“I started a journey in 2015 and have not got to my destination yet. I have two options: either continue until I get to the destination or go back to where I was coming from. I cannot stop midway. If I have to go back to where I was coming from, then, there wouldn’t have been any need to start the journey in the first place. The only real option open to me, therefore is to continue to my destination.”
Those were the words of Alex Otti, governor-elect of Abia, in a newspaper interview in 2022. And on this day in 2023, the former bank Chief arrived at his destination. Otti had tried twice under the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) but failed, but his first journey under Labour Party took him to his destination.
According to Professor Nnenna Oti, Returning Officer of the election, Otti scored a total of 175,467 votes to beat his main challenger, Chief Okey Ahiwe of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who garnered a total of 88,529 votes.
Below are five things to know about Otti:
He was born on the 18th of February 1965 in Isiala-ngwa Local Government Area of Abia state to the family of Late Pastor Mr. & Mrs. Lazarus Weze Otti.
Otti attended the Ngwa high school and secondary technical school, Okpuala Ngwa in Abia state. He graduated with a first class degree in Economics from the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT). He also got an MBA degree from the University of Lagos (UNILAG). Alex Otti took some international courses in institutions like Columbia Business, Stanford Business School and Wharton Business School.
He started his banking career in 1989 with the Nigeria International Bank, then moved to Nigerian Intercontinental Merchant Bank Ltd. In 1992, he joined Societe Bancaire Nigeria limited (Merchant Bankers) before moving to the United bank of Africa (UBA) as the principal manager overseeing the bank’s corporate banking sector for the entire south division.
In 2001, he joined First Bank of Nigeria as Assistant General Manager, and was later appointed as Executive Director, commercial banking. In 2011, he moved from First Bank Nigeria to Diamond Bank as the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer. He retired from the banking sector in 2014.
He was a gubernatorial candidate of Abia state under the All Progressive’s Grand Alliance (APGA) in 2015. Otti was declared as the winner of the election after the court of appeal removed Okezie Ikpeazu of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), but the decision was reversed by the Supreme court. He had a stint under the All Progressives Congress (APC) after his ambition hit the rock under APGA for the second time.
THISDAY BOARD MEMBER
The governor-elect of Abia is a member of the Editorial Board of THISDAY Newspaper. He is also a columnist. Under the title, “Outside The Box”, Otti pens down his thoughts on a wide range of issues. From politics to economy to security, name it. He has no doubt pulled one of the biggest upsets of the 2023 governorship election, having sent the PDP that has governed Abia since 1999 into retirement. Otti now has the opportunity to do many things, but two stand out – one is to implement the ideas he has been espousing through his column and the second is to think out of the box, just as his column title says.
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