…we no business with firearms, ammunition of any kind
By Peter Okutu, Abakaliki
The Coordinators of the 64 Development Centers in Ebonyi State, yesterday threatened to sue the Senator representing Ebonyi North Zone, Dr Sam Egwu and other National Assembly members elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the State.
The institution of the suit against the PDP NASS members was because they alleged that they (64 Coordinators) were armed by the State Government to go after perceived political opponents in the State.
The Coordinators under the aegis of Forum of Coordinators were reacting to a statement credited to Dr Sam Egwu wherein he alleged that Governor Umahi was also using the Ebube-Agu security outfit to witch-hunt them.
But the Coordinator of Ikwo South East and Publicity Secretary of the Coordinators’ Forum in the State, Hon. John Ogodo who read the communique on behalf of the 64 Coordinators, noted that they had no business whatsoever with firearms and ammunition of any kind, as alleged by the federal lawmakers.
The Forum vowed that if the National Assembly members led by Senator Egwu, failed to substantiate the allegations levelled against them, they would institute legal action against them for the false alarm, misinformation and integrity defamation.
“That the present set of Coordinators of Development Centres in Ebonyi State have no business whatsoever with firearms and ammunition of any kind; even as we make bold to challenge Egwu and his group to make public ‘real’ pictorial, not photoshopped evidence of Coordinators of Development Centres and other youths wielding guns as they claim, as failure to substantiate same will leave Coordinators with no other option than instituting legal action against them for the false alarm, misinforming the public and integrity defamation.
“That as Coordinators of our various Development Centres, who by virtue of our mandates are Chief Security Officers at that level, and who play a supervisory role on men of EBUBEAGU, we have never distributed guns to these hard-working young men of Ebonyi State (members of EBUBEAGU), who are sacrificing a lot in partnership with security agencies to ensure that every life and property in the state including that of members of National Assembly who are today raising false alarm, enjoys security in its true sense,” the Forum said.
They further expressed dismay that an elder statesman like Senator Sam Egwu and his colleagues in the National Assembly were playing politics with the security challenges facing the country, instead of joining forces with Governor David Umahi to chart the best ways towards fighting insecurity in the State.
“This attitude we see as irresponsible and a show of the fact that there are probably plans by the authors of the said press briefing to cause mayhem in the State which the presence of the Men of EBUBEAGU is now putting a clog in their wheel of progress.
“We are surprised that at a time Senator Egwu should be agitating for and giving way for the youths to take over the affairs of governance he is busy forming groups to tarnish the good image of very young men and women who are mere Coordinators even when he has selfishly served as Commissioner for Education, two-term Governor, contested to be President of Nigeria and National Chairman of PDP respectively which both failed and afterwards appointed Minister for Education and now a Senator in his second term and still seriously asking for a third term.
“Mr Senator Sir, If you succeed in destroying our reputations as you are trying to do, how are we going to grow to half your already attained height?
“That we are not unaware of their gimmicks and serious campaign to blackmail the present government in Ebonyi State under the most competent leadership of His Excellency, Engr. (Dr.) David Nweze Umahi has gone through thick and thin to changing the Ebonyi narrative which has in turn taken away the mockery of asking Ebonyians to “sing the Lord’s song in a strange land.
“The attempt to also slander the person of the former National Vice Chairman of PDP, South East Zone, His Excellency, Deacon Austin Umahi (OCHIAGHA), is dead on arrival. For the records, Deacon Austin Umahi is a perfect gentleman who discharged his duties with the utmost sense of humour, civility,” the Forum added.