By Omeiza Ajayi
Political activist and social crusader, Ambassador Pascal Oluchukwu, has weighed in on the debate generated by the alleged decision of the Ebonyi State Governor, Engineer Dave Umahi, to allow for the establishment of Ruga settlements in the state, saying the decision could elicit a wave of backlash from the people.
Oluchukwu specifically accused Umahi of plans to mortgage the future of young ones in the state for personal gains after leaving office as governor.
His claims came amidst denial by the state government that there was no such plan.
As Chairman of the Southeast Governors Forum, Engr Umahi had in June dismissed reports that governors of the zone as well as those of the South-South had agreed to concede to the establishment of such settlements but the issue had remained in the public consciousness, with several non-state actors and secessionist groups accusing the Ebonyi Governor of plans to allocate land for the scheme.
The development had forced the state government last week to again deny any such plan saying “the state government states in clear terms that the narratives of these online propagandists are nothing but the figment of the imagination of the mischief-makers. Their online circulations are totally unfounded, absolutely irresponsible, without foundation and criminally woven to paint Ebonyi State Government black before its citizenry.”
However, Oluchukwu, who is also the spokesman of the Organisation of Ebonyi State Indigenes in the Diaspora (OESID), in a statement Sunday in Abuja said if the governor refuses to back out of the plan to impose Ruga programme on Ebonyi ancestral lands, “he should be ready for some unpalatable backlash from the people.”
The activist said: “Enough is enough. We, the peace-loving people of Ebonyi State, will not allow Gov. Umahi to mortgage our future in his blind support of the federal government abhorrent agenda while pursuing his personal ambition after his tenure ends in 2023”.
Oluchukwu argued that the decision to house what he described as “outlandish programme is a sovereign one that cannot be taken by the Governor, without recourse to the people of the state, where the real sovereignty resides.”