kalu hails from, allegedly received over 18 billion naira as allocation from the federation account during the eight years of the former administration.

Ekeoma’s response read in part:

“One of the grounds for John Okiyi Kalu’s infantile attacks on Governor Otti was that his government doesn’t come on air and social media to announce and publish the amount of money received as monthly allocation.

“Let me remind him that monthly allocation is statutory and is published by the Federal Government which shows what every State receives. So which other publication is he talking about?

“What Abians expect from the State government is to use what is due to the State to work for Abians and not to dramatize on social media and on the pages of newspapers in the name of publications, since we didn’t see the economic and developmental impacts of such fake and deceitful publications since 1999”, he said.

He added that the state government has no obligation to publish budget implementations of various MDAS through the appropriate channels in line with extant laws and rules.