Demand Umahi’s stewardship in state

2023: Nigeria won't survive week under Umahi as President, Ebonyi indigenes reject ambition
Governor David Umahi

The Association of Ebonyi Indigenes in the Diaspora (AESID) said it received with mixed feelings the news that Ebonyi State Governor, Engr David Nweze Umahi, declared his intention to contest for presidency, saying the governor should give stewardship of his seven years in the state.

While totally rejecting Umahi’s presidential ambition, the Ebonyi indigenes said Nigeria won’t survive a week under the “dictatorship style of governor Umahi” as president.

Governor Umahi had on Tuesday met with President Muhammadu Buhari and thereafter announced his intention to succeed the president.

But reacting to the development through a statement signed Thursday and made available to newsmen in Abuja, AESID’s President Ambassador Paschal Oluchukwu, who acknowledged Umahi’s constitutional right to contest, said the governor has failed “to secure our tiny Ebonyi State with the consistent and reported attacks and communal clashes recorded under his administration, some of which are allegedly fuelled even by his political appointees.

“As we speak, thousands who were displaced by communal war in Effium, Ohaukwu Local Government Area of the state are yet to return to their ancestral homes, needless to speak of receiving any succour whatsoever from the Umahi administration.

“The thousands of victims who were also displaced in three communities in Ezza North LGA where he is lavishing public funds in building an International Cargo Airport remain displaced as they are yet to be duly compensated by the Umahi administration. Hunger and poverty have been weaponised by his government such that all might come to beg for crumbs on his table.

“Any wonder Ebonyi is now officially rated the poverty capital of entire Southern Nigeria by the National Bureau of Statistics.”

While rejecting Umahi’s presidential ambition, the group said: “With the way and manner he has handled the State’s House of Assembly which is ordinarily a separate arm of government, are we not certain that a National Assembly under an Umahi Presidency would be worse than the current rubber-stamp legislative arm that we have in Nigeria?

“Will Nigeria truly survive just a one-week reign of a Dictator like Umahi?

“AESID would wish to ask; which impact and mark has Governor Umahi made in Ebonyi’s critical sectors such as education- given we are classified as Educationally-Less-Developed, health-given our poor maternal mortality rate and agriculture-given our rich potentials in this sector? What about the state’s civil service he has left in its shadows, including lecturers in our State-owned tertiary institutions whose salaries he has withheld and pays any pittance he feels like? Is it the retirees some of whom have died in their pains and agonies over non-payment of their due entitlements or their sorrowing relatives that would drum support for Umahi’s touted 2023 Presidential ambition?

“Mysterious deaths such as the sudden ‘disappearance’ of some five NELAN contractors sometime in November last year among other cases of suspicious demises all points to the alleged diabolic and wicked extent the government has gone in its dealings with the now beleaguered Ebonyi masses.

“Rather than provide jobs for our teeming populace, what the Umahi government specialises on is to appoint, through proxies, our vibrant youths who daily sing its praises on the social media for some pittance.

“For this noble accountability platform in particular, therefore, we believe it is time for him to be held to account for the little opportunity he has had in just one, out of a total of the 36 States of the federation that he now aspires to pilot their affairs.

Although the Ebonyi group expressed reservations that the Igbos have not been fairly treated on the issue of Nigeria’s presidency, but added that “all who feel they have the right qualification shouldn’t whip up this sentiment. They should rather convince the electorates like it is done in saner democracies and build bridges across the Niger to enable them to realise their ambition of clinching Nigeria’s Presidency.”

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