Allegations have surfaced against former Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, suggesting that he is clandestinely orchestrating the affairs of the state, even after officially handing over leadership to Governor Francis Nwifuru in a ceremony held in Abakaliki, the state capital, one week ago.
The Association of Ebonyi Indigenes Socio-Cultural in the Diaspora (AEISCID), a group representing Ebonyi residents abroad, has made these claims, asserting that Governor Nwifuru appears to lack control over the state’s governance. According to the group, Umahi has been observed traveling in convoys and inspecting unfinished projects in the city, raising doubts about Nwifuru’s authority.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, AEISCID President Pascal Oluchchukwu expressed concern that despite one week passing since Nwifuru’s inauguration as Ebonyi State governor, there have been no discernible signs of governance, including the appointment of cabinet members. The group further alleged that Umahi, the previous governor, continues to visit project sites that are yet to be completed.
The statement read, “AEISCID has received reliable information that one day after handing over the reins of governance in Ebonyi, Umahi was seen with several of his dissolved executive members inspecting work at the new Olympic stadium in the Centenary City. Witnesses claim that he retained the same security aides and convoy that he had while in office.”
Earlier, it was reported that Umahi had summoned Nwifuru before his outgoing executive members, allegedly requesting that Nwifuru appoint his domestic aides from his Uburu hometown as the next Secretary to the Ebonyi State Government. However, Nwifuru reportedly declined the request. Sources close to the events leading up to Umahi’s official handover ceremony stated that his apparent anger and delayed arrival at the Abakaliki Township stadium, as well as his departure before his successor’s oath of office, may have been influenced by this rejection.
The AEISCID called upon Nwifuru to assert his authority and govern the state effectively, akin to his counterparts in Enugu and Abia, or alternatively, to resign and allow a competent individual to assume the responsibilities of governing the state. The group also urged security agencies to withdraw Umahi’s security details, as he is no longer the governor.
AEISCID emphasized its commitment to good governance and the progress of Ebonyi State, expressing concerns that democracy could be undermined if Nwifuru continues to operate in Umahi’s shadow. The group further called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to investigate and prosecute Umahi for any potential misconduct now that he no longer enjoys immunity as a political leader.
These allegations against Umahi have raised significant questions about the power dynamics within Ebonyi State and the extent of Nwifuru’s authority as the newly appointed governor. The situation demands a thorough investigation to ensure transparency, restore public trust, and uphold the principles of democratic governance.