Abia State Governor-Elect, Dr Alex Otti has charged Gov Okezie Ikpeazu to avoid awarding last-minute contracts or trying to incite the people of the state against the incoming administration. Otti, who spoke in Umuahia, the state capital, when he was officially presented with his Certificate of Return (CoR) alongside his deputy Governor-Elect, Ikechukwu Emetu, at the INEC state headquarters also commended the Returning Officer (RO) of the March 18 governorship election, Professor Nnenna Oti, who is also the Vice Chancellor, the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), for her forthrightness in defending the votes cast during the polls and refusing to compromise the will of the people. He said, “There’s no doubt in my mind that Abians have waited for an opportunity like this and God in his infinite wisdom has decided that this year 2023 will mark a new song for the Abia people.“ We, therefore, want to assure you that the trust that you have bestowed to us party leaders, as governorship candidate and now as Governor-Elect will not be betrayed, and you will not be disappointed. “I’ll like to use this opportunity to call on the outgoing governor to ensure that he does not do anything that will give the impression that there is going to be tension. This is what is called a lame duck period, so entering into a fresh contract that may be reversed; doing things that will create an impression that booby traps are being created for the incoming administration will not make for the peace and progress that he had indicated.” He described the Abia State INEC RO as a heroine and defender of democracy and assured that they are not related. He further said, “Let me thank INEC for the fantastic work that was done. Let me put on record, my thanks to the Returning Officer, Prof Nnenna Oti, who by no means is related to me. I’ve read a few things, saying that she is my sister. I have never met her. From the available record, she is from Ebonyi State.“ Be that as it may, we must put on record her forthrightness. She has shown that with people like her, there’s a lot of hope for Nigeria. Meanwhile, INEC National Commissioner for Voter Education, Mr Festus Okoye, also congratulated the people of Abia for defending democracy and the institution of democracy in Nigeria. Otti called on officials of the State Government who have government properties in their possession to return them and vowed that he would not allow individuals to “privatise” Abia resources to themselves while the rest of the citizenry languish in abject poverty and penury. He added, “Abia State belongs to all of us. Our resources cannot, and I repeat, we will not allow our resources to be privatised, while our people are suffering in abject penury and penury.” He thanked the people of the state for voting for the Labour Party and noted that his return as governor-elect has “put a huge responsibility on all of us,” as he vowed that the responsibility will not be taken for granted. It could be recalled that after the Abia State governorship ballot on March 18 in which Labour Party (LP) was leading by a wide margin after results from 16 local government areas had been collated, there was an alleged attempt by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state to alter the figures from Obingwa. The INEC RO had also raised the alarm that some groups of desperate politicians in Abia State tried to use intimidation and financial inducement to make her accept cooked-up figures from Obingwa Local Government Area to sway the votes cast to another direction.INEC had also alerted the nation in an official statement that its office within the Obingwa LGA headquarters was invaded by thugs and its staff held hostage.