Alex Otti And Ngwa High School: How To Be A Bad Old Boy

By Ikenga Chronicles July 10, 2018

— Onyebuchi Ememanka

I understand that the defeated APGA Governorship candidate in the 2015 elections, Mazi Alex Otti will be formally declaring his interest to run for the office of Governor in the 2019 elections this coming Friday.

A release endorsed by Otti’s Media Chief, Ferdinand Ekeoma says the event will hold at Ngwa High School, Aba.

First, let me state that Alex Otti, like every eligible Nigerian, has the constitutional right to run for any office. So he is well within his rights to contest the election. Personally, I welcome Otti to the race and I look forward with glee to his imminent defeat by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu.

I am more interested in the Ngwa High School angle.

Otti’s choice of Ngwa High School as venue for his declaration is very interesting and raises some fundamental issues which I would like to address here.

Like me, Otti is a an old boy of the very prestigious Ngwa High School, and like all products of that great institution, there is always this urge to return there to catch up with old times.

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Ngwa High School has a rich tradition of old boys involvement and participation in her activities. Like all high schools of old, old boys always identify with their alma mater.

I was at Ngwa High School at the same time with folks like Chizuru Kanu Citymojo Wachuku, Uchenna Onyeizu, Wilson Inam, Titus O. O Okoronkwo, Bobby Mokings, Ginger Nwafor, Odika Ifeanyi, Emeka Bam Bam, Julius Adimchinobi Nwojo, Progress Awazie, etc.

Then, and at periodic intervals, old boys of the school usually visit the school then. They would speak to us, tell us stories of their days there, inspire us with stories of their strides in life and of course, they would make tangible contributions to the development of the school.

Throughout my stay at Ngwa High School, I never for once, saw Alex Otti there as part of our old boys. Indeed, it was just recently when he developed interest in politics that I heard that Otti is a product of Ngwa High School.

I want to challenge Alex Otti to show us one single thing he has done for his alma mater. Whether it is to equip one laboratory or a toilet for students and teachers. I want Otti to show us one single book he has donated to the school library as a way of giving back to the school that gave him a start in life.

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Since my graduation as a lawyer, I have followed up with the activities of our Old Boys Association. I have seen how men like Chief Mike Ahamba SAN, UGO LORJI, an Mbaise man, have kept faith with his alma mater for over 40 years.

As President of our old Boys Association, Chief Ahamba has given our alma mater his all in terms of time and resources. I have never seen Alex Otti identify with our old boys Association. I have never heard that he visited the school at any time nor gave anything to the school. The only thing that shows you that Otti is an Ngwa High School product is when you see his CV. Nothing more!

Dr. Amigo Odina was my senior at Ngwa High School. He currently lives and works in the UK. Yet he identifies with our old boys. When their class holds events, he flies down to associate. He is also a product of the Abia State University where he studied medicine. He is an active member of the ABSUMSA UK, the association of medical doctors who are products of ABSU and who live in the UK. This ground hold events every year and they discuss and do things do help their alma mater.
Dr. Odina may never come here to contest elections. I am not sure. Yet he cares and gives back to his roots.

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Otti rose to become Group Managing Director of Diamond Bank Plc. Before then, he was an Executive Director at First Bank for many years. Altogether, Otti spent close to a decade at the top echelon of the banking industry in Nigeria. Sadly, throughout that period, not for one day did he remember his alma mater. Both in his personal capacity and as head of a big bank, Otti could have done a lot for Ngwa High School. He could have renovated classrooms, donated books, instituted academic prizes, etc. But he didn’t.

The only time Alex Otti remembers Ngwa High School is during election time.

In the build up to the 2015 elections, Otti used the expansive football field at Ngwa High School as a landing spot for his helicopters.

Then, Otti’s favorite mode of movement was with big choppers. Ngwa High School was his favorite landing point and from,there, he would enter those big black SUVs and drive off. By that time, the school was in a decrepit state and the new owners of the school, the Anglican Diocese of Aba Ngwa North was struggling to cope with maintaining the massive environment that is Ngwa High School.

Otti never stopped for a moment to check how he could help. No he didn’t. He never does.

As soon as the campaigns were over, Otti never returned to Ngwa High School again till date. Within the last three years, our old boys have risen to the occasion. The brand new school gate was donated by the 1992 class. Different projects are ongoing there as we speak. My own set had our reunion this January and we are currently raising funds to embark on a number of projects there.

By Friday this week, Otti will return to Ngwa High School, not as a proud old boy who came to give back but as a politician whose only attraction to the school is the massive field that will accommodate his supporters, both real and hired.

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It is not too late for Otti to do something for Ngwa High School. It’s a big shame that you won’t find anything in that school that carries his name.

As he comes there this Friday, let him announce a project he will do for the school, and let him start the project immediately. Let it bear his name, for posterity. He owes that institution big time. He would still lose the election but at least, he would have done what he ought to have done many many years ago.

Imagine how proud Otti and his men would have been if there is a classroom block he donated to the school as an old boy ten years ago.

Finally, Otti and his men would notice that a lot has changed around the Ngwa High School axis since the last time they used the field in 2015.

As he mounts the podium to speak, one thing that would stare him in the face is the imposing Osisioma Flyover under construction by Ikpeazu. Ohh, he would have a good view from Ngwa High School. As he views that emerging edifice, he should ask himself if it makes sense to the residents of Aba to abandon a man who conceived and is pushing such project to embrace another.

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Again, Otti and his supporters would have easy rides into Ngwa High School, courtesy of the massive rehabilitation of all the roads leading into the area. By 2015, that area was in a terrible state. Today, things have changed. From the Umuahia area, they can enter the venue from the express way through either Oomne Drive or Umuojima road. They would notice that from Ngwa High School down to MCC Junction have been massively expanded, so they would have space to park their cars. If their event would extend into the night, they won’t have anything to worry about because the Ngwa High School area now has street lights which will illuminate their paths.

Oga Otti, a lot has changed since 2015.

As a fellow Ngwa High School old boy, I welcome you to our alma mater. Don’t leave that premises until you say something tangible to our school.

Oga Otti, you still remember our school motto?


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