That which violates generally accepted standards or rules of a competition can best be described as malpractice. It is synonymous with cheating in the case of debate or examination, rigging in the case of election and foul play in sports competitions. The society frowns at it wherever it occurs. Malpractice of any kind is strictly forbidden. It is condemned in strong terms by our laws- both local and international. Exam malpractice, electoral malpractice, debate malpractice, Maladministration, malaria, malnutrition and every other word that connects "mal" connotes negativity.

Interestingly, what transpired in ABIA GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION DEBATE deserves a critical analysis. It was not only incongruous but cockeyed and derisory for a Ph.D holder in Economics, who was invited for a debate technically and meticulously organized and transmitted by both Radio and TV Stations ( CHANNELS involved ) to smuggle into the stage a book with a prepared speech in order to have an age over his co-debaters. That is no other person than the APGA Governorship candidate- Dr Alex Otti, who consistently perused through, gleaned at and read from a 20A Exercise Book wherein he wrote down paragraph by paragraph all that he downloaded to present to Abians.

It is now pertinent to X-ray the consequences that flow from the action of Dr Alex Otti for Abians to be aware. The direct consequences include but not limited to:

1. Incompetence
2. Lack of preparation/passion
3. Doubt on his credentials
4. Lack of morals and integrity, etc.


Dr Alex Otti, whose candidacy for APGA is in contention with Chief Chinkwe Udensi, is by the singular act of resorting to EXPO and/or debate malpractice rightly adjudged incompetent. Whereas his co-debaters were arguing and/or discussing from their heads and jotting down points with their writing materials, OTTI had already written down all he had in mind in an exercise book. The implication is that Otti cannot flow from his memory. His memory is not large enough to accommodate the challenges of Abians. This takes us to the next point.


Dr Alex Otti was not prepared and ready for that debate. Similarly, he is not ready to serve Abians. One who is ready and is moved with passion to serve Abians will always flow at every point in time. The person that is ready with passion knows Abia, understands Abia and her challenges and can easily flow without flipping through papers or any book. Abia is already in the mind of he that has passion for her.


What Dr Alex Otti exhibited on that platform raised serious doubt on his credentials. It has nothing to do with the position he held in the time past. The issue on ground is the quality of degree that he parades. Apart from being a 1st class material, he is said to be a Ph.D holder. But what Otti displayed on that platform sent a very wrong signal to the academic world. A 1st class material and Ph.D holder can be sound Lecturer in the University. Let's be truthful to ourselves. Can Otti do what he did in that debate before his students? Otti did not display the 1st class material in him from every standard of judgment. That was too shameful and ridiculous. And even his supporters were ashamed of such a misconduct in the public domain.


Cheating, anywhere in the world, is immoral and highly unacceptable. When Otti consistently glanced at his book, the Accord Party candidate- Barr Emeka Uwakolam was indeed surprised that Otti could descend so low in a public domain. He looked at him as can be seen in the picture attached herein. Morality is key in the business of politics. One without morals and integrity cant humble himself to serve his people. Abians should take note.

The Otti example in the just concluded ABIA GOVERNORSHIP DEBATE is a very bad precedent. Abians should rather learn from Dr Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, who did not only display his passion for Abia but proceeded to show his competence, morals, intelligence and readiness to serve the people of Abia State. A word is enough for the wise!

Ngwa Okereke, A Public Affairs Analyst  Writes from Umuahia...

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