Dr Alex Otti, the governor of Abia State has explained why the state government procured security vehicles from outside the country and not from Chief Innoson Chukwuma, Nigeria’s automobile manufacturer.
Otti made the clarification through his deputy Chief of Staff, Mr Nedu Ekeke.
Recall that the former bank chief came under intense criticism after he launched ‘Operation Crush security’ as part of the state government’s efforts to address the perennial security challenges in Abia.
However, Ekeke via a series of tweets on Thursday while making a case for his principal, noted that by the time the security trucks were needed in the state for immediate military operations, Innoson had no such vehicles in stock.
He said, “We have read the comments on Social Media about the Toyota Hilux vans the Abia State govt bought for a special security operation named: Operation Crush.
“We appreciate the feedback; especially as most commenters are coming from a place of love for country and support for the Alex Otti administration.
The administration appreciates, more than anyone else, the need to patronize locally made goods. And this was why we had, upon assuming office, ordered more than 50 units of cars from the Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing company. We currently have 20 unmet orders.”
Nedu further disclosed that some commissioners do not even have official vehicles, and the Governor’s official car is yet to be delivered as he still uses his private cars as a sitting governor.
He continued that “The military service commanders in Abia needed trucks for immediate take-off of the special operation and, unfortunately, Innoson had no such vehicles in stock.
“The government could not delay the operation as it places premium on the lives and property of all Abians.
“We are, first and foremost, interested in stemming insecurity in the state, and we want to do it quickly. We were constrained by time and had to go for what was readily available.
“This does not foreclose any prospect of future transactions with Innoson or any other local brand.
“We are open to honest feedback such as the one we have had in the last two days. We will always listen and respond. And even if we disagree with your perspective, we will still respond.”