The Government of Ebonyi State on Thursday said the recent media attacks on Governor David Umahi by a group of political hirelings, were a product of ill will and malevolence that came as a political backlash on the Governor for championing the cause of national unity and South East mainstreaming in national politics, especially his avowed commitment to the victory of APC in the 2023 Presidential Election.
Recall that Umahi recently came under attacks from different groups and persons for disowning Ohanaeze Ndigbo President General, Professor George Obiozor, who he said failed to play any role in the struggle for Nigeria President of Igbo extraction during the just-concluded Presidential primaries of political parties. The Governor was knocked for saying that Ebonyi People won’t vote for the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, but that of the APC, Bola Tinubu.
But a statement by the State Commissioner for Information and State Orientation, Barrister Uchenna Orji, said these political jobbers had been idly engrossed with sponsored motives of fabricating falsehood against Governor Umahi with a view to undermining his soaring leadership hallmarks celebrated across the nation, especially his landmark achievements as the Governor of Ebonyi State in the last seven (7) years.
Orji said the recent publication of the President of the Association of Ebonyi Indigenes in Diaspora, Pascal Oluchukwu, “is one of the series of his infamous, disrespectful and unfounded fabrications calculated at running down on the person and policies of the Governor of Ebonyi State for not conforming with his clannish and divisive entreaties in his native community in Ebonyi State where he has been declared wanted by security agencies for his complicity in violent crimes and killings in the area.
“Since then, the said Pascal Oluchukwu has been operating fugitively and concocting melancholic and mendacious fictions against the person of the Governor and the institution he represents. The false political narratives chronicled in the publication of Pascal Oluchukwu show that the great achievements of Governor Umahi have become an albatross of Pascal Chukwu that prevents him from living a normal life. I must say that the government and good people of Ebonyi State have no time for a Yahoo boy whose livelihood is full of scams.”
On the publication by the President of Ohanaeze Youth Council, the State Information Commissioner said, “Igboayaka O. Igboayaka is nothing but a clueless propaganda politically calculated to defraud the collective sensibilities of the gullible public on the actual state of security in Anambra State or any part whatsoever in South East.
The uncoordinated narrative of his records of killings and unconscionable reeling of unfounded security reports indicting SARS involvement in extra-judicial killings is as strange as a tale imaginatively recounted to curry cheap sympathy in desperation for political actualizations.
“It must be mentioned that Ebonyi State Government knows nothing about his rhetorics about the said crimes allegedly committed between 2004 and 2013 as the stories have no nexus with any incident of security breaches in any part of Ebonyi State or South East in the life of the Umahi administration.
“In his high sense of mischief and falsehood, the said Igboayaka O. Igboayaka, tried to pinch our dear Governor against the person of His Excellency Mr Peter Obi, a Presidential candidate of Labour Party over the clear stand of Ebonyi State on the Political Platform of her choice. It is inviolately factual that Ebonyi State under Governor Umahi is APC solid and shall not leave any stone unturned in delivering Ebonyi State to APC come 2023.
“We have no personal matter with Mr Peter Obi. He is a friend of our dear Governor. If he were a candidate of our great Party, the APC we would have still been under obligation to vote for him. We can neither be cowed nor brainwashed into going to the dark age of senseless and fruitless tribal partisan alignment. We have moved to the party at the centre under the political principle of Umahism which is a resonation of Zikism, the Pan African model of modern nationalism.
“It is foolhardy, absolutely reprehensible and most unconscionable for the said Igboayaka to attempt to find fault in the clear stand of the Governor and the people of Ebonyi State over our preference for APC.
“We take exception to the blackmail of Labour revolution in South East, the linking of the activities of IPOB under Mr Simon Ekpa with our dear Governor. The Governor remains the strongest voice in the South East. We would rather hold that from Igboayaka’s in-depth knowledge of the groupings and inclinations of the ringleaders of violent agitations and banditry in the South East, he should submit himself for security surveillance.
“For the records, Governor Umahi never made any allusion to the person of Mr Peter Obi or reference to his candidacy when he said that the people of Ebonyi State will vote APC This decision to continue to build bridges is an irreversible conviction by the people of Ebonyi State, borne out of the need to take our destiny into our hands in our commitment to nation-building as this is our sacrifice in launching South East to the mainstream of national governance.
“There is no going back in the stand of Ebonyi State on the ineffectiveness and insensitiveness of the leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo over galvanizing advocacies for South East Presidency when it mattered most. It is not about Governor Umahi; it is about the sons and daughters of South East who were jilted by their people for a porridge of yam; it is about the failure of Ohaneze Ndigbo to galvanize the opinions of prominent Nigerians who spoke for fairness and justice to South East, whereas the leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo went into hiding in honour of those who pay the piper from South East.
On the allegation that Ebonyi State Government disbursed N400million COVID-19 funds for personal estate development of officials of the three arms of government in the State, Orji said,
“We are also not unaware of the mischief sought to be created by the publication made online in Prestige News and other online platforms by Yusuf Kabir. The allegation contained in the said publication is weighty as it is empty. The State Government never spent any COVID-19 grant(s) on any of such investments as blindly posited by these enemies of progress.”
“Ebonyi State Government in furtherance of her welfare Programmes and in the implementation of the outcome of the Citizens’/Stakeholders Consultative Meeting on the 2020 revised budget (effected as a response to the scourge of COVID-19) made welfare policies to different Stakeholders including, granting of facilities, taxes rebates, tax holidays and other forms of palliatives.
“The welfare funds which is a semblance of the Civil Servants N3billion Agricultural empowerment scheme earlier disbursed by the State Government before the advent of COVID-19 in 2020 is a welfare facility drawn from the State Government budgeted funds. It will be recalled that there had been similar welfare Programmes like that given as empowerment to the people of Ebonyi State. For the avoidance of doubt, the housing facility to the Public Office holders (Executive, Legislature, and Judiciary) was never sourced or released from COVID-19 grants or contributions.
“We have taken time to make these clarifications because of those whose thoughts must have been swindled by the antics of these political marauders. Ebonyi is one of the foremost States in prudence, transparency, probity and accountability in Nigeria. That is the secret of our rising performance index and the numerous SFTAS and Media awards.
“Members of the public are enjoined to discountenance the antics of these frustrated politicians and their cronies as their falsehood and deliberate attacks on the honest and germane views of our dear Governor on national issues is nothing but a sign of helpless frustrations,” Mr Orji added.