Umahism: Unwu-ekumenyi's Password For 2019

By Monday Eze, Senior Correspondent, The Nigerian Voice, Abakaliki

Unwu-Ekumenyi which translates to the descendants of Ekumenyi consists more than two-third of the population of Ebonyi state. They make up the entire Ebonyi Central and Ebonyi North senatorial districts; and part of Ebonyi South district where they live in reasonable numbers in Onicha and Ivo local government areas. The voting strength of Unwu-Ekumenyi constitutes about 65% of the total voting strength of the entire Ebonyi state. Politics, they say, is a game of numbers. It is this undisputable fact that makes Unwu-Ekumenyi very important in the political equation and calculation of Ebonyi state. Unwu-Ekumenyi are not just great in number, they are equally a conscientious people with a high sense of morality and deep commitment to equity, justice and the common good. With strong ethos and belief system summarized in the philosophy of introspection known in Unwu-Ekumenyi parlance as "Tųbè iya onwo ghu l'ęhu" or "Sųnų t'oburu ghų", Unwu-Ekumenyi have always stood on impeccable moral political grounds to push all political projects they are involved in to the finishing line. Over the years, it is the combination of morality and number that has always made the success of any political project with Unwu-Ekumenyi imprimatur fait accompli.

It is also on record that Unwu-Ekumenyi has never been part of any political project that is in conflict with good conscience and morality. For example, when in the build-up to the 2015 gubernatorial election the powers that held sway in Ebonyi Government House impersonated Unwu-Ekumenyi in the false adoption of a former minister of health as the preferred candidate of Unwu-Ekumenyi, Unwu-Ekumenyi washed their hands off the purported adoption, explaining that they were not even consulted. When the purported adoption collapsed and the "god-father" in a volte-face attempted to foist his contractor inlaw and a new political platform on Unwu-Ekumenyi, Unwu-Ekumenyi frontally attacked and killed the project on grounds that it was inequitable and unjust for another Unwu-Ekumenyi man to aspire to govern Ebonyi state at a point when the second two-tenure governor of Unwu-Ekumenyi extraction was rounding off his second term. The socio-cultural group argued that good conscience and equity demanded that after sixteen years of the two governors of Unwu-Ekumenyi extraction who did two unbroken tenures respectively, power should shift to the south of Ebonyi state. Consequently, Unwu-Ekumenyi people led by Engr. Fidelis Nwankwo, Dr. Hyginus Nwokwu, Dr. Emmanuel Onwe, Chief G.O. Chukwu, Engr. Fidelis Nweze, Chief Sunday Inyima, Chief Njoku Afoke, Elder Fred Udogu, Chief Clement Nweke, Hon. Bernard Uzim, Barr Nnabuife Abara and a host of others led the political assault which enthroned the administration of Apostle David Nweze Umahi and collapsed the unwholesome political project as well as the very platform which sought to exclude a section of Ebonyi state from governance.

So far, Apostle David Nweze Umahi has proved to be an unusually positive governor, a profitable political investment and an outstanding vindication for Unwu-Ekumenyi and the rest of Ebonyi progressives who ignored all negative propaganda against Umahi's candidature in 2015 and put their lives and limbs on the line to ensure that the Umahi Gubernatorial project triumphed. The over-crowded score-card of Apostle David Nweze Umahi boasts of unprecedented projects and programmes like rigid-pavement or concrete roads in the entire Abakaliki municipality and in every council area of Ebonyi state which are guaranteed to last for half a century; three 800-metre twin overhead bridges at strategic points along the African trans-saharan highway which, apart from their unequaled aesthetic values, serve as life-savers and decongestants for Accident and Emergency wards and motuaries of our hospitals; stomach infrastructure programme through which about 1000 youths, women and men are involved in governance as Senior Technical Assistants, Technical Assistants, Liaison Officers, over 10, 000 widows and youths were empowered with business start-up capitals ranging from one hundred thousand naira to one million naira, Ebonyi workers are not owed like their colleagues in 27 states but are rather paid 13th month salaries annually while our traditional rulers were empowered with living allowances and Prado jeeps to enhance their status. The Light-up Ebonyi project through which all the roads/streets and thoroughfares in Abakaliki capital territory, satellite towns and council secretariats now have functional street lights which create ambience in the nights and aid security of lives and property. Others are a comprehensive Healthcare delivery programme which gave rise to the construction and equipment of the second virology centre in southern Nigeria in Abakaliki, the upgrade of the 13 General Hospitals as well as the free medicare and hospital amnesty programmes which Umahi runs through the churches; the Buhari glass tunnel bypass, the 5000 capacity Ebonyi Ecumenical centre, Ebonyi mall, the new Government House, the reconstruction of over 100 classroom blocks and construction of 98 new classroom blocks in different parts of the state as well as the reduction of EBSU fees by ten thousand naira at a time other state universities were increasing their fees.

In the Agricultural sector, Umahi's revolution otherwise known as "One man, one hectare" has succeeded beyond projections in ensuring food security in Ebonyi and environs, making Ebonyi rice an international brand and attracting commendations from the APC-led Federal Government. In the Power sector, Umahi's experiment in power generation through biomass technology where local engineers fabricate UNIDO-certified biomass gasification plants has made Ebonyi one of the drivers of the renewable energy programme while Ebonyi people will soon begin to generate money through domestic wastes through the waste re-cycling plant at Umuoghara, Ezza North L.G.A. The recent resurrection of the Sports sector through the construction of Olympics-standard stadium in Abakaliki, the launch of Dave Umahi Tertiary Institutions Games (DUMTIGA 2018), the floating of two football clubs in Ebonyi state and too many other projects which cannot be accommodated in this brief account.

The vindication which Governor Umahi's performance gave Unwu-Ekumenyi and the rest of Ebonyi state has birthed the Umahism mantra - a new word in the rich Nigerian lexicon which simply means a better form of democracy. In Ebonyi state, Umahism has become a movement, a celebration; and Unwu-Ekumenyi are at the centre of it. Umahism is at the heart and lips of every Unwu-Ekumenyi nay Ebonyi man. Umahism is both a song of political revolution and political triumph; it is the password of good governance and it cuts across geography, gender and age. It is the anthem of Ebonyi people from ages 1 to 100. Umahism is the political canticle of Unwu-Ekumenyi, nay Ebonyi people and its lyrics are embedded in Matt: 22:39 and Esther 6:1-3! They will sing it to and from the polling booths on the election day and in the main bowl of Abakaliki Township Stadium on 29th May, 2019 at the second-term inauguration of a man of positive history - Apostle David Nweze Umahi. Those who mortgage their inheritances to banks in order to purchase party forms at Abuja in the hope of poaching on the votes of Unwu-Ekumenyi should listen to the soulish synchrony and rendition of Umahism which started in 2015, is continuing in 2019 and will spread like wildfire to the centre in 2023. Unwu-Ekumenyi and Ebonyi people have not given up, and will not give up, on David Nweze Umahi!

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