Two members of the House of Representatives from Ebonyi State; Laz Ogbee and Anayo Nwonu on Monday, denied of conniving with other members of the National Assembly to constitute “Abuja Group” to fight and stop Governor, David Umahi of producing successor in 2023.
Ogbee is representing Ikwo/Ezza South Federal constituency, while Nwonu is representing Ezza North/Ishielu federal constituency in the National Assembly.
In their separate statements issued in Abakaliki, the two lawmakers frowned at the allegations, which they said were concocted to smear their integrities, cause disaffection and heat up the polity in the state.
The meeting, which was purportedly held in a hotel along Bisala road, Abuja, according to social media posts was allegedly attended by Senator Obinna Ogba (Ebonyi Central); Ogbee, Nwonu; Chief Elias Mbam, Ogbonnaya Onu, Sylvester Ogbaga, and the current Deputy Governor of the state, Dr. Kelechi Igwe among others.
Ogbee said that no such meeting took place and he has not been approached by any individual or group to discuss about Umahi’s successor.
The lawmaker, who described Governor Umahi as a team player, noted that it was uncharitable for any individual to be talking about the next governor of the state, as that would distract the giant strides of the Umahi’s administration.
Ogbee said: “No meeting was held anywhere. It’s the figment of their imagination. The allegation was mischievous, unthinkable and cheap propaganda concocted to smear my integrity. It is a lie the pit of hell. The proponents of this malicious and vicious propaganda merely wanted to cause disaffection between some members of the National Assembly and our leader, Governor David Umahi. It was ploy to paint me black as fighting the state governor but the mischief makers misfired.
“Anyone talking about who will be the next governor of our dear state primarily want to distract the good works of our governor and I have never been consulted by any individual or group to discuss who or how the next governor will emerge”.
“We are proud of the governor for what he is doing in the state and I know him as a team player. When times come for him to choose his successor, I know that he will consult all relevant stakeholders and leaders of our dear state as he has always done in critical matters of such importance.
“My relationship with the governor is a bond of love, unity and loyalty. When I was the Chairman of Ezza South local government, I was the first council chairman to openly and publicly endorse the Governorship ambition of Governor David Umahi in 2015 as against the choice of the then incumbent Governor, Martin Elechi.
“What is playing out now is that some disgruntled opposition elements knowing the pedigree and outstanding performance of the governor want to whittle it down by concocting these lies just to score some cheap political points and put most of us at loggerhead”, Ogbee hinted.
On his part, Nwonu said that no discerning mind would take the allegation seriously, as the intention was only to heat up the polity and cause disaffection amongst key stakeholders in the state.
“The few members of the opposition party in the state want to cause infraction amongst us. They want to create atmosphere where some people will be seen as fighting the state government. I have not even met the people mentioned in a round table meeting since this year. The allegation is a cheap one and never existed,” he stated.