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Abia denies arrest of community members ‘invited for peace talk’ over road construction

Abia denies arrest of community members ‘invited for peace talk’ over road construction
December 11
09:42 2023

The Abia state government has denied report that it arrested some youth and elders who were invited for a peace talk. 

Alex Otti, the governor of Abia, was reported to have arrested some youth and elders invited for peace talk over the construction of Port Harcourt-Aba road.

It was reported on social media that the youth and elders of a particular clan in the state barricaded the construction site “seeking settlement”.

They were said to have been invited by the governor to have a peace talk but were arrested, and the construction company ordered to continue with the project.

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In a statement on Monday, Dodoh Okafor, senior special assistant to the governor on public communication, said the governor did not arrest anyone in connection to the flag-off 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 statement reads.

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“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 the collapse 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.”

Okafor assured residents that the government is committed to restoring the reputation of the state as a hub for economic activities.

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“Governor Otti’s resolve 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,” he said.
“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,” he added.
“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.”

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