Abia Govt denies arresting elders, youths who demanded ‘settlement’ on road project

The Special Assistant to Abia State Governor Alex Otti on Public Communications, Mr Dodoh Okafor, has debunked reports that the state government arrested some elders and youths who were invited for peace talks in Umuahia.

It was reported that some elders and youths, who demanded ‘marching ground’ settlement before the commencement of works on the Port Harcourt road project in Aba, were invited to Umuahia and locked up by the state government.

Okafor debunked the reports in a statement posted on his social media handle on Tuesday.

He accused those he described as ‘agents of division’ of spreading false reports and lies against the state government.

Parts of the statement read, “To begin with, majority of Ndi Abia from all clans across the state, irrespective of their cultural and religious leanings are profoundly appreciative of the Gov. Otti’s resolve to rehabilitate the long-abandoned Port Harcourt road which until its collapse in the mid-1990s , was a major hub for the sale and repair of heavy duty machineries and spare parts, serving the Port Harcourt industrial complex, further consolidating Aba’s reputation as a major market for manufacturers and big businesses across the country and beyond.

“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.

“For the records, reports of protests by some youth and subsequent invitation to Umuahia by Governor Alex Otti is untrue and a figment of the imagination of those promoting it, for reasons we cannot immediately determine.”

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